Risks And Considerations Of Probiotics For Cats
Adverse effects of probiotics are rare in cats. Frey, however, warns that cat owners should choose their probiotic brands wisely. The supplement industry is loosely regulated and there isn’t a governing agency that requires a company to prove its label claims for amounts and strains. Companies only have to respond to complaints, she explains. Human supplement manufacturers are required to have more oversight than veterinary ones. There is, however a veterinary organization called National Animal Supplement Council that does provide some oversight. Frey recommends giving cats a veterinary product that has the NASC label or a product from a company that also produces human supplements and foods whenever possible.
But at the end of the day, it all comes down to what works the best for your specific pet. We know so little about probiotic and normal flora populations in animals. There is much to learn, says Frey. No one product works for every animal so trying different probiotics and watching for results is a good common sense approach.
Optimum cat health starts with proper nutrition. Find out what human foods are dangerous for cats and avoid feeding them to your feline friend.
Help us make PetMD better
Was this article helpful?
What did you find helpful?
- This article had helpful info and advice that I trust.
- Article was somewhat helpful, but could be improved.
What was not helpful?
- Article wasn’t very helpful and needs improvement.
Cat Diets & Their Health
One of the easiest ways to support your cats immune system is by ensuring that their diet is giving them the nutrients they need. But going to the pet store and walking down the cat food aisle can be more than overwhelming. The options for cat food are endless today.
Youve probably heard the hype about grain free diets, raw food diets, wet food diets versus dry food diets, and everything else on the shelves. But what does your cat need? The ASPCA has a handy guide to cat nutrition for felines of all ages, but the best way to discover what your cat individually needs in their diet is to talk to your PetWellClinic veterinarian. Your veterinarian can tell a lot about what nutrients your cat may be lacking through bloodwork done at their annual exams. This is something that can be done when you bring your cat to PetWellClinic for their Cat Wellness Package. The important thing to remember is that finding the right food for your cat doesnt have to be complicated. There are always a lot of companies trying to sell you the latest and greatest, but their products may not always be what your cat needs. But your veterinarian can make recommendations based on your cats health.
The Top Ten Pet Supplements: Do They Work
An Embarrassment of Riches?
Much has been written here about the dietary supplement business, a multibillion dollar industry with powerful political connections, and about the woeful inadequacy of regulation which allows widespread marketing of supplements without a solid basis in science or scientific evidence.
The veterinary supplement market is a pittance compared to the human market, but still a billion-dollar pittance that is growing rapidly. Unfortunately, the resources available for good quality research in veterinary healthcare are also a pittance, and it is not at all unusual for our pets to suffer, or even be euthanized, as a result of treatable diseases for want of money to pay for needed care. So $1 billion a year spent on nutritional supplements may not be such a good deal if these products dont effectively prevent or treat disease.
The variety of supplements available is staggering. Many proprietary concoctions of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other ingredients are marketed for health maintenance, boosting the immune system,retarding aging, or treating specific diseases. A comprehensive review of this multitude of moving targets is impossible. But the lions share of the pet supplement market goes to a few specific compounds, so I will focus on these. Most of these ingredients are also among the most popular supplements for humans, so there will be substantial overlap with previous discussions of the plausibility and evidence for many of these substances.
You May Like: Why Is My Cat’s Foot Swollen
My Top 10 Immunity Enhancing Supplements
Move over, David Letterman, because heres my top ten list. In order of importance and supportive scientific evidence, here are 10 natural remedies that can boost immunity:
1) VITAMIN D 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily for most adults is safe and effective for the prevention of flus, colds, cancer and approximately 200 different diseases. No other supplemented nutrient has been as extensively studied as vitamin D. Thousands of studies support its use in higher than RDA doses. For the best source of information and documentation of all the benefits, visit the Vitamin D Council.If you have adequate blood levels of Vitamin D it is possible to prevent any and all infections. The trouble is that one has to get enough sunshine in order for the body to manufacture sufficient vitamin D through the action of ultraviolet light on the skin. This may be very difficult to achieve during the winter months in Canada. Hence, regular oral supplementation of emulsified vitamin D drops is almost mandatory. Check your blood levels before supplementing with vitamin D. The optimal average adult dose is between 5000 and 10,000 IU daily. For more information, see my book,Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin.
6) SELENIUM 200 mcg daily regular supplementation reduces the risk of cancers of the bladder, breast, bowel, lung and prostate. I usually recommend that people take a vitamin E complex 400 IU with selenium because the two nutrients work synergistically.
