Conventionally, a cat’s immune system is treated medically in two ways (a) innoculations stimulate the immune system to create antibodies to fight infections and (b) when the immune system goes awry corticosteroids are administered to suppress it.
There are some complimentary treatments for the immune system.
Practitioners of complimentary treatments say that positive mental activity combined with a nutritious diet and exercise supports the immune system.
In addition, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements might enhance the immune system’s ability to respond to infections.
Also, a cat’s emotions and feelings will influence his immune processes so therapies which benefit mind and emotion may also help to boost the immune system.
Astragalus root is a popular plant in Chinese medicine. Although I’m not a fan of Chinese medicine because of its damaging impact on wildlife this plant is considered to be an immuno-stimulant herb.
We are told that it stimulates the development of cells in the immune system.
In addition, the purple coneflower is said to stimulate macrophages (a type of white blood cell), especially in their action against yeast cells. And Berberis and Aloe Vera stimulate an immune response.
Research with respect to people tells us that substances that act as antioxidants help to improve our immune response. Antioxidants neutralise excess free radicals. These are chemicals that can damage cell membranes.
Antioxidants include the mineral selenium, which incidentally can be toxic in excess, zinc, vitamins A, C and E, and bioflavonoids.
Beta-carotene improves skin mucous membrane defences. It also enhances antibody response.
Vitamins C, which cats have the ability to manufacture themselves, apparently increases antibody levels.
Vitamin E protects body cells, tissues and organs.
It is also believed by some nutritionists that vitamin D, the B-complex of vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium and manganese can all play roles in helping to create an efficient immune system.
If your cat is suffering from an autoimmune condition his/her diet should contain sufficient glutamine and fibre which allows production of short-chain fatty acids both of which help to nourish cells which line the small and large intestines.
EFA supplements (fish oil, oil of evening primrose) are said to enhance immune system function.
I think we all realise that stress has a negative impact upon the immune system. Therefore, any therapy which reduces negative emotions may have a positive effect upon the immune system.
Gently stroking and massaging your cat can reduce stress and induce relaxation both of which may also strengthen the immune system.
It is said that the feeling of euphoria can enhance the immune system by stimulating the occupation of cell receptor sites with natural body chemicals preventing viruses from using the receptor sites to gain access to the cell. How pheromones work.
I have a page on mysterious transfer factors!
If you want to find out where to get the products referred to I’d Google “herbal remedies cats” and/or “supplements cats” as starting points and go from there.
Source: Natural Health Care by Dr Fogle ISBN: 0-7513-0611-8