Manganese (Mn) is an essential mineral required in trace amounts by cats and other animals. Elementally, this mineral occurs in a combined state especially in a combined state with iron and other minerals.
Mn is naturally available in some food while in commercial feline foods, it is added to ensure they meet the minimum required amounts.
Some of the manganese-rich foods include shellfish (including mussels, clams, oysters, and crayfish) legumes (lima, chicken peas, and pinto beans), brown rice, nuts (like pecans and almonds), whole wheat bread, leafy green vegetables (such as spinach), fruits (like acai and pineapples), bran cereals, and oatmeal.
Finally, in a cat’s body, this mineral is concentrated in the liver with some small amounts found in the kidneys, bone, and pancreas while skeletal muscle has the lowest concentration.
As Pet Coach notes, “it is essential for proper use of protein and carbohydrate by the body, reproduction, and the action of many enzymes in the body responsible for the production of energy and making fatty acids.”
For instance, according to WikiVet, it is a component of metalloenzymes such as manganese superoxide dismutase, arginase, and pyruvate carboxylase that help regulate “the urea cycle, gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis, and detoxification of oxygen radicals.
Secondly, it acts as a metallic activator for kinases, transferases, hydrolases and decarboxylases enzymes.
Finally, this mineral helps in “strengthening of bone, nerve transmission, reproductive processes and the production of collagen,” states Carnivora.ca as well as helping in quality cartilage formation.
Minimum recommended amounts
The minimum manganese requirement in cats is 7.5mg/kg on dry matter basis and 1.90mg per 1000 kcal ME for growth, reproduction and adult maintenance notes the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO 2014)
Signs of manganese deficiency in cats are very rare but they have been associated with neurological disorders such as seizures, impaired lipid metabolism, glucose tolerance, growth as well as reproduction.
Owing to its role in ensuring quality cartilage and bone, kittens and ageing cats as well as those with osteoarthrosis should have diets with enough of this mineral.
It is one of the least toxic minerals among the trace elements. So far, no cases of toxicity due to excessive amounts has been reported in both felines and canines.