How can you tell if your cat needs a calcium supplement, given that there are so many on the market? What to look for in a supplement for your cat, how much calcium a cat needs, and more are some of the questions we asked doctors.
It’s important to know how much calcium a cat needs.
Feline calcium absorption is critical for healthy bone and tooth development. Additionally, calcium aids in blood clotting aids in nerve impulse transmission and helps to maintain muscular contractions.
For the average mature cat weighing 9 pounds, the National Research Council of National Academies advises a daily calcium intake of 180 milligrams (and requiring 250 calories per day).
0.6 percent of a cat’s total diet should be calcium, according to the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). However, calcium intake must be balanced with phosphorus, according to the NASC. As a rule of thumb, cats should be consuming 1.2 parts calcium for every 1 component of phosphorus in their diet. Veterinary care can assist ensure that your cat is getting enough of both nutrients.
For the sake of their developing kittens and milk production, pregnant and lactating cats require extra calcium and phosphorus.
Do I need to supplement my cat’s diet with more calcium?
Complete and balanced food is offered to cats in the United States that contains enough calcium to suit their nutritional requirements. Before supplementing your cat’s diet with extra calcium, consult with your veterinarian. Sean J. Delaney, BS, DVM MS, DACVIM (Nutrition) founder of Balance It and Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist®, warns that “adding calcium to such a diet can lead to excess and complications like kidney or bladder stones (called calcium oxalate uroliths).”
For cats who get more than 10% of their daily calories from an incomplete or imbalanced diet, Delaney says, calcium supplements are necessary. An unbalanced home diet for cats or cats who do not consume enough of their regular cat food at mealtimes are two examples of this problem (which can be a sign of a medical issue and should be addressed with your vet right away). According to a remote physician at petkeen.com, cats with hypoparathyroidism, a metabolic condition characterized by low calcium and high phosphate, may also need a cat calcium supplement. He goes on to say that chronic kidney failure is the most common cause of low calcium levels in cats. Higher calcium to phosphorus ratio could “theoretically contribute to more rapid renal disease progression,” says Delaney, a nephrologist at the University of California, San Francisco. Finally, before giving your cat any supplement, including a cat calcium supplement, consult with your veterinarian.
Milk fever (also known as puerperal tetany and eclampsia), a life-threatening sickness caused by an abrupt decline in blood calcium levels in nursing cats, is another disorder that may require calcium supplements. As Roberts explains, “this commonly begins within the first few days or weeks of nursing and can lead to mortality if not addressed swiftly”. When eclampsia strikes, the symptoms in cats might be difficult to detect, but they include panting and restlessness as well as high fever, muscle rigidity, and even cramping. Take your cat to the vet right away if she exhibits any of these signs, as this is a medical emergency.
For cats with low calcium blood levels or who aren’t consuming a well-balanced diet, Dr. Michelle Burch of Paramount Pet Health recommends supplementing with calcium only in extreme cases. She says that your veterinarian can draw your cat’s blood to see if he has low calcium levels.
Cats Showing Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency
Low blood calcium levels in cats might be life-threatening if they’re moderate or severe. The following are early indications of feline hypocalcemia:
– Tremors in the muscles
– The twitching of muscles
The inability to control the contraction and/or convulsion of muscles
Death is a possibility in the most severe situations.
Do High Calcium Levels in a Cat Affect Their Health?
Your veterinarian will perform normal bloodwork to determine if your cat has high blood calcium. Blood calcium levels that are too high include:
– A reduced desire for food
– A state of utter helplessness
– Loss of weight
Some of the signs and symptoms of an elevated calcium level can be linked to a medical problem. One possible cause of problems with urination is calcium-containing crystals or stones in the bladder.
Ask your vet before adding any supplements to ensure that they will not impact your cat’s health in the long run.
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