Isn’t it amazing how cats can gracefully survive a 20-story fall – but lose their entire balance due to a minor ear infection!
Your furry friend may be the nature’s toughest survivor but the breed is susceptible to many health issues – most of which are directly connected to their diet.
A balanced diet is crucial for your cat’s happiness, wellness, and longevity. Being an active creature, it needs a lot of nutrients.
Now, I have a bad news and a good news…
The bad news is: regular cat food, store-bought or homemade, seldom fulfills the nutritional needs.
The good news is: there are enough cat multivitamins and supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies. These supplements can help your kitty stay active, healthy, and happy.
You know how crucial nutrients are for cats, so here is a list of 13 best cat multivitamin and supplements to help you pick the right product for your pet.
Best Cat Multivitamins and Supplements – My Top Picks
Here are my top 5 picks:
- Best Overall:
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora
“This patent-pending stable probiotic formula t works wonders for most cats and kittens”
- Best Behavior Control:
Pet Pawsitive – Hemp Oil
“Vitamin-E enriched Hemp oil to calm your anxious or aggressive kitties”
- Best Chews:
VetriScience Laboratories Vetri Lysine Plus
“It is a palatable way to promote a healthy immune system and fight allergies”
- Best Natural:
Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
“Essential fatty acids from natural “wild” fish for healthy organs and shiny coat”
- Best Value:
Vetoquinol Viralys L-Lysine Supplement for Cats
“Keep infections and allergies away with this big jar of daily cat supplement”
1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora
- Manufacturer: Purina
- Weight: 1.06 oz
- Quantity: 30 sachets
- Main Ingredients: Eterococcus Faecium, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, Zinc Proteinate, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite
- How: Sprinkle the powder of your cat’s food once a day
- Why: Contains beneficial bacteria that promote intestinal microflora to improve digestion. Effective for treatment and prevention of diarrhea and other digestive issues.
Probiotics are extremely important for your cat as they take care of the entire digestive system and process. While there are hundreds of cat probiotics out there, I find this one most effective probably because of the proprietary microencapsulation process. The process makes it one of the most stable cat probiotics out there. And the fact that it comes in single-use sachets makes it even better.
Purina FortiFlora supports a healthy intestinal microflora. It can be used as a treatment as well as prevention. If your cat suffers from frequent digestive issues, this supplement can be extremely helpful. If your pet is a picky eater or suffers from low appetite, Purina FortiFlora can make food taste and smell more tempting.
This patent-pending formula is also rich in essential vitamins and minerals for your cat.
2. Pet Pawsitive – Hemp Oil
- Manufacturer: Pet Pawsitive
- Weight: 1.0 oz
- Potency: 2000 mg
- Main Ingredients: Pure Hemp Oil, Vitamin E
- How: Add around half a dropper to your cat’s food or directly pour it in its mouth. Lower the quantity for smaller cats and kittens.
- Why: Organic cold-press hemp oil is good for cat’s joints and muscles. It also has a calming effect on aggressive or anxious pets. Will improve fur and skin.
High-quality, pure, and organic hemp oil is nothing short of a magic potion for your cat. It improves joint and muscle health of your cat while promoting a shiny, healthy coat. It also has a calming effect on most cats. So, if your feline friend is too aggressive or too anxious, you can calm it down with regular inclusion of hemp oil in the diet. Due to this calming effect, it can help you manage a number of Neurological Disorders such as seizures. Not to mention, it can be used to curb separation anxiety.
What I personally love about this product is that it is infused with vitamin E as well. No wonder you will notice a significant improvement in your cat’s energy level after regular use. That is why I recommend it for cats that are too lazy or inactive, and the ones who seem to have lost interest in their food.
3. VetriScience Laboratories – Vetri Lysine Plus
- Manufacturer: VetriScience Laboratories
- Weight: 5.20 oz
- Quantity: 120 chews
- Main Ingredients: L-Lysine, N,N-Dimethylglycine HCl (DMG)
- How: Give your pet 1 or 2 chicken liver flavored chews twice a day.
- Why: Promotes antibodies that support the cat’s immune system. Improves collagen production and tissue repair.
It is not Lysine; it’s Lysine Plus for a reason. I personally love this over simple Lysine supplements because it packs more vitamins, minerals, and more benefits for my cats. It comes in bite-sized chicken liver flavored chews my cats are a fan of. I don’t have to conceal it in their food or trick them into eating it. They know when it is time for their dose, and they come running for it.
