Zinc is a metal and an essential trace mineral which is necessary for many functions and is the second most abundant metal in the body after iron. It can be found in many types of food such as beef, spinach, oysters, seafood and egg yolks (to name a few) and is vital for several bodily functions including maintaining a healthy immune system, fertility (in both males and females), necessary for the synthesis of DNA, wound healing, kitten growth, cell growth, hair and skin growth as well as being a requirement for the activity of many enzymes within the body.
While a small amount of zinc is a requirement in the cat’s diet, too much can result in toxicity. In cats, this is usually a result of accidental ingestion of zinc, such as some coins (USA pennies minted after 1982, £2 coins, nuts, galvanised metal (including cages), fertilisers, calamine lotion, shampoos and creams containing zinc such as sunscreen or adding supplements to your cat’s diet. Poisoning is seen much more frequently in dogs than it is in cats due to their indiscriminate eating habits.
What are the symptoms of zinc poisoning in cats?
Too much zinc causes digestive problems and early symptoms or low doses may present with the following symptoms: