5 Supplements For FIV Cats
As a pet parent to an FIV cat, you’ve probably been made aware of the essentials needed for your feline friend’s overall health. This might include a healthy diet, close monitoring, and regular vet visits. However, in addition to those aforementioned lifestyle tweaks, you may want to consider looking into a few immune-boosting supplements for your FIV cat since FIV is known to lower a cat’s immune system. This is especially important if you’re struggling to find a cat food that’s nutritionally complete and balanced.
It can be challenging to monitor the exact dose of vitamins and minerals when feeding your FIV cat. There’s no way of knowing for sure if they’re receiving too little or too many nutrients, which, either way, can be harmful. To better help keep your feline friend on the right track, you may want to consider dietary supplements and accurate dosing instructions from your vet. With that said, here are 5 of the best supplements for FIV cats:
When we think about immune-boosting supplements, the first thing that comes to mind is vitamin C. For good reasons, right? Vitamin C is known for its incredible ability to enhance immune function, detoxify the body, and aid in overall healing. Cats (and dogs) are pretty unique in that they can produce their own vitamin C internally. Unfortunately, diseases and infections, such as FIV, prevent their bodies from doing so. Immunocompromised FIV cats especially need vitamin C to help with immune system repair and regeneration.
If you do decide to incorporate vitamin C into your feline friend’s current diet, make sure to use it in the form of sodium ascorbate. Is is known to have a neutral pH, and NOT ascorbic acid. Since ascorbic acid is acidic, it can irritate the stomach and cause gastrointestinal problems.
Another popular supplement for both people and pets is vitamin E. Known for its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and cellular healing properties, vitamin E is usually the star of the show when it comes to fighting diseases and infections. It aids in the removal of toxins and alleviation of skin problems in addition to strengthening the immune system. Since most FIV cats are prone to skin-related issues, many veterinarians recommend incorporating vitamin E into their daily diet. It can even be applied topically to improve skin and coat conditions, 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. Both have been known to enhance cell tissue repair and growth. However, for your FIV cat to reap the benefits of these two supplements, you’ll need to make sure that they receive just the right dose of each.
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, your cat may need to consume more or less of each supplement. Since omega 6 pushes the body to respond to diseases and infections by triggering inflammation, it is more beneficial to an FIV positive cat than omega 3. An important factor to take into consideration is that most cat foods are rich in omega 6 fatty acids. If that is the case for your FIV cat, you may need to balance it out with a daily dose of omega 3 supplementations. To avoid incorrect dosing, let your veterinarian figure out the best dosage plan.
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.
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. If that’s the case with your FIV cat, you can go for a different immune-boosting supplement.