Coming to the benefits, L-Lysine may be one of the most wholesome nutrients for cats. It is an essential amino acid for their immune system so that they don’t fall sick too often. It prevents almost all kinds of infections including skin, respiratory and urinary infections. It is proven to be a strong defense against cat herpes virus as well. And most importantly, L-lysine promotes collagen production, which keeps your cats strong and active even in the later years of their lives
4. Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
- Manufacturer: Zesty Paws
- Weight: Available in 8 oz, 16 oz, and 32 oz
- Main Ingredients: 100% Pure Salmon Oil
- How: Mix 1 to 2 pumps of oil in your cat’s food
- Why: Salmon oil is good for your pet’s heart function and immune system. It also promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat.
Salmon oil is a natural source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Your pet needs these fatty acids to stay active and healthy. They are essential for heart function and immune system. Other benefits include strong joints, healthy skin, and shiny coat. Salmon oil is also a rich source of vitamin E. It won’t be wrong to say that pure salmon oil will take care of most of the health concerns for your cat. It should be a regular part of the pet’s diet.
Zest Paws’ salmon oil is one of the few pure varieties out there. It is a good quality supplement free of harmful additives. If you haven’t tried salmon oil supplements before, you will be surprised by how easily your cats can get used to it. Add it to their meal, and they will eat with more interest. That makes it a great product for cats with low appetite.
Since the oil is sourced from wild Alaskan salmon, it has more nutritional value than oil sourced from farm-raised fish. Wild salmon is free of toxins commonly found in farm-raised fish.
5. Vetoquinol Viralys L-Lysine Supplement
- Manufacturer: Vetoquinol
- Weight: Available in 3.5oz and 21.2oz jars
- Potency: 500 mg
- Main Ingredients: L-Lysine hydrochloride
- How: Sprinkle a scoop full of this powder on your cat’s meal twice a day.
- Why: Maintains a healthy respiratory and immune system. Good for prevention of runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and conjunctivitis.
Another L-Lysine on the list, but this time we have it in powder form. I discussed earlier how the chews listed above can be a bit too dry for some cats. While they taste and smell delicious, your cat might refuse to eat the treat because its a tad too dry for their taste. That is why we have it in powder form. This supplement can be easily concealed in their food.
I have already discussed the benefits of L-Lysine. It is an essential amino acid that fortifies the immune system. This means your pet will not fall sick too often. They will be strong enough to ward off infections of the skin, eyes, ears, respiratory system, and urinary tract. That pretty much covers all the common health concerns for kitties.
Viralys comes in fish and poultry flavor that isn’t too strong but palatable enough to tempt your cat. If you want to enhance your cat’s appetite, this will be a great addition to its daily meal.
6. Billion Pets – Hemp Oil
- Manufacturer: Billion Pets
- Weight: 1.0 oz
- Potency: 5000 mg
- Main Ingredients: 100 % unrefined cold-pressed hemp oil, flavonoids, multi-Vitamins (A, D & E)
- How: Add ¼ to ½ a dropper to your pet’s food or put it directly in their mouth.
- Why: Good for joints. Helps with anxiety and stress. Promotes healthy skin and shinier coat. Improves appetite.
Now, we have one more hemp oil for your kitty. This one includes A, D, and E, which makes it more nutritious for the cat. This means not only can it calm down anxiety and aggression, but it will also have a positive impact on your pet’s overall health. If your new pet is suffering from separation anxiety, this oil will help them relax into their new home.
One of the most obvious benefits of hemp oil is its effect on the coat. You will see a difference in healthy and shine. There will be less shedding. According to the company, this oil will help with a number of skin related issues such as eczema and dermatitis.
Since hemp oil is also known for its GI benefits, this product will also be good for overall digestion. It can improve appetite and control diarrhea and vomiting.
7. Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Cats – 20 Species
- Manufacturer: Pet Ultimates
- Weight: 1.6 oz
- Main Ingredients: 20 Species of probiotics in prebiotic beta glucan
- How: Sprinkle one scoop on your cat’s food twice a day.
- Why: Effective treatment and prevention of diarrhea. Good for overall gut health.
