Vitamins and Minerals for Cats

Cats need vitamins and minerals as part of a well-balanced diet. If these are lacking from the diet, your cat can develop anemia and multiple diseases. Commercial food might not contain all the necessary nutrients, so vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended.

Water Soluble Vitamins

There are two types of vitamins: water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins are assimilated without difficulty and the excess is quickly eliminated through urine. The B vitamins are common water soluble ones needed by cats:

  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1

These vitamins strengthen the cat's immune system. If a cat lacks the necessary amounts of B vitamins, she may be more susceptible to illnesses, lethargy and take a longer time to recover from diseases. A serious deficiency of B vitamins leads to slow reflex function.

Vitamin C is also an essential water soluble vitamin for cats. Vitamin C is important in collagen synthesis.

Other water soluble vitamins important in a cat's diet are folic acid, biotin and choline.

If these vitamins are in excess in the cat's diet, these will be simply eliminated, without causing harm. On the other hand, if fat soluble vitamins are in excess, they can be toxic.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Fat soluble vitamins are deposited in the fat tissues and are broken down more slowly than water soluble vitamins.

Some essential fat soluble vitamins are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

If your cat has a fat soluble vitamin deficiency, he will have skin and fur problems. If the deficit is severe, he will also experience night blindness. Talk to your vet to find out the right dosage of vitamin supplements to make sure these are not toxic for your pet.

Essential Minerals

There are a number of minerals that are recommended in the cat's diet.

  • Calcium is essential for any cat's health, especially nursing cats. Calcium is recommended for strong bones and healthy teeth. Commercial food typically contains a lot of calcium.
  • Magnesium may be taken in combination with calcium to help its absorption. Magnesium is also good for the immune system. However, magnesium and calcium must be administrated with caution, as they might cause urinary tract infection if in excess.
  • Iron prevents anemia and general weakness, and is recommended especially if your cat has parasites.
  • Potassium keeps the cat hydrated. Supplements are prescribed for cats with diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Sodium also helps in hydration.


Commercial food should contain all these vitamins and minerals, but during the manufacturing and storage, many of these can be lost. Visit the vet to establish if your cat has any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Your vet may prescribe multivitamins or individual vitamin supplements or minerals. Supplements are available as pills, capsules or in liquid form.