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Mineral Supplementation in Cat Foods
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Vitamins & Supplements
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Minerals are essential nutrients needed by the body, and though they are present in natural food ingredients, supplementation of cat foods is usually required to meet the nutrient requirement standards developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The following table lists mineral sources which are commonly found in cat foods. Foods high in each mineral are also listed.

Mineral Mineral Supplement Sources Food Sources Comments
Calcium (without phosphorous) Calcium carbonate
Poultry by-product meal, lamb meal, fish meal  
Calcium and phosphorus Curacao phosphate
Defluorinated phosphate
Dicalcium phosphate*
Mono and tricalcium phosphate
Soft rock
Bone meal  
Phosphorus Phosphoric acid
Sodium tripolyphosphate
Meats, eggs, milk products  
Magnesium Magnesium oxide
Magnesium sulfate
Bone meal, lamb meal, oilseed/protein supplements, wheat and oat bran, beet pulp, soymill run  
Potassium Potassium citrate
Potassium chloride
Potassium sulfate
Soybean meal, unrefined grains, sunflower hulls, rice and wheat bran, soymill run, yeast  
Sodium and chloride Sodium chloride (salt)
Sodium acetate
Sodium tripolyphosphate
Calcium chloride
Potassium chloride
Choline chloride
Fish, eggs, dried whey, poultry by-product meal, soy isolate  
Iron Ferrous sulfate
Ferric ammonium citrate
Ferrous fumarate
Ferric chloride
Ferrous carbonate
Ferric oxide
Ferrous oxide
Meats, beet pulp, peanut hulls, soymill run, dicalcium phosphate* The iron in iron oxide is in a form that cannot be readily used by the body
Copper Cupric carbonate
Cupric chloride
Cupric hydroxide
Cupric oxide
Cupric sulfate
Meat, especially liver Absorption decreased in the presence of calcium, zinc, iron, and phytate; the copper in copper oxide is in a form that cannot be readily used by the body
Manganese Manganese carbonate
Manganous chloride
Manganous oxide
Manganese sulfate
Manganous sulfate
Sources of fiber, dicalcium phosphate*  
Zinc Zinc carbonate
Zinc chloride
Zinc oxide
Zinc sulfate
Meats, sources of fiber, dicalcium phosphate* Absorption decreased in the presence of calcium, phosphate, copper, iron, cadmium, chromium, and phytate
Iodine Calcium iodate
Potassium iodide
Cuprous iodide
Iodized salt
Fish, eggs, iodized salt, poultry by-products  
Selenium Sodium selenite
Sodium selenate
  The selenium in foods is in a form that cannot be readily used by the body; selenium supplementation in cat food is generally needed
* Dicalcium phosphate is derived from bones and contains minerals other than calcium and phosphorous

References and Further Reading

Gross, KL; Wedekind, KJ; Cowell, CS; Schoenherr, WD; Jewell, DE; Zicker, SC, et. al. Nutrients. In Hand, MS; Thatcher, CD; Remillard, RL; Roudebush, P. (eds) Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. Mark Morris Institute. Topeka, KS; 2000.

National Research Council. Nutrient Requirements of Cats. Washington, DC. National Academy of Sciences; 1986.

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