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The immune system is an intricate system of biological processes and structures that protects the body against disease. A healthy immune system is able to recognize and fend off invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Keeping your cat’s immune system strong will help prevent health problems and protect her against disease.

In order to protect and boost your cat’s immune system, consider the following:

Feed a species-appropriate, minimally processed diet

Ideally, this means a raw or homecooked diet, with a grain-free canned diet being the next best choice. Highly processed foods, especially dry food, create a constant state of inflammation in the body that may well be at the root of all feline illness.

Consider adding supplements

If you are feeding a variety of quality canned grain-free or raw food and your cat is young and healthy, she probably doesn’t need supplements. If you  have an older cat, or one with health challenges, supplements may contribute to better health and improved well-being. It’s always a good idea to check with your cat’s veterinarian before giving supplements.

Minimize vaccinations

Compelling evidence implicates vaccines in triggering various immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis). Occasionally, aggressive tumors called fibrosarcomas can appear at the site of vaccination. Work with a veterinarian who will agree to a limited vaccination schedule and/or titer testing.

Avoid chemical flea treatments

Many of the flea and tick treatments available today contain toxic chemicals that can be hazardous to pets and to people.  Even when these products are used according to the manufacturer’s directions, these chemicals are not safe for pets or humans. There are effective ways to control fleas without chemicals.

Limit exposure to toxic chemicals in your cat’s environment

Day-to-day exposure to environmental toxins, both indoors and outdoors, such as polluted indoor air, chemical cleaning products, VOC’s from paint and carpeting, pesticides, and fertilizers, can cause allergic reactions ranging from itchy skin, runny eyes, and even asthma to vomiting, diarrhea and other intestinal issues. Lower your cat’s toxic load as much as possible.

Avoid overuse of steroids and antibiotics

While these drugs may be necessary in some cases, they are often overused. Repeated rounds of these medications, especially for chronic conditions, may do more harm than good and may damage the immune system without addressing the issue they were prescribed for in the first place.  Consider working with a holistic veterinarian who is familiar with modalities that can support your cat’s system in its own healing process.

Provide a stimulating environment

Bored cats who don’t get any playtime or exercise are going to be unhappy and stressed cats, and stress lowers immunity. Catify your home with  cat trees, scratching posts, and window perches, and make time for regular structured play sessions with your cat.

Keep your cat at a healthy weight

Obesity is the number one health challenge for cats. It can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes, arthritis, heart and respiratory problems, gastrointestinal and digestive problems, and a compromised immune system.


Minimize stress

Stress, whether physiological or emotional, is the root cause of illness for humans as well as pets. Try to limit stress in your cat’s environment as much as possible – and that includes your own stress. Cats and their humans often mirror each others’ physical and emotional states, and your stress can actually make your cats sick.

Supplements I recommend for every cat

I recommend three supplements for every cat of every age, even if they eat a varied premium diet.

Probiotics: Probiotics have numerous benefits, including preventing digestive upsets and strengthening the immune system. My favorite probiotic is Dr. Goodpet’s Feline Digestive Enzymes, a combination of enzymes and probiotics. Digestive enzymes can be especially  beneficial for cats with sensitive digestive tracts.

1TDC: I don’t use the term “miracle” lightly, but 1TDC deserves to be called a miracle supplement. This 4-in-1 wellness solution supports oral, joint and skin health and supports performance and recovery. Backed by science, 1TDC keeps gums healthy and reduces periodontal disease within just six weeks. For more about the benefits of 1TDC and to order, visit

A good multi-vitamin supplement:. Just like I think taking a good daily multi-vitamin supplement is important for humans, I also believe that my cats should get one. I like Rx Essentials for Cats. Do not exceed recommended amounts; fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body and vitamin toxicity can be a concern.

Essential Fatty Acids. The processing of commercial pet food renders DHA and EPA inactive, so in order for your cat to get sufficient amounts, supplementation may be necessary. Omega-3 DHA essential fatty acid supplements help prevent inflammation and slow down the aging process. I like the Nordic Naturals brand.

This post was first published in 2012 and has been updated.

*The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. The Conscious Cat is an affiliate partner of 1TDC. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.  

19 Comments on Support Your Cat’s Immune System

  1. When is an appropriate time to start supplements for your cat? I have a kitten who is around 3 months.

  2. I first got this for. Myself then started putting a few drops in the cats’ water dishes….for daily immune support
    It’s called Sovereign Silver, Bio=active Silver Hydrosol
    I did a lot of research as not all Silver is that useful…8 oz bottle is about $28.00
    One plus is that I got if from my regular Swanson Vitamins site…you can return anything. No questions asked.
    And another one is from Pet Naturals of Vermont. Calming Chews…main ingredient is Thiamine (B1) 65 mg which affects the central nervous system to calm and relax.
    So I decided to get some for myself too.
    Although each chewy comes out to about 20 cents !!

