5 Supplements That Will Boost Your FIV Cat’s Immune System
5 Supplements For FIV Cats
As a pet parent to an FIV cat, you’ve probably heard your veterinarian (and a dozen other sources) say that a healthy diet, close monitoring, and regular vet visits are essential to your feline friend’s overall health more times than you can count. But as much as you may think they sound like a bunch of broken records, those things really are a hundred percent true. However, in addition to those aforementioned lifestyle tweaks, you may want to consider looking into a few immune-boosting supplements for your FIV cat, especially if you’re struggling to find cat food that’s nutritionally complete and balanced.
When feeding your FIV cat their daily meals, it can be challenging to monitor the exact dose of vitamins and minerals they’re getting every day. There’s no way of knowing for sure if they’re receiving too little or too much nutrients, which, either way, can be harmful. Through dietary supplements and the right dosage instructions from your veterinarian, you’ll easily be able to supply your FIV cat with the right amount of nutrients and accurately keep track of them, as well. With that said, here are 5 of the best supplements for FIV cats:
When we think about immune-boosting supplements, oftentimes the first thing that comes to mind is vitamin C, and for good reason! For many years, vitamin C—whether in the form of food or supplements—is known for its incredible ability to enhance immune function, detoxify the body, and aid in overall healing. While cats (and dogs) are normally able to produce their own vitamin C internally, diseases and infections, such as FIV, can prevent their bodies from doing so. Since vitamin C helps with immune system repair and regeneration, it’s especially beneficial for immunocompromised FIV cats.
If you do decide to incorporate vitamin C to your feline friend’s current diet, make sure to use it in the form of sodium ascorbate, which has a neutral pH, and NOT ascorbic acid. Since ascorbic acid is acidic, it can irritate the stomach and cause gastrointestinal problems.
Vitamin E is another popular supplement for both people and pets. Known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cellular healing properties, vitamin E is usually the star of the show when it comes to fighting diseases and infections. Not only does it help strengthen the immune system but it also aids in the removal of toxins and alleviation of skin problems. Since most FIV cats are prone to skin-related issues, many veterinarians recommend incorporating vitamin E to their daily diet. It can even be applied topically to improve skin and coat condition, relieve itchy skin, and reduce skin inflammation from cuts or wounds.
Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are vital to an FIV cat’s health. Similar to vitamin C and E, they help the body heal from the inside out by enhancing cell tissue repair and growth. However, for your FIV cat to reap the benefits of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, you’ll need to make sure that they receive just the right dose of the two.
Omega 3 reduces inflammation, while omega 6 promotes inflammation. Both of these effects are beneficial to cats with chronic illnesses, however, depending on their condition, they may need to consume more or less of each supplement. FIV cats, in particular, may benefit more from omega 6 than omega 3 since it pushes the body to respond to diseases and infections by triggering inflammation. Most cat foods are rich in omega 6 fatty acids, though, so if that’s the case with your FIV cat’s current meal of choice, you may need balance it out with daily omega 3 supplementation. To avoid incorrect dosing, let your veterinarian help you figure out the best dosage for your FIV cat.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals needed to have a healthy cat. It’s known to boost immune function, improve skin, eye, and hair health, speed up wound healing, and reduce bodily inflammation. However, if cats get more than the recommended dose, it may lead to life-threatening zinc toxicity. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you consult your veterinarian before giving zinc supplements to your FIV cat and follow the dosing instructions that they give you.
Lastly, we have L-glutamine or simply, glutamine. Just like the supplements mentioned above, glutamine can help your FIV cat stay healthy for longer by enhancing their immune defense system. In fact, it’s usually included in the treatment plan of cats with advanced FIV or Feline AIDS and is proven to increase their chances of survival. However, it can pose a risk to cats that suffer epilepsy, so if that’s the case with your FIV cat, you can go for a different immune-boosting supplement.