All Rights Reserved 2022-2024

What are the consequences of not meeting a cat’s nutritional requirements?

1 min read

When a cat’s nutritional requirements are unmet, it can lead to a range of adverse consequences that can significantly impact their quality of life. Here are some of the potential impacts of nutritional deficiencies in cats.

Physical Health Concerns #

Inadequate nutrition can manifest in various physical health problems for cats. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Skin and coat problems: Dull, dry, thinning fur, excessive shedding, and skin irritation can be signs of nutrient deficiencies, particularly in essential fatty acids, protein, or vitamins A and E.[1]
  • Muscle wasting and weakness: Insufficient protein intake can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue, resulting in a loss of strength and mobility.
  • Bone and dental issues: Imbalances in calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals can contribute to weakened bones, dental problems, and an increased risk of fractures.
  • Impaired immune function: Vitamins and minerals play a vital role in supporting a cat’s immune system, and deficiencies can make them more susceptible to infections and illnesses.[1]

Behavioral and Cognitive Changes #

Nutritional deficiencies can also impact a cat’s behavior and cognitive function. Some potential effects include:

  • Lethargy and decreased activity levels: Insufficient energy intake or nutrient imbalances can lead to a lack of energy and motivation, causing cats to become less active and engaged.[1]
  • Altered appetite and weight changes: Nutrient deficiencies can disrupt a cat’s appetite, leading to a decreased or increased desire to eat, resulting in unintended weight loss or gain.[1]
  • Vision and neurological problems: Vitamins A and B1 deficiency can contribute to vision impairment and neurological issues, such as seizures or disorientation.

Reproductive and Developmental Concerns #

Proper nutrition is especially critical for cats during key life stages, such as growth, pregnancy, and lactation. Deficiencies during these periods can have significant consequences:

  • Impaired growth and development: Insufficient nutrients can hinder kittens’ proper growth and development, leading to stunted growth, skeletal abnormalities, and other issues.
  • Reproductive difficulties: Nutrient deficiencies in breeding cats can contribute to fertility problems, complications during pregnancy, and poor kitten health and survival.

Addressing Nutritional Deficiencies #

If you suspect your cat may not be receiving adequate nutrition, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination, recommend appropriate diagnostic tests, and provide guidance on selecting a high-quality, balanced cat food that meets your feline’s unique nutritional needs.

Additional sources:
[1] 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
Is that helpful?

Didn't find a dry food?

Provide as many details as you can so we can analyze the missing product and add it.

Thank you!

Found a mistake?
Missing info?

Provide as many details as possible about What are the consequences of not meeting a cat’s nutritional requirements? so we can make it better!

Thank you!

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.