A Guide on Supplements for Cats – Types, Benefits, Usage & More

Have you ever taken a multivitamin?

We bet you have!

But have you ever thought about giving your kitty their very own supplements for cats?

If you’re hoping your cat would start feline a little better or is just missing that pep in their paw they once had, supplements for cats might be the purr-fect solution.

In this post, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about supplements for cats, as well as get into the reasons why you would try supplements for cats that focus on everything from joint health to nutrition support.

All About Supplements for Cats

More and more pet owners are seeking out ways to make sure their kitties are getting all the nutrition they need right meow and later too.

In fact, if you look at recent data, there was a 21% sales increase for pet supplements in 2021 alone 😲. That’s a lot of pet parents looking for ways to help their cats live healthier, more comfortable lives.

But you want to ensure you’re choosing supplements for cats that will meet your pet’s needs. Whether they are young kittens or mature seniors, there’s a supplement out there that can help. 

We’re going to get you all that information by the end of this post! We’re going to go over the history of supplements for cats, as well as what types of supplements for cats are on the market today and how they actually benefit your cat in the long run.

Plus, we’ll get into 5 reasons why you need supplements for cats in your home, and even the best supplements for cats that help with joint troubles older cats often face.

Brief History

Humans have been using herbal treatments to cure what ails us and our loved ones for hundreds of years, but we didn’t start commercializing an entire industry until more recent centuries and decades.

And for pets? Commercially available supplements designed for our pets haven’t been around for long. In fact, it only started taking off in the last decade or so.

That doesn’t mean it’s a small industry by any means. Pet supplements were already a $636 million industry globally in 2018 alone, projected to be worth nearly $35 billion by 2024. That’s a lot of caring pet paw-rents seeking supplements for cats and other household pets!

But why is it such a booming business, exactly? The pet market’s driving interest for health and wellness has propelled supplements for cats into the stratosphere. That, plus the focus on age and obesity-related health concerns and the desire to proactively manage health concerns in cats and other pets helps, too.

Finally, as humans learn the benefit of proactive wellness, we want the same for our pets. After all, we don’t call our pets furry family members for nothing!

Benefits of Supplements for Cats

Cat owners can seek out supplements for cats for many reasons.

Maybe you want to treat a specific problem, or maybe you want to proactively work on wellness for your cat.

via GIPHY

By giving our kitties supplements, we can make sure they are getting maximum nutrition, as well as prepare for any health challenges that may come up as they age.

Common problems cat owners want to treat are:

  • Hairballs
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD)

Beyond those common issues, ageing is a huge part of cat wellness.

Systems cat owners want to make sure are in tip-top shape as cats age are:

  • Eyes
  • Digestive health
  • Joints
  • Skin and fur
  • Immune system

Supplements can be added to their diets to help make sure these problems are addressed by using specific supplements for cats.

Tips and Strategies

cat a vet

Before you start going down the road of deciding to choose specific supplements for cats in your home, you might want to consider learning to read a supplement label.

While that sounds funny, it’s important to fully understand the things your cat will actually benefit from versus something that’s just a filler.

The process for integrating supplements for cats doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are our top tips and tricks for getting supplements for cats into your kitty’s diet:

  • When you observe your cat doing something outside its norm, it may be time to think about some supplements for cats.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about adding supplements to your cat’s diet.
  • Once you know what is bothering your cat, you can choose a supplement that will help address those concerns.
  • Observe your furry family member carefully when they start taking the supplements for cats, as you’ll want to make sure it is helping, and not harming them. Diarrhea and vomiting, as well as general behaviours that would make you say, “that’s not how he usually plays/sleeps/walks…”
  • Make sure you consult your vet if you notice anything strange in your cat’s litter box as well.
  • Kitty doesn’t like taking their vitamins? Supplements for cats can be tricky to administer. Opt for a formula that offers the highest dose of the vitamins and minerals they need in the smallest serving size, like TRI-ACTA for Pets.
  • When in doubt, seek out your veterinarian’s advice about choosing supplements for cats.

Finally, when you’re choosing a supplement, make sure that it checks the following boxes:

  1. Safe (look for products that have been third-party tested to avoid unfounded claims).
  2. Effective and well-reviewed.
  3. The formula has lots of active ingredients.
  4. Does not contain fillers.

Types of Cat Supplements

If you’re looking at supplements for cats, there are plenty of options for treating specific health concerns.

Before we get into all the details on types of supplements for cats and how they benefit your feline, you might be asking which kinds of supplements we’ll be covering in this section.

