When you look at veterinary websites, they’ll tell you there is no known cause of hypercalcaemia in cats. However, looking at holistic health websites you get a very different story.
What Is Hypercalcaemia?
It’s when blood tests show up too much calcium. This can be a problem for anyone, not just cats, because too much calcium in the blood can lead to:
- inability to urinate
- increased thirst
- digestive issues
- kidney stones (calculi)
- heart disease
- can increase the risk of cancer
- mood changes
- allergic reaction
However, these problems are equally listed under the side effects of the common calcium supplements.
What are the Different Forms of Calcium Supplements?
These include calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium lactate, calcium gluconate and calcium pantothenate/pantothenic acid.
With the possible exception of calcium carbonate (in its true form it is found in nature abundantly), they are synthetic. Even calcium carbonate can be processed.
Naturally occurring calcium carbonate is largely indigestible for animals. but can be a wonderful soil addition for plants.
The Importance of Calcium for Cats
Calcium is vital for everyone. It is important for all the systems in the body to function correctly. It is well known to be vital to support bone health. In cats, calcium is needed to digest meat. Without that, the calcium is robbed from the bones and teeth.
Interestingly, osteoporosis, the opposite of what the supplement is for, is a common side effect of these supplements.
Obviously something is very wrong.
And it’s wrong because the wrong calcium is used. The wrong calcium, the synthetic supplements, is the leading cause of hypercalcaemia in cats. And it’s used in all commercial cat food.
Natural Calcium Sources for Cats
Wild cats consume the whole of their prey. That includes the muscles, the organs and the BONES. Bones are a natural source of calcium, in perfect combination with phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium and a whole host of other nutrients.
Not only that, it is in the perfect ratio.
Wild animals never have excess fat. They’re too busy foraging for food, avoiding being someone’s dinner, finding a mate or caring for their young. The excess fat found in meat is from farmed animals, who don’t have the same survival challenges of their wild cousins.
The 80:10:10 Ratio in Raw Cat Food
The common idea amongst those promoting raw food for cats buys into this hypercalcaemic myth. They advocate the 80:10:10 ratio. That is 80% meat, 10% bones, 10% organs. This may lead to people not feeding their cats enough bones to keep their mouth and teeth healthy, and so avoiding gingivitis and stomatitis.
Wild animals are slim and muscular. I suggest that their bone ratio to their muscle mass is more than 10%; rather 20% + is more in keeping with a well fed wild animal and much more for those who are not well fed and who would be a much easier target for hunters.
In addition, when a NATURAL food is eaten in excess, the body knows exactly what to do with it. It is simply excreted. The problems occur when an UNNATURAL food (aka synthetic) is consumed. Then the body has no idea what to do with it. At best it is excreted, but more likely it hangs up in parts of the body causing mischief as the above side effects testify.
Can Cats have too much Calcium in their Diet?
Absolutely yes when the supplementation is synthetic such as in commercial cat food
Absolutely no when the diet is a natural, balanced, good quality raw diet without supplements.
Understanding the Cause of Hypercalcaemia in Cats Leads to Cure
The most efficient way (not to mention the least traumatic and most economic way) is to feed a natural, balanced, good quality raw diet. This will also lead to benefits in other areas.
The cause of hypercalcaemia in cats is obvious when you think critically. It only happens in domestic cats, not wild cats. You can’t reduce health to numbers. You have to look at the whole.