Many cats suffer from weak immune systems at birth leaving them sick and unthrifty. Unfortunately, the same scenario exists for geriatric cats as the normal functioning of the immune system declines with age.
There are several cat immune boosters that can help young or old cats to avoid suffering from more infections than cats with strong immune systems.
For example, if an immunodeficient cat stays at a boarding facility, the chance of acquiring an infectious respiratory disease increases.
That said, the best way to minimize the risk of infection is by strengthening your cat’s immune system.
Below are some of our favorite cat immune boosters.
Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator (LTCI)
Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator (LTCI) enhances the immune system of cats suffering from FeLV & FIV.
LTCI is a natural protein product and a USDA-approved treatment for cat viral diseases. This treatment requires a series of painless injections. But, you can rest assured your kitty’s immune system will turn on.
Learn more about the advantages of Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator here:
Acemannan is an immunomodulatory polysaccharide extracted from the popular healing herb Aloe Vera.
Years ago, the FDA approved injectable Acemannan for treating fibrosarcomas and feline leukemia (FeLV).
But since injectable Acemannan is no longer available, the oral variety is your only choice.
Our clinic uses the following protocol:
Loading dose: 1 teaspoonful of oral acemannan daily for 5 days
Maintenance dose: 1/2 teaspoon daily for 4-5 weeks.
If you see an improvement in your pet, continue at a rate of 1/2 teaspoon daily.
You can buy Acemannan online and without a prescription at Amazon.com.
Sodium Ascorbate Vitamin C
Sodium ascorbate is an over-the-counter form of Vitamin C which boosts the immune system and provides antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects.
Elevated vitamin C levels aid immune system regeneration while also destroying bacteria and viruses.
First, make sure you get the sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C.
Do not use ascorbic acid, which is the most common form of vitamin C.
Sodium Ascorbate is neutral pH, so the gastrointestinal side effects are less compared to Ascorbic Acid.
Ascorbic Acid is the most common form of vitamin C, but because of its acidic pH, its use is not recommended
The standard supplement dosage for adult cats is 1/8 (500 mg) twice daily in food.
For kittens and cats under 7 lbs, start out at 1/16 tsp (250mg) twice daily food.
Sodium ascorbate is a neutral pH. It does not taste sour or cause gastrointestinal distress like ascorbic acid does in high doses.
It’s usually difficult to find the sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C in the drugstore, so we recommend purchasing it online. We usually get ours on Amazon.com.
A couple of good brands are:
For large pets, the 2.2 lb size is the better deal, for small pets (under 25 lbs) the 8 oz. or 16 oz. should last a couple of months.
Sodium ascorbate also helps cats suffering from constipation. If your cat is still constipated on 1/8 teaspoon, try upping the dose to 1/4 teaspoon to loosen the stool.
How to Titrate to Bowel Tolerance
Titrating to bowel tolerance is the best way to find the exact dose of sodium ascorbate for your cat.
Titrating to bowel tolerance simply means starting at a low dose and gradually increasing the dose until your pet develops loose stools.
Once your pet’s stool becomes loose, drop back to the dose you were giving just prior to the loose stool. This is your pet’s “bowel tolerance”.
For tiny puppies and kittens, we recommend starting at 1/16 of a teaspoon sprinkled in food twice daily and increasing by 1/16 teaspoon per day until bowel tolerance is reached.
For pets under 25 lbs, we recommend starting at 1/8 of a teaspoon sprinkled in food twice daily and increasing by 1/8 teaspoon per day until bowel tolerance is reached.
For pets over 25 lbs, we recommend starting at 1/4 of a teaspoon twice daily and increasing by 1/4 teaspoon per day until bowel tolerance is reached.
Don’t worry, vitamin C is water-soluble. In other words, whatever your pet doesn’t need is excreted, hence the loose bowels when your discovering your pet’s tolerance.
If at any time your pet has loose stools more than 2 days in a row, reduce the dose by one increment.
After you’ve reached your pet’s bowel tolerance, once every week or two, try upping the dose by one increment to see if your pet needs a little more vitamin C.
If your pet does not develop loose stools, stay at the higher dose.
If your pet develops loose stools, simply return to the normal dose.
Lysine is an over-the-counter amino acid supplement recommended for cats suffering FIV, upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, sneezing, and herpes virus.
It’s available as a gel, pill, flavored powder, or treat.
“Human” lysine brands come in tablet and capsule form.
But we’ve found mixing Lysine powder into canned food the most efficient feeding method.
The recommended Lysine dosage is:
500 mg per day, given twice daily for adult cats
250 mg per day, given twice daily for kittens
You can buy lysine online without a prescription.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is an amazing immune booster in cats.
Cats are very sensitive to essential oils so you must adhere to basic safety principles.
To use essential oils on your cat in a safe manner, make sure the oils are pure, unadulterated oils.
Our first choice of essential oil providers is doTERRA.
To use Frankincense on your cat, place 1-2 drops of undiluted Frankincense essential oil in your hand.
Then rub your hands together, allowing your palms to absorb most of the essential oil.
Then, stroke your cat’s body.
If you smell the essential oil on your cat’s fur, it’s working!
In addition to the above cat immune boosters, a healthy diet and proper food choices dramatically boost your cat’s immune system! Sometimes, home-cooked diets provide the best nutrients to strengthen your cat’s immune system.
So if you want to learn how to cook for your cat, then click here.
Or if you’d like a health makeover for your cat, contact our clinic today!