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Nutrients and Supplements
 

SIX BASIC NUTRIENT GROUPS
Remember: check the label of your cat's food for content information

Protein

Fat

Carbohydrates

Vitamins

Water

Minerals

A cat has a variety of nutritional needs that differ from those of a dog or other small animals.
 
Being a true carnivore, cats have a high protein requirement compared to dogs. Animal based protein is a necessary component in a cat's diet as it supplies essential amino acids, such as taurine. In addition to protein, your cat requires a proper balance of fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water.
 
Many nutritional experts feel that providing a variety of different diets/foods for your cat will help to provide optimal nutirion.

Why do cats like to eat grass?
Domestic cats may look for grass and other greens. Some experts believe it's to supplement their diet or in order to clean their systems of hairballs or food that they should not have eaten. Cats may even eat plants out of boredom or curiosity.  Owners should make sure that any plants that may be accessible to their cats are nonpoisonous (visit
Plants and Your Cat for more information).

Dietary Supplements
Multivitamin supplements are available for those cat owners who wish to add to their cat's diet. With a balanced diet of high quality cat food, these additions may not be necessary. If you feel your cat has special nutritional needs, be sure to research the benefits and possible harmful side effects of each supplement.
 
When Are Supplements Necessary?

"Cat people are different, to the extent that they generally are not conformists. How could they be, with a cat running their lives?"
       -Louis J. Camuti, DVM

A cat that is provided a well balanced diet does not necessarily need the addition of nutritional supplements. Specific supplements may be needed, though, for specific medical needs. In these cases, the supplements should only be given with the guidance of a veterinarian, and closely monitored.

Pregnant and Nursing Queens will benefit from being fed a growth type diet during the last 3 weeks of pregnancy and while nursing kittens. This type of diet provides extra nutrients and energy.

Some owners feel the need to give kittens nutritional supplements. Check with your vet for advice. At most, a multi-vitamin formulated and dosed appropriately will ensure that your kitten's nutritional needs are being met.

Some owners suggest the addition of supplements to the daily diet of elderly cats. However, it's best to ask your veterinarian for advice on how to best care for older cats. 
 
Mineral oil is often suggested to prevent constipation by some owners and breeders, but it can do more harm than good.

When providing supplements, always remember to check with your veterinarian to determine the right amount necessary for the individual needs of your cat.

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