Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Thiamine deficiency in cats

Monday, October 27, 2014

When we read about recent cases of thiamine deficiency in cats fed preserved pet meats in Sydney we also found this American report about thiamine deficiency in cats fed uncooked fish and some pate type can foods.

Thiamine is essential for carbohydrate metabolism, muscle contraction, and nerve conduction. Very little thiamine is stored in the body and cats depend on a steady dietary source of the vitamin. Thiamine is naturally found in many food sources such as whole grain cereals, nuts, legumes, brewer’s yeast, but cats derive thiamine mainly from meat products, in particular skeletal muscle, liver, heart, and kidneys.

Improper food storage and processing, consumption of uncooked fish that contain the enzyme thiaminase, and consumption of diets with sulfur dioxide or sulfite meat preservatives can lead to insufficient dietary thiamine.

After two to four weeks of a thiamine deficient diet, cats exhibit salivation, anorexia (loss of appetite), and sometimes vomiting. If the deficiency is not corrected, then dilated pupils, bradycardia (slow heart rate), aggression, and progressive neurological symptoms such as ataxia (loss of coordination), rigid head and neck ventroflexion, twitching, loss of righting reflexes, seizures, coma, and death will ensue. Rigid head and neck ventroflexion is the most common clinical sign in cats presented to veterinarians.


(Winn Feline Foundation)

Search Blog

Recent Posts


cat enclosure enteritis goodbye skin bump euthanasia prey award feline AIDS meows a lot prednisolone kidney Hill's Metabolic fluid pills obesity in season runny eyes competition hunting blue straining roundworm senior carrier antibiotics eye infection abscess RSPCA cystitis eyes mental health of cats food puzzles weight ulcers rolls best veterinarian advantage dementia sudden blindness overweight hyperactive sick cat panadeine bladder jumping seizures fat lame christmas signs of pain litter salivation collapse house call cancer spray gifts blood test herpesvirus pain relief return home birthday massage hunched over brown snake comfortis home blockage Canberra antiviral urine spraying holes blood in urine snakebite obese vomit snake best cat clinic check-up echocardiography lick FIV cat behaviour worms diabetes arthritis wool renal disease sore yowling plaque urination adipokines poisoning pain killer urinating outside litter feline enteritis bed furballs lily aspirin open day restless pet meat thiamine deficiency behaviour change anaemia cat containment snot poisonous plants bladder stones sneeze physical activity eye dental cat enclosures marking sick hypertrophic cardiomyopathy old depomedrol opening hours rub sucking wool fabric hole flu asthma scale panadol calicivirus bad breath cage teeth health check ulcerated nose introduction tumour kibble itchy flea prevention strange behaviour toxic fear plants poison touch hypertension diarrhoea slow hunter mince best clinic vocal cat vet chlamydia checkup breathing difficult pica cat history photo competition decision to euthanase Canberra Cat Vet odour sore ears snake bite paralysed sense of smell spraying fits ACT radioactive iodine cat fight petting cat kitten play runny nose biopsy dilated pupils skinny worming rash unwell feline herpesvirus sun spey mass tradesmen inflammatory bowel disease vomiting pet insurance noisy breathing thirsty wet litter tablet fight toxins pancreatitis hearing constipation paralysis lilly outdoor cat snuffles tooth catoberfest body language moving nails vet visit snakes desex new year vision microchip when to go to vet old cat permethrin fireworks virus high blood pressure unsociable tartar appetite information night blind rough play FORLS cat friendly holidays poisonous socialisation hairball aggression kitten deaths panleukopaenia paracetamol appointment fleas love poisons cranky intestine painful revolution new cat on heat home visit weight loss pain training rigid head pred indoor cats liver scratch sore eyes xylitol weight control examination castration insulin heaing thyroid changed blood scratching ribbon tick kittens introductions client night grass urinating whiskers AIDS nose scabs change best vet twitching panamax aggressive vaccination snuffle blood pressure allergy, diet free dental check feliway eye ulcer hyperthyroidism introduce New Year's Eve pill pheromone hospital behaviour activity stress open night lilies urinating on curtains or carpet holiday drinking a lot bite mouth breathing urine dental treatment cta fight senses furball groom cat flu panleukopenia cognitive dysfunction breeder hard faeces pet headache introducing hungry conflict ulcer IBD dry food visit flea treatment grooming tapeworm desexing face rub fever exercise blindness stare into space lymphoma scratching post cryptococcosis abscess,cat fight annual check hiding heavy breathing vaccine string hunters attack allergy not eating aerokat African wild cat off food wobbles cough cat anxiety enclosure foreign body cat worms mycoplasma dymadon train new kitten kitten kidney disease skin cancer stiff litter box head holes in teeth learning computer drinking more discount kidneys diuretics lump enemies crytococcosus cortisone joints heart disease blocked cat corneal ulcer sensitive stomach gasping polish sensitive paralysis tick


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions