Today many dog owners are trying out probiotics with their dogs but when it comes to felines, there seems to be a bit less information on the market as well as products. This makes the discussion of the benefits of probiotics for cats even more important! There are more limited studies on cats and gut health but more are being conducted ever year and the information which has been put together is readily available for those who are looking.
We have done some extensive research and will discuss some of these found benefits and more below. But before we get into those details it’s important to note that there are some differences between the administration of probiotics for cats and dogs.
What’s the Best Way to Give Probiotics to My Cat?
One of the best ways to provide probiotics to your cat is mixed into their food. However, they will likely suss out a stinky powder or capsule sprinkled on their food, so you need to be sure that the capsule or powder contents have a neutral taste, as that will make it far less detectable to our more picky feline friends.
What are the Benefits of Probiotics for Cats?
While it’s true we have more dog owners in the US than cat owners, one thing we know about our feline friends is that their owners are intensely passionate about their fur kitties and are always looking for ways to improve their health.
Although cats are obligate carnivores, they also benefit immensely from digestive support in the form of Probiotics. In fact, the details of the gut health benefits are many and include:
Better Nutrient Absorption from their Food
Reducing allergy sensitivity
Improved Digestive Health, leading to less upset tummies and less loose stools
Less smelly poops due to the better absorption of nutrients and passage of food through the digestive tract
Help with urinary tract health and chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Clearer eyes, healthier skin and a shinier coat
A stronger immune system which helps prevent issues with fleas and ticks as these parasites go after animals with poorer immunity
Better digestion leading to a healthier lean mass, and less overweight kitties!
Helpful for cats with kidney disease
Some of the more interesting and significant findings on these additional details include:
Cats Benefit from prebiotics just as much as dogs. In fact, many times prebiotics are overlooked in cats, but when included it greatly improves the diversity of the microbes in their gut which means better digestion and healthier poops.
Several studies have found that probiotics for cats with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) have been very helpful in more quickly improving their condition and that cats without IBD have been discovered to have much higher levels of the probiotic genus Bifidobacteria.
- The probiotic strain, Bacillus Subtilis can assist with cat Ringworm. This nasty fungus, also known as microsporum canis, causes up to 98% Ringworm cases in felines. Ringworm infections commonly show up as skin issues in cats. Bacillus Subtilis (one of the six probiotic strains in Restore M3®) is created by product metabolites called cyclic lipopeptides which eliminate this fungus. Read more here
Are Probiotics Safe For Cats?
Many people question whether they should give human probiotics to their kitties. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, many human probiotics have much higher CFU or colony forming units, which is a higher potency. Higher potency can be good but ultimately it’s best to give probiotics at a moderate dosage regularly which means giving a high quality pet probiotic to your pawed pal would be the best option.
What are the best types of Probiotics for Cats?
In addition, there are some strains which have been found to be much more beneficial to felines, so you would want to make sure that the gut health product you are giving has a multi-strain option, versus just one or two different strains. Even better would be a probiotic product that also combines prebiotics and digestive enzymes so you are providing more benefit to your cat’s overall health.
Some of the strains which have been more studied in cats include:
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Bifidobacterium animalis
The Side Effects of Probiotics for Cats
So long as you are selecting a high quality and well-crafted probiotic, you can ensure the side effects will be minimal for your kitty. The main thing to be concerned about is that because probiotics are living microbes, they can sometimes stimulate the gut to push out the bad or toxic bacteria. This means your kitty may have runny stool or more frequent bowel movements during the first few days but this should subside.
In fact, many of the studies of probiotics and cats include specific probiotic strains that are targeted toward alleviating cats with diarrhea of their symptoms more quickly and effectively. There are also similar
Many feline parents find that the transition to probiotics doesn’t cause any noticeable side effects and simply starts improving their condition of their pet from the outside as well as the inside. Noticeable benefits can include, more regular, well formed and less smelly bowel movements and a shinier coat, and longer term less shedding.
How Long Should I Give My Cat Probiotics?
For best benefit, probiotics should be given to your cat daily. However, if transitioning diets, coming off antibiotics or looking for a strong boost in benefits, you can give what is called a therapeutic dose and give a larger dose for a short period of a week or month and then taper down to maintenance dose.
Did you know Restore M3® is also safe and beneficial for cats?
Though probiotics are incredibly important for cats and their digestive and immune health. Did you know that cats benefit immensely from digestive support in the form of Probiotics when also combined with Prebiotics and Digestive Enzymes? Many of the over 35 studies we used in conjunction with experts when creating the Restore M3® formula included studies on felines and most of those studies included information on the benefits of synbiotics, or probiotics and prebiotics together (also known as a synbiotic).
You can learn more about all of our benefits on the FAQ at the bottom of our Learn page.