Potassium Supplements for Cats

Potassium supplements for cats can be beneficial when your cat is in a potassium-deficient state. Potassium is essential to major body functions carried out by the muscles and nerves. When your cat becomes deficient in potassium, these functions will be interrupted and can lead to fatal conditions in left untreated.

Potassium Requirements

Daily potassium requirements for cats are generally small; equating to only one half of a percent of daily diet intake. Although the daily requirement may seem small, it is an essential part of a cat's diet. Potassium is an electrolyte which regulates the functions of the muscles and the nerves.

As your cat ages, the regulation of potassium in the blood stream naturally decreases in functionality. At that point, supplementation may be necessary in a monitored method.

Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency

Because the excessive loss of potassium directly affects both the nervous system and muscle control, the symptoms are usually somewhat pronounced. As the deficiency continues, however, the symptoms will become more pronounced and can become fatal.

Any of the following symptoms should be examined when noticed:

  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • Loss of muscle control
  • General muscle weakness
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Appearance of pain or soreness when walking
  • Decreased desire for food
  • Dull coat appearance

Causes of Potassium Deficiency

Because the daily requirement for potassium is so low, it is likely that your cat is receiving enough of the nutrient through his regular diet. Potassium deficiency usually only occurs when there is a subsequent condition present which depletes or interferes with your cat's ability to absorb potassium.

Potassium generally leaves the body through excretory methods; including urine, feces or through vomit. It travels in the liquid streams of your cat, so any conditions related to excessive urination, diarrhea or vomiting can cause a severe depletion of potassium in your cat.

It is important to note that excessive levels of potassium are dangerous as well because they can lead to toxic conditions. There is no need to supplement potassium if your cat is not showing any signs of potassium deficiency and is consuming the daily requirement from his diet.

Diagnosing Potassium Deficiency

Potassium deficiency is one of the simplest disorders to diagnose. A basic blood test can determine if there are sufficient levels of potassium in the bloodstream. However, when potassium deficiency is diagnosed, it should certainly be followed up with other routine testing to check for any problems with the kidneys or heart which may be affected due to the lack of potassium.

Treatment and Supplementation

Potassium deficiency can be effectively treated simply by supplementing your cat’s diet. However, a deficiency does not always mean a traditional supplement is required. If your cat is on a low-quality diet, a simple switch to a higher quality diet that meet your cat's daily requirements may be sufficient.

However, in more severe cases of potassium deficiency, supplementation may be absolutely necessary in order to resolve the situation. Most potassium supplements are given in either pill, powder or gel format. It makes no difference which format you choose, as all forms are effective at supplementing potassium.

Some of the potassium supplements for cats available include:

  • Nutri-Cal
  • Nu-Cat Soft Chews
  • Felovite II