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Dangerous Supplements for Cats?

Cheeto's Keeper

Savannah Teenager
#1
Well, this is a lot of information for a post, but I've become obsessed with finding the diet and supplementation that will allow my kitten to grow to her ultimate genetic potential. Yes, I admit it, I wanted a big kitty when I chose this breed. I want a big cat but a healthy one is more important so when I came across the following information, I thought other Savannah owners might also find it useful since many of us are very dedicated to our cat's nutrition. The below reading made me feel like my intended good could do harm. I am not a vet and this reminded me that I am not a vet and need to be careful because too much of a good thing can lead to bad things. There is some talk about vegetables and grains which I don't offer Cheetoh but it seems that almost all of the vitamins and minerals needed come from meat sources which I am doing. Also, I am feeding Cheetoh RadCat which is supplemented. Anyway, you'll either nod off reading this or find it interesting :) And, of course, please let me know if you think any of the below is BS.




DANGEROUS SUPPLEMENTS FOR CATS


Dangerous Supplements

Your cat has a peculiar body system that seems almost (cover your cat's ears) deficient at times. He needs many vitamins and minerals that his body, unlike, say, a dog's, is unable to produce. Supplementing with vitamins seems like the way to go; how can giving him a heap of healthy vitamins be bad? In practice, however, vitamin over-supplementation can bring on a multitude of health problems.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes in two forms, beta-carotene and retinol. Beta-carotene is mostly found in plant matter, and retinol is mostly found in animal matter. Curiously, cats can't convert beta-carotene to vitamin A as humans can; their only source of vitamin A is retinol.

Some places your cat will get vitamin A include liver, egg yolk, butter, fish liver oil and kidneys.

Because vitamin A is fat-soluble, it lingers in your pet's body for a long time, so it is easy for your cat be overdosed, causing hyper-vitaminosis A. When this illness occurs your pet's spine begins to harden, a painful condition that has the following symptoms:

• Difficulty walking

• Muscle degeneration

• Pain in the legs and body

• Stiff neck

• Loss of appetite

The stiff neck is usually the first sign that something is wrong with your pet; you will notice that he has problems grooming himself. This condition must be treated immediately -- if it is left for too long, the spine will eventually harden permanently and he will be unable to move.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin, and for good reason: animals usually absorb vitamin D by being out in the sun. The ultraviolet rays hit your cat's skin, and the oils there produce vitamin D that is then absorbed through the skin and transferred to the rest of the body, where it is stored until it is needed.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes in two other forms besides sunshine: ergocalciferol, which comes from plant matter, and cholecalciferol, which comes from animal matter. Besides sunlight, your cat will also get vitamin D from eating fish, liver, egg yolks and cod liver oil.

If your cat has too much vitamin D in his diet, he will contract hyper-vitaminosis D. This is an extremely dangerous condition involving the hardening of your pet's internal organs and blood vessels. Symptoms include:

• Pain when touched

• Decreased appetite

• Increased water intake

• Vomiting

• Weight loss

This condition can kill your cat. It is a serious matter, and if you notice these signs you should take him to the veterinarian immediately.

Calcium

Calcium is essential in bone growth and maintaining healthy, strong teeth; it is one of the most needed minerals in your pet's diet. Calcium works hand in hand with vitamin D and can't be absorbed without vitamin D in the diet. Sources of calcium include sardines (a cat favorite), green vegetables and milk products.

An excess of calcium in your cat's diet will result in painful bone deformities, bone spurs and calcium deposits. It can also cause problems with his production and absorption of phosphorus, zinc, iron and iodine. This condition can become even worse if your pet also has an excess of vitamin D.

Magnesium

This mineral is essential to the body for muscle and nerve function, as well as helping convert blood sugar into energy. Magnesium also helps the body break down several other vitamins and minerals.

Magnesium can be found in chicken breasts, tuna, sardines, shrimp and nuts.

An excess of magnesium can pave the way for a host of ailments, including the dreaded FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Syndrome) and other urinary problems. Magnesium is rarely needed as a supplement; even though there are not many places your cat can naturally ingest magnesium, there is more than enough in the ash content of most pet foods.

