Natural Health for CatsMarch 1, 2015 Written by JP [Font too small?]
A few years ago, I wrote a column entitled, “Natural Health for Dogs”. It’s a bit ironic that I focused on dogs first since I’ve always held a very special place in my heart for cats. Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve felt a unique affinity towards felines of all kinds. Something about them draws me in and inspires effortless feelings of joy and peace. Over the years I’ve had the good fortune of being a caretaker and companion to various cats. Today, in tribute to the many feline friends that I’ve known and loved, I want to share some information that can improve the lives of other cats that I will never know.
The food you feed your cat over a lifetime can be more powerful than any medication, whether natural or synthetic. And, while it may seem intuitive and obvious what foods are best, science can add some important information to the mix. For example, the diets of feral or wild cats tend to be higher in total fat and omega-3 fats in comparison to most commercial cat foods. Therefore, you might think simply looking for a brand of cat food containing more omega-3 fats is the right choice. In some ways, it may be. But, according to a recent study in the journal Research in Veterinary Science, there is another consideration to keep in mind. When more omega-3s are added to the feline diet, a greater need for Vitamin E emerges. This essential antioxidant plays a pivotal role in supporting the immune system in the cat. So, if you decide to buy or make cat food that emphasizes omega-3 fats, be sure to provide optimal, supplemental Vitamin E. The previously mentioned study found that 225 mg/kg is an effective dosage.
Numerous supplements have demonstrated promise in feline test subjects. In fact, many of the very same nutraceuticals humans take for health enhancement also benefit cats. Resveratrol, the so called “red wine antioxidant”, has been found to protect felines from kidney and lung damage caused by dietary and environmental toxins. The dosage of resveratrol used in the studies is 3 mg/kg. A study from April 2013, discovered that a formula containing arginine, salmon oil and a yeast extract modulated the immune system of cats “resulting in a greater ability to fight infection and disease”. Another nutrient blend comprised of antioxidants (selenium, Vitamins C and E), arginine, B Vitamins and fish oil benefited various measures of cognitive performance in a group of middle aged cats. Also worth noting are two studies which report that probiotic supplementation improves two common conditions in cats: chronic diarrhea and chronic kidney disease.
Much like humans, modern day cats often struggle with diet and lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Fortunately, similar to their human counterparts, cats can reduce associated health risks and weight by dietary changes and the judicious use of supplements. A study published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Science reveals that high fiber, lower carbohydrate diets significantly reduce blood sugar, insulin and triglycerides in overweight cats. Supplementing with L-carnitine, a naturally occurring compound found in red meat, assists heavy cats on a diet to burn fat more efficiently. However, one major difference between cats and humans is that the latter require the assistance of humans to make such changes in their diet and supplement routine. So, help your beloved, furry friends maintain and/or reestablish good health using the best that natural health has to offer.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Comparison of Inferred Fractions of N-3 and N-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty … (link)
Study 2 – Failure of a Dietary Model to Affect Markers of Inflammation in Domestic … (link)
Study 3 – Moderate Dietary Supplementation w/ Vitamin E Enhances Lymphocyte … (link)
Study 4 – Resveratrol Ameliorates the Oxidative Damage Induced by Arsenic … (link)
Study 5 – Resveratrol Protects Against Arsenic Trioxide-Induced Nephrotoxicity … (link)
Study 6 – Potential for Enhancement of Immunity in Cats by Dietary … (link)
Study 7 – Effects of a Probiotic on Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine … (link)
Study 8 – Open-Label Trial of a Multi-Strain Synbiotic in Cats w/ Chronic Diarrhea … (link)
Study 9 – Impact of Commercially Available Diabetic Prescription Diets on Short- … (link)
Study 10 – Influence of Dietary Supplementation w/ L-Carnitine on Metabolic Rate … (link)
Nutritional Supplement Improves Cognition in Older Cats
Source: Br J Nutr. 2013 Jul 14;110(1):40-9. (link)
Tags: Carnitine, Fish Oil, Resveratrol
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements