If your cat’s appetite has taken a nosedive, you’re probably desperate for a way of tempting them back to the food bowl. If you’ve tried all the usual tricks and nothing seems to be working, you might want to consider VitaGravy. Millions of other cat owners have (and quite a few dog owners too). Admittedly, not all have them have met with success. But for every cat that seems to turn their nose up at the stuff, there seems to be another one that laps it up. So, should you be giving your cat VitaGravy? And what even is it when it’s at home, anyway?
What is VitaGravy?
First up, what exactly is VitaGravy? In essence, it’s a vitamin supplement for either cats or dogs. It’s available in several different varieties, some of which promise to help with skin, hair, and ‘beauty’, and others of which vow to do wonders for joint health and mobility. According to the blurb, VitaGravy has been scientifically formulated to deliver a big shot of essential vitamins and minerals (16 in total, by all accounts) along with omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. Per the brand, the formula won’t interfere with the nutritional profile of your cat’s regular food or cause any digestive upset. A single squeeze is all it takes (their words, not ours) for energy, performance, and a radiant coat.
For anyone concerned about any hidden nasties, the brand promises to keep the formula 100% free from any and all artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, animal by-products, or added chemicals or preservatives. Those ingredients that do manage to make their way into the formula are all of human-grade quality. Although it’s intended primarily as a vitamin supplement, plenty of cat owners swear by it as a means of encouraging fussy appetites.
How do you administer VitaGravy?
VitaGravy is, as the name suggests, a gravy. It’s not a pill, a tablet, or anything else that could cause you and your cat any grief. It’s just gravy. Simply pop it over the top of your cat’s usual food at mealtimes, give it a stir, and that’s it. Job done. As supplements go, it’s probably one of the easiest to ‘administer’ you’ll ever come across.
What’s in VitaGravy?
Before introducing any new food or supplement into your pet’s diet, it’s always worth checking out the ingredient list. Marketing speech can be deceiving; an ingredients list rarely is. So, other than ’16 vitamins and minerals’, what exactly awaits your kitty in a pouch of VitaGravy? Judging from the ingredients list, quite a lot actually.
In descending order, VitaGravy boasts: Chicken broth, rice flour, safflower oil, natural chicken flavor, hydrolyzed soy protein, honey, carrots, celery, tomato paste, pineapple pulp, yucca pulp, mineral & vitamin supplement premix (A palmitate, D3 cholecalciferol, E alpha tocopherol acetate, calcium phosphate, potassium phosphate, magnesium sulfate, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, thiamine HCL, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, folic acid, taurine, B12 cyanocobalamin), lemon juice, caramel color, xanthan gum.
Taking the top three ingredients first, everything looks in reasonably good order:
- As petcentral.chewy.com notes, chicken broth carries numerous benefits for cats. It can:
- Detoxify: Bone broth is packed with glycine, a type of amino acid that supports the liver in filtering out any toxins in food, water, or medications.
- Boost digestion: Along with glycine, bone broth is a great source of collagen. As well as helping skin and joint health, collagen supports digestion by strengthening the intestinal lining.
- Strengthen immunity: The broken-down bone marrow in bone broth is said to help oxygenate cells and boost the body’s ability to cope with illness.
- Lubricating joints: The mineral profile of bone broth is reported to do wonders for cats with arthritis or other mobility problems.
- Strengthening bones: Bones need plenty of calcium and phosphorus to stay strong and healthy. Fortunately, bone broth is packed with the stuff.
- Boosting appetites: Even cats with food sensitivities or lagging appetites will typically find bone broth appealing. Thanks to its big nutritional punch and ease of digestion, it’s long been used by cat owners who want to boost their cat’s intake of essential minerals and vitamins without resorting to over-the-counter supplements.
Rice flour might seem an odd addition to cat food, but as petfoodindustry.com (https://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/7033-rice-a-common-ingredient-in-dog-and-cat-food) reports, it’s actually pretty standard. As well as supplying a great source of energy, it can also add an appealing texture when added to food – perfect for boosting flagging appetites, then.
The last of our big three is safflower oil. Like rice flour, safflower oil is a common addition to cat food, and not a bad one either. As pets.thenest.com (https://pets.thenest.com/safflower-oil-cats-12900.html) reports, it’s a great source of healthy fats and fatty acids, both of which can help keep coats shiny, skins moisturized, and immune systems ticking over.
The Other Ingredients
The rest of the ingredients might be extensive, but none jump out as being problematic. Some people might query the addition of tomato paste (the quantity of solanine in the leaves and stems of the tomato plant is toxic enough to cats to make tomatoes a big no-no to some people. But so long as your kitty doesn’t indulge in vast quantities, the ripe fruits don’t pose any danger). So, all good on the nutritional front then.
Is it worth it?
VitaGravy costs around $7.98 for an 11-ounce pouch. Pouches contain about 44 servings for a 15-pound cat. Not expensive, then, but not cheap enough for you not to care if it works or not.
And here, things get a bit confusing.
Some cat owners claim their cats love it. A little squeeze on top of their regular food is all it takes for them to start licking their lips in anticipation. Other people are less enthusiastic. In one particularly scathing review by cattime.com, the supplement is described as ‘a colossal waste’ that does little more than ‘enhance the wallet of the manufacturer.’ But ultimately, all cats are different. What works for one isn’t always going to work for another, and vice-versa. The only way to find out which side of the fence your cat falls on is to try it for yourself. Apart from $7.98, there’s not a lot to lose… but, just maybe, quite a bit to be gained.