Toxins are invisible, yet present everywhere we go. Outdoor cats are exposed to pesticides in the grass, and indoor cats come into contact with household cleaners that are packed with harsh chemicals. Even the organs in a cat’s body produce toxins! Cats are capable of eliminating these toxins all on their own, but a good detox will flush out all that gunk and give their organs a helping hand.
What happens during a detox?
Detoxification is the process of helping your cat’s body eliminate harmful substances. Numerous organs are designed to break down toxins, but a little extra help is necessary so the organs can function at their best.
A detox clears away toxins that have accumulated in the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and skin. While these four organs are constantly detoxing the body, they can only process a limited amount of toxins at any given time. Detoxification involves feeding your cat a healthy diet and nutritional supplements packed with vitamins and trace minerals. These vitamins and minerals support organ function so they can more efficiently break down and eliminate harmful substances from the body, ultimately leading to better health.
Benefits of detoxing your cat
If you’re wondering whether your cat needs a detox, the answer is yes! Detoxification fights free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage cells and cause disease. The elimination of free radicals can reduce your cat’s risk of cancer and recurring infections.
A detox will also keep your cat’s immune responses under control. Toxins leave the body vulnerable to harmful bacteria and viruses, which can make your kitty feel sick. The immune system responds by ramping up mucous production and inflammatory pathways. Fewer toxins mean less illness, and the immune system is less likely to bog your kitty down.
Additionally, cats experience stress in a variety of ways, from moving into a new environment or dealing with other household pets. During times of stress, elimination organs like the liver and kidneys become overloaded with toxins. A detox can prevent toxins from accumulating in your cat’s organs so their bodily systems don’t get too overwhelmed. Detoxification becomes even more important as cats age, because it reduces the risk of senior cats developing liver and kidney diseases.
Tips for eliminating toxins
Pet parents can cleanse their kitties’ bodies with changes to their diet and home environment. You won’t notice a huge difference right away, but rest assured that these simple dietary and lifestyle habits go a long way in lengthening your cat’s life expectancy.
Here are a few detox tips to try out:
- Give your cat a milk thistle supplement: Milk thistle is a plant that contains silymarin, which is known for its ability to detox systems in the body. Silymarin is a powerful antioxidant that eliminates free radicals and combats oxidative stress. The herb has also been known to help move bile through the digestive system and fortify the liver with proteins. Vets typically recommend administering two milk thistle supplements per day, but you should still consult a professional about your cat’s specific detox needs.
- Provide clean drinking water: The kidneys play a huge role in breaking down toxins, and the best way to support healthy kidneys is by encouraging your kitty to drink plenty of clean water. Water dilutes toxins in the kidneys, making them less concentrated and less likely to damage the delicate filtration tissues. Drinking fountains are highly recommended because, unlike normal tap water, they supply filtered water free of fluoride, chlorine and mercury.
- Clean your home with natural products: Toxins hide everywhere in your cat’s environment. They dwell in air fresheners, cat litter, laundry detergent and household cleaning products. While it’s impossible to completely avoid toxins, you can significantly reduce the volume of harsh chemicals that enter your cat’s body by choosing products with natural ingredients. Dust, vacuum and change the air filters on a regular basis to further detoxify your home and your cat.
- Schedule daily play time: Exercise can detoxify a cat in several ways. When done on a regular basis, exercise supports the flow of organic waste through the digestive tract to prevent constipation and expel toxins before they get reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Play sessions improve blood circulation and pump fluid through the lymph nodes—two systems responsible for transporting toxins out of the body.
It takes a while to notice the effects of a good detox. Once these tips become a daily habit, your cat should gradually show higher energy levels and resilience against infection. And, who knows—maybe all the wonderful health benefits will encourage you to participate in the detox, too!