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Transfer Factors for Pets -- Your Cat's Health Booster

Jul 12, 2008
If your cat is in poor health from a long term chronic illness, or is in a weakened state due to injury, many veterinarians are recommending supplements containing transfer factors. These are immune boosting molecules that may help your cat fight off disease.

What are transfer factors? Transfer factors are small protein molecules that are part of the immune system. In order to get a handle on the concept, it's necessary to understand a bit about the immune system.

Like people, dogs, and monkeys, cats are mammals. All mammals have an immune system that protects them from disease.

In a healthy immune system, the body recognizes and attacks foreign invaders, such as bacteria or fungi. This is known as an immune response. Specialized cells attack the invaders and destroy them, and then the attack is called off.

On occasion, the immune response doesn't play out as expected. A cat with a compromised immune system has trouble defending against invaders and will more easily become ill. In conditions such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the immune system is weakened and doesn't cope well.

If the immune system gets confused, it may not know when to shut down, or it may identify healthy tissue in the body as foreign and attack it. This is what happens in an autoimmune disease, such as forms of arthritis. Essentially, the body attacks itself.

How do transfer factors work? Transfer factors act as messengers, alerting your cat's body to the presence of foreign invaders. These proteins also modulate an overactive immune system. Essentially, they call the immune system to action, and then call off the attack at the appropriate time.

In this respect, transfer factors are essential to proper immune system function. Also, notice that they don't just increase disease fighting capability, they balance or modulate the immune system. This means it can be used on cats with autoimmune diseases as well as cats with under performing immune systems.

Combining the immune boosting power of transfer factor with nutrition beneficial to overall cat health, dietary supplements are available for your cat.

Some veterinarians are open to the idea of adding supplements to your cat's diet, and some are not. There are a number of vets using homeopathic remedies, and some have added products containing transfer factor to their line up. If you're interested in boosting the immune system of your cat with transfer factors, check with your veterinarian first before doing so.
About the Author
Author Kurt Schmitt has created an online resource for cat lovers and writes about using transfer factor for pets as a possible solution to boost the immune system of your cat
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