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If you look on the label of high-quality cat food, you might see the phrase “L-carnitine.” According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, this is a “nutrient that helps the body burn fat into energy.” Dr. Amy Dicke, a veterinarian in Dayton, Ohio, and a technical-services veterinarian for Iams, adds that “L-carnitine is a vitamin-like compound that can help with fat metabolism in cats. L-carnitine helps cats gain a desired body composition by promoting the loss of weight and fat while maintaining lean body tissue.”
If your cat is on the chubby side, you may want to consider purchasing a pet food containing L-carnitine to help get its weight back to normal. Dicke advises that the “diet should include special ingredients for weight loss, such as L-carnitine, and be fed in portions that deliver the calculated calories for weight reduction.”
Keep L-carnitine in mind for your own health too. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that it’s used to treat heart problems, issues related to diabetes, certain thyroid disorders and even male infertility. Our bodies produce L-carnitine, but deficiencies can lead to problems, hence the supplements in food, vitamin pills and certain prescribed medications.
Jennifer Viegas is the managing editor of The Daily Cat. She is a journalist for Discovery News, the news service for the Discovery Channel, and has written more than 20 books on animals, health and other science-related topics.