Why Calcium and Phosphorus are Essential for American Shorthair Cats

As cat owners, we always want to ensure that our feline friends are getting the best nutrition possible. One aspect of their diet that is particularly important is the balance of calcium and phosphorus. These minerals play a crucial role in maintaining bone health and overall cellular function in American Shorthair cats. However, it can be perplexing to determine just how much calcium and phosphorus our cats need and where to find sources of these minerals. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of calcium and phosphorus needs for American Shorthair cats, as well as the dangers of both excess and deficiency. We’ll also provide some tips on how to ensure that your cat is getting the right balance of these essential minerals.

What are Calcium and Phosphorus?

What Are Calcium And Phosphorus?
Calcium and phosphorus are two essential minerals that play vital roles in the growth and development of American Shorthair cats. Calcium is well-known for its importance in maintaining strong bones and teeth, but it also plays a key function in several other important bodily processes. Similarly, phosphorus is necessary for healthy bone development and cellular function. These two minerals need to be balanced correctly in your cat’s diet to ensure optimal health. In the next sections, we will explore the essential roles calcium and phosphorus play in your American Shorthair’s wellness, and how to ensure their diet is properly balanced.


Calcium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of American Shorthair cats. It is the most abundant mineral in their bodies and is necessary for various bodily functions. Here are some of the important roles that calcium plays:

  • Bone Health: Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones. Bones in the body act as a calcium “bank account” – calcium is deposited in the bones in times of plenty and withdrawn in times of scarcity.
  • Muscle Function: Calcium is involved in muscle contraction and relaxation, making it important for helping American Shorthair cats move.
  • Nerve Function: Calcium helps transmit nerve signals and regulate the heartbeat.
  • Blood Clotting: Calcium is essential for proper blood clotting. Without it, a simple injury can become life-threatening.

As such, it is crucial that American Shorthair cats receive enough calcium to support all of these essential functions. However, too much calcium can be just as harmful as too little. In the next section, we will discuss how much calcium and phosphorus American Shorthair cats need to maintain optimal health.

(Internal link: for more information on protein needs for American Shorthair cats, check out our article on protein requirements.)


Phosphorus is another essential mineral that plays a critical role in the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth in American Shorthair cats. It is also involved in a number of other important functions in the body, such as filtering waste in the kidneys, maintaining pH balance, and producing energy.

Phosphorus works together with calcium to keep bones strong and healthy. A deficiency in phosphorus can lead to weaker bones and can even cause bone loss over time, making American Shorthair cats more susceptible to fractures and other bone injuries. It is essential to ensure that a cat’s diet provides the proper amount of phosphorus to avoid health complications.

According to AAFCO recommendations, adult cats should consume a minimum of 0.6% phosphorus on a dry matter basis. Growing kittens require even higher amounts of phosphorus in their diets, with a recommended intake of around 1.2-2.6% on a dry matter basis.

Here is a table outlining the phosphorus content in common cat food ingredients:

| Food Ingredient | Phosphorus Content (per 100g) |
| — | — |
| Chicken liver | 480mg |
| Turkey liver | 470mg |
| Salmon | 230mg |
| Chicken breast | 160mg |
| Chicken heart | 130mg |
| Beef | 120mg |
| White rice | 85mg |
| Brown rice | 79mg |
| Potato | 57mg |

It is important to note that many commercial pet foods contain added phosphorus to fulfill nutritional requirements. It is essential to read the labels carefully to ensure that the food is providing the correct balance of calcium and phosphorus for your American Shorthair cat’s needs.

It is also worth noting that too much phosphorus can be detrimental to a cat’s health, leading to a condition called hyperphosphatemia. This condition can lead to weakened bones, joint pain, calcification of organs, and a reduced lifespan. In order to avoid this, it is crucial to monitor your cat’s phosphorus intake and ensure that they stay within the recommended ranges.

In order to provide your American Shorthair cat with a balanced and nutritious diet, it is essential to pay attention to the phosphorus content in their food. Working closely with a veterinarian to ensure that your cat’s diet meets their individual needs and taking steps to monitor their phosphorus intake can help them to lead a long, healthy, and happy life.

Don’t forget to also check out our articles about taurine and essential fatty acids for your American Shorthair cat’s optimal health!

The Role of Calcium and Phosphorus in American Shorthair Cats

The Role Of Calcium And Phosphorus In American Shorthair Cats
As pet owners, it’s essential to understand the vital role that calcium and phosphorus play in the overall health of our American Shorthair cats. These two essential minerals are responsible for a myriad of critical bodily functions, including bone formation, enzyme activity, and cellular function. Without the right balance of calcium and phosphorus, our feline friends can experience severe health complications that may ultimately lead to decreased quality of life. In the following sections, we’ll take an in-depth look at the functions of calcium and phosphorus in American Shorthair cats and why it’s crucial to ensure they’re getting the proper amounts.

Bone Health and Growth

Bone health and growth

Calcium and phosphorus are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones in American Shorthair cats. These minerals play a key role in bone growth and development, especially in young kittens.

Cats’ bones are made primarily of calcium, which is deposited in a matrix of collagen fibers. The formation of this structure depends on the presence and proper balance of both calcium and phosphorus. When bones are deficient in these minerals, they become porous and brittle, which can lead to fractures and other problems.

Here are some ways that calcium and phosphorus help support bone health and growth in American Shorthair cats:

  • Calcium: This mineral contributes to the hard, structural components of bone. It is also involved in bone remodeling, which is the process by which old bone tissue is replaced with new tissue. Calcium is also important for muscle contraction and nerve transmission.
  • Phosphorus: Along with calcium, phosphorus contributes to the hard, mineralized components of bone. It is involved in bone remodeling and helps regulate calcium levels in the blood.
  • Vitamin D: This vitamin is essential for proper absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus. Without adequate vitamin D, cats may not be able to maintain healthy bones, and bone growth and development may be impaired.

To ensure healthy bone growth and development in American Shorthair cats, it’s important to provide them with a balanced and complete diet that includes adequate amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amounts of each nutrient for your cat’s specific needs and stage of life.

Protein Synthesis

Protein synthesis is another crucial role that calcium and phosphorus play in American Shorthair cats. Both calcium and phosphorus are necessary to synthesize proteins, which are required for various bodily functions. Proteins are crucial for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. They also help in the growth and repair of tissues, production of enzymes, hormones, and antibodies.

When a cat consumes protein, it is broken down into its constituent amino acids. These amino acids are then used to create new proteins and maintain existing protein structures as per the cat’s bodily requirements. This process of synthesizing proteins requires an adequate supply of calcium and phosphorus.

Calcium helps in the synthesis of proteins by activating an enzyme called transglutaminase. This enzyme plays a crucial role in crosslinking ammonia and amino groups to form new proteins. It also helps in the clotting of blood, muscle contractions, and nerve function, among other things.

Phosphorus, on the other hand, is a fundamental component of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules. ATP is the main source of energy for cellular processes, including protein synthesis.

A cat’s diet should contain sufficient amounts of calcium and phosphorus to support protein synthesis. Without adequate amounts of these minerals, the cat may suffer from protein malnutrition, leading to various health problems. Your veterinarian can help you ensure that your American Shorthair is getting the right balance of these minerals to support proper protein synthesis.

Here are some dietary sources of calcium and phosphorus that can help ensure your cat is getting the right balance for protein synthesis:

  • Calcium sources:
    • Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt
    • Canned fish with bones like sardines
    • Bones of prey such as mice and birds (ensure bone is not cooked)
    • Calcium supplements like calcium carbonate and calcium citrate

  • Phosphorus sources:
    • Meat, poultry, and fish
    • Eggs
    • Dairy products like cheese and yogurt
    • Vegetables like sweet potatoes and broccoli
    • Phosphorus supplements like dicalcium phosphate and monosodium phosphate

Cellular Function

Calcium and phosphorus play an essential role in the cellular functions of American Shorthair cats. These minerals help to regulate various cellular activities, including signaling pathways and enzymatic reactions. Both of these minerals work in tandem to ensure the proper functioning of cells in the body.

Calcium: Cats need calcium for the proper functioning of muscle and nerve cells. Calcium helps to regulate the contraction and relaxation of muscles and plays a critical role in nerve impulse transmission. It also helps to maintain the structural integrity of cells. Wit