Many of us are driven to improve the health of our cat, without fully understanding the nature of health. Cat supplements are often given in the wild hope that they will help. After all we need supplements, right?
My view on supplements is rather black and white. Whilst there are definitely times when they are needed, it is pointless giving them when:
- the cause of ill health is not being addressed
- the supplements are synthetic rather than natural
When the root cause of ill health is not being addressed, when it is continuing unabated, this is what homeopaths call a ‘maintaining cause’. No amount of treatment or even healthy supplements will help. Yes, they might help bring about a temporary respite, but the problem will never disappear. It will remain, waiting for an opportunity to take over once again.
To appreciate what the difference is between a synthetic and a natural supplement, first you need to understand how corporations work. Corporations are rather like unruly teenagers at a party; they are irresponsible and without a conscience. They are only after one thing – fun.
Substitute the fun for money and exactly the same applies to corporations. They have little concern for the health of your cat. (Or for their workers and the planet for that matter.) Their only concern is to make as big a profit as is possible.
They will engage the best psychologists to get a (normally false) message across to you. The more they sell, the happier they are. How can you make a logical and informed decision when you are being bombarded on all sides by this, highly affective, salesmanship?
Most people don’t stand a chance.
Look at the market for cat supplements. Take taurine. This is a supplement added to cat food as it is an essential nutrient for cats. But it has only recently (in the last decade or so) been discovered. Imagine what happened to all the cats fed ‘nutritionally complete’ and ‘scientifically balanced’ commercial cat food!
Taurine is found in raw meat, but destroyed by cooking.
So taurine isn’t needed when the food is raw.
What else is waiting to be ‘discovered by science’, when nature knew all along? How many cats have to suffer, before we discover we have nothing to discover?
Synthetic supplements are the most common. They are produced in a laboratory. They are the cheapest, so they are the ones used to supplement any (known) shortfall in commercial cat food. But synthetic supplements are out of natural balance. They are indigestible. If you are lucky they will pass straight through the gut. If you are unlucky, they will cause health problems. Calcium supplements are well know to cause the very condition they are purported to cure.
Even natural supplements can cause problems when they are processed. Fish oil is widely regarded is being beneficial to people (I don’t agree), so people can be forgiven in thinking that it can be helpful for their cat.
Apart from the fact that humans and cats have widely different nutritional requirements, fish oil is out of natural balance. It has been removed from the whole food, the fish. It is concentrated. It lacks the rest of the food to be fully utilised. The processing de-natures it.
And it causes vitamin E deficiency, which is not something your veterinarian has been trained to look for.
Cats fed a diet high in tuna are more likely to suffer with vitamin E deficiency.
Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include:
- severe pain
- hypersensitivity to pain
- lack of muscle tone
- musculo-skeletal problems
- swelling, oedemas
- weight loss despite a good appetite
- premature aging
My interest lies in seeking the truth. When we feed a cat on the diet they evolved on, they don’t need supplements. Certainly not man-made or synthetic ones. This diet almost eliminates chronic disease. Not a popular idea with veterinarians as it’s not good for business.
If you want to feel comfortable about eliminating the need for cat supplements, my work on the healthiest diet for cats may help you. At the very least, I suggest you disengage from all the hype and start to educate yourself.