Do cats need sunlight?

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. For humans, sufficient amount of vitamin D is necessary in the maintenance of good health. Humans get vitamin D from the sun. Whenever possible humans would sunbathe as sun exposure is an enjoyable and free source of vitamin D. Cats, like their human friends appear to love sunlight too. Cats would be seen sleeping on the roof…soaking the sun. Cats are inclined to sit on the window sill or on the spot on the floor where sunlight is pouring in. Does kitty know that sunlight is important in the maintenance of its health? Do cats really need sunlight? The answer is no. Cats don’t need sunlight to be healthy.

It is not uncommon for pet owners to attribute the pet with human-like characteristics. As such, the cat will be talked to like a child, will be given human food and would be treated like a baby. What is good for humans must be good for the cat too. Sunlight is good for humans. As the pet is often seen soaking sunlight, it is common for cat owners to have the notion that sunlight is needed by the cat. When humans bask in the rays of the sun, vitamin D is naturally produced. Vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of health as it promotes the normal functioning of the cells and the organs. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents some forms of cancer, heart diseases and other life threatening conditions. It is therefore thought that cats would benefit from getting exposed to sunlight. Cat owners that live in apartments would expressly entice the pet to sit by the window or in spots where sunlight pours in so that it can soak whatever amount of sunlight is available. Of course no harm would come to the pet. Cats really love sitting on window sills to watch the world go by. But from the standpoint of producing vitamin D, this contact with sunlight exercise is pointless because cats cannot manufacture vitamin D by being exposed to sunlight. The thick fur prevents the skin from soaking the sun thus cats are not capable of producing vitamin D.

Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D but cats do not need sunlight because they get vitamin D from the food they eat. This is why providing the pet with premium quality food is very necessary. Feral cats obtain their vitamin D from eating prey. Cats are nocturnal animals. Cats in the wild would be sleeping during the day in their safe and often dim dens to avoid predators. With this kind of set up, cats would not be able to soak sunlight. It is a good thing that these animals do not need sunlight to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin as it aids in the mineralisation of bones and promotes calcium and phosphorous absorption. Cat owners aware of the fact that the pet cannot produce vitamin D would think of supplementing the cat’s diet. Cats though have very low vitamin D dietary requirement. Cat owners must be aware that over supplementation of vitamin D can result to vitamin toxicity.

Cats do not need sunlight like humans and other animals do. Cats do not need sunlight to be healthy but these animals sure do love basking in the warmth of the sun. Cats would be content to lie down on spots where sunshine is pouring in. Cat owners living in accommodations with no backyard have to make sure that a sunny window sill or areas with sun puddles will be made available for the cat.

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