Vitamins and Supplements for Cats (cont.)
Types of Cat Supplements
Cat Supplements vs. Nutraceuticals
Nutraceuticals are herbal or natural remedies that fall in a bit of a gray area where supplements are concerned. Advocates for pet nutraceuticals say such products simply supplement the cat's natural diet. They've referred to them as “more than feed additives but less than pharmaceuticals. “But the Pet Food Institute's Nancy Cook says “nutraceuticals are intended to treat or prevent a disease and are therefore a drug, not a supplement.” The AVMA defines nutraceutical medicine as “the use of micronutrients, macronutrients, and other nutritional supplements as therapeutic agents.”
Like herbs and supplements made for people, the FDA does not regulate pet nutraceuticals. That means there's no real proof that they are safe. “It is necessary for the consumer to be aware that natural does not always mean safe or effective,” Cruz says.