The Best Iron Supplements for Kittens: A Guide for New Cat Owners

Two cute gray striped kittens rest their paws on a wooden board. Blank for advertisement or announcement with copy space.

Key Points

  • Though iron deficiency is rare in cats, it's more common in newborn kittens due to milk's low amount of iron.

  • Weak, struggling, or abandoned kittens may need an iron supplement to replenish their energy.

  • An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, decreased oxygen levels, trouble breathing, or collapse.

If you own a newly adopted kitten, some crucial factors must be considered. They may need additional dietary support if they're separated from their mother at an early age. If they're weak and underweight, supplements are a good way to give them the nutrients they need.

This guide for new cat owners takes you through the best iron supplements for kittens. Each one has unique qualities, and they come in different forms to suit various preferences and needs. Find the supplement that best suits you and your kitten to get them on the road to recovery.

Kittens Need Iron

Kittens need their mother's milk, especially as newborns, but they don't always have access to it. If they're smaller and weaker, littermates may push them out. Perhaps they were separated from their mother too soon. These situations can prevent them from receiving the necessary nutrients, including iron.

Iron is vital to the transport of oxygen throughout the body, oxygen storage in muscle, and energy production, meaning kittens need sufficient iron intake to ensure healthy growth. Sometimes, even their mother's milk doesn't provide enough iron for growing kittens. They could also have an underlying deficiency that prevents them from absorbing this essential mineral.

Researchers Dinaz Z. Naigamwalla et al. published a journal article in The Canadian Veterinary Journal regarding iron deficiency anemia in dogs and cats. It states: "The dietary iron requirement for adult dogs and cats is estimated at 80 mg/kg dry matter and is higher in puppies and kittens due to their rapid growth. Inadequate intake is rare except in nursing animals due to the low concentration of iron in milk."

The article notes that iron deficiency is rare when animals eat most commercial pet foods. However, before your kitten is old enough to eat cat food, they may need a supplement or milk replacer if they haven't reached weaning age. If you're worried your kitten has an iron deficiency, speak with your veterinarian. They may recommend one of the supplements below.

Nutri-Cal High Calorie Nutritional Gel

by Tomlyn

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Tomlyn Nutri-Cal High Calorie Nutritional Gel

Tomlyn Nutri-Cal High Calorie Nutritional Gel is a high-calorie gel from a trusted, veterinarian-formulated brand. It contains a concentrated source of iron and essential vitamins, promoting weight gain in kittens with malnutrition issues.

This gel is easy to administer. Simply squeeze a little onto your finger and put it in (or on the side of) your kitten's mouth. You can also place it on their paw, but smear it a bit to make it stick. Thanks to the tasty fish flavor, they'll naturally want to lick it off, and the job is over!

In addition to iron and other vitamins, this supplement contains omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids to support heart, skin, and joint health. A kitten's bones develop quickly in their first few weeks and months, so they need a balanced diet formulated for kittens with abundant protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Daily Multivitamin for Cats
$9.25 ($0.31 / Count)

by Pet Naturals

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03/08/2024 11:20 pm GMT

Pet Naturals Daily Multivitamin for Cats

Pet Naturals Daily Multivitamin for Cats provides a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals, including iron, to promote overall health and well-being in kittens. This supplement also contains antioxidants that help maintain a healthy coat and skin.

It's the lowest-priced supplement on the list and possibly the easiest to administer. It comes in the form of a fish-shaped bite-sized chew that cats love. These chews are appropriate for cats of all sizes, so continue to use them as your kitty grows. They contain no corn, wheat, or artificial ingredients, so if your kitten has an allergy, these chews limit the possibility of an adverse reaction.

NuCat Multi Vitamin for Cats
$7.55 ($0.08 / Count)

by VetriScience 

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03/08/2024 11:26 pm GMT

VetriScience NuCat Multivitamin for Cats

VetriScience NuCat Multivitamin for Cats is a comprehensive supplement that includes iron, essential vitamins, and minerals to support overall health in kittens. These chewable multivitamin tablets are a good source of iron and many other vitamins and minerals. They come in different sizes, and there's one formulated especially for senior cats.

Reviews are mostly positive, but several customers say their cats don't like the tablet form. Cat owners report that they must break these tablets down into powder and mix them into their cat's food. Be aware of your cat's preferences before purchasing.

Multi-Vite Multivitamin Paw Gel for Cats
$12.99

by Nutri-Vet 

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03/08/2024 11:31 pm GMT

Nutri-Vet Multi-Vite Cat Paw-Gel

Nutri-Vet Multi-Vite Cat Paw-Gel contains iron and other vital nutrients to promote healthy growth and development in kittens. This salmon-flavored multivitamin gel contains no wheat, corn, soy, or artificial colors or flavors. Formulated by US veterinarians, it carries the National Animal Supplement Council quality seal.

Most customers say that their cats like the taste of this gel. They even lick it off their owners' fingers! A couple say their cats don't care for it, but each cat has unique tastes.

Kelp Help Supplement Powder
$47.99 ($3.00 / Ounce)

by NaturVet 

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03/08/2024 11:36 pm GMT

NaturVet Kelp Help Supplement Powder

NaturVet Kelp Help Supplement Powder is a natural product that combines kelp with essential minerals, including iron, to support the overall health of kittens. As a powder, it mixes easily into your cat's wet food or some chicken broth.

This supplement has the highest concentration of iron on the list and contains vitamins A, B-2, B-3, B-12, D, and E. It also has omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids to provide a well-rounded dietary supplement. If you have a multi-pet household, this supplement's formulation is for dogs and cats. However, it's recommended for cats and dogs over 12 weeks of age.

KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Powder
$31.79 ($2.65 / Ounce)

by PetAg 

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03/08/2024 11:36 pm GMT

PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer

PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer is a powder formula specially designed for orphaned kittens, providing essential nutrients, including iron, for proper growth and development. If your kitten is too young for solid foods, this milk replacer ensures they receive the essential nutrients they'd otherwise get from their mother's milk.

Stray Cat Alliance posted a TikTok in June 2023 video promoting this formula. They constantly need kitten milk replacers for the many rescued and abandoned kittens that come their way.

Pets Ultra Multivitamin Gel/Paste
$13.99

by GNC 

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03/08/2024 11:40 pm GMT

GNC Pets Ultra Multivitamin

GNC Pets Ultra Multivitamin offers a blend of vitamins, minerals, and iron to support the nutritional needs of growing kittens. It contains important amino acids to keep a healthy coat and skin and omega fatty acids for immune health.

GNC is a well-known brand in the health world. Though you may find this multivitamin on Amazon, as of September 2023, the company no longer makes pet products. If you want this product, act now. Whatever supply is in stock in stores or online retailers won't be replenished once it runs out.

This supplement has mixed reviews, but many cats like it. Some customers say they don't notice a difference after using it, and it doesn't contain a significant amount of iron compared to other supplements on this list. It also has several "fillers" listed in the ingredients.

Ironing Out Your Kitten's Issues

If you have a kitten who's weak and lethargic, they may need an iron supplement. As with any product, consult your veterinarian to determine your cat's type and level of deficiencies before starting them on a supplemental regimen.

An iron deficiency is nothing to wait on. Cats can develop anemia, leading to reduced oxygen levels, trouble breathing, jaundice, or collapse. If you suspect your kitten has an iron deficiency, take them to the vet first and ask if an iron supplement would be appropriate.

Give your kitten the best iron supplement for their needs. Take your pet from weak and defenseless to Iron Cat!

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