Symptoms of FLUTD Include:

• Bloody urine

• Straining and inability to urinate

• Depression

• Loss of appetite

• Vomiting

• Dehydration

If your cat shows any of those signs, rush him to the veterinarian. FLUTD can be fatal if left untreated, and it is a painful and depressing illness for your pet to suffer through.

Phosphorus

Your pet needs phosphorus because calcium is ineffectual without it, but your cat can easily get too much of it in his diet. Phosphorus is in all animal protein, so your cat gets a good dose of it simply by being a meat eater. Sources of phosphorus are meats, fish, egg yolks and whole grains.

An excess of phosphorus in your cat's diet can result in calcium deficiency, bone growth problems and convulsions. Watch for this substance in foods; phosphorus is also called calcium phytosphate, sodium phosphate and sodium pyrophosphate and is used as a food additive.

Preventing Vitamin and Mineral Excess

If the label on your pet food reads "balanced," that means your pet's diet has already been supplemented with vitamins and minerals. It is never wise to feed your cat supplements just because they are supposed to be good for him; too much of a good thing CAN be harmful at times. Check with your veterinarian before putting your cat on a supplementation diet, and do not feed your cat vitamin supplements and food supplements at the same time.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
Education is never a bad thing, it's what you do with it that counts. For those who make homemade raw diets, it's imperative that they be knowledgeable about the info you provided. Most follow recipes established by groups/individuals who have done vast amounts of research.

One thing to keep in mind is that processing of food -- heat/cold/freezing/cooking can diminish the efficacy of vitamins/minerals/amino acids. To cover our bases, some of us supplement our cats diet once or twice a week. I use Mazuri exotic feline supplement for whole prey diet. (Mazuri also has a supplement for slab meat diet.) That way, I don't worry about how much of the nutritional content of the food has diminished due to freezing & thawing.
 
D

Dantes

Guest
#3
The notes on Magnesium are interesting. I have been using Epsom Salt in a bath for several months (I hurt my back really badly recently, on top of repetitive stress) and it sits in a closed container on the edge of the tub. Desi keeps trying to lick it! It does *not* taste like salt, for anyone who has ever had the misfortune to accidentally get some in their mouth. I had been wondering if this signaled a magnesium deficiency of some sort, my boys eat a mostly raw diet but it's commercial and therefore should contain proper vitaminage, no? Plus they get canned (mostly Weruva) every other day or so. After reading the above, maybe it's not? Ugggh. I wonder if it's vet time, if there's a blood test for this. Or maybe Desi is just a freak (which, given that he's a ragdoll, is the most likely reason haha).
 

John Campbell

Site Supporter
Staff member
#4
Well, this is a lot of information for a post, but I've become obsessed with finding the diet and supplementation that will allow my kitten to grow to her ultimate genetic potential. Yes, I admit it, I wanted a big kitty when I chose this breed. I want a big cat but a healthy one is more important so when I came across the following information, I thought other Savannah owners might also find it useful since many of us are very dedicated to our cat's nutrition. The below reading made me feel like my intended good could do harm. I am not a vet and this reminded me that I am not a vet and need to be careful because too much of a good thing can lead to bad things. There is some talk about vegetables and grains which I don't offer Cheetoh but it seems that almost all of the vitamins and minerals needed come from meat sources which I am doing. Also, I am feeding Cheetoh RadCat which is supplemented. Anyway, you'll either nod off reading this or find it interesting :) And, of course, please let me know if you think any of the below is BS.


DANGEROUS SUPPLEMENTS FOR CATS
Thanks for posting.. Great information
 

Angie Panczak

Savannah Super Cat
#5
The notes on Magnesium are interesting. I have been using Epsom Salt in a bath for several months (I hurt my back really badly recently, on top of repetitive stress) and it sits in a closed container on the edge of the tub. Desi keeps trying to lick it! It does *not* taste like salt, for anyone who has ever had the misfortune to accidentally get some in their mouth. I had been wondering if this signaled a magnesium deficiency of some sort, my boys eat a mostly raw diet but it's commercial and therefore should contain proper vitaminage, no? Plus they get canned (mostly Weruva) every other day or so. After reading the above, maybe it's not? Ugggh. I wonder if it's vet time, if there's a blood test for this. Or maybe Desi is just a freak (which, given that he's a ragdoll, is the most likely reason haha).
Be careful epson salts are toxic to intake. I'm sure in the bath they are diluted enough. But just b careful