Does your cat need supplementation with vitamin E? Conversely, could the increased ingestion of this vitamin have adverse effects on the health of your pet feline? Your questions – answered!
Vitamin E Supplementation – in Dogs!
Before discussing vitamin E, cats and toxicity, it bears mentioning that felines do require a certain level of this fat-soluble antioxidant to remain healthy. As humans ingest vitamin E in the form of sunflower oil, tofu and spinach, cats receive it when fed crab or some fish products. Since it is considered an anti-inflammatory, veterinary medicine recognizes that dogs require frequent supplementation of this nutrient for good health.
Felines do not usually fall into this category. In fact, for cats this practice of supplementation could prove to be dangerous. R.M. Clemmons, DVM, PhD explains that vitamin E levels exceeding 100 IU per day are actually found to endanger the animal to the point of suffering from feline hepatolipidosis.
What about Toxicity?
If you are not adding any vitamin E, the odds of feeding a cat so much of this substance that it has toxic effects are rather low. Even though vitamin E toxicity is potentially found at levels exceeding 100 IU, Doctors Fosters and Smith outline that the average cat most likely does not receive much more than the recommended minimum intake of 14 IU per pound of dry food. Unless the cat ingests fish that is high in vitamin E and then also receives a high-dosage supplement, it is fair to suggest that the average pet owner does not have to worry about toxicity.
I Want to Avoid a Vitamin Deficiency…
It should be pointed out that there can be the potential of suffering from insufficient vitamin E intake. While veterinary literature is somewhat lacking in toxic responses to the nutrient, the health risk associated with its lack is very well documented indeed.
Yellow fat disease is just one of the problems mentioned. In their publication “Veterinary Nursing,” D.R. Lane and B. Cooper address the latter and explain that feeding raw oily fish rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids actually leads to the deficiency. Yet unless you give your cat raw tuna every day, you have little to worry about.
If you are still toying with the idea of supplementing your cat’s vitamin E intake, do not go it alone. Remember that only a professional who has examined the feline, knows its current dietary intake and who also has access to recent blood work can adequately recommend which types of dietary supplements (if any) the pet may need.