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Probiotics for cats: How do they help?

Probiotics for cats: How do they help?

As cat owners, it’s common to stumble across hairballs, vomit, or regurgitated food (usually on the carpet!).

Why? Because your feline’s stomach is delicately balanced, even the slightest upset or change can cause digestive issues.

One way to combat this is through the use of probiotics – live bacteria that lower the gut’s pH and help stimulate the growth of good bacteria.

Still, the benefits aren’t limited to supporting digestion. As we’ll discover in this article, probiotics can also boost the immune system and improve physical and mental well being. 

We’ll discuss whether all cats can take probiotics, the benefits for your feline, signs that your cat requires a course of probiotics, and how to select the best product. Let’s begin!

Can cats take probiotics?

In the majority of cases, cats can take probiotics. They are commonly prescribed for digestive issues, health conditions, or as a preventative treatment. Still, before administering any new medications to your pet, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian beforehand.

What are the benefits of probiotics for cats?

Your cat’s gut microbiome is a collection of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Maintaining a balance of good and bad bacteria within this system is vital for your cat’s digestive health and overall wellbeing.

Probiotics are live, good bacteria that help promote a healthy balance. They work by decreasing pH levels in the gut to stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria. Plus, they introduce enzymes that help aid in healthy digestion.

Some of the key benefits that probiotics provide for cats are:

  • Improve digestive health
  • Provide relief from bloating, gas, or diarrhoea
  • Support positive wellbeing, i.e stress and anxiety relief
  • Boost immunity
  • Reduce hairballs
  • Alleviate allergies

You wouldn’t necessarily associate gut health with immunity or mental health. Still, every individual part of your cat’s body works together in one complete system, meaning a balanced gut microbiome is vital to maintaining their overall health and wellbeing.

A large portion of the immune system within both cats and dogs is located in the digestive tract. Encouraging healthy bacteria to grow here increases opportunities for them to interact with immune cells and strengthen your pet’s immune system.

Probiotics, combined with a healthy diet, can offer additional support to your cat during times of stress, promoting improved health and wellbeing.

allergies in cats skin

Do cats need probiotics?

A healthy cat should be able to maintain good gut health through a balanced diet. However, other causes, such as stress and anxiety, can also lead to an imbalance in your cat’s digestive system.

Probiotics can relieve a range of gastrointestinal issues or can be used daily to support all around health and wellbeing. Your cat might not necessarily need probiotics, but they could still reap the benefits of these products.

You can always consult your vet on whether probiotics could benefit your feline’s health.

Are there any side effects?

As you alter the balance of bacteria in your cat’s gut, you could notice some minor side effects, such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea, or cramping. However, as the probiotics begin to work, the symptoms should subside, and you will notice your cat’s health improve.

It’s important to note that side effects with a good quality probiotic are rare, so it’s worth doing your homework to ensure you purchase the best product. Additionally, your cat could have an allergy to a specific ingredient in the product. In this instance, it’s a good idea to consult a vet for a better alternative.

If side effects persist or your cat’s condition worsens, it’s essential to consult with your vet.

What are the signs that my cat could benefit from probiotics?

A change in your cat’s faeces is a key sign that your cat could benefit from a course of probiotics. Gastrointestinal issues may signify that your cat could benefit from probiotics. Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite or dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Regurgitation
  • Bad breath
  • Flatulence
  • Fever
  • Behavioural changes

Additionally, several scenarios can cause stomach upset for your cat. In these instances, probiotics can be administered as a preventative measure. Scenarios include the following:

  • Travelling in the car
  • Boarding your cat while you go away
  • Introducing a new member to your family/household
  • Changing your cat’s diet
  • Changes occurring in your cat’s environment
  • Deworming treatment

You can also use probiotics to combat the side effects of some antibiotics. And vets may prescribe antibiotics to felines with recurrent or persistent IBS, e.Coli, pancreatitis, or other gastrointestinal disorders.

Plus, some probiotics can be used daily to supplement healthy digestion, boost immunity, and improve general wellbeing.

digestive probiotics for cats

How to choose the right probiotics for cats

Choosing the right product is essential in supporting your cat’s health and wellbeing through probiotics. Your vet is the best source of information for suitable products, particularly if your cat has allergies or pre-existing medical conditions.

When looking for the best probiotics, ensure the product is suitable for cats (products designed for humans or other animals could be damaging to your feline), is high quality, and offers a range of benefits for your pet. Additionally, you’ll want to consider delivery, as some products can be challenging to administer.

Nature’s Paw probiotic is an Australian-made, multi-strain, high-strength formulation that is an everyday health supplement for dogs and cats of all ages. As the product is created by a team of veterinarians and pet nutritionists, you have a quality guarantee, and the easy scoop application makes delivery simple.

Not only does Nature’s Paw aid digestive health and wellness, but it also boosts healthy bacteria, modulates the immune system and offers relief from gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhoea or IBS. It is a source of dietary fibre, and the low cost per dose means it won’t break the bank.

Nature's Paw Probiotic for dogs and cats

Tips on administering probiotics for cats

When giving probiotics to your cat, it’s essential to read the package instructions for the correct dosage.

Some probiotics will take effect in as little as 1-2 days, while others may take a couple of weeks to work. In addition, you should see an improvement in your cat’s immunity within around four weeks.

With powder probiotics, they’re quite easy to administer as it’s just a sprinkle on their food. Meaning they won’t even know they’re ingesting it!

If you’re browsing for the best pet probiotic in Australia, Pet Chemist stock a wide range of the most reputable brands on the market.

NATURE'S PAW PROBIOTICS

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