Probiotics are just as important for cats as they are for humans. There are a number of cat probiotics out there, but there is a reason I have picked Pet Ultimates Probiotics:
It has 20 meticulously picked species of healthy bacteria. These bacteria are essential for healthy digestion, metabolism, and immune system. It is a 100% USA made product with a carefully selected ingredient list. You will not find any unhealthy filler ingredient such as sugar or animal digest. I love it for my cats because it is a clean formula, and I don’t have to worry about side effects.
Since it’s probiotics, it is good for cats with a sensitive tummy. If your cat suffers from frequent diarrhea, introducing high-quality probiotics in its diet may prove helpful. This supplement has a very mild smell and most cats won’t even notice when mixed in their food.
8. Grizzly Omega Health Wild Salmon/Pollock Oil
- Manufacturer: Grizzly Pet Products
- Weight: 16 oz, 32 oz, and 64 oz
- Main Ingredients: Wild salmon oil, Wild pollock oil
- How: Add one pump of oil to every meal.
- Why: Packs a powerful blend of Omega-3s that are essential for the overall health of your pet.
Salmon oil has its own set of benefits that I have already covered, but I prefer supplements that have more to offer than just one ingredient. That is why I like this Grizzly variety of salmon pluc pollock oil. Grizzly is quite clear about where they source their fish from Alaska. I prefer this variety because it is least contaminated by the toxins usually found in farm grown fish. For my cat, that means less side effects.
The ratio is around 51% salmon oil and 49% pollock oil. Together, salmon oil and pollock oil have a powerful punch of essential omega 3s. These amino acids are crucial for the immune system, digestion, and healthy fur. However, since this is an oil, you need to consult a vet before giving it to cats with kidney or heart-related issues.
9. TOMLYN Immune Support L-Lysine Supplement Powder
- Manufacturer: Tomlyn
- Weight: 3.5 oz
- Potency: 500 mg
- Main Ingredients: L-lysine
- How: Add a scoop to your cat’s meal twice a day.
- Why: It improves your cat’s immune health so that it falls sick less often.
This may be the third L-Lysine supplement on the list, but there are two reasons why included it:
First of all, I can’t stress enough how important L-Lysine is for your cat. It should be a regular part of their diet. It is the key to a healthy and happy kitty life.
Secondly, different cats react to different products in a different manner. One might like the Vetriscience L-Lysine and other may not. There is also a possibility that your cat might like a product for years and start hating it all of a sudden. It is good to always have a backup.
So, that is why I have listed all my top favorite L-Lysine supplements for cats. This one made the cut because of its quality and taste. My cat loves the chicken flavor. I have seen a clear improvement in its appetite and also in the way it digests the food. No more frequent diarrhea for my cat now. It is also more active and has gained a healthy weight.
I would personally recommend it for anyone who has adopted multiple stray cats. It is inexpensive as compared to other varieties, and it seems to work wonders against infections that are common among strays.
10. TOMLYN Nutri-Cal Kitten Dietary Supplement
- Manufacturer: Tomlyn
- Weight: 4.25 oz
- Ingredients: Dicalcium phosphate, cod liver oil, methylcellulose, taurine, choline bitartrate, magnesium sulfate, niacin
- How: Feed the kitten directly from the tube or add a spoonful to their meal.
- Why: Great for picky eaters or kittens with low appetite. High-calorie vitamin and mineral blend to keep your cat healthy and active.
This was my first cat supplement in a tube form, and now I wish all of them came in a tube. It is so convenient to feed them directly. The little furballs love to eat directly from the tube and they just don’t want to stop. However, I am still not sure if it is because of the tube alone or if they love the taste so much. Guess I will never know!
What I do know though, is that this tube is full of nutrients that are good for my fur babies. It is a high-calorie supplement that is a godsend for pets who don’t have a good appetite. Even a little amount packs a big punch of essential vitamins and minerals. It has calcium, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, and many nutrients that support healthy growth in kittens.
I love it because it also includes taurine that keeps eye infections away from my kitties. No more mucusy and teary eyes for my cats. And since it is a high-calorie supplement, it is a good option for kittens recovering from sickness.
11. Vetoquinol Azodyl Kidney Health Supplement
- Manufacturer: Vetoquinol
- Weight: 1.6 oz
- Ingredients: Enterococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, and prebiotic Psyllium
- How: Give your pet 1 to 2 easy to swallow small capsules twice a day
- Why: A natural formula that supports kidney detox and improves renal function
If you stay up to date with the veterinary news, you might have heard of Azodyl. It is hailed as a revolutionary product for the renal health of your cat. Urinary tract and kidneys are among the most vulnerable systems. They are susceptible to a number of health issues including infections and stones. Azodyl was created as a complete solution for healthier kidneys and urinary tract.
As a pet parent, I have seen how painful kidney related problems can get. It is why Azodyl is an essential part of my pets’ diet. It is a proprietary formula that features three health friendly bacteria. I am much comfortable choosing a product that lists the name of bacteria it contains. For Azodyl, it’s Enterococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium longum.
Personally, I like that it is in the form of small capsules instead of powder. My cat doesn’t mind swallowing these capsules. The company strictly warns against crushing the capsule or sprinkling it on the food.
12. Vetoquinol Zylkene Behavior Support Capsules
- Manufacturer: Vetoquinol
- Weight: 0.6 oz
- Quantity: 120 capsules
- Potency: 75mg
- Main Ingredients: Casein, Maltodextrin, Magnesium stearate
- How: Give your cat one capsule a day.
- Why: It is an excellent milk protein supplement for lactose intolerant pets. It has a calming effect on aggressive, anxious, or stressed out cats.
There is one thing every pet parent should keep in mind about their pets:
A pet’s behavior is a good indicator of its health. Bad behavior is not a problem but just a symptom.
Your furry little friend isn’t able to talk and aggression may be the only way to get your attention. From separation anxiety to noise-related stress, there can be so many situational and environmental triggers. Zylkene contains alpha-casozepine, a milk protein that can calm your cat down in such conditions.
The best part about this calming supplement is that it works without making your cat drowsy and sleepy. Your cat will be more active but not aggressive. You will see a positive change in mood and behavior. If you have a pet that is generally too anxious or stressed, you might want to include Zylkene in its daily routine.
13. Life Line Pet Nutrition Organic Ocean Kelp Supplement
- Manufacturer: Life Line
- Weight: 1.5 lbs
- Ingredients: Ascophyllum nodosum, Laminaria digitata
- How: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon full on your cat’s meal
- Why: Kelp is a rich source of minerals and vitamins your cat needs. It will help you maintain the overall health of your pet.
I can’t complete my list without including this unique product. If you haven’t included kelp in your cat’s diet, start right now because kelp is one of nature’s finest source of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in nutrients essential for your cat’s health. From healthy teeth to strong bones, and from a healthy heart to shiny coat – kelp has a multitude of benefits. In fact, it is also known as “natural toothbrush” for your pet.
However, not all kelp supplement offers the same benefits. The quality depends on a number of factors including the place of origin and how it is processed. The reason I choose Life Line Organic Ocean Kelp for my cat is because it is a sustainable product sourced from the chilling waters of Northwestern Iceland. It is Laminaria digitata, to be specific – one of the finest kelp.
LifeLine claims to use an exclusive eco-friendly drying process that preserves the nutritional value of the kelp.
Do Cats Need Supplements and Multivitamins?
Are you still wondering if your cat actually needs supplements?
Here’s the thing:
All cats have different dietary habits and most of them prefer tasty treats over healthy meals. A vast majority of store-bought cat foods is void of the essential nutrients. It is tasty and your cat will want more, but there is a higher chance of your cat getting obese than healthy.
Let’s face it, as pet parents, it is almost impossible to keep those adorable creatures from their favorite treats. Constant spoiling with low quality food, however, can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Eventually, these deficiencies lead to health problems such as infections, diabetes, and organ related issues.
Supplements and multivitamins keep those deficiencies at bay. As a result, your cat stays healthier and more active. Supplements help your growing kitties meet all their milestones.
The Dangers of Dietary Deficiencies in Cats
Whether you choose to add supplements to your cat’s diet or not is up to you, but then you should be able to ensure balanced nutrition through diet. It is almost impossible whether you give them store-bought food or homemade goodies.
Most vets believe that homemade cat food is usually just as bad as low quality canned food. It is because you may not be aware of your cat’s nutritional needs in the first place. There is a high chance that your homemade food is rich in rather dangerous nutrients that can cause build up. Over time, that build up can lead to organ failure.
Let’s get back to deficiencies. Dietary deficiencies can cause a number of health issues including:
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Dull and thinning coat
- Too many fleas
- Aggressive behavior
- Stress and anxiety
- Mobility Issues
- Frequent sickness
- Bad breath
- Swollen gums
- Smelly stool
In short, your cat won’t be healthy or happy if it isn’t getting enough nutrients. A balanced diet is also essential for a healthy weight and a shiny coat.
