Probiotics: Superhero Microorganisms for Cats?

Probiotics are said to improve the body's ability to fight disease and prevent allergies.

By Lisa Hanks

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The term “probiotics” refers to several strains of bacteria and yeast that might improve the functioning of the intestine’s microorganisms when given as a dietary supplement.

According to Leah Whipple, VMD, an IVAS-certified acupuncturist from Berwyn, Pa., “Probiotics are the ‘good’ microorganisms the intestinal tract needs to function properly.” By encouraging healthy microorganisms to grow, probiotics are supposed to limit the growth of unhealthy organisms in the intestines.

Commonly seen probiotics include Lactobacillus acidophilus (intestinal bacteria), Saccharomyces boulardii (a yeast) and Bifidobacterium bifidum (intestinal bacteria). You might find some forms of probiotics in a few kinds of yogurt, but a larger variety is found in probiotic supplement mixes.

Probiotics are said to improve the body’s ability to fight disease, prevent allergies, minimize inflammatory bowel disease and optimize digestion. Currently, studies have shown little about the effectiveness of probiotics on cats, but many holistic practitioners state that these little microorganisms can be helpful in particular cases.

Be wary, though. “There is some difference in the intestinal microorganisms in dogs and cats, and also between cats and humans,” Whipple says. Probiotic mixes formulated for one species don’t always work as well for another species. Consult with a veterinarian on whether probiotics are a good choice for your cat.

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Reader Comments

Stephanie    Waupaca, WI

12/7/2013 10:06:00 PM

Hi All! My husband and I run a wonderful rescue for kitty's. "Probiotics" are amazing!!! They have helped with nearly every tummy,colon,intestine,
bowel, DE-WORMING FOR ROUND-WORMS,HOOKWORMS & TAPEWORMS issues AND Even vomiting! After many hours of research I have found only 1, yes ONE "probiotic" that has every ingredient that is pertinent to a pet's digestive system!---Nature's Bounty---Intensive Strength, DIGEST 13! (Walgreens in my favorite place to purchase this as they ALWAYS have different sales going on, however it can be purchased at health food stores, grocery stores, super stores and pharmacy's.
The 6 main ingredients that are needed for a cat/dog: AND NATURES BOUNTY-DIGEST 13 HAS THEM ALL!
1.)Amylasa 2.)Protease SP 3.)Lipase 4.)Bromelain 5.)Papain & 6.)Lactase
I although have a hard time pronouncing these ingredients, I am VERY familiar with DIGEST 13 and have been using it nearly 4 months! Of course there are different doses and a time on how long you administer it, I whole-heartedly believe in this product! If you are interest on dosing instructions I would be glad to email them.
Thanks so much for letting me put my 2 cents in :)
Stephanie-TLCcattery,recue.n.transport

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

11/29/2012 2:48:17 AM

good article, thanks

Maggi    Le Sueur, MN

11/18/2011 6:15:38 PM

My vet recommended probiotics for our cats who have herpes virus. I was told that almost all cats have this virus but it shows up more in the ones who get stressed!I have had cats before and didn't know that their boogly eyes was a symptom of that.

Bella    Arden, DE

10/14/2010 8:56:31 PM

These articles are wonderful!

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