A healthy digestive system is crucial to a comfortable life. The digestive tract houses a great proportion of your cat's immune system cells. Thus taking care of the gut can have many effects on a cat’s overall health. This is where probiotics can help. These beneficial microorganisms work to improve digestion and boost the immune system by negating the harmful effects of pathogenic bacteria in the gut. So, if you want your kitty to lead a life that’s more meaningful, healthier, and less prone to infections, then you might want to read our quick guide to the best probiotics for cats.
The Best Probiotic for Your Cat
|Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Probiotic||Buy on Amazon||4.7|
|Nutramax Proviable-DC Capsules Cat Supplement||Buy on Amazon||4.7|
|VetriScience Vetri-Mega Probiotic Digestive Health Cat||Buy on Amazon||4.6|
|Premo Probiotic For Cats||Buy on Amazon||4.2|
|NaturVet Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotic Supplement||Buy on Amazon||4.7|
|Fera Pet Organics Probiotics For Dogs & Cats||Buy on Amazon||4.4|
|DrFormulas Probiotic For Cats||Buy on Amazon||4.3|
|Hyperbiotics PRO-Pets Probiotic For Cats||Buy on Amazon||4.5|
|Pet Naturals Daily Probiotic Cat Chews||Buy on Amazon||4.2|
|Finest For Pets TummyWorks Probiotics Supplement||Buy on Amazon||4.4|
- Contains Enterococcus faecium
- Includes vitamins C and E, taurine, and beta-carotene
- Enriched with manganese, iron, calcium, sodium, and copper
- The powder form is easy to administer
The Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Fortiflora is not really a dedicated pet probiotic for cats since it only contains a still-undisclosed number of colony-forming units (CFUs) of the good bacteria Enterococcus faecium. A little added bonus of the Pro Plan FortiFlora formula is the carefully selected range of vitamins including manganese, calcium, iron, copper, and sodium – all added to fortify not only your cat’s digestion but also their immune health, brain development, bone strength, and eyesight.
At the very least, since it is considered as a nutritional supplement, you’ll have a much better chance at ensuring optimum nutrition for your feline pet especially since the FortiFlora comes enriched with taurine as well as the vitamins C and E. Taurine should prove invaluable if you’re providing your cat less animal meats.
Liver Flavor, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Zinc Proteinate, Taurine, Salt, Manganese Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite
- Every capsule contains 5 billion CFUs
- Also contains FOS and gum arabic as prebiotics
- Can be used for short- or long-term digestive support
- Mainly recommended by vets
This Nutramax product is considered one of the best probiotics for cats with diarrhea especially when used in combination with the company’s Proviable KP paste. The Proviable DC Digestive Health Supplement supplies a variety of gut-friendly bacteria to reestablish the normal balance of intestinal flora in the gut and minimize the incidence of diarrhea especially those brought about by antibiotics. Adding to the probiotics are two prebiotic ingredients that help strengthen the functioning of the digestive system of cats, further enhancing the overall gut health-giving benefits of Proviable DC.
Our only question is that the packaging clearly states that the Proviable DC is only sold through veterinarians, yet it is widely available through online commerce platforms. Because of this, we would recommend only seeking the Proviable-DC from your vet and avoiding outside sources.
Total Bacteria, Min. 5 Billion Cfu’S (Colony Forming Unit) Per Capsule(Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Enterococcus Faecium, Enterococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Plantarum).
- Each 500 mg capsule contains 5 billion CFUs
- Also includes FOS (fructooligosaccharides)
- Can be easily administered
- Includes 8 different probiotic strains
Featuring 7 different probiotic organisms plus fructooligosaccharides, the Vetri Mega Probiotic is a great pet probiotic, specially designed for both dogs and cats. The formulation makes it one of the ideal probiotics for cats with diarrhea, flatulence, constipation, or any of the other signs of food intolerance.
Vetri Mega comes in capsule form and not in the more packed tablet, meaning it can be used in powder form by breaking open the capsule if you find your cat to be difficult when it comes to medication. The capsules also make these probiotics easily digestible as the stomach is not having to break down a compacted tablet. You should also be happy to know that each of the 500mg capsules produced by VetriScience contains 5 billion CFUs (colony-forming units), meaning they are faster and more efficient at doing their job.
Microcrystalline Cellulose, Fructooligosaccharides, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Silicon Dioxide, Dried Lactobacillus Brevis Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Bifidum Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Thermophilus Fermentation Product.