Vitamin Code Raw Zinc 30 Mg
Vitamin Code raw zinc contains 67% of the RDA of vitamin C alongside zinc, further increasing its skin and immune system benefits.
Vitamin Code raw zinc contains no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or additives and is suitable for vegans.
Vitamin Code recommend taking the supplement twice daily. However, this dose is higher than the RDA of zinc, and a person should speak to their healthcare provider before consumption.
Read Also: Cat Squint
Harness The Healing Power Of Dog Massage
Touch, massage, and similar methods can be beneficial for dogs because they promote relaxation and healing, which, in turn, affect overall health, Coger says. While there is limited veterinary research on the effects of massage on animals, human-based studies have shown that massage can reduce levels of stress hormones in the body. In addition, a research review published in 2014 stated that moderate pressure massage contributes to enhanced immune function among many other positive effects. Although we cant be sure, it seems reasonable to think that dogs could experience similar benefits from massage.
Top 10 Recommendations For Supporting Immune Health
Using a functional medicine approach , we can now look at specific methods and tools to support your dog or cats gut health, and thereby optimize his immune health. Another important goal is to minimize his exposure to the common offenders that can suppress immune system function, such as toxins in food and water, excessive vaccines, and overuse of prescription medications.
Recommended Reading: Blue Wilderness Cat Food Ingredients
Consider Certain Supplements For Your Dog
To increase the effectiveness of the immune system, you may consider supplementing your dogs diet with certain nutrients. But Coger advises against buying a supplement for every possible condition. Giving your dog many different products makes it easy to overdo some ingredients, and conflicting ingredients can interfere with absorption, she warns.
Supplements that Coger does recommend are probiotics, which are coveted because they introduce beneficial microorganisms into the digestive tract. As Tudor explains, Healthy gut flora promotes improved gut immunity, which has shown to promote improved internal immunity.
If youre considering supplementing your dogs diet with probiotics, keep in mind that the canine microbiome differs from ours. So giving them the same supplement that you take, or treating them to a serving of yogurt, is probably not going to benefit them. A better alternative is to consult with your vet about dosing and appropriate probiotic species and strains.
Another supplement to consider is fish oil, which contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Tudor says fatty acids are essential because they temper the inflammatory response. Getting adequate amounts via diet can be tricky, however, so he recommends giving your dog a fish oil supplement.
Tudor also recommends curcumin, the active ingredient present in turmeric. Aside from containing anti-cancer properties, curcumin is also an anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever, he says.
Increase Immune System Health
Maintaining a healthy immune system is key to enhancing the longevity of your cats life. A healthy immune system can keep your cat from getting sick, making enjoying each others company all the easier.
Nobody wants a sneezy, wheezy, sick cat after all!
Fortunately, a cat joint supplement can boost your cats immune system and keep sickness at bay.
Studies show that certain ingredients in cat supplements may improve their immune system health. These ingredients can help your cats body fight infections before they take too strong a hold.
Some of these ingredients are listed below:
In particular, L-Lysine is a great option for warding off respiratory illnesses, such as feline herpes. This illness can cause unpleasant symptoms like conjunctivitis, sneezing, lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite.
Certainly, nothing you want your cat to experience!
When choosing a cat supplement, you dont want to accidentally make matters worse, especially if you already have a sick cat. As such, always be sure to share a conversation with your vet before trying a new cat supplement.
Summary : Feeding your cat a supplement can provide an immune system boost.
Recommended Reading: My Cat Has Bumps On Her Neck
A Healthy Cat Is A Happy Cat
A good rule of thumb for cat owners, and a wonderful take away from this blog post, is that a happy cat is usually a healthy cat. Our feline friends dont always show obvious symptoms or distress when theyre sick or hurting, so its important to use the power of preventive veterinary medicine to do everything to make sure they stay healthy. What specific steps should you take to keep your cat healthy?
- An annual physical exam
How To Give Probiotics To Your Cat
While some veterinarians prescribe probiotics once a pet has an existing issue, like diarrhea, Mahaney recommends that pet parents make probiotic supplements a daily part of a cats health routine. I feel that giving a daily probiotic supplement is a safe way to hopefully help deter the development of digestive problems, he explains. If the cat is willing to take it, its a pretty simple thing to do.
Antibiotics are notorious for wiping out healthy gut flora. In order to combat this, Frey recommends giving a cat a daily dose of probiotics when a cat has been on antibiotics in order to help repopulate the digestive tract. To be proactive, pet parents can also give their cats probiotics at the same time that they start a dose of antibiotics. The probiotics are often extended for several weeks beyond stopping the antibiotic, as it takes a long time to make those good bacteria stick, says Frey.
