Vitamin D insufficiency, defined as low serum concentrations of the major circulating form of vitamin D, 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), has been associated with the development of numerous infectious, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders in humans. In addition, vitamin D insufficiency has been found to be predictive of mortality for many disorders. However, interpretation of human studies is difficult since vitamin D status is influenced by many factors, including diet, season, latitude, and exposure to UV radiation. In contrast, domesticated cats do not produce vitamin D cutaneously, and most cats are fed a commercial diet containing a relatively standard amount of vitamin D. Consequently, domesticated cats are an attractive model system in which to examine the relationship between serum 25(OH)D and health outcomes. The hypothesis of this study was that vitamin D status would predict short term, all-cause mortality in domesticated cats. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D, together with a wide range of other clinical, hematological, and biochemical parameters, were measured in 99 consecutively hospitalised cats. Cats which died within 30 days of initial assessment had significantly lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations than cats which survived. In a linear regression model including 12 clinical variables, serum 25(OH)D concentration in the lower tertile was significantly predictive of mortality. The odds ratio of mortality within 30 days was 8.27 (95% confidence interval 2.54-31.52) for cats with a serum 25(OH)D concentration in the lower tertile. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that low serum 25(OH)D concentration status is an independent predictor of short term mortality in cats.