Does your cat need nutritional supplements?
Many cat owners use various supplements to help boost their cat’s immune system, believing that boosting the immune system can be quite effective in keeping their cat healthy. I often recommend products such as fish oil or other sources of fatty acids and other supplements to my own veterinary clients (for both cats and dogs) for similar reasons. So, it was with great interest that I read this article entitled “The potential for enhancement of immunity in cats by dietary supplementation” in the journal Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology.
t’s not easy to get a cat to take multiple supplements, even in food. The key is to start very small and take tiny steps. Add just a pinch or a drop of one supplement, then slowly increase the amount over days (or even weeks). When you’re up to the desired amount, begin again with a tiny amount of the next one. Most cats will ultimately adapt to them – and patience now will result in a longer, healthier life for your feline pal!
Essentially, this study followed 43 healthy cats over a period of five weeks. The cats were split up into groups of eight or nine per group, with each group fed a different diet. The control diet was a low protein diet. Another group was fed a commercial moist high protein diet. Other groups received the control diet supplemented with either yeast-derived nucleotides, salmon oil, or l-arginine. The low protein diets were formulated using a commercial moist diet base with added fat and starch and fed free choice, along with water, according to the information offered in the article.Another point worth mentioning is that this study involved 43 healthy cats. For a veterinary study, 43 is a respectable number but, still, the groups were small (8 or 9 cats each). Small sample sizes in a veterinary study are not unusual. However, just because 8 or 9 cats reacted to a specific diet or supplement in a specific way does not guarantee that your cat will react in exactly the same way. Remember also that the cats in this study were healthy cats. If your cat is ill or stressed, there may be different responses that come into play.This news is encouraging, to say the least. It certainly supports the use of these supplements, particularly in situations where a cat’s immune system may be challenged. Still, there are some limitations that are worth considering.Pet supplements include a broad category of items: , , proteins, minerals, , herbs, and homeopathics. The healthiest supplements are whole foods prepared so that vitamins are still present. For example, and is a whole food supplement that is naturally high in antioxidants and .I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t give your cat supplements. In fact, I think they have a very definite place in veterinary medicine. And this study does give us some proof that they can be effective. However, I do think that supplements should be chosen wisely. Know what you’re giving and why, and take care to add the appropriate amount of any given supplement to your cat’s diet.With millions of dogs and cats suffering from poor health we have made it our mission to help our furry friends stay healthy for years to come. It is this passion for pets that drives us to produce the best nutritional supplement you can find.