Vitamin E Toxicity in Cats

By Betty Lewis

Chances are, if you're feeding your cat a nutritionally balanced diet, you don't have to worry about whether she's getting enough Vitamin E. A fat soluble vitamin, vitamin E provides a host of benefits to a cat; as an antioxidant, it helps minimize pollution's effects and helps keep her body strong. If you want to give your cat a little extra of this helpful vitamin, don't worry; it has no known toxicities to cats.

Too Little Vitamin E

Overdosing on vitamin E isn't a danger for a cat, but vitamin E deficiency is a different story. Given the vitamin's importance in cell function, a deficiency can lead to cell damage in your cat's vital organs, including the heart, liver and nerves. As well, a deficient cat may develop "brown bowel syndrome" from bowels that deteriorate. The disease known as steatitis, or yellow fat disease, is also a result of a vitamin E deficiency, leading to a dull, greasy coat, lumpy fat deposits under the skin, lethargy, loss of appetite and pain and fever. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that a diet high in polyunsaturated fats, such as marine fish oils, can lead to steatitis and vitamin E deficiency.

More Vitamin E, Please

If you're feeding your cat a balanced diet, her vitamin E intake should be sufficient. The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends a minimum 30 grams of vitamin E per day for an adult cat. However, if her diet is comprised of all fish, she risks becoming vitamin E deficient, as fish tend to be low in this important nutrient. In his book "New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats," Dr. Richard Pitcairn advocates giving cats a naturally sourced vitamin E supplement, a d-alpha tocopherol. notes that feeding large amounts of vitamin E hasn't been shown to disrupt bodily functions.