It’s common knowledge that probiotics are good for people. But did you know that your feline companion can benefit from probiotics too? In fact, there is a growing trend of people giving their pets probiotics. Cat probiotics provide many health benefits, including helping with gastrointestinal issues, boosting the immune and digestive systems, and maintaining proper oral health. However, before you decide to give your pet a probiotic supplement, there are a few things you need to know first.
Probiotics for Cats
Trillions of microorganisms live in a cat’s intestines, building a complex ecosystem therein. These organisms include good and bad bacteria, which together help keep the cat healthy. But a poor diet, stress, age, and disease can cause the intestinal balance to tip in favor of the bad bacteria and lead to serious health problems.
Fortunately, probiotics can help restore the good bacteria in the gut so that your cat can get back to good health. Probiotic supplements come in many forms, such as powders, capsules, liquids, and chewable tablets.
Benefits of Cat Probiotics
Probiotics have numerous benefits for cats – from improving digestion to boosting the immune system. Here are the top health benefits of cat probiotics:
1) Helps Improve Digestive Health
One of the most important functions of good bacteria is to improve digestion. When beneficial bacteria are present in the gut, they help to break down food into smaller pieces for better absorption. They can also promote the growth of good bacteria in the colon, which is vital for maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Overall, good digestive health ensures your cat can digest food and absorb nutrients properly.
2) Supports Immune System Functions
Good bacteria in the gut also play a crucial role in your cat’s health. These bacteria produce antimicrobial substances known as enzymes that help boost the immune system and support the body’s natural defense against infections and illness. As a result, your kitty is less likely to get sick or develop allergies.
3) Promotes Oral Health
Cat probiotics are also beneficial in supporting your cat’s oral health. Studies have found that certain strains of these bacteria help reduce plaque and promote a healthy mouth. This reduces bad breath and prevents gum disease, which can lead to tooth decay and other severe conditions.
4) Prevents Diarrhea
Some probiotic strains can also help prevent and treat diarrhea in cats. They are known to help prevent gastrointestinal problems and maintain normal stool consistency. Cat probiotics can also help keep a healthy intestinal lining and to avoid inflammation of the intestines. This helps prevent diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and ensures your cat stays healthy and comfortable.
5) Improves Skin and Coat
Certain strains of probiotics can help fight acne and reduce dandruff in cats. They can also help improve dry skin and keep the skin moisturized. In addition, the healthy bacteria in these products help reduce inflammation and improve circulation, which can help boost the appearance of your furry friend’s coat.
6) Promotes Weight Loss
Research has shown that healthy gut bacteria are essential in maintaining healthy body weight in cats. A balanced intake of probiotics can keep your cat feeling full and satisfied after a meal and encourage them to consume less food throughout the day. It also helps reduce fat accumulation in the liver and other organs by slowing down the production of fatty acids in the body.
Potential Side Effects of Cat Probiotics
There are many benefits to taking cat probiotics but also potential side effects. Side effects can depend on the cat’s health, and how much probiotics they are taking, so it is crucial to monitor your cat for any changes in its behavior or health. Common side effects of probiotics in cats are the following:
- runny stool
- decreased appetite
- upset stomach
These digestive issues are typical as the cat’s body adjusts to the probiotic bacteria. Once their body has adjusted, and the bacteria is running smoothly through the digestive system, the side effects should stop.
If the side effects persist or worsen, you should talk to your veterinarian about switching to a different brand of cat probiotics or reducing your cat’s dosage. If you have any questions regarding these side effects or any others you suspect your cat may be experiencing while taking their cat probiotics, it is best to consult your vet for advice.
How to Choose the Right Cat Probiotics
When buying a cat probiotic, it’s essential to choose one designed specifically for cats. There are many different brands of cat probiotics on the market, so it’s a good idea to do some research to find one with a reputation for being safe and effective.
Cat probiotics that contain different strains of beneficial bacteria are best, as they can better support the immune system. Most products will include a mix of different strains of bacteria, but some may contain just one or two strains. Always read the label to know what kind of bacteria you are getting.
It’s also essential to choose a brand that makes their supplements from natural ingredients rather than artificial ingredients because artificial ingredients are known to cause more side effects than natural ones. When selecting a brand of cat probiotics, look for one backed by scientific studies that have been conducted to prove the efficacy of their product.
More importantly, ask your vet which brands they recommend and trust since only vets have the experience and knowledge to help you find the right product for your cat.
Probiotics can benefit cats in many ways. Although there are potential side effects, these can be prevented by selecting high-quality supplements and ensuring they receive only the right amount. There are many types and brands to choose from. If you’re not sure which one’s the best for your pet, it is best to consult your vet.