If you haven’t already heard about Quercetin, it’s about time you did, especially if you own a cat. Quercetin has been a popular supplement among people for a while now, but in recent years, it’s been drawing all kinds of attention for its feline-friendly benefits. If you’re not familiar with Quercetin, then let me introduce you. Quercetin is a type of bioflavonoid found in numerous fruits and vegetables that’s renowned for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antihistamine properties. Thanks to those self-same antihistamine properties, it’s developed a reputation as “nature’s Benadryl.” Basically, if your cat has allergies, Quercetin is something you need to get to know, fast.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is the most abundant flavonoid found in everyday foods. It’s a naturally occurring antioxidant with far-reaching benefits. Studies have indicated it can improve exercise performance, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Some experts have even suggested Quercetin’s scavenging effects on free-radicals can help with cancer prevention, atherosclerosis, chronic inflammation, urinary tract infections, cataracts, diabetes, and heart disease. Of all the benefits, however, it’s Quercetin’s positive effects on allergies that are the most immediately attractive to many cat owners.
What is Quercetin Used For?
Allergies can be just as miserable for cats as they are for humans. Symptoms can include red eyes, excessive scratching, hair loss, hives, skin rashes, severe itching, and even digestive complaints. If none of that sounds pleasant, it’s because it’s not. Allergies are miserable, and they can quickly turn a happy, chilled cat into a scratching, hissing nightmare. Along with being miserable, allergies also remarkably common. Some owners mistakenly believe the symptoms are an indication of fleas – it’s only when flea treatment fails to work (or in some cases, even exacerbates the problem) that they realize they’re dealing with something altogether different. Although prescribed medication can help, some pet owners are reluctant to use conventional treatments because of the risk of side effects. As a result, natural remedies have become increasingly popular, with Quercetin being widely touted as one of the safest and most effective. As cattime.com writes, so effective is Quercetin in suppressing the histamines that cause the symptoms of allergies, it’s often referred to as “nature’s Benadryl.”
When Should You Give Your Cat Quercetin?
Quercetin works to reduce the amount of histamines released in a cat’s body when they come into contact with allergy-triggering substances like pollen. As a result, the unpleasant symptoms of allergies are reduced, if not entirely eliminated. Quercetin can be used as a replacement for conventional allergy medication like Benadryl. Although it’s not as quick-acting as prescribed medications, it offers a safe, natural solution to the symptoms of allergies without the exhaustive list of side effects that conventional medicines often come with. Commercial Quercetin supplements often include Bromelain, a naturally occurring proteolytic enzyme derived from pineapple that can help the body break down and digest proteins. Like Quercetin, Bromelain has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. By combining the two, the anti-inflammatory effects of each are doubled, making it a particularly effective treatment in cats with pronounced allergies or chronic inflammation. Some people have also reported benefits in combining Quercetin and Bromelain with Papain. As huffpost.com (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/strategies-for-allergic-c_b_114072820 notes, Bromelain and Papain work together to increase the absorption of Quercetin, and further suppress the production of histamine. They can also help suppress the release of prostaglandins, another factor in the inflammatory process.
What is the Correct Dosage of Quercetin For Cats?
Quercetin may be a natural supplement, but you still need to pay close attention to dosage.
As per chanceslittlewebsite.com, the correct dosage is as follows:
- Cat Weight in lbs x 1,000 mg = Cat Weight mg.
- Cat Weight mg. / 125 = Total Daily Dosage
If necessary, you can round the dosage up or down to make the administration of your chosen supplement easier. To avoid the risk of an upset stomach, it’s best to split the dosage in two, spread 12 hours apart. If your cat experiences any stomach discomfort after use, lower the dosage. As very high doses of Quercetin may result in kidney damage, don’t be tempted to exceed the recommended dose. If you accidentally administer a double dose, monitor your cat carefully for any signs of concern and consult your vet as soon as possible. Before introducing Quercetin to your cat’s regime, be sure to consult your vet for their recommendations about dosage. Depending on your cat’s age, build, or general health, they may recommend more or less than the usual dosage. If they do, ensure to follow their advice over any generic guidance.
Is Quercetin Safe For Cats?
Quercetin is a very safe flavonoid that’s naturally found in a range of everyday foods. However, due to the concentrated nature of the supplement, care should be taken in certain circumstances.
- Avoid giving to animals with a history of kidney disease.
- Avoid use with pregnant or nursing cats – insufficient studies have been completed to ensure safety.
- Always consult your vet before surgery to ascertain when you should stop and resume treatment.
- Use for 12 weeks at a time and ensure an adequate break before resuming treatment.
- Speak to your vet prior to commencing treatment in case of any concerns.
Potential Drug Interactions
Although Quercetin is widely considered a safe treatment, you should always be careful about introducing a new supplement to your cat’s diet if they are already on prescribed medication. As chanceslittlewebsite.com notes, particular caution should be taken if your cat is currently taking any of the following medications:
- P-Glycoprotein substrates: diltiazem, cyclosporine, loperamide, saquinavir, paclitaxel, digoxin, protease inhibitors, H2 antagonists, verapamil, corticosteroids, erythromycin, cancer drugs, fexofenadine, quinidine, etc.
- Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral)
- Antihypertensive drugs: hydrochlorothiazide, captopril, enalapril, losartan, valsartan, diltiazem, Amlodipine, furosemide, etc.
- Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates: glipizide, diclofenac, irbesartan, phenytoin, fluvastatin, ibuprofen, tamoxifen, losartan, piroxicam, fexofenadine, tolbutamide, torsemide, warfarin, celecoxib, etc.
- Cytochrome P450 2C8 (CYP2C8) substrates: rosiglitazone, verapamil, paclitaxel, docetaxel, tretinoins, amiodarone, repaglinide, etc.
- Antibiotics, Quinolone: levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, etc.
- Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates: calcium channel blockers, antifungals, ondansetron, glucocorticoids, chemotherapeutic agents, alfentanil, losartan, fluoxetine, midazolam, omeprazole, lansoprazole, fentanyl.
Before introducing Quercetin, consult your vet to ensure it’s compatible with any existing medication or supplements your pet may be taking.