Can Cats Take Vitamin D? You may have been reading the news recently about the benefits of people taking vitamin D and wondering if your kitten might benefit from these supplements too. If humans can take vitamin D, can cats take it safely?
There is no short yes or no answer whether cats can take vitamin D supplements. Cats definitely need enough vitamin D to live and develop healthily. However, most of the vitamin D should ideally come directly from the meat protein in your daily diet.
As always, You need to ask your regular veterinarian Before adding any nutritional supplements to your cat, including vitamin D. Here’s what you need to know about vitamin D and cats.
How is Vitamin D Good for Cats?
Vitamin D is often referred to as the sun vitamin. This is because sunlight can help people make enough vitamin D naturally. Unfortunately, like humans, a cat’s body does not produce vitamin D from sunlight.
“Unlike humans, cats do not synthesize vitamin D in their skin in response to sunlight,” concluded a 2017 report in the Journal of Feline Medicine. “Hence, cats rely on food to obtain vitamin D and this nutrient often supplemented in pet food. “
Vitamin D helps cat health in the following ways:
- Promotes bone growth
- Manages calcium levels
- Helps with muscle and nerve functions
When a cat is not getting enough vitamin D, some of the most common medical dangers it can suffer from include:
- Bone diseases (including rickets)
- Heart failure
- Cancer risk
How can I safely give vitamin D to my cat?
The ideal way for a cat to get adequate vitamin D is through diet. Some of the most important foods that provide good amounts of vitamin D to a cat are beef, liver, eggs, and fish.
If you suspect that your kitten may be lacking enough vitamin D, even with balanced meals, contact your veterinarian. You will likely order blood tests that can determine the levels of vitamin D your cat’s body is successfully absorbing.
Changing a cat’s diet is often the first step in resolving vitamin D problems. But if diet alone doesn’t seem to help, your veterinarian may suggest a brand of dietary supplement formulated by cats. Never give your cat human vitamins and supplements unless advised by your veterinarian.
If your veterinarian prescribes dietary supplements for your cat, be sure to carefully follow the dosage and frequency instructions. This is because too much can lead to vitamin D toxicity in cats as cats process fat-soluble vitamins.
If your cat isn’t taking whole vitamin D pills or capsules, they can be crumbled and added straight to their regular meals.
Has your cat ever needed more vitamin D in their diet? How did your vet help you make sure your cat had enough vitamins? Tell us all about it in the comments below!