Similar to humans, your cat's gut bacteria can become disrupted, resulting in various unpleasant symptoms and conditions. Our veterinarians at Cumming have provided valuable insights on managing your feline's gut health and recommend the top probiotics for cats.
Do Cats Need Probiotics?
As a pet owner, you may already know that probiotics play a crucial role in maintaining good digestion. But have you ever wondered if probiotics are beneficial for your feline friend? If your cat is experiencing frequent digestive issues or anxiety-related symptoms, it is possible that they are suffering from an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria. Your cat's stomach is home to a complex ecosystem of bacteria that, when in balance, ensure your kitty's comfort. However, when bad bacteria outnumber the good ones, it can wreak havoc on their digestive system and overall health.
How can probiotics help your cat's gut?
Probiotics are tiny organisms like bacteria and yeast that can restore the balance of good bacteria in your cat's body. Various factors can disrupt this balance and lead to an unhealthy bacterial environment.
Bad bacteria not only affect your cat's digestion but also their weight, hormones, mood, immunity, and make them more susceptible to infections. Probiotics can help in the following areas:
- Diarrhea: Viruses like feline panleukopenia or parasitic diseases like giardiasis often cause diarrhea in cats.
- Antibiotics: When humans take antibiotics, it eliminates both harmful and beneficial bacteria. Probiotics can help restore the balance in cats, especially when taking antibiotics.
- Stress: Stress can impact a cat's gastrointestinal health. You can support their gut health by giving them probiotics during stressful situations.
- Flatulence: Gastrointestinal issues can lead to increased flatulence in cats and other animals.
- Constipation: Along with flatulence, gastrointestinal problems can also cause constipation.
- Immune system booster: Probiotics can provide immune-boosting benefits, particularly helpful for young or elderly cats.
- Overweight and obesity: Some veterinarians believe that there's a connection between a cat's gut bacteria and obesity.
- Chronic diseases: Imbalance in gut bacteria can contribute to inflammatory bowel disease or feline intestinal lymphoma.
- Other diseases: Hormonal diseases and allergies can affect the bacteria in your cat's stomach.
- Infections: Probiotics may be recommended if your cat is undergoing antibiotic treatment for infections.
The Best Types of Probiotics for Cats
The most common types of probiotics are lactic acid based such as:
- Lactobacillus spp
When it comes to cats, the most effective probiotics are Enterococcus and Bifidobacterium. These two probiotics have their own specific functions - Enterococcus is typically found in the colon, promoting colonic health and aiding in the formation of healthy feces, while Bifidobacterium resides in the small intestine and focuses on maintaining digestive health. It's crucial to choose a probiotic that contains multiple strains (at least two) to ensure optimal benefits from the various types of probiotics available.
What probiotics do vets recommend?
If you're considering a probiotic for your feline friend, it's crucial to carefully consider the delivery method. Probiotics come in various forms such as powders, capsules, chews, or even added to food. The key to selecting the right probiotic for your cat is to ensure it contains the appropriate combination of ingredients to meet their specific needs. Remember, creating probiotics at home is not recommended as it involves the complex science of gut bacteria best left to experts.
Are there any side effects with probiotics for cats?
Our vets at Cumming want to remind you that administering live bacteria supplements can cause flatulence as a side effect. It is crucial only to use them under the guidance of a veterinarian. The safety of your pet is of utmost importance.
When should cats take probiotics?
In addition to maintaining a daily routine that promotes a healthy balance of gut bacteria, it may be beneficial to give your cat probiotics if you notice any of the following issues:
- Your Cat's Age
- Dietary changes
- Eating grass
If you notice any changes in your cat's digestive health during these situations you should speak with your vet about treatment with probiotics.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.