Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 for Cats

Riboflavin or vitamin B2 found is one of the B complex vitamins that come in mainly three forms, i.e., the free dinucleotide riboflavin, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN). The FAD and FMN are coenzyme derivatives known as flavoproteins.

Its primary dietary sources include green vegetables, eggs, meat, almonds, milk, and dairy products.

Note that this vitamin is not stored inside a cat’s body, and it is readily excreted via urine being water-soluble.


As a coenzyme, it is required by several enzymes that participate in protein, fats, and carbohydrate metabolism. Also, it is a component of various enzymes, including glutathione reductase.

Secondly, it contributes towards a healthy coat and skin as well as eye health. Furthermore, it is essential to growth and muscle development.

vitamin B2 for cats benefits
vitamin B2 for cats benefits

Deficiency symptoms

Deficiencies can arise from many conditions that cause diuresis (such as IV fluid administration, renal disease, or diabetes), low intake in cat foods, or degradation, especially during cooking under high pH (alkaline conditions).

Some of the symptoms you may notice include anorexia, weight loss, cataracts, testicular atrophy, and a fatty liver.

Also, alopecia may be noted around the neck and head as well as “changes to the skin around the eyes and the abdomen,” notes Royal Canin.


Diagnosis by looking at the various clinical signs and detection of a  low erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity.

Supplementation of vitamin B2

The NRC (2006) recommends the amount of riboflavin to be at least 4mg/kg of cat food for normal growth. On the other hand, the AAFCO  (2007) suggests a similar amount for all cat classes.

If you need to supplement this B vitamin, go for supplements like Life Extension Cat Mix, NUSENTIA Cat Vitamins, CaniComplete Vitamin B Complex, as they all have it.

Finally, there is a low toxicity possibility as there have been no reports. Therefore, it is safe to supplement synthetic riboflavin if you notice symptoms of deficiency. Let your vet guide you.

See also

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