Top Pros and Cons of Probiotics for Cats & Kittens

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Probiotics are usually administered to pet animals either before or during a sudden change in diet, more especially to dogs and cats. There are lots of adverts on how probiotics could be beneficial to your pet animals but are you sure whether or not they will work for you and your cats?

Table of Contents

What Are Pet Probiotics?

Simply put, probiotics are living microorganisms that are beneficial to the health when used – so long as they are used in the right quantity and in the right way. A very good example of a microorganism is bacteria, so also is the yeast. You can use it as a remedy for infections, diarrhea, and some other sorts of sicknesses in human beings.

The case is the same in animals, as studies have proven that these microorganisms have been tested for treatment purposes and have proven useful in the treatment of severe diarrhea for some pet animals. This has given some assurance that it will be useful for the treatment of other varieties of diseases. 

Generally, probiotics are used in treating gastrointestinal diseases in pet animals as it has been proven, according to a research carried out on pups, that some probiotics can boost their immune systems so that they can react positively to vaccines.

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How Probiotics Work

In the gastrointestinal tract, there are the good and then some bacteria that can eventually be detrimental to the health. But these two work hand-in-hand to help maintain a healthy digestive system. Some situations or factors may cause the good bacteria to become weak in activities; such situations include a sudden change in diet, traveling, carelessness in food intake, parasites, and so on. 

When this happens, the harmful bacteria resume activities fully and various diseases begin to set in, usually diarrhea most of the time. 

But probiotics can help in treating this disease by boosting up the activities of the good bacteria which then helps to curb the activities of the bad bacteria. They also help the body immune system repel pathogens that may want to invade the immune system by helping the good bacteria to battle off the bad bacteria and then get the necessary nutrients. And when the balance is restored in the gastrointestinal tract, there is a stop in diarrhea. 

At times, probiotics are administered before any symptoms of disease especially when there is a change in diet or before boarding to avoid imbalances in bacteria. But majorly, oftentimes probiotics are given to pet animals after a symptom is noticed and then stopped as soon as there are no more symptoms. Probiotics can also be used to treat other diseases like food allergies, or diseases that may be as a result of recurring bacterial imbalances.

Why Probiotics are used for Pets

Generally, probiotics are administered to pet animals for two reasons: digestive aid and health-related issues. The gastrointestinal tract is full of microflora and according to research; probiotics help to improve digestion in your pet animals because they contain good bacteria. 

So, when you give probiotics to your pet animals as supplements, the good bacteria can take charge of the activities in its digestive tracts and help keep it in good working order. 

Secondly, a report states that some veterinary doctors use probiotics to treat some distress in the digestive system. Although more research needs to be done to confirm this but administering some probiotics to your pet animals can significantly reduce the length of its illness and improve its health status.

How to Know the Right Probiotics for Your Cat?

Probiotics are not the same for all pet animals. Some scientists believe that there should be unique probiotics for various animals, that is, dogs should be given probiotics derived from the dog gastrointestinal system and the cats’ probiotics should only be derived from the cats’ gastrointestinal system. Nevertheless, probiotics derived from humans have proven to be useful in animal treatment as well.

Generally, probiotics that may be good for treatment in pet animals include species of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Enterococcus. However, products that contain these bacteria may not be so easy to find. Some of the probiotics that we buy do not contain the adequate amount of required live organisms in it, contrary to what’s written on its label, or may even contain microorganisms that aren’t written on the label while some organisms may not be listed on the label at all, but might be in the probiotics. 

All these irregularities are the reason you should always consult your veterinary doctor to prescribe a well-trusted probiotic for your pet animals. The majority of these veterinary doctors would have experimented or researched deeply about the effectiveness and the reaction of a probiotic on your pet animals before prescribing it for your pets; thus avoiding putting the lives of your pet animals at risk. Some products may even contain microemulsion in its ingredients – this helps the bacteria in the probiotics to stay alive in the acidic environment of the stomach and then gets to its targeted area, which is the intestinal tract.

Although probiotics may show some side effects after being used for pets, these side effects include bloating, constipation, discomforts in digestion, overstimulation of the immune system and so on. These symptoms may even be worse until your pet animal adapts to it.

Conclusion

If your cat is exhibiting any of the following symptoms; chronic diarrhea, vomiting or flatulence, always consult your veterinary doctor first before administering a probiotic or any other drug. 

This is because not all pet animals need probiotics and not all sicknesses need probiotics, but for the ones that need probiotics, it may not be the only treatment it needs to make it whole again. So, always make sure to ask your veterinary doctor what treatment your sick pet needs and the adequate amount needed to be administered.