Raw Cat Food Supplements - What To Add to My Cat’s Raw Diet?
However, do you know whether your cat is getting enough nutrients and minerals? Do you have to supplement your cat’s diet with additional vitamins? Here is all you need to know about raw cat food supplements.
Why should I add supplements to my cat’s diet?
If your cat is on a prey model raw (PMR) diet, there may be certain nutritional gaps. This is especially true when you are preparing the raw cat food by yourself. A study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that a large portion of raw cat food recipes lacked essential nutrients.
Nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all endeavour. The same goes for supplements. Adjustments need to be made based on your cat’s health. Supplements are meant to be given for a precise reason and in quantities that are appropriate. You should not give your cat every supplement under the sun just because you have heard about it.
The following list of supplements will give your cats an additional health boost only if it needs it in the first place. Consult with your vet if you have any doubts.
Supplements for raw cat food
The following are the normal cat supplements to be given to your cat to address nutritional gaps:
1. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a form of deactivated yeast that is grown on sugarcane or beet molasses. You can easily find it sold in flakes or yellow powder in the grocery store and is rich in vitamins B1 and B8. If your cat is lacking in vitamin B, you will observe the following symptoms:
Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top of your cat’s food. Your cat will love it! Don’t worry too much about overdosing your cat on vitamin B as any excess will be flushed from your cat’s body via its urine.
Kelp is a good source of iodine for your cat. As a plus, a type of kelp called the Ascophyllum Nodosum also reduces its teeth tartar.
Do be wary about the amount of kelp you are feeding your cat though. Too much iodine can cause thyroid issues. Use kelp supplements such as Petcubes’ Sea Kelp and follow the directions for use so that you do not overfeed your cat.
3. Vitamin E
When you feed your cat a raw food diet, it is likely that fish, which has a large quantity of omega 3, is present in the said raw diet. The more omega 3 in a cat’s diet, the more vitamin E it will need. Ensure that your cat is getting enough vitamin E and if not, a supplement needs to be added to its diet.
4. Blue-lipped Mussel
Mussels, especially blue-lipped ones, are a good source of nutrients as they contain zinc, iodine, omega 3 and taurine. Manganese, which your cat is unable to produce internally and has to be taken externally, is an essential nutrient for cats.
Although rare, when there is a lack of manganese in cats, you will notice it through a few symptoms such as poor growth, loss of equilibrium and reproductive failure. Blue-lipped mussels are a good source of manganese for cats so you can add to its raw cat food.
5. Psyllium husk
Although your cat is on a raw cat food diet, it can be rather troublesome to feed the whole prey to it including features or fur. The mess aftermath can be very hard to clean up! Pet owners therefore usually prepare raw cat food themselves without the feathers and fur. This, however, may lead your cat to a lack of fibre.
Using psyllium husks rehydrated in water, you can include it in your cat’s food as a dietary supplement to improve your cat’s gut. Not only is it a good source of fiber, it is a good source of water for your cat as well.
Cat supplements to avoid
There are a few supplements that should be avoided as they are toxic to cats and could cause harm. These include herbs such as willow bark, birch and feverfew. Garlic and onions should also be avoided.
Be very careful and do not overfeed your cat with fat-soluble vitamins as well such as vitamins A, D, E and K as they can accumulate in your cat’s body.