How to Choose Cat Supplements

A powdered pumpkin cat supplement

Reasons to Consider a Supplement for Your Cat

A healthy cat food may be all your cat needs to have a long and happy life. But some felines develop conditions, such as stiff joints or digestive upset, that may be alleviated with a dietary supplement. Even if your cat’s current food includes a supplement, foods usually don’t contain optimal levels for effectiveness. Dosing with separate supplements allows you greater control, whether your cat needs help with their teeth, mobility, digestion or other health concern.

Before you start adding a supplement to your feline’s diet, it’s best to discuss your intentions with a veterinarian. Common symptoms that may respond to supplements may also be indicative of a significant health concern that needs veterinary treatment. Plus, some supplements shouldn’t be used if your cat has developed certain health problems.

Commit to Your Cat's Supplementation Program

When you look for a supplement, strongly consider taste and form, so your cat won’t avoid mealtimes. Many owners prefer powdered supplements that can be mixed with food to help disguise the taste. Other people report success with supplements in treat form, which many cats will willingly eat.

Dietary supplementation requires a commitment to see results, so ideally, you’d use one for at least 90 days before evaluating its efficacy. For tough conditions, it may take up to 6 months for the condition to show significant improvement. If you’re unsure if supplementation is working, you might want to try a supplement with a different active ingredient. Mud Bay stocks supplements that follow Chinese herbalism, Western herbalism or nutraceutical traditions. We also recommend medicinal mushrooms and other whole foods for some challenges.

A cat supplement in the form of a soft treat

Bottles of Mud Bay brand salmon oil next to a spoonful of the oil.

Supplements Can Contribute to Overall Health

Mobility: Older cats that develop arthritis or other joint concerns may benefit from a supplement that improves overall joint health.

Dental: Enzymatic products and systemic dental supplements may increase the effectiveness of your regular feline dental-care regimen. Some supplements can be particularly useful for cats who develop plaque build-up in hard to reach areas.

Digestion: Better digestion can lead to a wide range of health benefits, which may include weight loss and better-smelling waste. Supplements can also make food transitions easier for all cats.

Skin & Coat: Silky coats and healthy skin are visually appealing, but they also provide a defense against fleas and ticks. Some supplements may also reduce shedding and consequently hairballs.

Calmatives: Whether you need a calmative for immediate, short-term or long-term use, there’s a supplement that may help your cat feel better about stressful environmental challenges.

General Health and Specific Health Conditions: Supplements in this group can increase a cat’s overall health or help specific, less common ailments, such as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.

How We Choose Cat Supplements

Mud Bay works to find supplements that meet rigorous labeling, content and sourcing standards, preferably with companies who have built long-term relationships with us. The National Animal Supplement Council approves most of our supplements, and we also check third-party testing results to verify companies meet our active ingredient standards. Our team looks for scientific evidence that supplements can help certain conditions, and there’s a minimum bioavailability that allows your cat’s body to process the active ingredient well.

In conjunction with our in-house veterinarian, Mud Bay searches for supplements that uniquely relieve symptoms. We may carry two supplements that both lessen allergy symptoms, but one might use Chinese herbalism while another may use Western herbalism to accomplish it. Because they both work in different ways, using different active ingredients, one supplement might be more effective for your cat.

We also recognize that palatability is a significant concern for most cat owners. Mud Bay often looks for species-specific products that are particularly easy to administer to cats due to their form or content. For many cat owners, supplements in treat form represent a simpler way to administer pungent herbs.

Mud Bay offers a heavily curated selection of products, but we regularly search for the finest scientifically-backed supplements to address common health concerns. Sometimes this choice means we only have one or two products for a specific problem, but those supplements represent what we believe is a potent solution to a concern. And while we’re always concerned about value, we recognize that supplement quality is often tied to price.