The 5 Best Cat Vitamins and Supplements
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The best cat vitamins and supplements are honest, safe, thoroughly-tested, and have years-long records of bringing out cats’ best. In a market filled with hype, deception, and insufficient quality standards, that’s hard to find.
After hours of sifting through the good and bad of the supplement world, we’ve gathered five products that you can trust.
Though your cat may need a different vitamin or supplement to satisfy his unique needs, we recommend Purina FortiFlora as the overall best cat supplement on the market.
Ideal for sick cats and seniors, this trusted probiotic supplement restores cats’ appetites while supporting digestive health.
In addition to this crowd favorite, we’ve recommended four more of the best cat vitamins and supplements. Whether your cat needs a probiotic, tends to develop urinary tract crystals, or has skin and coat problems, there’s a trustworthy supplement here for you.
At a Glance: Best Cat Vitamins and Supplements To Buy
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How Do You Find The Best Cat Vitamins And Supplements?
Supplement peddlers claim that all cats are deficient in whatever they’re selling, but this is seldom true. Unique supplement needs will depend on your cat’s diet, absorption problems, and health issues. To choose the best vitamins and supplements on the market, we started by identifying the types of products that cats need. Let’s take a closer look at each of these types of products and which cats might benefit from them.
The most common—and often the most important—vitamin supplements for cats are B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, and the amino acid taurine.
Regardless of what you feed your cat, his diet should have the right amounts of all these nutrients. Commercially-sold foods are fortified with synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Your cat’s prey comes loaded with them. Any good homemade food has the nutrition your cat needs, too—no need for vitamin supplements on top of what you mix into the food.
Deficiencies in these vitamins are rare, but some cats need a boost due to excessive urination, malabsorption, or a bad diet. Multivitamins feature water-soluble vitamins, so you can safely give them to your cat without causing toxicity.
Essential Fatty Acid Supplements
An essential fatty acid is a fatty acid that isn’t synthesized by the body and can only be obtained through food. And as the name suggests, they’re not optional—they’re vital for life-giving processes like immune function and circulation. For cats, two fatty acids fall into this category—omega-6s and omega-3s.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
There are two types of omega-6 fatty acids that are considered important for your cat’s health. These are linoleic acid, which helps to maintain the skin’s natural water barrier, and arachidonic acid, which aids in controlling the inflammatory response.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The two most commonly used omega-3 fatty acids for cats are DHA and EPA. Found in fish, algae extract, and fish oils, these fatty acids are readily absorbed by your cat’s body and serve multiple vital functions in his body.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may reduce inflammation, making them a valuable supplement for cats with arthritis, kidney disease, and allergies.
Fish oil is among the most trusted, effective supplements you can give your cat, but quality varies widely from product to product. With inaccurate or dodgy labels, a lack of third-party testing, and impure or ineffective oil so common, it can be tricky to choose the right one. The best omega-3 fatty acid supplements have been purity-tested by an independent lab, use sustainable fishing practices, and have about 200mg of omega-3s per serving.
The state of your cat’s gut microbiome appears to affect every aspect of your cat’s health, from digestive health to immune function and emotional wellbeing. Probiotic supplements add to and to fortify the population of beneficial bacteria in your cat’s body.
Since most commercially-available or cooked cat food is devoid of beneficial organisms on its own, probiotic supplementation may be a good idea for every cat. The right combination of probiotic bacteria can help any cat to thrive.
In addition to the main types of supplements, there’s a world of other supplements and herbal tinctures and remedies that claim to patch up inadequate diets, treat health conditions, or just give your cat a boost.
These supplements are so varied and so multitudinous that it’s impossible to evaluate all of them at once. Generally, however, these products fail to live up to both promises and expectations. This is a realm prone to bogus claims, fake customer reviews, and the placebo effect. With the exception of a few products, we’ve dismissed most of these products and gave preference to more well-established supplements with a consistent history of results.
Best Cat Vitamins And Supplements: Our Top 5 Picks
All of the following are top-rated products that have earned a reputation for safety and effectiveness.
Purina Fortiflora is one of the best-known and well-respected supplements you can buy. Vets and cat guardians alike trust its combination of intense palatability and probiotic powder. Each sachet contains 100 million CFU’s of a single species of bacteria—Enterococcus faecium, along with animal digest and several vitamins and minerals.
Animal digest, sometimes called “natural flavor”, is an animal-based ingredient included in many cat foods as a concentrated source of flavor. It’s made from hydrolyzed animal tissue and has an intense flavor that most cats find hard to resist. Thanks to this ingredient, Fortiflora makes an outstanding food topper and a great option for cats who’ve lost their appetites.
