Cats addicted to liver are in danger of suffering from Hypervitaminosis A.
Hypervitaminosis is the result of excessive vitamin A intake. One function of vitamin A is to help control the balance between the amount of bone produced and the amount resorbed.
Carotene contains vitamin A. Cats don’t absorb carotene well so a high level of vitamin A needs to be in their diet. Commercial cat food manufacturers recognise this. This is one reason why an uninformed attempt at producing home made raw cat food can go wrong.
Some cat keepers might think that home made cat food should contain lots of liver. Liver is a rich source of vitamin A. However, a cat can become “addicted” to liver resulting in ingesting excessive amounts of vitamin A.
The effects of excess vitamin A depends on the age of the cat and how much liver is eaten.
In young cats there is a reduction in the longitudinal growth of bones and a reduction in the bone produced around the diaphyses of their bones – the main or mid section (shaft) of a long bone.
In adult cats new bone forms in the ligaments and tendons. This occurs around the limbs and forelimbs particularly and in the cervical and thoracic region. There is a high level of fat in the blood and an accumulation of fat in certain cells of the liver that are concerned with the cat’s immune system.
Cats between the ages of 1 to 5 are typically affected. The symptoms are:
–reluctance to move and jump
–fused vertebrae bones
–bone distortion (young cats)
–uneven bone growth (young cats)
Look, I don’t know how prevalent Hypervitaminosis A is in the cat world. But I do know that it is easy to get into the habit of providing a slightly unbalanced diet while thinking that we are doing the right thing.
This short post is simply putting a flag up to say that we are often better sticking to high quality commercial cat food.