Vitamins Help Keep Cats Healthy and Happy
Friday, May 23, 2014 9:13:52 AM EST5EDT
Most cat owners want their kitties to be as healthy and happy as possible. Often that means giving them vitamins for cats or other cat dietary supplements. However, most cat owners don’t know what vitamins for cats exist or which ones they need. Here are the basic types of cat vitamins and supplements:
- Joint supplements. As cats get older many will have joint problems. Joint injuries and arthritis are difficult enough to manage for humans, but for cats they can be incredibly disabling, because cats routinely climb, jump and tumble just to get around a normal living room. Joint supplements for cats can be extremely helpful in maintaining joint health or easing the pain of arthritis. The best cat joint supplements offer a mixture of glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Probiotics. Probiotics are not actually vitamins for cats, they are supplements of “good” bacteria that live naturally in a healthy cat’s intestinal tract. By giving your cat probiotic supplements you can help boost their immune defenses as well as normalize digestion. It is often recommended for cats with diarrhea.
- Digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes go a step further than probiotics by delivering supplements of the natural stomach enzymes that help break down food and bacteria. For bowel disease, recurring diarrhea or digestive problems, a vet may recommend cat digestive enzymes in addition to probiotics.
- Vitamin supplements. Just like humans, cats need certain vitamins in their diet, although the specific vitamins and amounts needed are very different between humans and cats. Vitamins for cats are made in easy to eat vitamin treat pellets, and include either specific vitamins or vitamin blends. Talk to your veterinarian to decide which vitamins are right for your kitty friend. These vitamins can supplement what a cat gains through their normal diet, and there are special vitamin blends that cats who eat a raw food diet or a table scrap diet are sure to need.
- Premium cat food. If you don’t want to administer vitamins for cats, you have options. Some premium cat foods are formulated to include all the vitamins a cat needs. They are essentially a balanced cat food with the added bonus of additional vitamins. These diets vary in what they include and some may be formulated for certain ages or types of cats. For instance, there are cat diabetes diets and diets for older cats and kittens. However, even premium food will not include probiotics, so talk to your vet to determine whether your cat needs anything beyond a vitamin-rich cat food.
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