Chances are, if you're a cat owner, you've heard of mineral deficiencies. And if you haven't, it's time to start paying attention. A mineral deficiency in cats can cause some serious problems, not to mention be quite costly to treat.
So how can you tell if your cat is deficient in minerals? And what can you do about it? Keep reading to find out.
What Minerals Are Important for Cats?
There are several minerals that are important for cats. These minerals help with a variety of vital bodily functions, and a deficiency in any one of them can cause health problems.
Here are some of the most important minerals for cats:
- Calcium: This mineral is important for bones and teeth, and a deficiency can lead to problems such as rickets or osteoporosis.
- Iron: Iron helps transport oxygen around the body, and a deficiency can lead to anemia.
- Iodine: Iodine is important for thyroid function, and a deficiency can cause problems such as goiter or hypothyroidism.
- Zinc: Zinc helps with wound healing and immunity, and a deficiency can lead to problems such as hair loss or skin lesions.
What Are the Symptoms of Mineral Deficiency?
If your cat is showing any of the following symptoms, it's possible that she's deficient in one or more minerals:
- Dull coat
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Scratching more than usual
- Hair loss
- Pale gums
How Do I Test for Mineral Deficiency in Cats?
The best way to determine if your cat is mineral deficient is to have a blood test done by your veterinarian. This will give a clear indication of the levels of minerals present in your cat's blood. If it is determined that your cat has a mineral deficiency, your veterinarian can recommend a course of treatment.
The best way to prevent mineral deficiencies in cats is by ensuring that they are getting a balanced diet. This means that your cat should be eating a variety of different foods, including both meat and plant-based proteins. If your cat is not getting enough minerals from their food, you may need to give them a mineral supplement.