Does your cat need supplements? Not necessarily! If you feed your cat a good quality cat food, they should get everything they need in their food, unless they have a specific health condition that you may need to supplement for. Supplements are not necessary and in some cases it can be harmful!
High Quality Commercial cat food contains all the nutrients your cat requires and needs to thrive. Formulas in commercial cat foods are created with the idea that your cat eats the same food daily, so they make the food to contain everything your cat needs on a daily basis. There is however, a large variation in commercial cat foods, so make sure you choose high quality food that has all the nutrients your cat needs. Or you can go the extra mile and feed your cat an all natural Whole Foods diet, (See earlier post Alternative Pet Care Part 1 Diet).
Conditions and Supplements to support Cat healing and health
Glucosamine/chondroitin help protect your cats joints to prevent or slow progression of arthritis. They increase lubrication in the joints, as well as, repair cartilage. They also help support joint function.
Coat and Skin
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These are good for skin and joint health, as well as, supporting the function of multiple organs
Bladder Infection/Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS)
This can be a common problem for cats, especially male cats. Supplements that are helpful for these conditions; sea green flakes, chlorella, flax oil, acidophilus, and/or nutritional yeast. Don’t use clumping litter, as it causes bladder issues to be worse by contributing to blockage problems. Use all Natural litter made from 100% organic plant based maternal.
Many people are amazed when their veterinarian tell them their cat has diabetes, thyroid issues, or allergies. Our pets end up getting the same diseases we do for the same reasons, poor diet. To treat your cat with diabetes first and foremost eliminate sugar. You may think your cat doesn’t get sugar in their diet, however some commercial cat foods are high in sugar content; especially moist foods that come in cellophane bags. So make sure to check the ingredients list closely. Lower your cats fat intake with a low-fat food (Use Omega-3 oils like flax and cod liver oil to supplement). Garlic granulates reduce blood sugar, fermented foods like yogurt help counter over-acidity due to disordered metabolism of diabetes. You can also sprinkle Nutritional yeast and Lecithin granular on food.
Herbs come in many forms – tinctures, dried flowers or leaves, essential oils, and teas. However, essential oils should never be used on cats due to their liver functioning, which makes it difficult (if not impossible) to break down the compounds and can lead to serious illness – even death. Due to their delicate systems, the dried form of herbs is safest for your cat. To prevent them from eating the leaves and flowers, put them inside a tube collar or make a small pillow with the herbs in it. Your cat will still benefit from the relaxing benefits and be safe from over-ingesting them. The secret to giving catnip for relaxing your cat is to give it to them 15 to 20 minutes prior to the stressful event. After they run around the room like a crazy cat, they will have worn themselves out and be exceptionally calm. Valerian is used for humans as a remedy for insomnia and has the same effect on cats, after their initial reaction of being a crazy cat. The euphoria will calm them down and make them more docile than you could have ever thought. The dried flowers of chamomile are the best way to give your cat the stress relieving benefits. The effect of Chamomile promotes relaxation and reduces stress. We humans have long known the benefits of Bach Rescue Remedy, this flower essence combination relieves stress and anxiety for us and it can do the same for our cats and dogs. The best feature is its immediate effectiveness. This formulation is great when you need to calm your cat down, but be sure to purchase the alcohol-free version for your cat.
If your senior cat seems not as mentally sharp as they once were you should consider a supplement to support cognitive function. Antioxidants like vitamins E and C that will protect and repair brain cells. They need increased amounts of Vitamin D and B6, more calcium less phosphorus, a slight increase in Omega 6 fatty acids and fiber for good senior health. Feed your senior cat increased or decreased calorie foods based on their ideal weight and their need to gain or lose weight.
Disclaimer: If your pet has a health condition, it’s best to check with your veterinarian before drastically changing your pets diet or adding any new supplements or herbs to your cats routine.