If your cats depend on homemade low calcium cat food such as boneless meat diets, supplementation may be necessary to ensure your feline friend does not suffer from the various deficiency symptoms including hypocalcemia.
However, if they depend on premium quality feeds, you need not worry since they have enough amounts of this mineral as it has already been added, notes VCAHospitals.
Note that requirements may vary especially during pregnancy or lactation since milk draws a lot of calcium and it is a factor that contributes to feline eclampsia or milk fever.
Also, their bodies must maintain proper calcium and phosphorous balance. For instance, depending on diets with high phosphorous means that your cat will excrete the excess amounts. This might cause a challenge if their kidney function is compromised.
Therefore, before going for any calcium supplements, ensure you talk to a vet with prior knowledge of your cat’s nutritional needs and health.
Finally, yogurt should not be the main source of this mineral even though it has natural probiotics that your cats and dogs require.
Here are a few homemade (also available commercially) supplements you can go for.
One of the best readily available calcium supplement is ground eggshells. It easier to prepare, has a high content of this mineral and had very little amounts of phosphorous making it easier to balance with the phosphorous in the various homemade cat diets.
We have more details on eggshell power for cats supplement including steps to prepare it and how you should serve it to this pet.
Calcium lactate, citrate, ascorbate, and other organic acids
Secondly, you can also go for supplements that have calcium bound to organic acids such as citrate, ascorbate, lactate and so on. They are easy to absorb than inorganic sources but may have an odd taste and they are not natural (are synthetic).
Although synthetic, one of the main advantages of sources bound to citrate or other organic acids is that they reduce the formation of calcium oxalate stones being acid.
Bone meal supplement
Bone meal is another good calcium source which you can either make at home or go for commercially available bone meals that have other essential nutrients.
Usually, “5% to 8% of a raw diet should be made up of bone in order to provide an adequate amount,” notes Animal Wellness Magazine.
If you are interested in insight including its downside, how to make it as well as something on the freeze-dried bone option, see details on bone meal supplement for cats.
Calcium carbonate such as the one from limestone or coral sources is another option you can depend on if you are considering supplementing this vital mineral.
Being tasteless and odorless, you can easily add it to your homemade diets but ensure you know the right amounts.
Finally, it also does not have phosphorous making it easy to balance with the phosphorous in the foods you are giving your pet.
Best calcium supplements for cats – commercial
There are many commercial brands that come with instructions on how they should be used.
However, as already mentioned, before you begin supplementing them, you should talk to your veterinarian as he or she will also consider the specific home-based diets you are giving your feline friend and any other underlying condition.
You will get some of the popular brands in your local pet stores or online ones such as at amazon.com, Chewy, Petco, PetSmart, and so on. Here are a few you should know.
1. Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium Dog & Cat Supplement
As noted by Chewy.com, it is obtained from “natural calcified seaweed product (lithothamnium) harvested from the seabed off the southwest coast of Iceland,” where there is the purest water.
This red seaweed also has other nutrients including potassium, phosphorous and magnesium.
Recommend amounts is one teaspoon per one pound of home-prepared diets.
2. Calcium Citrate Pure Powder from NOW Foods
This is one of the popular calcium powder for cats that has no other ingredients, fillers or preservative making it easy to digest. For cats, the recommended dosage is 1000-1200mg per pound of homemade diets.
3. Pet-Cal Supplement for Dogs and Cats
According to Lumbervetsupply.com. “Pet Cal™ Tabs is a palatable source of calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin D and other minerals for dogs and cats.
4. Troy Calcium Syrup
This flavored syrup is quite palatable and will help deal with any deficiencies and depending on your diet choice, you need to give them about 5-8ml per 5 kilograms of their body weight.
5. Lithothamnium for dogs
Extracted from seaweed growing off South West Coast of Ireland’s sea bed, this supplement is ideal for cats and dogs that have a loose stool and not a firm one.
Furthermore, your pets will benefit from boron, magnesium, and zinc it contains.
6. Balanced Cal Powder with Calcium & Vitamin D3
Ideal for cats, dogs, and horses, it will replenish calcium levels and help in balancing its ratio to that one of phosphorous in case your pet is fed on homemade diets especially meat diets.
It is intended for daily use, it is safe for cats of all ages, pregnant or lactating included. There are also Balanced Cal Tablets.
Avoid over supplementing it
If you are uncertain, your vet should help you determine the right amount of supplementation.
Too much may increase the need for magnesium, compete with zinc and magnesium absorption in the stomach, increase this animal’s bone density and potentially cause hypercalcemia.
Chances of hypercalcemia in cats will worsen if these supplements are coupled with other products such as calcium gluconate and calcitriol.
Finally, as pets.webmd.com warns, too much of calcium can be toxic to your pets including your cats.