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


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


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