Some of the most popular supplements for cats are:

  • Natural supplements for cats
  • Nutritional supplements for cats
  • Glucosamine supplements for cats
  • Hairball supplements for cats

Now let’s take a look at each of these in-depth to see how your kitty can benefit from these supplements.

Natural Supplements for Cats

herbal supplements for cats

Since herbal supplements tend to have a more subtle effect than other kinds of supplements for cats, pet pawrents may not notice impacts immediately. But, in time, the addition of the right natural or herbal supplement can make a big difference for your cat.

Common herbs for cats and their benefits as natural supplements for cats are outlined in the table below.

HerbBenefit
ValerianThough humans use it to calm down, valerian for cats is actually a stimulant. Lazy (sorry Garfield) kitties can benefit from the energy boost this root can give them, allowing them to have the energy to get some active time in and keep their weight in check.
Licorice RootOffering soothing properties to your kitty’s mucus membranes, licorice root is a natural supplement for cats who suffer from allergies, itchiness, and even digestive troubles.
GoldensealNature’s disinfectant, goldenseal is great for healing wounds and if your cat has swollen eyes from allergies or infection, goldenseal is helpful at reducing the inflammation.
EchinaceaWhen humans feel a cold coming on, we often reach for echinacea to ease our symptoms. The same goes for cats! Echinacea is great to use if your cat is dealing with respiratory issues, or just to support a healthy immune system.

You can get the benefits of these herbs by checking out natural supplements for cats that come most often in the form of natural tinctures you can drop into food or onto treats. As always with introducing anything new to your furry family member, consult your veterinarian first.

Food Supplements for Cats

cat vitamin

Worried your cat isn’t getting enough of the vitamins and minerals it needs for healthy growth as a kitten, or maybe your cat is having kittens and needs a little extra support?

Most commercially available cat foods give your cat all the nutrients it needs, but sometimes your feline needs a little extra to keep them feeling purr-fect.

Remember, always consult your vet before deciding to administer food supplements for cats in your home, as different cats may need different kinds of specific supplementation.

The table below outlines some key vitamins and minerals that cats need in their diet and why they are important to their overall health:

Vitamin or MineralBenefit
TaurineAn Amino acid that cats can’t naturally produce, but they need it to maintain normal vision, digestion, heart muscle function and to maintain a healthy immune system.
ThiamineAlso known as Vitamin B1, this is a necessary aid to your cat’s metabolism. Thankfully, it’s in most of your cat’s food already, but watch out for sulfur dioxide in some fresh-meat foods as it can actually block or inhibit B1 from being absorbed by your kitty’s system.
NiacinA water-soluble vitamin that is the key to energy metabolism, your cat needs niacin for various essential reasons including the maintenance of healthy skin and digestion. Cats actually need more of it than dogs which leads many owners to pursue natural supplements for cats.
Vitamin DThis is a tricky one. Cats definitely need Vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, but can’t synthesize it the same way humans do from the sun (thanks to their fur). However, you need to ensure you don’t give too much to your cat as Vitamin D is toxic to cats in high doses.
Vitamin AYour cat’s skin, coat, muscles, and nerves all need Vitamin A to thrive, but again, this fat-soluble vitamin can be toxic to your kitty at too large a level. This is also typically found in cat foods, so be careful when supplementing it into their diet.

Glucosamine Supplements for Cats

Joint supplements for cats have been around for a long time, and continue to see high demand among cat owners.

In fact, in a 2020 survey, it was found that 29% of pet owners who use supplements for cats choose products that help ease joint and mobility issues, making it one of the most popular categories of supplements for cats out there!

But what exactly is in joint health supplements for cats that help them feel more mobile?

You can thank Glucosamine for that.

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring chemical found in cats’ bodies. It helps keep the rubbery stuff between your cat’s bones, aka their cartilage, healthy. Glucosamine supplements for cats turn up the production of proteoglycans, which is kind of like the building blocks of your pet’s cartilage. As cats age, face injuries, or have weight trouble, glucosamine supplements for cats can help them feel comfortable again.

Supplements with glucosamine often include other compounds that help make up cartilage to help support your cat’s total joint health and wellbeing, such as:

  • Chondroitin: Prevents cartilage from breaking down and deteriorating by inhibiting the enzymes that wear away at cartilage.
  • MSM: Reduces inflammation in the joints by enhancing the production of cortisol in your cat’s body.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Retains water to promote lubrication of joints and strengthen connective tissue, which helps to reduce pain and inflammation.

