Do Cats Need Probiotics?
Cat probiotics are a great way to keep your cat living a long, healthy life. Along with the proper diet, a clean environment and a loving home, probiotic supplements can keep your cat’s digestive tract in tip-top shape and boost their immune system as well. But does your cat really need it? How do probiotics help with feline illnesses like constipation, allergies or diarrhea?
We all know how probiotics can be helpful for humans. But do cats need it, too?
The short answer - yes! Cats absolutely do need probiotics as much as we do.
In fact, studies show that their digestive systems improve greatly when given a diet supplemented with a high-quality cat probiotic.
But if you've never tried it or have just recently become a cat parent, you may be a bit sceptical. What is in probiotics in the first place that makes them extremely beneficial for felines? And will it help your cat, too? How are probiotics and a healthy immune system related?
In this article, we’ll break down the basics of cat probiotic supplements, how probiotics work and how they can benefit your cat.
What Are Probiotics and How Do They Work?
Probiotics are live bacteria that improve the health of our bodies. When we take them as food or drink (like yoghurt), it increases the good bacteria that already naturally exists in our digestive tracts.
When our digestive tracts have a healthy amount of good bacteria, it helps us digest food well and pass soft stool regularly. In a sense, probiotics help cleanse our gut which then makes us a lot healthier.
The same concept applies to cats.
Probiotics for cats can help them maintain a healthy gut, too.
You may not know but 70% of a cat's immunity lies in its digestive tract (similar to humans).
So, if your cat has a healthy, balanced digestive system, this means that you have a cat with strong immunity against illnesses, as well. And with a robust immune system, your cat will have a solid line of defence that will help them fight diseases better and help them become healthier and have a better quality of life, overall.
Petz Park Probiotic Tip
Owning a cat (or any pet, for that matter) is like having your own furry little toddler, you have to care for every aspect of their health. And this is what the best probiotics can do for your cat!
Here’s a summary of other direct health benefits your cat gets when they have a healthy gut and strong immune system:
- Cat allergy symptoms are reduced or sometimes prevented altogether.
- Can help restore functions of leaky mucous membranes.
- Prevents the growth of harmful, bad bacteria.
- Alleviates diarrhea or constipation.
- Effective solution for at-risk cats that develop antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
- Works effectively to relieve cats of stress-related symptoms; cat parents can serve probiotics around a week before a potentially stressful event.
But how do you determine that it's the right time to give your cat probiotics? The next section will answer that question.
When Do Cats Need Probiotics?
In general, all cats regardless of age or breed can greatly benefit from probiotic supplements. And if you haven’t made them a part of your cat’s regular diet yet, then it may be time for you to get started.
To help you zone in on some specific cat scenarios where probiotics are extremely beneficial, here's a helpful guide.
Is your cat older?
If you have a senior cat (around 9 - 12 years old), they may need a little help with digestion and bowel movement. Adding probiotics to their regular diet helps them maintain good gut health, a stronger immune system and well - help them live out an extra 9 (or more!) lives.
Is your cat at risk for allergies or currently fighting an allergic reaction?
A cat’s immune system is dependent on a healthy gut. And since a strong immune system is the first line of defence against cat allergy, probiotics play an important role in promoting a healthy balance of intestinal flora (especially good bacteria) in the small and large intestines.
Cat allergy symptoms include: scratching, rubbing or shaking their head, wheezing, sneezing, coughing, gas, bloating, diarrhea or vomiting.
Always consult your veterinarian first for proper advice on how to deal with cat allergies.
Is your cat frequently constipated?
Cat constipation is usually easy to spot. Your cat will pass stool less frequently or they may cry or strain abnormally in the litter box (or avoid their litter box altogether) or pass hard, dry stools.
Aside from giving your constipated cat more water, probiotic supplements can help your cat pass stool easily. In addition, providing your cat regularly with probiotic supplements will help keep their stools soft and can help prevent constipation altogether.
Probiotics can also help prevent cat hairballs from forming. Because probiotics help improve a cat’s digestion, it helps your cat pass any undigested food attached to the hair sitting on the digestive tract easily before it even becomes a hairball.
Does your cat have diarrhea?
Probiotic supplements can help to halt the symptoms of cat diarrhea by rebalancing the bacteria in the gut and creating an optimal environment for stools to form.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Cat Probiotics
Many brands claim to offer the best cat probiotic in Australia but if you don’t choose carefully, it may not produce the desired effects.
So, in general, you will want to look at the following:
- Check the number of live cultures that are included in each product.
- Read probiotic reviews for information on whether or not the ingredients are sourced from living organisms. Reviews will also help you determine its effectiveness.
- It can be helpful to look into whether or not any side effects may occur while using the product. Side effects aren't always present but will vary depending on the specific probiotic used.
- In terms of price, more expensive cat probiotics don’t necessarily mean they’re the best for your cat. It’s best to consult with your cat’s veterinarian and discuss options that are best for your cat’s specific needs.
The best resource, however, is still your veterinarian. Ask them about probiotics and they'll be able to give the right information specific to your cat’s circumstance
Petz Park Recommendation
Petz Park Probiotic is the perfect cat probiotic supplement blended with just the right nutritional components to offer the full benefits of probiotics.
Probiotics promote healthy digestion in cats, and when their digestive tracts are healthy - cats are healthier, too!
If you think about it, their quality of life depends on good digestion, especially if they are older, have a medical issue or have a compromised immune system due to an illness.
In these cases, the right diet and probiotic supplements can be even more important because this will help boost their immune system to help them fight illness, allergies and disease.
*This information is intended as general information only. It was not written or intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please seek professional guidance from your pet’s veterinarian before taking any action that could affect your pet’s health.