Vitamin A has multiple functions, it is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system, maintenance of healthy skin cells and good vision. As a result, Vitamin A is added almost universally to pet foods. Plants contain a series of provitamin A (α, β, and γ-carotenes), the most biologically active being beta-carotene.
Vitamin A is fat-soluble and absorbed in the small intestine and transferred to the liver via the lymphatic system. Unlike dogs, cats require preformed vitamin A because they lack the essential enzyme required to cleave beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause:
An excess of vitamin A is also harmful to the body (joint problems, reproduction problems).
Rich sources of Vitamin A include fish oil, liver, egg and diary products.