We all know the importance of good nutrition for the correct functioning of the body. As Hippocrates said many years ago: “let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food”. Of course, the subject of essential vitamins for cats is in line with this postulation. Also you can use self feeder for cats.
With this very eloquent statement, the Greek physician emphasized the need for a balanced diet and a healthy diet for the maintenance of health. Of all the nutrients we receive from food, vitamins are one of the most important.
Today we are going to focus in particular on the vitamins that are necessary for the correct development of cats. Read on if you want to know what the properties of these substances are for cats.
Vitamins: definition and functions
Vitamins are essential substances for life and are obtained thanks to the food ingested, that is, they are not produced by the animal’s own body.
Despite this initial statement, it is necessary to emphasize that there are exceptions and some of them can be partially synthesized. Therefore, the vitamin metabolism is specific to each species and has its own particularities according to each animal and vegetable order.
Each one of the vitamins play a concrete function in the body functions and the deficiency of some of them can produce a concrete disorder. For an adequate vitamin balance, it is convenient to have a balanced diet that gathers all the necessary vitamins.
In the case of the cats, the commercial foods are meticulously elaborated to satisfy the nutritional demands of the felines, reason why we will not have to worry.
However, even if it’s just to satisfy your curiosity – which we hope you’ve entered with the preambles – we’re going to set out below those vitamins that are essential for cats.
Mostly known for its involvement in the proper development of vision, vitamin A also acts on the growth of bones and teeth. In addition, it intervenes in the regulation processes of all cell membranes.
The beta-carotene present in many foods is capable of being used as a precursor of this vitamin in several animals. However, in the case of the cat this is not possible.
For this reason, the animal needs to obtain the vitamin A directly from the animal tissues that have previously converted the beta-carotene. Specifically, this vitamin is found in large amounts in the liver and kidneys of herbivorous species such as cows, and sparingly in the muscles.
In this sense, in case of feeding the cat with homemade food, it is convenient to keep in mind to limit the ingestion of these organs of animal origin, since the feline can undergo a hypervitaminosis.
It is the vitamin involved in the regulation of calcium in the body. This vitamin is found in a scarce form in the organism, with the exception of the bones, so its assimilation through the diet is limited.
This makes this vitamin an essential element when correctly supplementing the feline diet. Its deficiency, like in humans and dogs, produces rickets.
Vitamins of the group B
These vitamins are involved in the utilization of food nutrients and in the production of body energy. Although there are several substances integrated in this group, they all have similar functions.
In the specific case of vitamin b1, because it is very thermolabile and is easily destroyed by heat, it must be supplemented and balanced to compensate for the losses that occur in the heat treatments to which commercial foods are subjected.
Broadly speaking, these are the most important essential vitamins in cat food. In the case of opting for a commercial feeding we should not worry, because in general, both the feeds and the wet foods are correctly formulated to satisfy the demands, as much of vitamins as of the rest of nutrients.
Nevertheless, in the case of opting for a home-made feeding, either by preference or by necessity in case of some pathological process, it may be necessary to take into account these considerations to avoid problems derived from both a hyper and a hypovitaminosis.