Probiotics for Cats
A cat's digestive tract needs healthy bacteria to keep working smoothly. One way to help your cat is to give them probiotics.
What Are Probiotics for Cats?
Probiotics are live, naturally occurring beneficial bacteria that, when given to a cat, can help promote digestive health. Probiotics (along with a high-quality, healthy diet) can be especially beneficial to a cat in times of stress, helping their overall health.
Probiotics balance your cat's intestinal gut bacteria (also known as their microbiome), which helps keep their gut healthy. These supplements are available in a variety of forms, including oral gels, pastes, powders or chews. They can be given as a treat or mixed in food.
When Should You Give Your Cat Probiotics?
Cats can take probiotics on a regular basis to promote everyday digestive health and well-being. However, there are several situations that may disrupt the healthy bacteria and microbiome in your cat:
- Stress (from travel, grooming, life changes, etc.)
- Eating grass
- Dietary changes
In these situations, probiotics can help keep the bacteria in your cat's gut balanced, support the protective layers of the intestines and assist with normal digestion and absorption.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Probiotics for Cats?
Side effects are extremely rare for good-quality probiotics, which is why it's crucial to consult with your vet about the proper cat probiotic to purchase. Additionally, look for the NASC Quality Seal, which identifies products from companies that are committed to quality, vigilance and continuous improvement.
As with anything new you give your pet, including supplements, beware of potential side effects, such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat just does not seem to tolerate a probiotic very well, they could possibly have an allergy or intolerance to other ingredients in it, such as fish or poultry. In these situations, check with your veterinarian to find a better fit for your cat.
Can You Give Your Cat Human Probiotics?
The digestive tracts of cats and humans are different, and so are their nutritional needs. Cats are much smaller than humans, so the dosage for a human more than likely will not correlate to a cat. Plus, supplements for humans may contain ingredients that are dangerous to cats.
Using probiotics for cats can help keep your pet's digestive tract healthy and maintain their overall health. Choose a high-quality supplement in whichever form will be easiest to administer for you and your cat to help keep them healthy and happy.