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How do you determine if a cat is not getting enough nutrients?

2 min read

It is important to ensure our feline companions receive all the necessary nutrients to maintain optimal health. Recognizing the signs of nutrient deficiencies can help us take prompt action to address any issues and keep our cats thriving. Let’s explore the key indicators that a cat may not get enough nutrients.

Physical Appearance and Behavior #

One of the first signs that a cat may lack essential nutrients is physical appearance and behavior changes. Some common indicators include:

  • Dull, dry, or thinning coat
  • Excessive shedding or hair loss
  • Skin problems like flaky, irritated skin or excessive dandruff
  • Lethargy or decreased activity levels
  • Reduced appetite or sudden weight loss
  • Weakened immune system and increased susceptibility to infections

These physical and behavioral changes can signal that the cat’s diet does not provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for optimal health and well-being.

Nutritional Deficiencies #

Specific nutrient deficiencies can also manifest in more targeted ways. For example:

  • Lack of protein: Muscle wasting, poor growth, and a dull, dry coat
  • Insufficient taurine: Heart problems, vision issues, and reproductive difficulties
  • Vitamin A deficiency: Night blindness, dry eyes, and respiratory infections
  • Calcium or phosphorus imbalance: Bone and dental problems

Paying close attention to these more specific symptoms can help identify the nutrients lacking in the cat’s diet.

Consulting a Veterinarian #

If you notice any concerning changes in your cat’s appearance, behavior, or health, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. They can thoroughly examine, run diagnostic tests, and recommend appropriate dietary adjustments or supplements to address nutrient deficiencies.

Veterinarians can also help you select high-quality, balanced cat food that meets your feline’s unique nutritional needs based on its age, activity level, and any underlying health conditions.

Additional sources:

Veterinary Centers of America. (2023). Signs Your Cat May Not Be Getting Enough Nutrients. Retrieved from

American Veterinary Medical Association. (2023). Nutrition for Cats. Retrieved from

Cornell Feline Health Center. (2023). Nutritional Deficiencies in Cats. Retrieved from

Updated on May 5, 2024
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How the score is calculated?

The actual calculation of the score is based on sophisticated and advanced algorithm that takes into account multiple parameters.

To simplify the explanation, the calculation is based on three main criteria:

(1) Amount of protein (more is better)

(2) Amount of carbohydrates (less is better)

(3) Quality and source of ingredients.

Based on that 3 main criteria, 9 score calculation rules are used to compare the different foods.

One major assumption is that the closer an ingredient is to the top of the ingredient list, the greater its relative weight and contribution to the food.

In general, cat food is composed of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein is the most important component in a cat’s diet, and cats primarily get their protein from animal meat.

Fat is a primary source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Carbohydrates are controversial in a cat’s diet, as cats are obligate carnivores and typically consume very few carbohydrates.

Fibers play an important role in digestion and food absorption, and vitamins and minerals are essential for different organism functions.

Dry matter values are used to compare the amount of nutrients in different cat foods.
This means that moisture is excluded from the equation to provide a more accurate comparison.

Putting all of these and more into a formula results in a product score.

The maximum score a cat food can receive is 100.
Points are added or removed based on the score calculation rules.