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Probiotics For Cats

Bacteria in your cat's gut can lead to various health conditions. In this article, our Orlando vets will provide information about your cat's gut health, managing it, and the best probiotics for cats.

Do Cats Need Probiotics?

You may be familiar with the strong connection between probiotics and promoting healthy digestion. This might make you wonder whether probiotics could benefit your feline friend.

If you notice that your cat frequently suffers from digestive issues or shows signs of anxiety, an excess of harmful gut bacteria may be affecting their system. Your cat's stomach contains a complex network of bacteria.

Maintaining a healthy balance of these bacteria is crucial for your cat's overall well-being and comfort. However, when the harmful bacteria outnumber the beneficial ones, it can disrupt their digestive system and overall health.

How can probiotics help your cat's gut?

Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria and yeast, that can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the body. Several factors and conditions can lead to an imbalance in the bacterial environment.

These harmful bacteria can affect not only your cat's digestion but also their weight, hormones, mood, immunity, and susceptibility to infections. Probiotics have been found to assist in these areas:

  • Stress: Stress can be related to gastrointestinal issues. Giving your cat a probiotic can help them manage their gut health through stressful situations.
  • Flatulence: When a cat (or any other creature) suffers from gastrointestinal issues, it can increase flatulence.
  • Constipation: Along with flatulence, gastrointestinal concerns can lead to constipation.
  • Immune system booster: If you have a very young or very old cat, probiotics could boost its immune system.
  • Overweight and obesity: Some vets believe that there is a direct link between the health of the cat's gut bacteria and obesity.
  • Chronic diseases: Bad gut bacteria can contribute to inflammatory bowel disease or feline intestinal lymphoma.
  • Other diseases: Hormonal diseases and allergies can both cause issues affecting the bacteria in your cat's stomach.
  • Infections: As mentioned above, probiotics may be recommended if your cat is undergoing treatment for infections using antibiotics.
  • Diarrhea: This can commonly be caused by viruses such as feline panleukopenia or parasitic diseases such as giardiasis.
  • Antibiotics: The use of probiotics is common in humans taking antibiotics as the medication helps to rid the body of illness-causing bacteria, but also the good bacteria. Taking probiotics may help restore the balance in cats as well.

The Best Types of Probiotics for Cats

The most common types of probiotics are lactic acid-based, such as:

  • Enterococcus
  • Lactobacillus spp
  • Streptococcus
  • Bifidobacterium

The most beneficial probiotics for cats are typically Enterococcus and Bifidobacterium. Each probiotic has its designated area of residence within the cat's digestive system.

Enterococcus is commonly found in the colon, while Bifidobacterium primarily inhabits the small intestine. Enterococcus primarily focuses on maintaining colonic health and promoting the formation of healthy feces. On the other hand, Bifidobacterium is dedicated to supporting overall digestive health.

The various types of probiotics serve distinct purposes and offer different forms of assistance. Hence, selecting a probiotic that contains multiple strains, ideally a minimum of two, is crucial to ensure comprehensive benefits.

What probiotics do vets recommend?

When choosing a probiotic for your cat, it's important to focus on the delivery method. Probiotics come in different forms, like powders, capsules, and chews, and are incorporated into specially formulated food.

The most important thing to consider when selecting probiotics for cats is to choose a product that contains the right combination of strains tailored to your cat's specific needs.

It's crucial to understand that probiotics should not be made at home. It's best to leave the complexities of gut bacteria science to the experts.

Are there any side effects with probiotics for cats?

While the most notable side effect would be flatulence, our vets in Orlando also would like to remind you again that these are live bacteria, so they should only be administered under the direction of a vet.

When should cats take probiotics?

Aside from taking probiotics daily to promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, you may also want to consider giving your cat probiotics if you notice any of the following concerns:

    • Dietary changes
    • Your Cat's Age
    • Antibiotics
    • Eating grass
    • Deworming
    • Stress

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.

Do you think your cat would benefit from adding probiotics to their diet? Contact our Orlando vets to schedule a consultation appointment to talk about probiotics.

Caring for Pets in Orlando

Caring for Pets in Orlando

East Orlando Animal Hospital is always happy to welcome new clients to our full-service animal hospital. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!

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