Cat Vitamins: Functions and Imbalance

A list of vitamins, what they do and some signs that there might be a deficiency. This page is for informational purposes and not for self diagnosis. That is the domain of the good veterinarian.

Vitamin A - necessary for: proper vision, cell maintenance, bone development, teeth development, normal skin. Deficiency results in impaired growth and skin infections and lesions.

Vitamin D - necessary for normal calcium absorption and metabolism. Deficiency is rare and results in rickets in kittens and osteomalacia (softening of the bones due to defective bone mineralization) in adults.

Vitamin E - protects cells from oxidative damage. Deficiency results in impaired immune function, reproductive failure.

Vitamin K - for normal blood clotting. Deficiency leads to increased clotting time.

Thiamin (B1) - for carbohydrate metabolism. Deficiency leads to anorexia and neurological disorders.

Riboflavin (B2) - for "normal oxidative reactions and cellular metabolism". Deficiency results in skin lesions and neurological disorders.

Niacin - for oxidation and reduction reactions and metabolism. Deficiency: skin lesions.

Pyridoxine - involved in metabolism of protein and amino acids. Deficiency: anemia, anorexia and weight loss.

Pantothenic Acid - involved in carbohydrate, fat and amino acid metabolism. Deficiency: impaired growth, weight loss and anorexia.

Biotin - necessary for the metabolism of fats and amino acids (skin and hair health). Deficiency: dermatitis and skin lesions.

Folic Acid - for normal red blood cell development and  DNA synthesis. Deficiency: pernicious anemia. Cats eat grass to ingest folic acid, it is thought. Snow leopards living at high altitude eats lots of vegetation.

Cobalamin (B12) - function is linked to folic acid. Deficiency: pernicious anemia, leukopenia.

Choline - part of the cell membrane (constituent of phospholipids in cell membranes), Deficiency: Neuroloogical disorders and fatty liver.

Vitamin C - necessary for the formation of collagen. Deficiency: none - cats synthesise this vitamin themselves so it need not be ingested in food.

Source: The Cat, Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health by Linda P Case



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  1. Love this post. I currently own a Chartreux Cat, Snowshoe Cat and two Abyssinian Cats and I'm so glad I found this post. Thanks.

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