- Contains 1 billion CFUs per scoop
- Helps to strengthen the immune system
- Includes the prebiotic inulin
- Comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee
When compared to the other feline probiotics we have in this list, the amount of beneficial bacteria per serving of the PremoPet Probiotics is somewhat lower at only 1 billion CFUs per unit of measure. With other brands providing 2 to 5 billion CFUs. Nevertheless, PremoPet prides itself on a GMP certification for its production facility as well as certification from the NPA regarding the quality of its probiotics. You get excellent probiotics for cats with diarrhea and other signs of gastrointestinal upsets.
For those that are concerned about the effectiveness of the product, PremoPet provides a 60-day guarantee for the use of its Premo Probiotic. Just in case you’re not satisfied with what you see in your pet, you can just as easily request a refund. It also comes in powdered form so the administration is never fussy.
B. animalis, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. plantarum, L. reuteri, Inulin (FOS, prebiotic)
- 1/4 teaspoon contains 100 million CFUs of B coagulans
- Contains 4.1 calories per teaspoon
- Good for flatulence, and sensitive tummies
- Offers 100% money-back guarantee
Like the Purina FortiFlora, the NaturVet Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotic is more of an enzymatic preparation for kitties rather than exclusive probiotics for kittens and adult cats. The reason for this is that it only comes with a single species of good bacteria. Nevertheless, it also comes with a good amount of enzymes which should help promote better digestion especially if you’re giving your cat carbohydrate-rich foods, thanks to the inclusion of cellulase and amylase into the formulation.
Technically, NaturVet is designed primarily to help in the transition of feeding, say from the food designed for kittens to the one designed for adults or when there is a change in cat food.
Fructooligosaccharide, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Solubles, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Product, Carica Papaya, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, and Maltodextrin.
- Contains 11 strains of good live bacteria
- The tasteless powder is easy to administer
- Free from additives, preservatives, diary, and gluten
- Contains 5 billion CFUs per scoop
If you are looking for an organic probiotic for your cat, then FERA Probiotics for Dogs and Cat Probiotics could be just what you need. The veterinarian formulated powder is made from 11 different strains of good bacteria and contains 5 billion CFUs per scoop. The tasteless powder can be easily mixed with your furry feline’s normal food, so no need to hide it in treats or risk them spitting it out.
The powder contains no fillers, preservatives or additives, and is also free from wheat, corn, soy, dairy, and gluten. It is ideal for cats with sensitive stomachs or those recovering from infections or the side-effects of taking antibiotics.
Organic Prebiotics: Fos (Fructooligosaccharides), Organic Inulin Derived From Agave, Organic Acacia Probiotics: Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Bifidobacterium Infantis, Enterococcus Faeciuim, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium Longum, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Lactobacillus Brevis
- Contains 23 different probiotics
- 17 billion CFUs per pre-dosed capsule
- Provides constipation and diarrhea support
- Free from GMOs
If your cat has been suffering from an upset stomach, then Nexabiotic Probiotic for Cats & Dogs might be just what you are looking for. The probiotic formula includes 23 different probiotics with constipation support and diarrhea treatment. The formula comes in capsules, which can either be given inside treats or opened and mixed with food or water.
These probiotics are tasteless and made from human-grade ingredients, meaning their flavor can be easily masked by pate, food, and treats. Each pre-dosed capsule contains 17 billion CFUs and is free from GMO ingredients. The capsules themselves are also vegetarian and the supplements are made in an FDA and GMP-inspected facility.
Capsugel, DRCaps, Low Moisture Rice Dextrin and Medium Chain Triglycerides
- Each pearl tablet contains 3 billion CFUs
- Guaranteed a minimum of 1 billion CFUs at expiry
- Uses time-release mechanism to bypass gastric juices
- No artificial ingredients included
One of the best things about the PRO-Pets Probiotic for Dogs and Cats is that it comes with the proprietary time-release technology known as BIO-Tract. This allows the probiotics to be released over a period of 8 to 10 hours, significantly avoiding the highly acidic gastric juices from the stomach and, thus increasing the viability of the live beneficial microorganisms in the small intestines. That is why many experts consider the PRO-Pets to be 15 times more effective than competing brands.
The same technology helps ensure that towards the product’s expiration date there will still be a minimum of 1 billion CFUs, a reduction of only two-thirds its original amount. Other products simply have a complete loss of their probiotic potential by expiry. This makes the PRO-Pets truly one of the best probiotics for cats.