  3. I have noticed some increased crankiness in my household. I think the girls are starting to get on each other’s nerves just like my husband and I have been. Thanks for the great tips this morning.

    • I’m hearing similar stories from a lot of people. Cats are sensitive to human energy, and it’s inevitable that they’ll pick up on the stress in us, not to mention the collective stress all around us. Maybe increase playtime to help them burn off some of that crankiness?

  4. Thank you to all of you for sharing your stories. I know that our energies, state of mind, and nutrition all are very important to us and our animals well being. It is life affirming to read comments from others who feel the same way. I struggle in teaching this to my colleagues in the animal shelter environment.

  5. I hate to be the one to suggest this but have you gotten your cat’s blood fully check for any kind of viruses or anything? KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!! I’m thinking there’s a high possibility that your cat could already be suffering from FIV– I believe it’s called. Basically it’s cat AIDS, generally caught thru bites verses sexual activity which it can also b caught thru (just more difficultly than fighting) So the infected cat is much more easily susceptible to all kinds of secondary infections such as being so aggressively allergic to fleas and flea bites and maybe not healing as well after scrapes or fights.. ie constantly needing to go into the Vet. Maybe sleepng alot more now then they used to; loss or lowerd play drive &/or ravenous appetite. You should look into it, I did – sooo much better to know and know what to look for instead of not having a clue and living IN CONSTANT FEAR.

    Also please note- if your cat does have FIV — it is not a death sentence! Simply an immune deficiency so the sick kitty is just a little weaker or susceptible to any and all secondary infection and such. The main difference is when kitty gets sick – he or she will probably need antibotic, steroids ect to completely heal instead of other cats who could heal naturally on their own. (Just a close eye and good vet) And best to react quickly rather then wait .

    Food for thought

    Also…. if ur cat reacts like my poor Siam does to fleas and flea bites – then always keep in Mind whenever kitties break out with a rash of fleas, chewing and gnawing at them.. chance are they got parasites from eating the fleas too. So WORMS.. just a vets deworming is prudent to fully take care of entire issue all together; along w/ continous flea treatments to prevent instead of to ‘treat’ more or growing issues.

  6. My poor baby is only one and a half years old and has been to the vet over 2 dozen times by now for her skin conditions and rodent ulcers on her mouth. The vet seems very educated and caring and she gives her treatments with steroids and antibiotics.. This worked well the first time but her condition always persists and now the medicines do nothing. She has torn out large patches of fur from itching and I am concerned that long term effects could persist. I have had her on a select food diet for the past three weeks and I am waiting for the six week point to see if any changes happen. She has an intense flea allergy but has not had fleas since she was very young. If anyone could give me any advice I would be so thankful.

    • I agree with Ingrid, a holistic vet is the way to go. My kiddo was only 9 months with rodent ulcers and allergies and my vet recommended Manuka Honey (one with Aloe called Wound Honey) and it cleared up his ulcers right away and some Chinese herbs to build his immune system helped stop all the scratching and now he’s a big lovable 16 lb cat that you wouldn’t know had anything wrong with him. He still loves honey to this day and I give it to him as a treat and it helps to keep his mouth clear of ulcers and it reduces swelling in his gums.

  7. Environmental toxins and processed foods, new to our society in the past few decades, have done a number on humans and animals. If these things affect humans at the rate they do with cancers and immune disorders, imagine what they do to our pets.

  8. I rescued a sick kitten with Fekine Leukemia and she lived a happy, healthy and playful life for 12 years. I was told she would not live long, so I gave her all my love and dog friends for play.
    I design Healing Jewelry for Pets and used Amethyst in her water. It strengthens the the immune system and cleanses the blood.

    Maybe this is due to her long life. I thank God that we had 12 years.

  9. This post was super informative. I am all about having healthy kitty’s. I have lost some of my best furry friends in the past, unexpectedly, so I actually am pretty nutty about them and their health. So again I thank you for this info.


  10. The stress is such a factor in one’s health and in a cat’s health too. I can attest to that because I know the I got cancer because I was stressed to the max. For one year, I was stressed from moving away from my home of 30 years and from all my friends. I am fine now with all these cats to keep me from being stressed again. But I truly believe that stress is such a factor and some of my friends think the same thing. Great post.

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