In theory, serving your cat a high-quality pet food should mean she doesn't need additional vitamins or supplements like cod liver oil. However, if your cat has certain health issues, such as a poor coat with lack of shine, supplements containing essential fatty acids might help. Speak with a veterinarian to determine if cod liver oil for cats is appropriate. However, keep in mind that this supplement can cause some unpleasant side effects for felines.
Cod liver oil for cats
Cod liver oil, a source of essential fatty acids, is exactly what it sounds like — it's an oil derived from pressing the fresh liver of cod fish. It comes in liquid and capsule form and can be administered by sprinkling it on food or by putting some in a dropper and gently squeezing it into the side of your cat's mouth.
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Because no safe guidelines have been established for administering cod liver oil to cats, follow your veterinarian's directions for the correct dosage. If you purchase a supplement designed specifically for cats, follow the suggested dosage on the label, but ask a vet first.
Benefits of cod liver oil for cats
Cod liver oil contains vitamins A and D. It's also rich in important omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to smoothing out your cat's coat and giving it a nice shine, omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation. This aids cats who suffer from allergies, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. It boosts skin, heart, and eye health and might slow the spread of cancer.
Cats need vitamin A from sources like cod liver oil since they can't convert the type derived from plants. Without vitamin A, cats will develop eye problems, such as night blindness. Their skin and coats will suffer. If they don't receive enough vitamin A as kittens, cats' mental development can be affected negatively. It also boosts the immune system and helps fight cancer. Vitamin D strengthens your cat's bones by helping his body use and retain calcium. It also keeps his nervous system and muscles functioning correctly.
Dangers of cod liver oil for cats
In high doses, vitamins A and D are toxic for your cat. Too much vitamin A can cause your cat to refuse food, lose weight, and develop skin problems. He might act more tired than usual and have problems producing a bowel movement. If vitamin A toxicity occurs when your cat is young, it can damage his bones permanently.
Vitamin D poisoning is more serious and typically requires hospitalization. Vitamin D poisoning causes nausea, weight loss, vomiting, drooling, weakness, and constipation. Your cat might refuse food, pass blood in his stool, and even have seizures. Seek immediate veterinary help if you notice any of these symptoms after giving your cat cod liver oil. He might die if you don't. The veterinarian can induce vomiting and give your cat the fluids he needs to stay alive.
Cod liver oil alternatives
Because cod liver oil has the potential to cause harmful side effects, consider finding an alternative. High-quality cat foods often add appropriate amounts of the necessary vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. If you're determined to use supplements, replace the cod liver oil with salmon oil for cats or other fish oils.