Ever been told to drink a glass of vitamin-rich orange juice when you were ill? Humans are constantly bombarded with ways to boost their immune systems. What most people don't tell you is that your cat's immune system may need boosting too. The immune system is a collection of complex bodily functions that keep people and animals healthy. If your cat's immune system is weak, they'll be more susceptible to scary illnesses, infections and diseases. A fortified immune system is especially important for cats who play outdoors or need to be boarded in a cattery. Here are 3 helpful tips for keeping your kitty alive and well for as long as possible.
Like many owners, you may be suspicious of vaccinations. Are they just a ploy from veterinarians to make more money? While the topic is up for debate, there's no doubt that vaccinating your cat is essential in building a healthy immune system. Many cat boarding facilities and pet sitters will not look after unvaccinated cats. Vaccines stimulate a direct immune response that protects your cats from disease. The F3 vaccine (against distemper and cat flu) is an essential (or "core") vaccine which must be given to all cats. Other vaccines against illnesses like leukemia and rabies are also available, but care should be taken to avoid over-vaccinating your cat. Over-vaccination can actually trigger immune disorders — the opposite of what you want for your kitty. The APVMA advises that core vaccines "should not be given more often than every 3 years".
You can boost your cat's immune system by feeding them a high-quality diet rich in protein and fatty acids. Arginine (an amino acid found in chicken and salmon) increases T-Cell function, which regulates immune responses in cats. Fatty acids like Omega 3 (found in salmon, sardines and mackerel) are essential in reducing susceptibility to inflammatory conditions like arthritis and even cancer. As always, steer clear of foods containing wheat and other plant matter, additives, and by-products — these are all no-nos for your kitty.
Just like humans, cats can become stressed in the wrong environment. Stress is another big factor in your cat's immune health. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to reduce anxiety in your cat. Consider adding more exercise to your cat's routine. From cat trees to toys, anything that gets your kitty running around is a good idea. If your cat enjoys your company, some grooming and stroking can often reduce their stress levels too.
Contact a business like Welcome Boarding Kennels & Cattery for more information on keeping your cat stress-free during their time in a cattery.