Essential Nutrients for Cats and Kittens
If you want to supplement your cat’s diet with healthy nutrients, don’t stock up every product you can find.
Start with essential supplements that are more important and slowly add more if required. Speaking of essentials, here are five essential nutrients that are safe and beneficial for all cats:
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Both Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for a healthy immune system. The reason you don’t need a lot of Omega-6 supplements is because cat food is generally rich in this fatty acid. Omega-3, however, isn’t commonly found in food.
A healthy dosage of Omega-3 will keep your cat immune to common infections and viruses. It is highly effective for prevention of cat herpes. It is also great for mobility as it improves joints and muscular health. Lastly, it is just as good for your cat’s heart as it is for you.
2. L-Lysine Hydrochloride
L-Lysine was initially discovered as one of the most effective cures for the recurring cat herpes virus. Soon after, researchers found out more health benefits of this essential amino acid. Now we know that L-Lysine creates a strong defense against upper respiratory infections. It can effectively reduce the occurrence of common eye, nose, and throat infections in cats.
For pet parents or sensitive cats, L-Lysine supplements mean no more flare-ups. Your cat will be healthier, active, and happier.
Probiotics are what we commonly call the “good” bacteria. They are the bacteria that are naturally present in the gut, and their job is to support all digestive functions. If your cat has sensitive tummy, it is probably because of bacteria imbalance in the guts. Probiotic supplements can bring balance to the system. As a result, you will see a clear improvement in your cat’s eating habits and appetite.
However, there is a catch:
There are hundreds of species of probiotics, and not all of them are equally effective. It is important to know about the species as well as the number of strains in the supplement.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for cats, mainly because of its an antioxidant. It works on a cellular level to improve the overall health of your cat. It is essential for the nervous system, immune system, and even for skin and coat. Unfortunately, vitamin E is more common in plants, and cat food doesn’t include a lot of plants. Therefore it is a good idea to supplement it.
Fish oils are usually a rich source of vitamin E. You can choose salmon oil, pollock oil, or cod liver oil. Just make sure the oil is sourced from organic wild fish.
Taurine is yet another amino acid your cat needs on a daily basis. While Taurine has many functions in a cat’s body, it is most essential for the eyes. Contrary to the common belief, cats too can have a weak vision. Their eyes are also susceptible to infections. Watery eyes are quite common among cats, and it is usually due to Taurine deficiency.
It is a good idea to invest in a supplement with an adequate amount of taurine.
Cat Supplement: Powder vs. Liquid
In all honesty, it is all a matter of preference.
Some cats love getting their dose from a dropper, others don’t. Some cats enjoy their food when sprinkled with powder, others will sniff and move away. Same is the case with capsules.
One thing you should keep in mind is that form doesn’t change effectiveness or potency. It is best to choose according to your pet’s preference. There will be trial and errors. There is also a chance that your cat will like a supplement for a few months, and then start disliking it all of a sudden.
So, another piece of advice is to never buy in bulk unless you have a house full of furbabies.
Can Cats and Dogs Use the Same Supplement? No. While cats and dogs need the same nutrients, there is a difference in how much they need. The nutritional requirement of a dog is generally higher than that of a cat. Therefore, dog supplements are more potent and the dosage per serving is heavier. Avoid giving dog supplement to your cat to prevent toxicity. However, some products are marketed for both dogs and cats; the difference in dosage for both the animals is mentioned on the label.
How Do I Know a Supplement is Not Working for My Cat? Not all cats react the same way to a supplement. There are usually clear signs that a supplement is not working. Most cats will vomit after a few minutes of ingesting that supplement. There can be side effects such as sneezing, teary eyes, loss of appetite, seizures, aggressiveness, or diarrhea. If your cat gets sick or lazy after taking a supplement, take it to the vet as soon as possible.
Are Human Multivitamins Good for Cats? No. Cats have different nutritional needs. Human health supplements tend to be rich in minerals and vitamins that can be toxic to cats. A high amount of iron, calcium, and phosphorus can have a serious impact on your cat’s organ health. Generic human supplements are also high in sugar content and can lead to cat diabetes. Therefore, it is always best to choose pet-grade supplements for your cat.