Though not considered a multivitamin, the supplement also contains supplemental vitamin E, vitamin C, and taurine. It also contains beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A that cats, as obligate carnivores, can’t utilize. In other words, this supplement is not an entirely carnivore-appropriate product.
If your cat has IBD, digestive issues, or an illness that made him lose his appetite, this Purina probiotic may be a good option.
This multivitamin gel is veterinarian-formulated and one of the best-loved products on the market. It contains an array of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that may support your cat’s health. Ingredients include B-complex vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, taurine, vitamin A, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids from cod liver oil and other fats.
While the gel is definitely nutrient-packed and gets good customer reviews, it’s not perfect. Each squirt of nutrition is thick with sugar from corn syrup, malt syrup, and cane molasses. Though they may be beneficial for cats in dire need of more calories, these sugary ingredients aren’t ideal for your obligate carnivore.
While it’s more expensive and less concentrated than some popular oils for pets, this Nordic Naturals oil appears to be a high-quality product you can trust. Nordic Naturals oil has received multiple awards and this product was named Vitamin Retailer’s “Best Pet Health Supplement”.
In addition to receiving multiple awards, Nordic Naturals oils have several certifications that indicate a consistent, trustworthy product. All Nordic Naturals fish oils are Friend of the Sea certified, meaning that they are sourced from fish stocks that are “not overfished, and that are maintained at levels that ensure ‘availability for present and future generations.”
The oil is tested by a third-party lab, ensuring that it adheres to product specifications and meets purity standards. Certificates of analysis are available for all Nordic Naturals products—enter your purchase’s lot number to view its certification.
All Nordic Naturals pet products adhere to USDA and CVM (Center for Veterinary Medicine) standards while surpassing the purity and freshness standards established by the Norwegian Medicinal Standard, European Pharmacopoeia Standard, Council for Responsible Nutrition, and World Health Organization.
So what do you get in the bottle? Each 2-ounce bottle contains fish oil extracted from wild sardines and anchovies. The oil has a guaranteed total omega-3 content of 186mg per 0.75 ml. Customer reviews say that it’s easy to administer and works well.
At $12.71 for a 12-ounce bottle, Nordic Naturals is one of the more expensive products you can buy.
If you’re budget-conscious and want to get outstanding quality for a better price, you might choose a top-rated human fish oil supplement instead of one made for pets.
Human-oriented fish oil is still pricey, but you’ll usually get much more reliable quality for a fraction of the price. And as long as the product is pure fish oil preserved with mixed tocopherols—no added flavors or rosemary—it’s perfectly safe for cats.
Consider Viva Naturals Ultra Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil, a well-respected product with a history of excellence. About a quarter of a capsule will satisfy your cat’s daily omega-3 needs and you can share the rest.
While our top-rated supplement features probiotic bacteria, it only has one strain and isn’t the most powerful probiotic you can buy.
If you’re searching for a well-rounded, varied probiotic that will really give your cat a digestive boost, you’re going to need something with multiple strains and a high CFU(colony forming unit) count.
This probiotic supplement from Nom Nom gives you just that. It contains multiple bacteria species, a high CFU count, and prebiotic fiber to help the bacteria flourish.
Each scoop contains 20 billion CFUs of the following four full-spectrum strains:
- Enterococcus faecium
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus plantarum
While most pet probiotics are built on hearsay and hype, Nom Nom’s probiotic is backed by the latest research on the feline microbiome. The supplement was formulated by their veterinary nutrition and microbiology team. Each batch is independently tested to ensure product integrity.
At $40 for a 30-day supply, this is one of the most expensive probiotic supplements you can buy, but its expert formulation, strategically-chosen strains, and high bacterial concentration make it worth the price for those who want a probiotic they can trust.
Feline lower urinary tract disease is one of the most common and frustrating health issues among cats and countless companies have created supplements that claim to treat it. Many of them may help and others help by placebo only.
This one appears to have some real ability to heal and help. The supplement contains several ingredients that may support urinary tract health. One is cranberry extract, an antibacterial that may help to prevent infections. Glucosamine HCL shows some inconsistent ability to strengthen the urinary tract lining, which might prevent crystal formation.
With most of its ingredients backed by years of research and experience, this appears to be one supplement that actually helps. It receives overwhelmingly positive reviews, with most customers saying that it tastes great and helps to both prevent and resolve urinary tract issues including cystitis and crystals.
In conclusion, the best cat vitamins and supplements are the ones that are right for your cat.
A variety of fresh, species-appropriate, nutritionally-complete foods will give most cats all the nutrition they need. But for some, vitamins and supplements are essential. If your cat starts showing signs of inadequate nutrition or poor health—a brittle coat, digestive issues, or urinary tract problems—you may want to incorporate a vitamin or supplement.
Consider consulting your veterinarian to identify what’s wrong and work from there, using the recommendations in this article as a guide.