Microcrystalline cellulose, natural meat flavor□, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, pectin, stearic acid, sodium carbonate, guar gum.
- Contains Bacillus coagulans and fructooligosaccharides
- Contain 100 million CFUs per gram
- 30 x duck flavored one-a-day chews
- Free from corn, wheat, and artificial ingredients
If you are looking to provide additional immune support for your furry feline, then Pet Naturals Daily Probiotic for Cats could help. These tasty duck-flavored probiotic chews provide 100 million CFUs and can provide gut support for cats of all ages, meaning you don’t need to worry about meeting the specific needs of your cat based on its current stage in life.
These Pet Naturals chews are also free from artificial ingredients, as well as being corn and wheat-free. Seeing as a lot of digestive distress is the direct result of food allergies and sensitivities, Pet Naturals have done well to avoid certain troublesome ingredients that could potentially trigger a negative reaction.
Fructooligosaccharides, Oat Flour, Soy Lecithin, Barley Flour, Rice Flour, Rye Flour, Oat Meal, Natural Duck Flavor, Brewers Dried Yeast, Canola Oil, Glycerin, Amylase (from Aspergillus Oryzae), Protease (from Aspergillus Oryzae), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Lipase (from Aspergillus Niger), Cellulase (from Trichoderma Reesei), Lactase (from Aspergillus Oryzae), Hemicellulase (from Trichoderma Reesei), Bromelain (from Ananas Comusus), Papain (from Carcica Papya), Propionic Acid (a Preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (a Preservative), Aloe Vera Gel Concentrate, Sodium Alginate, Calcium Sulfate.
- Contains 2 billion CFUs for every scoop
- Consists of 10 strains of good bacteria
- Incorporates 6 digestive enzymes
- Contains the prebiotic FOS
TummyWorks is an excellent choice when it comes to probiotics for cats with diarrhea because of its unique combination of digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics to help provide for a healthier digestive tract. This should help ensure the more efficient movement of the bowels without upsetting the rest of the GI tract.
TummyWorks comes with 6 enzymes, 10 probiotic organisms, and fructooligosaccharides for excellent immune system functioning, improved digestion, and enhanced overall health. All of these are made available in an easy-to-administer powdered formulation. It also comes with a month-long guarantee so it should be a pleasant purchase for those who would like to give the best pet probiotics to their respective feline friends.
Prebiotic- feeds “good bacteria”: FOS (Fructooligiosaccharide).
Probiotics- 2 Billion CFUs per scoop: Lactobaccilus Acidophilus, L. Brevis, L. Casei, L. Rhamnosus, L. Plantarum, L. Reuteri, L. Fermentum, L. Bifidum, B. Longum, E. Faecium.
Digestive Enzymes: Protease, Cellulose, Amylase, Lipase, Beta-gluconase, Bromelain.
Other Ingredients: Maltodextrin.
Best Probiotic for Your Cat Buying Guide
There are many reasons why you need to give your feline pal a healthy dose of good-quality probiotics. However, to do that, you must be able to identify which among the various brands of probiotics on the market can be rightfully entitled “the best”. This buying guide has been put together to help you figure out how best to narrow down your selection.
Why are Probiotics for Cats Important?
Probiotics, in simple words, are microorganisms that are naturally found in the digestive tract of mammals. They are considered to be a normal part of the gastrointestinal environment and play a variety of roles including the synthesis of certain vitamins as well as the production of short-chain fatty acids. Some clinical studies have also established the clinical usefulness of probiotic bacteria in the management of certain disorders of the central nervous system.
The feline gastrointestinal tract, as well as humans and other mammals, is the residence of a vast network of microorganisms. Like all complicated networks, there exists an important balance between healthy and unhealthy microorganisms. If the balance is maintained, then optimum health is ensured.
However, if there is an imbalance, then health problems may potentially arise. This can include problems occurring in the immune system, issues in the way nutrients are digested and metabolized, the development of obesity and allergies, the presence of bad breath, and even changes in the overall temperament of the cat.
Good bacteria levels can be negatively impacted by a variety of causes such as:
- Antibiotics cause both good and bad bacteria to be killed.
- Nutritional imbalances can also lead to the demise of many good microorganisms.
- Compromised immune system functions strengthen the pathogenicity of unhealthy microorganisms, thus overwhelming the good ones.
- Environmental toxins, chemical pollutants, and pesticides as well as other harmful chemicals.
- The aging process can also lead to changes in the microbiome of the feline gut.
