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


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


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