What about supplements? Many of us take supplements to make up for any nutrients we might be lacking in our diets, so would supplements help our pets? When it comes to whether our cats need supplements, the answer is that in a few cases, supplements may help, but for the most part, our feline friends don’t need them (and, in fact, supplements may prove harmful).
Here’s what you should know about cats and supplements!
Why Cats Don’t Need Supplements
Unlike us, our cats don’t eat varied diets; instead, they (for the most part) eat the same food day in and day out. And pet food companies know this. So, pet food companies ensure they are formulating their products to meet all of our felines’ nutritional needs, which negates the need for any supplements1. Now, not all cat foods are the same—some may be healthier than others—but all commercial foods should meet your pet’s nutritional requirements. Look for the phrase “complete and balanced” food with the AAFCO stamp of approval.
Then there’s the fact that many pet food companies will base foods on life stages, such as kitten, adult, and senior. Because our pets have different nutritional requirements depending on their age, giving your cat food by life stages means the food changes as they grow to continue meeting their needs.
Either way, our cats are getting everything they need via their food, which means if they’re being given supplements on top of their food, they’re getting more nutrients than required—and overdoing it can be harmful to our cats.
Are There Any Cases Where Cats Need Supplements?
Though cats shouldn’t be given supplements for the most part, there are a few cases where supplements may help our pets2. After all, supplements are meant to be taken to correct nutritional deficiencies, and there are some instances where our felines can be nutritionally deficient.
The main thing to keep in mind if one is considering supplements for their cat is to always speak with your vet first. Because giving a cat supplements runs the risk of causing harm, a cat should never have supplements added to its regimen without a vet’s approval.
The majority of cats do not require supplements, and, in fact, supplements may do more harm than good. However, there are a handful of cases where our feline friends could use the help of supplements, such as when they are ill, suffering from malabsorption, or dealing with feline dementia. The important thing to remember when dealing with cats and supplements is that one should never give a cat any supplements without first speaking with a vet to get approval and dosage information!