It is quite easy to spot if there is an imbalance in the digestive microbiome. Typically, if the cat shows any of the following manifestations, there is a great chance that the feline is suffering from an unhealthy digestive tract:
It is for this reason that the healthy microbial flora of the cat’s digestive tract is restored. This is where probiotics can help. And this is why it is important for cats to receive their daily dose of good quality pet probiotics. Persistence and diligence are key to ensuring your cat is receiving the correct amount of probiotics on a daily basis in order to benefit fully from their effects.
Benefits of Probiotics for Cats
We now know that animal probiotic supplements help reestablish the normal balance of microbial biome in the digestive tract of our pet cats. But what does it really mean for our little furry friends? Here are some of the benefits of probiotics for our feline friends.
Helps Prevent and Manage Feline Diarrhea and Constipation
There are many reasons why cats experience both constipation and diarrhea. However, the most common cause of these problems is the result of antibiotics being administered either following an operation or simply to fight off an infection.
The antimicrobial agent not only kills the pathogenic bacteria that are causing an infection but also kills the healthy bacteria in the gut. This changes the way in which water is reabsorbed into the blood, either leaving more of it in the stool and causing diarrhea or having the opposite effect and causing hardened stools instead. Giving probiotics help restore the healthy levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut to reduce the severity of the issue.
Helps Maintain the Integrity of the Heart
One of the most common heart conditions experienced by cats is cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes problems in the muscles of the heart. As a result, the heart may have difficulty pumping blood efficiently. Predominantly, the cause of feline cardiomyopathy is genetics. However, it is also frequently brought about by hypertension.
Since one of the mechanisms that can increase blood pressure is the accumulation of fatty plaques within the walls of the blood vessels, it is important for cats to have low-fat diets. Probiotics can also help since these healthy microorganisms have been shown to reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels. This aids in preventing the abnormal accumulation of fat in the blood vessel walls which can contribute to hypertension.
Reduces the Severity of Food Allergies in Cats
Nobody actually knows how exactly probiotics can help with allergies, but non-experimental researches have shown quite a remarkable correlation between the introduction of probiotics and the incidence of skin and food allergies and sensitivities in dogs and cats.
It should be understood that in no way are probiotics cures for allergies as the disease is actually a multi-factorial phenomenon. However, if it can reduce the symptoms of food allergies as well as skin allergies in cats, then what you get is a happy kitty.
Reduces the Symptoms of Certain Disorders of the Cat’s Digestive Tract
Inflammatory bowel disease is quite common in cats. This causes vomiting and diarrhea as well as a host of other symptoms. While these healthy microorganisms are not known to cure the disease itself, studies have shown that they can reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with these digestive tract disorders. At the very least, your feline friend will lead an otherwise more normal life.
Boosts the Functioning of the Immune System
There are a variety of ways in which probiotics for cats can help improve immune system functioning. First, it helps prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Second, some probiotics are known to aid in the synthesis of natural antibodies while also boosting the capability of natural killer cells, T-lymphocytes, and even cells that produce immunoglobulins. What this simply means is that probiotics have the uncanny ability to help our pets ward off infections.
Helps Reduce Body Weight in Obese Cats
If your feline friend happens to be your version of Garfield, then giving a healthy dose of feline probiotics can help reduce its weight to more ideal levels. Some probiotic microorganisms are known to prevent the absorption of fat in the cat’s intestine. This is then passed out as oily feces. There are also those that lead to the increased synthesis of certain hormones that help burn more calories while increasing satiety. Examples of such microorganisms include the rhamnosus and gasseri species from the Lactobacillus genera of bacteria. You may also like our guide on Cat Food for Weight Loss.
What to Look for in a Good Probiotic
Like all things, not all probiotics are created equal. Despite having the same healthy microbial content, some would have undergone tests that ensure their increased viability from the time of manufacture to the time of use until their expiry. As such it is important to be knowledgeable of the things to look for in a good probiotic for your feline pal.
Living or Dead?
Ideally, you would want a probiotic with live healthy microbial strains. This helps ensure that your cat is getting the full range of health benefits afforded to them. But be sure to check the lifespan of the probiotics you have chosen. Live bacterial strains can only survive in packaged form for a limited period of time.
There are also those bacteria that are already considered “dead”. There are some dead microbes available that are specially formulated to have a positive impact on the health of your cat’s digestive tract. However, they are not considered probiotics. As such, it is crucial that you get probiotics with certified live bacteria.
