Why you should be giving your cat probiotics

Have you heard of someone giving probiotics to their cat? While you may dismiss the idea initially, probiotics can actually be quite beneficial to cats. If you are serious about improving or maintaining your cat’s health, probiotics can be an important step.


You have probably heard about some of the benefits of quality probiotics in people, including that probiotics may improve digestion and calm over-reactions to environmental stimuli.


Your family pet can benefit as well from high-quality and specially formulated probiotics like those made by Natren.


To understand how probiotics can help feline health, and why you should be giving your cat probiotics, it’s important to specifically understand a cat’s digestion and potential digestive issues.


Understanding a Cat’s Digestion

It’s easy to see all the ways that a cat is different from a person, but if you look at their digestive systems, there are many similarities with ours.


One important similarity is that in people, a majority of the strength of our immune system is found in our gut, or intestines. This is the same for cats. Their intestinal tract is not simply about digesting food, but also plays a significant role in their ability to fight off bad bacteria and other harmful invaders.


Cats do have some differences in their digestive system as well. For instance, the feline digestive system is relatively short. Because of this, they tend to consume smaller meals, and those travel through their intestines quickly.


It is relatively common for cats to develop either acute or chronic digestive problems which can be caused by many factors including food, genetics, hairballs, or harmful bacteria.


Benefits of Feline  Probiotics

Probiotics have a range of potential benefits in people, and one of the most important ones is in promoting healthy bacteria in the intestines.


For cats, this is a significant goal of feline probiotics as well. When cats do not maintain a healthy and normal digestive process, they are more likely to lose their appetite, vomit, and have constipation or diarrhea.


Probiotics may be able to prevent these symptoms by supporting intestinal health and maintaining healthy intestinal flora. Avoiding gut disorders in your cat is one important step in ensuring it lives a healthy and happy life – which is a great reason to give your cat probiotics.


Gut Disorders in Cats - IBD

One gut disorder that cats are prone to, is one we also see in humans. It is called Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD. IBD is not generally a short-term ailment, but can affect a cat for years.


While it is sometimes seen in kittens, adult cats more often develop IBD and can suffer with it the rest of their lives. IBD can cause weight loss, discomfort, vomiting, and bloody stool.


Not only is this likely to lessen the cat’s quality of life during flare-ups, but it can also result in expensive veterinary bills for the family. Fortunately, feline probiotics may be able to help your cat maintain gut health or can be used when symptoms of IBD are present. Some veterinarians recommend probiotics along with antibiotics, or to maintain gut health overall in cats.  


Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis in Cats

There is another potential digestive condition that some cats get, that can be reduced by maintaining gut health. This condition is an inflammation of your cat’s digestive tract and is called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or gastroenteritis for short.


It is an uncomfortable condition that may be caused by a range of factors from parasites and bacteria, to medication and food. If your cat has feline gastroenteritis, he may be lethargic, uninterested in food, unable to keep food or water down, and can potentially become dangerously dehydrated.


Gastroenteritis is quite common in cats, but feline probiotics may be able to help by regulating and strengthening your cat’s gut health.


Why Isn’t Cat Food Enough to Maintain Gut Health?

Some people ask why their cat’s food does not provide enough nutrition to keep their cat at optimum health. There are several reasons. First, keep in mind that for the vast majority of people, their diet does not give them the optimal nutrition to stay healthy.


That’s one of the reasons Natren probiotics are so popular among people who are either healthy and want to stay that way, or those who are seeking improvements in their energy, balance, and overall well-being. The same goes for cats.


Second of all, today’s cat food may be convenient, but in most cases it is not the natural diets that cats were meant to eat. For example, a cat’s digestive system was not built to thrive on kibble. These manufactured foods can cause chronic digestive issues, which can, in turn, throw off the cat’s immune system. Supplementing your cat’s diet with feline probiotics may help give them the strong immune system that can help promote long-term health.


Probiotics and Diarrhea in Cats

One of the most common and promising use of probiotics in cats is to maintain digestive health, and although there has not been substantial research on cats yet, we’re starting to see more professionals looking at the benefits of probiotics.


For example, the Tufts School of Vet Medicine published an article about probiotics, written by a veterinarian. She cites research showing an example of probiotic benefits for cats: “In one study,” she writes, “during an acute diarrhea outbreak in kittens, only 9.5 percent of kittens that received a probiotic required any additional treatment, compared with 60 percent of kittens that did not receive the probiotic.”


Results like these are excellent examples of the power probiotics can have for kittens and cats.


How Do I Choose Probiotics?

Today, many companies market probiotics without truly standing behind their products. At Natren, we are committed to providing incredibly safe and effective products to ensure that you - and your cat - are getting what you need. Natren’s probiotics for people and pets:


Natren makes a probiotic product just for cats, so you can rest assured that you are helping to give your cat an advantage when it comes to staying healthy. Our cat probiotic is called FelineDophilus, and you can learn more about it here.


Natren’s feline probiotics are known for their excellence. While many of our customers purchase probiotics for themselves and their families, others have found the benefits of giving Natren probiotics to their cats as well. You can visit our website at natren.com to learn more.

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