Probiotics for Cats: What You Need to Know
As probiotics continue to win the hearts and guts of health-conscious humans, it has many pet parents wondering if their pets can benefit from probiotics as well. For feline owners who want answers on whether probiotics are good for cats, this guide tells you everything you should know.
Are Probiotics Safe for Cat Consumption?
Visit any grocery store around you and you’re likely to find probiotics of some sort on the shelves–whether they’re probiotic supplements or foods with probiotic content. These days, you can find probiotics in yogurts, kombucha teas, and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. Some fruits and vegetables also provide a good source of probiotics as well.
You might already know this, but regular consumption of probiotics may help support digestive health and immune function. Probiotics are the “peace-keepers” the gut needs when gastrointestinal issues cause an imbalance of the gut microbiome, but what about for cats?
Trillions of bacteria are living inside of your cat as we speak. The condition of their gut health depends on how much of that bacteria is beneficial. If their gut currently houses a majority of bad bacteria, it could cause digestive distress.
Probiotics are gut-friendly bacteria that may provide support for your cat’s gut, digestive, and immune function. Please be advised though, that before you give probiotics to your cat, speak with your veterinarian to determine whether probiotic intake is recommended. They can also provide guidance on what types of probiotics would best suit your cat’s needs, along with a proper daily dosage specifically for them.
Why Probiotic Are Purr-fect for Cats
Veterinarians have been recommending probiotics in recent years, especially for feline patients, for their digestive and immune function supporting benefits.
Research published in the journal Anaerobe cites that probiotics may benefit your feline as part of an overall wellness approach for cats who need support with:
- Some allergies
- Immune function
- Occasional stress
- Healthy weight management
- And so much more
Some commercial pet foods may act in the same way as processed foods for humans. They can often contain harmful ingredients that may cause an imbalance in your cat’s gastrointestinal system.
Research published to the BMJ Vet Record Open also suggests that probiotics may improve your cat’s stool quality if they are experiencing irregularity.
The digestive tract plays an important role in your cat’s immune health. Some experts have bared witness to the immune function support role that the regular use of probiotics has on feline patients.
Can Cats Eat Human Probiotics?
Veterinarians normally do not suggest the use of human probiotics for cats, as their gut microflora is more unique than a dog or human’s gut microflora. So, your safest bet is to give your cat the probiotic formula that your vet recommends.
A cat’s options for probiotic consumption are quite plentiful. Probiotics for cats come in various forms such as probiotic-rich cat foods and cat treats, or probiotic supplements and powders.
Vets may recommend that cats take probiotics with multiple strains of probiotic bacteria, and a high amount of colony-forming units (CFUs), to maximize the health benefits of their probiotic consumption.