In a perfect world, all kittens would go on nursing for eight weeks. But in reality, many baby cats become separated from their mothers and are not indulged the luxury of receiving an ongoing supply of mother’s milk with all of its rich immune factors. A common challenge among cats of all ages, epecially shelter cats waiting to be adopted, is the upper respiratory illness that results in discharges from the eyes and the nose. With nasal passages plugged up, there’s a loss of smell, appetite and thirst. Dehydration can set in rapidly.
Timing is critical to saving the life of a dehydrated kitten. Anti-viral/anti-bacterial lactoferrin—one capsule sprinkled and mixed into thumb size dab of wet food twice a day—can stop an upper respiratory illness. Lactoferrin is found in colostrum, the first milk from a mother cow right after she gives birth; the immune factors transfer to other species including cats and humans. A.S. Naidu’s exhaustive volume Natural Food Antimicrobial Systems, the result of contributions from numerous scientists, underscores lactoferrin’s ability to “sequester iron and limit bacterial growth… [as to anti-viral activity, it] prevents the binding of rotavirus to susceptible…cells.”
With lactoferrin’s decimation of viral and bacterial infections, discharges in the eyes will clear up while the nostrils will open and breathing will be improved. One trusted source for lactoferrin is Allergy Research; their formula contains lyzozyme that is found in the white of egg and has the ability to cut through the cell walls of certain bacteria (lyze means to cut through; zyme refers to an enzyme that also cleaves substances). According to A.S. Naidu, lyzozyme “may work together with specific antibodies to destroy bacteria at the mucosal surface.
A word of caution about lactoferrin for kittens: Be careful that lactoferrin is not given for prolonged periods, lactoferrin binds the iron and that can interfere with the development of their red blood cells. Iron is responsible for the ability of hemoglobin in red blood cells to act as a transporter of oxygen to all the cells of the body.
Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy (310-395-1131) carries Allergy Research or it can be ordered online through www.vitacost.com. It’s essential to keep this in your medicine cabinet when your cat’s immune health is compromised by upper respiratory illnesses. (This is not a paid advertisement but instead, information that is based upon research by Downtown LA Pets Examiner and clinical evidence obtained from Dr. Henry Pasternak.)