Felines are easily stressful animals, so they often develop many problems due to stress. Even diseases that are already carriers are manifested due to stress. This stress directly affects the immune system of a cat that sees its condition worsened.
The immune system consists of a set of organs, such as the thymus, lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen or liver. These generate or store immune cells such as white blood cells, antibodies and other substances that slow the proliferation of bacteria and viruses; They also retain and eliminate toxic substances.
Therefore, Making a cat’s immune system stay healthy is essential for the life of the cat. When immunity fails or is depressed, as with some viral diseases, the cat becomes ill and can die.
Diseases that affect a cat’s immune system
Some pathologies of felines cause damage, directly, on the immune system, while others are aggravated when, for other reasons, the cat’s immunity is reduced.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Feline immunodeficiency virus or IVF is a disease caused by a virus from the retrovirus family. It is not known how the virus affects a cat’s immune system, only the ratio of two types of lymphocytes, CD4 + and CD8 + lymphocytes, varies.
After infection there is a phase in which the cat shows symptoms common to any viral infection, such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea. After this period, the cat can remain a carrier without showing signs of symptoms for up to four years.
After this time, symptoms similar to AIDS begin to appear in humans and, if the animal survives, it will suffer from multi-organ secondary infections until death.
Feline Leukemia Virus
Feline leukemia virus or FeLV causes the appearance of neoplasms or tumors and suppresses the activity of the bone marrow and the immune system in general. This greatly decreases the defensive ability of the cat’s immunity. The symptomatology of this disease is extremely varied, but all patients develop cancer of different types.
Feline infectious peritonitis
Feline infectious peritonitis is caused by a feline coronavirus (CoVF). This virus is lodged and mainly affects the intestine, which causes diarrhea and other derived symptoms. However, For some reason still unknown, the virus seems to mutate and enter some cells of the immune system, such as macrophages and monocytes. These spread the virus throughout the body and create a systemic disease that ends the cat’s life in less than a month or in 24 hours.
Tips to strengthen a cat’s immune system
Despite the pathologies that directly affect a cat’s immune system, there are some factors that we can control to prevent our feline’s immunity from degrading.
Offer a high quality and poorly processed meal
Ideally, feed the cat with raw meat or food cooked at home. However, sometimes the price of this diet and the time they require does not make the task easier. Thus, You can also feed your cat with good quality and well processed canned food.
To do this, you should observe that the ingredients are known and that they do not carry additives or preservatives. Remember that the aspect of food does not matter, since the industry can create an ultraprocessed that is shaped like a piece of meat without being. On the other hand, you should observe in the analytical components that it has a good percentage of antioxidants, amino acids and omega-3.
Use food supplements for a cat’s immune system
If the cat is already suffering from an illness or is older, it might be good to take dietary supplements. In the market there are many of these supplements according to the needs of the cat. In addition, at certain times of the year, such as winter, its use could be very positive.
Don’t overvalue your cat
If your cat does not go out and is not in contact with other animals, vaccination may not be as necessary., although this should be determined by a veterinarian. On many occasions, cats develop tumors in the area where the vaccine was injected. However, even if you do not vaccinate it, it is important that you visit the veterinarian, at least once a year.
Prevent your cat from being obese
As in humans, Obesity can wreak havoc on the health and immune system of a cat. Set a rich and stimulating environment where you can play and stay active. You can even consider having more than one cat. Do not overfeed it and keep a rigorous control of your body weight.
Reduce stress and situations that may cause it
As we commented at the beginning of the article, stress is the cat’s worst companion. Felines are extremely sensitive animals that, although it may not seem like it, spend much of the day on alert.
Changes in the home, excessive manipulation, loud noises, the absence of the guardian, as well as other factors, can cause stress in the cat. This state will make the animal’s health worse and even develop diseases that were previously dormant.
On average cats live longer than dogs, but it is general. Longevity depends on many different factors. Read more “