Hairball Supplements for Cats

hairball supplements

If there was something that you could say bothered most cats at some point during their lives, it would probably be hairballs.

Hairballs are the after results of your cat’s grooming routine. Cats who excessively groom themselves are more likely to get hairballs. It is more common in certain cat breeds with longer hair, like Persians or Maine Coons.

Hairballs happen when fur doesn’t make it out of the stomach and through the full digestive tract. Instead, your poor kitty has to vomit it back up.

Gross right? Not only is it unpleasant to witness your poor cat getting rid of the hairball, and even grosser to clean up, but hairballs can actually cause your cat to suffer from intestinal blockages.

There are plenty of dietary options for making sure your kitty has as few hairball experiences as possible. Some common options and natural supplements for cats who have hairballs are outlined in the table below.

Hairball AidesBenefit
Supplements for Cats with HairballsBy offering your kitty supplements that contain ingredients like slippery elm bark, psyllium seed, and marshmallow root, you can ensure both prevention and removal of your cat’s hairballs.
Treats for Cats with HairballsIf giving your kitty a supplement proves difficult, try treats specifically formulated for giving them the lubrication they need to keep things moving and to prevent hairballs from forming.
Specialty Foods for Cats with HairballsThe simplest way to prevent hairballs is to feed your kitty food that is specially formulated with natural fiber. This ensures things keep moving in their digestive system without having to worry about adding anything extra to their meal plan.

4 Reasons to Use Supplements for Cats

old cat

There’s a reason for everything, and that includes why you’d supplement your cat’s diet in the first place.

Now that we’ve covered the most popular supplements for cats, we’re going to break down the reasons supplements for cats are so helpful.

Your Cat Has Joint Pain or Arthritis

When you see your normally active cat ignoring even their favourite toys, or avoiding getting up from their bed, joint pain or arthritis could be the culprit!

Joint health is really important to take care of as cats get older, which is why it’s our number one reason to use supplements for cats.

As they age, cats (just like humans) have their cartilage deteriorate and that can cause your kitty to experience symptoms like:

  • Limping
  • Slow or difficult moving
  • Spinal issues (like a “hump”
  • Sluggishness
  • Licking, chewing on affected joints

Joint supplements for cats allow you to ease joint-related symptoms and help your cat live more comfortably.

One study found 90% of cats 12 and older showed evidence of arthritis when x-rayed, and 20% of those as young as one year old also showed early signs of arthritis. That’s a lot of kitties in need of some joint health support.

By using joint supplements for cats, you will be able to ease the degradation of cartilage and make sure your cat has plenty of cushion between its bones. That means playtime will be much more enjoyable and inactive, arthritic cats will be able to run, jump, and move more easily.

Plus, for young cats, you’re going to be able to help prevent sore joints later on in their lives when you add in joint supplements for cats of all ages.

You Have Mature & Senior Cats

We love our cats —and now, more than ever, cats are living longer.

That’s pretty claw-some if you ask us.

But with that comes some age-related health concerns you’re going to want to watch out for and make sure you’re using supplements for older cats that address those concerns.

But what can a supplement help senior cats with anyways?

Mature or senior cats often face troubles related to the following:

  • Weaker immune systems
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Dehydration
  • Skin/coat problems or infections
  • Hearing problems
  • Dental issues
  • Degenerative joint problems

From that laundry list of potential problems, it’s easy to see why supplements for older cats can help improve your kitty’s well-being into old age.

Don’t just take it from us, either.

In a seven-and-a-half-year study, researchers watched over three groups of cats as they began to age. One group received no supplementation, one received some, and the third group received a cocktail of vitamin E, beta-carotene, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and a prebiotic, chicory root.

The biggest takeaways from the study? Participants given the most supplementation (that’s group three) lived almost a year longer than the other groups. Not only that, but they also maintained healthier weights and did better on lab tests that examined their blood glucose levels (aka, less likely to get diabetes).

The bottom line? Checking out some supplements for older cats may be the ticket to your kitty living not only longer, but healthier, too.

You’re Implementing a Special Diet

Who doesn’t want their cat to be feeling their best?

Some owners may try a specialty diet to appeal to their cat’s wild side, like a cat raw food diet, and that can require some extra supplementation to make sure your cat is at the top of its game.

