Why Cats Need Vitamin E and Deficiency Signs

Vitamin E refers to a group of fat-soluble compounds comprised of four tocotrienols and four tocopherols. Its common sources include seed and vegetable oils, animal fat, liver among other sources.

According to RedBarn Pet Products, it is known to “protect PUFAs, Vitamin A and sulfur-containing amino acids from oxidation” in animals, including your feline friend.

Role or function

As an antioxidant

Being a powerful antioxidant, it will protect your cat’s cells from oxidative stress, damage or pollution effects that result in free radicals.

Why is oxidative stress harmful? The National Animal Supplement Authority observes that that “oxidative stress can harm cell membranes, cardiovascular health, the immune system, vision, neurological function, and fertility.”

For skin 

Secondly, it is essential for healthy skin as it prevents free radical propagation being a chain-breaking antioxidant. Furthermore, it will protect the damage induced by UV light.[1]

Topically you can use vitamin E oil in dealing with dry skin as well as be dealing with discomfort caused by mange or in treating ear mite and flea allergy dermatitis.

For protecting against steatitis 

Thirdly, it can help protect against steatitis in cats. According to The Journal of Nutrition research, it was noted that those that were given diets without it or had less of this vitamin ended up with steatitis.

Therefore, we can conclude that this vitamin is essential to this animal in preventing poor coordination, muscle weakness, and vision since it boosts normal neurological functions. Furthermore, it will make this pet to have stronger immunity, have better skin, blood circulation, and so on.

Vitamin E deficiency in cats signs

Deficiencies have been associated with cats feed with a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids ( PUFAs) since PUFAs being very oxidative in nature, excessive amounts require more consumption of vitamin E by these pets.

A deficiency will be signaled by conditions such as muscle weakness, liver hepatitis, heart dysfunction and if the deficiency is severe, expect colon hemorrhages, a condition that is referred as to brown bowel syndrome.

Secondly, there may be symptoms such as “anorexia, depression, pain sensitivity in the abdomen, and fat tissue pathology,” according to the National Research Council of National Academies.

Finally, as already noted, it is possible for this pet to end up with yellow fat disease or what is known as steatitis. Some of the symptoms you may note in case of this disease include lumpy fat deposits beneath your cat’s skin, loss of appetite, a greasy dull coat, fever as well as pain.

How much does my feline friend require?

On average, an adult cat whose calorie requirement is 250 and weighs about 9 pounds require 2.5mg of vitamin E daily. Alternatively, you can go for cat foods that have about 30 IU/kg as the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends.

ON the other hand, the National Research Council (NRC) recommends 38mg per kg of feeds for weaned kitten and adults while those at peak of lactation or at a late phase of their pregnancy can have 31mg per kg of food.

Is an excess amount toxic?

No toxicity has ever been reported in cats. It is only in human studies where prolonged use of excessive amounts has been known to be harmful.[2]

Conclusion

As noted, diets with PUFAs require more consumption of this vitamin to avoid deficiencies. Therefore, as a requirement by AAFCO, diets with fish oil must have about 10 IU of Vitamin E added per one kilo of such diets. NRC also has similar requirements with only small variations on the amounts added.

If you want to consider multivitamins, be aware of the possibilities of hypervitaminosis A and vitamin D toxicity should they contain too much of these two vitamins (beyond the required amounts).

See also

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