Probiotics definitely have a lot of popularity in human diets. However, whether or not they're good for your cat is a debated topic. Read all about whether you should give your cat probiotics here!
Every pet parent wants the best for their furry little friend, and they learn a lot by hanging out with other pet parents. One of the most common buzzwords among cat owners these days is probiotics.
Just like humans, the majority of a cat’s immunity lies in the digestive tract. Therefore, one of the best ways to keep the digestive tract balanced and healthy is by providing it with a good variety of bacteria. Cat owners can easily achieve this by supplementing their cat’s diet with probiotics.
If you want the best for your feline friend, then keep reading to learn more about probiotics and how they can benefit your cat.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that help regulate both digestive and overall health. These are live microorganisms that help treat and prevent a variety of diseases. They’re particularly helpful when it comes to helping deal with issues that impact the gastrointestinal system.
Probiotics are usually lactic acid bacteria. These include strains like:
· Lactobacillus spp
The best strains for cats lie within the Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus genus. However, cat owners need to know about each species and strain of bacteria. That way, they’ll know what specific impact they’ll have on the gut. It’s not necessary that every type of probiotic is going to be beneficial.
Learning what probiotics are is just the start; it’s also essential for you to know if you should give them to your cat in the first place. Pet owners also need to consider what type of probiotics they’re going to buy and how often they will be administering the medicine.
There’s a lot more to learn, so keep reading!
Benefits of Probiotics
The use of probiotics in a cat’s diet is starting to increase exponentially. That’s a clear indication that probiotics provide cats with certain benefits as the number of cat owners that use them continues to increase.
Here are some of the benefits that you can expect your cat to receive when supplementing its diet with probiotics.
· Probiotics regulate the immune system
· They help stimulate the release of an array of anti-inflammatory cytokines
· Help restore functions of a leaky mucous member
· Reduce any abnormal intestinal permeability
· They help protect microbiota from pathogenic bacteria because they produce an antimicrobial substance known as bacteriocins
· Prevents adhesion which helps keep up the exclusion of infectious pathogens
· Helps halt diarrhea, reseeds the guy with beneficial bacteria
· Improve digestion and helps boost immunity
Basically, the primary purpose of probiotics is to help improve the overall immunity of the cat and the digestive system. Aside from that, there are a few other benefits that probiotics provide. For example, they can help young cats with diarrhea and help cats with long-term diseases develop better immunity.
When should you give your cat probiotics?
Cats don’t necessarily react well to changes in their surroundings. Whether you’ve brought a new family member to your house or you’re sending the cat to a boarding facility while you’re away, any change to the environment can cause your cat stress.
The resulting stress can lead to an intestinal imbalance. It’s more common for senior cats and kittens to suffer from these imbalances. Additionally, a course of antibiotics can also leave cats vulnerable.
When your cat is undergoing stress, it’s a good idea to start them on a course of probiotics. Stress can lead to a variety of other issues that probiotics can help avoid.
Another situation where you should start giving your cat probiotics is when you notice a change in their feces. A lot of vets recommend the use of probiotics to help treat an upset stomach.
Essentially, there’s no bad time to give your cats probiotics, as including them in the diet can help maintain a healthy digestive tract.
How long does it take for cat probiotics to work?
Cat probiotics can take anywhere between a day or two to several weeks potentially. The effect time depends on several different factors. These include the nature of the probiotic, the condition they’re trying to manage, and the cat's general health.
On a standard digestive issue, you’ll start to notice an improvement in a few days. However, for the overall immune system, it might take between four to six weeks.
They may not suit every cat
While probiotics offer a variety of different benefits, they aren’t suitable for every cat. It might be counter-intuitive to use probiotics in certain circumstances. Cats that have a significantly compromised GI tract or those that are undergoing treatments like chemotherapy should not be started on a probiotic course.
If you still feel like your cat could benefit from probiotics, it’s essential to discuss with your vet first. Make sure that you hold a session with your vet every time you think your cat isn’t feeling well.
As more and more people become comfortable giving their cats probiotics, we’ll continue to learn more. That’ll help expand the overall knowledge of what probiotics can do and what diseases they’re best at treating.
Can you give cats human probiotics?
A lot of people take probiotics, and you might be one of them. However, it would be best if you didn’t consider giving the same probiotic to your cat. You should only go with probiotics that are known to be safe for cats and dogs.
In the case of products like yogurts that contain active cultures, most vets recommend that you stay clear of these because they can potentially cause issues. Cats are also potentially sensitive to the amount of dairy in yogurt.
Probiotics are microorganisms that can play a major role in helping regulate your cat’s digestive system and boost the immune system. However, before you pick what type of probiotics you’ll be giving your cat, it’s important to have a consultation with your vet.
With the right type of probiotic, you’ll ensure that your cat remains as healthy as possible. They’ll be able to enjoy a healthy life without suffering from any digestive issues. While they might not be perfect for every situation when they work, they can be very effective!