In order to administer a dosage, its best to follow the instructions on the package. If a cat will not swallow a capsule, owners can hide it inside of a treat or pick a product that can be sprinkled on the cats food. Before giving your cat probiotics or other supplements, make sure to consult your veterinarian to ensure the proper dosage and type for your cat.
Don’t Miss: Blue Wilderness For Kittens
Do Immune Supplements For Cats Work
The immune system requires some particular nutrients to work properly. If given more of these nutrients than the minimum daily recommendation, the immune system may work better. After all, remember that the daily values are minimums. Theyre what your cat needs to work okay. However, more is sometimes a good thing.
There havent actually been that many studies done on immune supplements from cats. One of the very few that we have was published in 2013. This study only included 43 cats. These cats were split into different groups and supplemented with different things. The immune system was then measured based on the lymphocyte proliferative response, which is basically how strongly the immune system responds to a germ.
The supplements arginine, nucleotide, and salmon oil all showed significantly more immune response than the control group. The study concluded that supplementation might help the immune system of healthy cats respond better to infections and diseases.
Therefore, it does seem like these supplements work. While more studies are necessary, the current information looks very promising. Of course, we recommend choosing one or more of the supplements used in the study when youre trying to boost your cats immune system.
L-lysine has been shown to have minimal effects on the immune system, though they are short-term. If used to improve your cats immune system, this supplement needs to be given regularly.
Cat Supplements To Avoid
Experts say there are a lot of unsafe supplements, but the biggest ones to avoid include:
- Garlic: destroys red blood cells, leading to anemia
- Onion: destroys red blood cells, leading to anemia
- Calcium: too much can be toxic
- Vitamin D: too much can be toxic
- Vitamin C: too much can cause overly acidic urine, which can lead to crystal formation and a lifethreatening blockage
Read Also: Can Kittens Eat Egg Yolk
Thorne Zinc Picolinate 30 Mg
Thorne zinc picolinate contains 30 milligrams of zinc, bound to the organic acid picolinic acid. The picolinic acid helps the body to absorb zinc.
According to the company, this product is NSF Certified for Sport Details.People should take Thorne zinc picolinate once a day or as recommended by a doctor.
May Relieve Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term autoimmune condition that causes warm, swollen, painful joints. It is increasing in prevalence in the United States, where it affects more than 1.28 million adults .
Some studies suggest that cats claw can help relieve its symptoms.
For example, a study in 40 people with rheumatoid arthritis determined that 60 mg of cats claw extract per day alongside regular medication resulted in a 29% reduction in the number of painful joints compared to a control group .
As with osteoarthritis, cats claw is thought to reduce inflammation in your body, easing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms as a result .
Although these results are promising, the evidence is weak. Larger, better-quality studies are needed to confirm these benefits.
Research suggests that cats claw extract may aid your immune system and reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, more studies are needed.
- ovarian cysts
Due to the lack of research, its unclear whether cats claw is an effective or safe treatment option for any of these ailments.
Despite many marketing claims, there is insufficient evidence to support using cats claw for conditions like cancer, allergies, and AIDS.
You May Like: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Food
More Is Not Always Better
It’s important to remember that you can harm your cat by giving them too many supplements.
Cats of different ages and lifestyles have very different dietary needs. Do not use different supplements together, as they may contain the same or similar ingredients.
Always talk to your vet before giving your cat any type of supplements. âOver-supplementation can have ill side effects,â Cruz says. âRemember, more is not always better.â
Sodium Ascorbate Vitamin C
Sodium ascorbate is an over-the-counter form of Vitamin C which boosts the immune system and provides antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects.
Elevated vitamin C levels aid immune system regeneration while also destroying bacteria and viruses.
First, make sure you get the sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C.Do not use ascorbic acid, which is the most common form of vitamin C.
Sodium Ascorbate is neutral pH, so the gastrointestinal side effects are less compared to Ascorbic Acid.
Ascorbic Acid is the most common form of vitamin C, but because of its acidic pH, its use is not recommended
The standard supplement dosage for adult cats is 1/8 twice daily in food.
For kittens and cats under 7 lbs, start out at 1/16 tsp twice daily food.
Sodium ascorbate is a neutral pH. It does not taste sour or cause gastrointestinal distress like ascorbic acid does in high doses. Its usually difficult to find the sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C in the drugstore, so we recommend purchasing it online. We usually get ours on Amazon.com.
A couple of good brands are:
For large pets, the 2.2 lb size is the better deal, for small pets the 8 oz. or 16 oz. should last a couple of months.
Also Check: Cat Heartrate