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Supplements for Cats: When are They Necessary?

Supplementing your cat’s diet can seem like a good way to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. However, most cats who eat a balanced, quality diet do not require supplements. In fact, unnecessary supplementation can even cause harm. In this article, we’ll explore when supplements might be necessary for your cat and the importance of consulting a vet before adding any supplements to your cat’s diet.

When Supplements May Be Necessary

There are a few situations where supplements may be beneficial for cats:

  • Special Diets: Cats on homemade diets, raw diets, or other non-standard diets may require supplements to ensure they’re getting all necessary nutrients. If you’re feeding your cat a non-standard diet, it’s crucial to consult with a vet or pet nutritionist to avoid nutrient deficiencies or imbalances.
  • Specific Health Conditions: Some health conditions may require supplementation. For instance, cats with joint diseases might benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Cats with certain skin conditions may benefit from omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Always consult a vet before starting a supplement regimen.
  • Life Stages: Kittens, pregnant or lactating cats, and senior cats may have different nutritional needs and might require supplements. However, there are often commercially available foods designed for these life stages that already contain necessary nutrients.

Risks of Over-Supplementation

While it may seem that more is better when it comes to vitamins and minerals, this is not the case. Too much of certain nutrients can cause toxicity. For example, excessive vitamin A can lead to dehydration, joint pain, and skin issues, while excessive calcium can lead to skeletal problems, especially in kittens.

Consulting a Vet

Before starting any supplementation, it’s essential to consult with a vet. They can evaluate your cat’s overall health and diet and recommend if any supplements are needed. They can also provide advice on the type, dosage, and brand of supplement to use.


Supplements can be beneficial for some cats, but they are not necessary for every cat. Over-supplementation can be harmful, and it’s important to ensure any supplementation is under the guidance of a vet. A balanced diet that is appropriate for your cat’s life stage and health condition is the best way to provide them with all the nutrients they need.

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