Your cat's immune system is an intricate system of biological processes and structures that protects her body against disease. A healthy immune system can recognize and fend off invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Keeping your cat’s immune system strong will help prevent health problems and protect her against diseases.
We do a lot of things to maintain a healthy immune system. We eat a nutritionally balanced diet, exercise, and try to limit our exposure to pollutants that can cause inflammation and weakens our immunity. Some of us may even resort to taking vitamin supplements to boost our immune function. We take the time to invest in our health; build a strong immune system to fight off pathogens that threaten our livelihood.
When it comes to our feline kids, it is up to us, pet parents to give them the things that can strengthen their immunity. Cats with strong immune systems get fewer illnesses or infections, recover from sickness faster, and have a lower risk of developing significant health problems later in life. An investment in your cat’s immune system will not only save you money on vet visits and medications, but it ensures your cat’s comfort and gives them the happiest life possible.
How to build a strong immune system
Here are several ways to strengthen kitty’s immune system.
1. Feed a species-appropriate diet
Ideally, this means a nutritionally complete and balanced fresh diet - a raw or cooked diet. However, things aren’t always ideal. If dry cat foods are what’s available, then choose the best quality dry cat food you can find. Not all dry cat foods are made equal. Many dry cat foods contain potentially harmful ingredients which include fillers, chemical preservatives, artificial flavourings, and by-products.
A low-quality cat food laden with chemicals could potentially create a constant state of inflammation in kitty’s body, lowering her immunity while increasing the risk of feline illnesses. Choose dry cat food that’s made with fresh ingredients, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and contains a healthy dose of animal protein. For indoor cats, consider the ORIJEN Original Dry Cat Food. It’s a grain-free cat kibble, protein-rich and features a recipe with its first 10 ingredients being fresh or raw meat.
It is also important to mention that a home prepared fresh diet that is nutritionally incomplete is just as bad as any lower-quality cat food. If unsure how to prepare a nutritionally balanced cat food at home, go with a commercial fresh diet to minimise the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to a lowered immune function. Commercial cat foods like this The Grateful Pet Raw Cat Food (Beef & Chicken) are formulated to have all the essential nutrients, and these nutrients are carefully balanced to avoid deficiencies or excess.
Active play is a great exercise for your cat and helps keep her happy and healthy. Physical activity does much more than help kitty shed the extra weight. It helps to boost her immune function.
Playing helps reduce stress in cats. Chasing, climbing, pouncing, and swatting keep cats entertained and happy. Since stress is known to suppress the immune system, lowering stress with adequate play can have a positive effect on the cats’ immune health. Exercise also helps improve immunity by preventing obesity, which is linked to increased inflammation and lowered immunity.
So, create a playground for your cat. Give her ample opportunity to exercise – shelves for climbing and plenty of toys to encourage play. For our pet cats, exercise is a stress-relief activity and a powerful immune booster.
3. Adding immune-supporting supplements
If you are feeding a well-formulated cat food and your cat is young and healthy, she probably doesn’t need additional supplements. However, if you have an older cat, or one with health challenges, adding an immune-supporting supplement may contribute to better health and improved well-being. For cats with existing health challenges, it’s best to check with your veterinarian before giving any supplements.
A probiotic is the most basic immune-supporting supplement that you can give to your pet. Since 70% of your cat’s immune system is in the gut, your cat’s gut health directly affects her immunity. Poor gut health will lead to poor immune function. Adding a probiotic supplement like this Dom & Cleo Probiotics Supplements For Dogs & Cats will help to support healthy microflora in kitty’s intestines, displacing unfriendly microorganisms that may cause inflammation and negatively affect her immune system.
If your cat is struggling with a compromised immune system - symptoms include allergies, diarrhoea, infections, and being underweight – consider feeding her the CAHO Immuboost Colostrum Milk for Dogs & Cats. This food supplement is high in active immunoglobulins that help to boost a weakened immune system and improves your pet’s overall digestive health.
4. Limit exposure to chemicals
In this modern world, chemicals are found everywhere - pollution in the air, harsh chemicals from cleaning products, fertilizers, pesticides, and much more. Our cats are constantly exposed to these chemicals. Though we may not be able to remove all chemicals from our cats’ environment, we can do our best to limit their exposure to chemicals by using eco-friendly products at home.
Helping your cat build a strong immune system can keep them from succumbing to serious illnesses and give them a happier, healthier life. Focus on providing your cat with the right nutrients, daily exercise, and lots of love to ensure they are the healthiest they can be!
HERES KATHERINE'S INFO
Katherine is a Pet Nutrition Specialist and GDP’s Pet Wellness Advisor. She is committed to helping pet owners make informed dietary and lifestyle choices in nurturing healthy pets. Katherine is also a practicing Nutritional Therapist (human nutrition) and has been helping hundreds of clients to heal naturally with nutrients.