A Superb Cat Supplement. Where?
July 20, 2008 4:48 AM   Subscribe

CatFilter: What is the absolutely best vitamin/mineral/enzyme supplement available for cats?

I want to get something that I don't have to worry about the manufacturer's supplies sources and/or ethics. It has to have all the trace elements, vitamins, minerals that ordinarily would be provided by an excellently balanced and nutritious diet which unfortunately I am not able to provide 100% of the time and this will keep us/them covered in those in-between times.
posted by watercarrier to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Feline nutrition is such a difficult and controversial issue... and it has a steep learning curve to boot. Really, you'll be saving money if you feed your cats a good, balanced diet 100% of the time. Just like with humans (or even more so, since cats are obligate carnivores), there is no magical pill.
posted by neblina_matinal at 5:48 AM on July 20, 2008

i'm not sure what you mean by not being able to give the cat a well-rounded meal all the time--a can of cat food costs 60 cents, and the difference between that and whatever else you feed it can't possibly be more than the cost of a high-quality feline multivitamin.

also, it's not a tragedy if a cat misses a "balanced" meal once or twice a week--as long as they get everything they need over the course of a week or so, they'll be fine. just like we don't instantly become malnourished if we have a stupid day where we eat nothing but cookies--you might feel a little yucky, but your health is fine.

if for some reason you are unable to get cat food, there are recipes for making your own online. if you make big batches and freeze it, you might come out ahead in price.

i say this only because i've had 6 very long-lived, totally unrelated (so not due to genetics) cats in my lifetime, and we never gave them multivitamins. they lived on cat food, the occasional treat, and got their shots once a year. that's about it. they went outdoors and stayed in--they weren't especially pampered, but they all made it to 12 or 13, and one lived to 21.
posted by thinkingwoman at 8:26 AM on July 20, 2008

Before you do or buy anything, ask your vet if it's needed.
posted by jerseygirl at 9:15 AM on July 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Kudos for taking the approach that this is to be used as a stopgap when you can't feed a really good diet. A balanced diet is definitely the way to go and when you're able to feed high quality dinner then supplements can be superfluous. Here's a couple that I like:

Missing Link

Wellness Welltabs

Ark Naturals Antioxidant

Solid Gold Seameal
posted by vito90 at 1:15 PM on July 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Really, you'll be saving money if you feed your cats a good, balanced diet 100% of the time.

This. And also the fact that as long as you feed a very high-quality food MOST of the time, there is no need to supplement in most cases, supplements, no matter how well-made, well-researched and well-sourced they are, are not necessarily benign, and you can easily be doing more harm than good by using one (all AAFCO-or-comparable-organization-approved commercial diets are technically "balanced" already, even the crappy ones, most of the time you only need a supplement if there is a specific reason for one, ideally a reason that your vet has identified and suggested a remedy for). A healthy, varied, predominantly good-quality diet will provide balance over time, even if occasionally you have to feed Science Diet or Cat Chow or dead worms, a supplement can very easily unbalance a diet, sometimes dangerously (e.g. animals on package-recommended doses of kelp supplements, including the Solid Gold Seameal one mentioned above, can have high thyroid values on bloodwork, which go away once the supplement is reduced or eliminated).

Bottom line is that the money you'd spend on supplements would be better spent on laying in a supply of high-quality food so you don't run out of it, there is really no reason to supplement most animals' diets anyway, and most supplements are not necessarily useful or benign. At very least, talk to your vet and seek his/her suggestions and/or opinions.
posted by biscotti at 1:50 PM on July 20, 2008

We make our cats' food (basically chicken-veggie stew, pureed) and sprinkle it with Anitra Frazier's recipe for powdered vitamin-mineral supplement, as seen here and in her New Natural Cat book. (Get the book from the library rather than relying on a website; the link above does not mention the Taurine, which is an essential daily vitamin that we also sprinkle on their food, to protect their eyesight). We have a cat in his late teens, one is his mid teens and a gal about two, and they are all quite spry and shiny.
posted by Scram at 3:30 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

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