Cats have four main protective systems that work together to protect, support and promote health and wellbeing. These are the skin and coat, digestive system (gastrointestinal tract), immune system and urinary system. The performance of each is interlinked to the other. Less-than-optimal performance in one will lead to adverse effects in the other systems.
The skin and coat system is the largest organ in the body. The skin is the main organ through which the body interacts with the outside environment. The skin and coat have a variety of protective functions. These include providing a physical barrier for the rest of the body against the external environment.
The digestive system works to protect the cat in two ways. The first is by digesting and absorbing essential nutrients that can be utilised by it and the other protective systems to promote overall health and wellbeing.
Secondly, the digestive system plays an immunologic role to defend against bacteria and toxins that have entered the body from the outside world. In fact, the digestive system is the primary site for the body’s immune system response, containing as much as 70% of the body’s immune cells.
The immune system is central to all the cat’s protective systems. It is a complex network in the body designed to provide the host animal with protection against foreign invaders that can trigger disease, negatively impact heath, or affect overall wellbeing. It is the role of the immune system to recognise invading agents and then repel or destroy them.
The urinary system is integral to the wellbeing and overall health of the cat. Strong, healthy kidneys and optimal urinary pH can help prevent stone formation. Fatty acids help regulate kidneys, which are the body’s essential filtration system, flushing out potentially harmful substances from the body as urine, ensuring optimal urinary tract health and performance.
Each of these four systems operates at its peak efficiently only when supplied with vital nutrients at an appropriate level from the cat’s diet. That’s why PRO PLAN® OPTINUTRITION provides high quality food, made with high quality ingredients, that will help ensure constant replenishment of the vital nutrients necessary for the protective systems to function at peak performance.
For more information contact the Purina Pet Care Advice team here for free advice.