Reason number three on our list is all about choosing the right supplements for cats that will balance their specialty diet. Cats need a balanced diet that includes:

  • Vitamins
  • Amino Acids found in fish & meat (like arginine and taurine)
  • Minerals
  • Fish & Meat Protein
  • Fatty Acids

If you’re opting for a specialty diet like raw cat food, ensuring each of these components makes it into your cat’s diet isn’t as straightforward as picking up a pre-formulated, pre-measured and pre-balanced manufactured food. Vets and scientists spend years developing recipes for cat food that includes complete nutrition to avoid dangerous diet deficiencies.

An example of something really important to your cat’s well-being? Taurine.

Taurine is something cats need for eyesight, digestion, and heart muscle function, but can’t produce it naturally in their bodies. So they need to get it from their diet, and sometimes meat alone is not enough. In fact, many manufactured pet foods add extra taurine to their blends, and you should too if the DIY diet is your preferred way of feeding your cat.

So now you can see why adding in essential vitamins and minerals in the form of a supplement can make sure your kitty is healthy and happy no matter the diet they have.

Your Cat is Recovering from Injury or Surgery

Have you ever heard the phrase, “cats always land on their feet”?

via GIPHY

While our cats can often be intrepid explorers, they can also get themselves into tricky situations where they may not land on their feet at all.

When they do need extra help to recover from an injury or surgery, supplements for cats can be really helpful in speeding up the recovery process.

When your cat hurts themselves, whether it’s a strain, sprain, or something else, supplements for cats containing key ingredients like glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin can help promote cartilage production and reduce levels of inflammation. This helps them heal faster, and get back to their daredevil selves in no time at all.

The biggest takeaway here? While prevention is the best medicine, offering your cat a supplement like TRI-ACTA for Pets can help ease those kitty aches and pains, and get them back on their feet in no time.

Best Joint Supplements for Cats

Now that you’re an expert on what types of supplements for cats exist and what reasons you might have for trying them, we’re going to talk about the best joint supplements for cats out there.

1. Integricare TRI-ACTA for Pets

integricare tri acta

We saved the best for last, our very own TRI-ACTA for pets.

We may be a little biased, but we know our joint supplements for cats are the best out there.

Not only is it formulated with 100% active ingredients (bye-bye fillers 🙅‍♀️) but TRI-ACTA is also a Health Canada approved Veterinary Health Product (VHP) designation, so you can trust your feline is getting not only what they need, and nothing they don’t with our supplements for cats.

TRI-ACTA for pets contains these key ingredients that will make your pet’s joints feel their best:

  1. Glucosamine (two kinds of glucosamine to be exact!)
  2. Chondroitin
  3. MSM

For a little extra joint health support, our sister product, Integricare TRI-ACTA for Pets H.A contains the added bonus of hyaluronic acid to keep your cat’s joints well-lubricated.

Our formula offers an economical, low cost per serving, and If you also have dogs in the house, you can serve this power-packed supplement to them as well (obviously with an appropriate dose for their size).

Price: $23.99 – $64.99 as of November 2021

2. Maple & Cedar Happy Hips & Joints

maple & cedar

Looking for an easy-to-feed treat that will help alleviate joint pain for your kitty?

Then maybe this Canadian-made option is for you!

Maple & Cedar’s Happy Hips and Joints contains the following active ingredients:

  • Hydrolyzed Collagen
  • Hemp Seed Protein
  • Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil
  • Omega-3

This option features dried salmon that will make for a tasty treat your cat will enjoy. The one downside with this treat? It does have some fillers that aren’t necessary for ensuring good joint health for your cat.

Price: $11.99 as of November 2021.

3. Omega Alpha GlucosaPet

omega

Hoping to find liquid supplements for cats?

Alpha Omega’s GlucosaPet offers that!

Packed with all the ingredients that make joint supplements for cats powerful fighters of joint degradation (we’re looking at you, glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM) plus a few extra bonus feel-good ingredients like devil’s claw root and siler root.

One thing we don’t love? There are definitely a few fillers at play here, which is not ideal in our books. Another thing we don’t love is that the serving size is pretty large, and that can be hard to administer in our experience.

Summary on Supplements for Cats

In this post, we’ve equipped you with all of the information you might need to know before choosing which supplements for cats you think will be most beneficial for your favourite feline.

We covered everything from the history of supplements for cats, types of supplements for cats, and of course, what reason you would have for starting a regimen that includes supplements for cats. That, and we gave you our picks for the best joint supplements for cats out there, including our very own TRI-ACTA for Pets and TRI-ACTA for pets H.A

So whether you decide to use our supplements for cats, or one of the other options we shared, know that by adding supplements for cats to your kitty’s diet, you’re helping keep them in tip-top shape for years to come.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.

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