12 best ways to support your cat’s immune system
A happy and healthy cat simply means she has a strong immune system. If you want to protect your cat against deadly diseases or invaders like bacteria or viruses, then you need to look for ways to support her immune system. This is important because if your cat’s immune system is weak, it makes her susceptible to all kinds of acute and chronic health conditions.
To help your cat keep a healthy immune system to fight against foreign bodies, here are the best measures you can take:
1. Avoid processed diets
Many pet owners make the mistake of feeding their cats with processed diets, but this is quite harmful and can weaken her immune system. Processed foods, especially the dry types can trigger constant inflammation in your cat that may be at the root of chronic illnesses.
Instead, ensure you feed your cat a specie-appropriate, minimally processed diet, and this means a grain-free canned diet or home-cooked diet. This helps to keep her free from age-related illnesses and let her enjoy the golden years living with you.
2. Minimize vaccinations
Studies have shown that vaccines can trigger various immune-mediated disorders (vaccinosis). Sometimes, aggressive tumors (fibrosarcomas) develop at sites of vaccination, and this can become deadly. So always ensure you work with your veterinary doctor to plan a limited vaccination schedule for your cat.
3. Try supplementing your cat’s diet
You may not need to supplement your cat’s diet if your cat is still young and healthy and you’re feeding her healthy, quality rich diet. But if she faces chronic or rare health conditions as she grows older, then you need to try adding supplements to her diet to support better health and improved wellbeing.
You can add supplements like fish oil to complement your cat’s food. The omega-3 fatty acids contained in the fish helps to fight inflammation of the kidneys, heart, joints, and skin. This results in increased cardiovascular health and longer lives. It may also reduce itchy skin and ease inflammation due to allergies. Besides the benefits to your immune system, fish oil also helps promote a shiny skin for your cat.
However, it is important that you talk to your vet before giving your cat any form of supplements.
4. Avoid using steroids and antibiotics
These drugs may be suitable for some health conditions, but they can be harmful when overused. When you use these steroids and antibiotics repeatedly, it may damage the immune system of your cat without even addressing the intended problem they were prescribed to tackle initially.
Hence, consider working with a holistic veterinarian who can offer modalities that can support your cat’s immune system and healing processes.
5. Avoid low-quality flea and tick treatments
Many of those general flea and tick treatments, especially those at the neighborhood store, contain harmful chemicals that can largely affect your cat’s immune system. Even when you follow the manufacturer’s direction, you still put your cat at risk of health hazards.
Hence, it is advisable to use quality and branded flea and tick treatment products. These products are safe and they do not pose any negative challenge in your pet. You can try a few online stores that offer these branded pet products at a cheap price. Using these products will protect your cat from harmful parasitic infections without causing any harm.
6. Provide a stimulating environment
One of the mistakes cat owners make is restricting their pets from having a good playtime or exercise. This can make your cat bored and happy. And when your cat is stressed, it affects her immune system.
So, one of the best ways to support your cat’s immune system is to provide a stimulating environment to keep her happy. You can create this around your home using window perches, scratching posts, cat trees, and create time to play and have fun with your cat.
7. Limit stress around your cat
Just like stress, whether emotional or physiological, can result in illness in humans, it can also affect your cat’s immune system negatively. That’s more reason why you need to limit stress in your cat’s environment- and that includes your stress.
Besides, do you know that your cat mirrors your emotional and physical states? And this means your cat tends to become stressed out when you are actually stressed out. So try to keep positive energy always.
8. Keep your cat at a healthy weight
If your cat becomes obese or gains too much weight, it can lead to serious health issues like arthritis, diabetes, respiratory and heart problems, digestive and gastrointestinal problems, and a compromised immune system.
Hence, try to watch your cat’s diet, and try to keep her active from time to time. Remember, most pets, including cats love to play. So, try some fun exercises or take a long walk with your cat just to strengthen her muscles and keep her weight and body fat in a healthy range. The beauty is that you are indirectly helping yourself to stay fit too.
9. Give your cat only clean and fresh water
Apart from feeding your cat with a minimally-processed diet, you can support your cat’s immune system by providing only clean, freshwater. Do not give your cat water that contains a lot of chlorine and fluoride, as this can stress her elimination system with time.
You can serve her filtered water, spring water, or bottled water. This helps to complement the moisture they get from their raw food diet.
10. Keep your house clean and free of toxins
You need to be careful with household cleaning products when you have a furry companion, especially a cat. Many air fresheners, cleaners, and laundry detergents contain ammonia, bleach, and other chemicals that your cat breathe in, lick from their paws, or walk on. This can negatively affect your cat’s health, and lower her immunity.
However, keeping the floor clean is important as dirt tracked in from outside can contain toxins and heavy metals. But to keep the household healthier, ensure you use more natural cleaning products.
11. Massage your cat
You may not know that those little snuggling and moderate pressure massages are doing your cat’s immune system a world of good. Although there are still few studies with regards to the benefits in animals, it isn’t far-fetched to believe that cats also enjoy similar positive effects humans get from proper massage.
More so, the power of touch is well-established to promote relaxation and happiness in pets. It is a great idea to massage and have snuggle time with your cat. Besides, you are also enjoying some health benefits like reduced stress and anxiety.
12. Consider adding probiotics to her diet
Probiotics are good bacteria that help support gastrointestinal health. They live in your pet’s body and help to keep a balance of beneficial bacteria. When you add probiotics to your cat’s diet, it helps to reduce inflammation and keep the immune system working optimally.
However, it is important to note that there are different types of probiotics in the market and not all may be right for your cat. Hence, you need to consult your veterinarian to make the right choice for your situation.
Your cat’s immune system needs to be in good shape for her to stay happy and have a healthy future ahead of her. However, you have a part to play and these points above are the best ways to support your cat’s immune system.