Pure Microbial Strains
Aim for probiotics that contain only live microorganisms where possible. It is usually common to find products that also contain digestive enzymes or even prebiotics. This is technically okay since both substances work synergistically with probiotics to improve digestive health.
What you should try to avoid is using additional supplements alongside your probiotics (such as prebiotics) as these may interfere with the effectiveness of the probiotics. Experts say cats will benefit a lot from Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus species as these can be exceptional in promoting healthy digestion and colonic health, respectively.
As usual, try to avoid unnecessary flavor enhancers as well as artificial flavors or preservatives and other unnecessary filler ingredients that may be added to the mix. Some contain animal digest, a flavor enhancer. You may or may not want to have this in your chosen probiotic. Of course, this doesn’t count for probiotic cat treats. But when looking for purely probiotic treatment, the fewer fillers, and flavorings it contains, the better.
How to Give Probiotics to Your Cat
Probiotics can come in various forms. Each form can have an impact on the way you administer the probiotics to your cat. Powdered forms are easily mixed into the food of felines. Many of these come without added flavors and as such will not affect the taste of your kitty’s favorite food. There are also preparations that come in tablet or capsule forms.
Tablets can be administered hidden in cat treats or slathered in pate. Capsules can be given both in tablet form or broken apart to release the granules and mix them in with their food. There are also probiotics that come in liquid form which can also be mixed with your cat’s wet food, or dropped straight into their mouth. Most probiotics tend to come in powder form, but it’s helpful to know the variations.
Can I Give My Cat Human Probiotics?
While it is easy to see why you would want to give human-grade probiotics to your cat, veterinarians strongly advise against it. The normal bacterial flora of the human gut is significantly different from that of cats. Although there are no studies to show that giving human probiotics to our pets is necessarily harmful, there are also no studies proving that it isn’t. Therefore it is better to err on the side of caution to prevent any unfortunate side effects.
Probiotics are amazing microorganisms that provide a host of health benefits. So it is important that we exercise diligence when it comes to selecting the best cat probiotic for your kitty. The probiotics we have listed in this guide are what we could consider to be the best starting point. However, that’s not to say that you might not find another brand that you prefer. Each brand works in slightly different ways, and one might be more effective for your cat than another, so feel free to experiment.
It is possible for your cat to experience side effects when using probiotic supplements. The most common reactions seen in some cats with various probiotic strains are bloating, excess gas (temporary), thirst, and constipation. It is possible, in extremely rare cases of cats with compromised immune systems, for them to develop an infection that may require veterinary treatment to clear.
Yes. Probiotic cat treats are a tasty way to administer probiotics to your cat and to help them maintain healthy gut bacteria. Many owners with particularly fussy cats that may refuse medication tend to opt for the easier treat route, as putting probiotic powder, probiotic gel, or probiotic tablets into your cat’s food may not always be an option. However, keep in mind that cat treats are usually quite fatty and
Yes. Though it is worth keeping in mind that it is possible for your cat to experience sit effects or even allergic reactions (in rare cases) to some supplements. The best way to try and ensure a reduced chance of such reactions occurring, try to aim for the best-recommended supplements with a quality guarantee. Probiotic supplements recommended by the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) have gone through careful quality control processes to ensure the best probiotics for your kitty.
When you start giving the probiotic supplement to your cat there won’t be any immediate changes. Ordinarily, probiotics (as well as other supplements and vitamins) take around 2-3 weeks to begin taking effect. Probiotics help to improve both digestive and immune health, but first, they need to put in the work to increase the good gut bacteria count, decrease bad bacteria, and reduce inflammation – all of which take time.
The number of probiotics you give to your cat will depend entirely on their body weight and health requirement. Unfortunately, there is no one universal dosage amount of probiotics for cats. Seeing as probiotics come in various forms including liquid, powder, and pills, there is no one-size-fits-all amount to administer. Our best advice is for you to read carefully through the probiotic dose instructions provided by your chosen supplement manufacturer (for example, pet ultimates probiotics require a single scoop with each meal) in order to ensure your cat is getting the most out of it.
Probiotics can be helpful for cats struggling both with loose bowels and ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory bowel disease that can trigger constipation). Seeing as probiotics are made to regulate the flora within the bowel and reduce bad bacteria, they are ideal for helping to regulate irregular bowel movements – be they too frequent or not frequent enough. Furthermore, probiotics can help slow the progression of kidney disease.