Similar to humans, your cat's gut bacteria may experience disruptions, leading to a range of uncomfortable symptoms and conditions. In order to assist you in maintaining your feline friend's gut health, our veterinarians in Stanwood have compiled valuable insights on the top cat probiotics. 

Do Cats Need Probiotics?

You're likely familiar with the undeniable link between probiotics and optimal digestion. This connection might prompt you to question whether probiotics offer similar benefits for your feline companion.

Should you notice recurring digestive problems or signs of anxiety in your cat, it could be attributed to an excess of detrimental gut bacteria. Your cat's stomach hosts an intricate network of bacteria that, when in harmonious balance, contributes to a contented life for your furry friend. Nevertheless, an imbalance favoring harmful bacteria can adversely affect their digestive well-being and overall health.

How can probiotics help your cat's gut?

Probiotics, comprising live microorganisms like bacteria and yeast, play a crucial role in rebalancing the presence of healthy bacteria within the body.

An array of factors and situations can disrupt this delicate balance, leading to an unhealthy proliferation of harmful bacteria. 

These detrimental bacteria can adversely affect several facets of your cat's well-being, influencing aspects such as digestion, weight management, hormonal equilibrium, mood, immune function, and vulnerability to infections.

The integration of probiotics can effectively address these concerns, promoting a healthier and more balanced microbial environment for your cat.

  • 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 be able to help restore the balance in cats as well.
  • Stress: Stress can be related to gastrointestinal issues. By giving your cat a probiotic, you can help them manage their gut health through stressful situations.
  • Flatulence: When a cat (or any other creature) suffers from gastrointestinal issues, it can lead to an increase in flatulence.
  • Constipation: Along with flatulence, gastrointestinal concerns can lead to constipation.
  • Immune system booster: If you have a very young or very old kitty, they could use probiotics' immune-boosting benefits.
  • 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.

The Best Types of Probiotics for Cats

The most prevalent kinds of probiotics are those based on lactic acid, including:

  • Bifidobacterium
  • Enterococcus
  • Lactobacillus spp
  • Streptococcus.

For feline well-being, the optimal probiotics include Enterococcus and Bifidobacterium.

Each of these probiotic strains has its designated residence within your cat's digestive system. Enterococcus typically takes up residence in the colon, contributing to colonic health and facilitating the development of well-formed feces. On the other hand, Bifidobacterium resides in the small intestine, focusing on maintaining overall digestive health.

Given their distinct functions, various probiotic strains offer diverse benefits. Therefore, selecting a probiotic with multiple strains, preferably a minimum of two, is crucial to ensure comprehensive support for your cat's digestive system.

What probiotics do vets recommend?

In your search for a suitable probiotic for your feline friend, it's crucial to evaluate the delivery method carefully. Probiotic options abound, including powders, capsules, chews, and formulations integrated into food. The pivotal consideration is to opt for a probiotic with a tailored blend of ingredients that aligns with your cat's specific needs.

Crafting probiotics at home is not advisable; it's best to entrust the intricacies 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 Stanwood 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 on a daily basis to help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, you may also want to consider giving your cat probiotics if you begin to notice any of the following concerns:

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

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.

Concerned about your cat's digestive well-being? Reach out to our veterinarians in  Stanwood. They're ready to offer consultations to explore probiotics and other effective solutions, ensuring your feline companion's gut health is well-maintained.