Gut Health for Cats: What You Need to Know

Gut Health for Cats: What You Need to Know

The Importance of Gut Health in Cats

Just like people, cats have trillions of microorganisms dwelling of their intestines that assist them course of vitamins from meals and help their immune system. In truth, 70% of a cat’s immune cells are found in their gut; if this technique experiences an imbalance, it might probably considerably have an effect on a cat’s capacity to battle off infections.

A cat’s intestine well being impacts rather more than its digestive tract. An imbalance within the microbiome known as dysbiosis, and might trigger itchy pores and skin, gastrointestinal points, irritation, hairballs, heightened stress ranges or lethargy. If left unaddressed, dysbiosis may also result in a bunch of extra severe well being points.

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Many exterior elements contribute to a cat’s intestine well being. Things like a cat’s food plan, publicity to pathogens outdoor and even their stage of bodily exercise can have each optimistic and unfavorable results on their microbiome. Here, we offer some helpful suggestions for serving to your cat preserve a wholesome, thriving neighborhood of intestine microorganisms.

Common Causes of Gut Problems in Cats

Your cat’s microbiome could be disrupted by a bunch of issues, resembling:

  • Dietary modifications or meals components
  • Antibiotics, antimicrobials or different medicines
  • Unfamiliar or irritating conditions
  • Pathogens from the outside or different animals
  • Chemicals
  • Lack of bodily train

An unhealthy or imbalanced microbiome can lead to:

  • Chronic digestive problems like feline inflammatory bowel illness (IBD)
  • Excessive irritation
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Excessive fuel
  • A weakened immune system
  • Frequent hairballs

It’s essential to notice {that a} cat’s intestine well being is symbiotic with its atmosphere: the identical issues that may trigger dysbiosis, resembling elevated stress ranges, may also be a results of dysbiosis. Therefore, it’s essential to have a holistic understanding of how your cat’s microbiome works with the intention to assist them preserve a wholesome intestine. The following are the most important causes — and results — of dysbiosis in cats.

Young girl holding meat, deal with with hand educating, coaching standing calico cat sniffing tips, begging, choosing, asking meals in lounge, with window shiny gentle, legs

Diet & Dietary Changes

Since intestine micro organism are liable for deriving vitamins and nutritional vitamins from meals, in addition to serving to your cat course of plant matter, something that disrupts the microbiome will manifest in noticeable signs. Dysbiosis may end up from any foods that are toxic to cats, resembling onions, chocolate or grapes, or a food plan that’s heavy in carbohydrates. If you transition your cat to a brand new food plan, achieve this steadily, as abrupt modifications to their consuming habits could cause stress to their digestive tract.


Oral antibiotics and antimicrobials are important for treating infections in cats. However, whereas they will eradicate dangerous pathogens, they will additionally inadvertently wipe out plenty of good micro organism dwelling in your cat’s intestine. If your cat is on an antibiotic routine for an sickness, it’s essential to feed them probiotics to revive useful microbes.


Just like people, stress can negatively have an effect on your cat’s digestion. Likewise, an imbalance and uncomfortable intestine can result in emotions of stress and anxiousness. Stressful conditions that may trigger dysbiosis embrace going to the vet, staying in a kennel or cat lodge, admission to a shelter, loud noises, sudden encounters with different animals, and so on.


Cats inadvertently ingest a great deal of their very own fur by way of grooming. Most of this fur can go via their digestive tract with out incident, particularly if the cat has shorter hair. However, decrease high quality meals, stress or lack of correct water consumption could cause extreme shedding, which might result in hairballs. A hairball is a buildup of indigestible hair that may block a cat’s digestive tract and trigger both constipation or regurgitation. If regurgitated, hairballs don’t pose a big threat to a cat’s intestine well being. However, some hairballs grow to be so obstructive that they impede intestine motility, forestall nutrient absorption and trigger extreme bacterial development. These blockages have to be surgically eliminated.

Underlying Health Issues

Conditions resembling kidney disease, feline leukemia, worms and diabetes can all trigger imbalances in your cat’s intestine. If that is the case, medicines or a change in food plan to keep up intestine well being needs to be a part of your cat’s remedy plan. Your cat’s veterinarian will be capable to suggest the most effective plan of action.

How to Improve Your Cat’s Gut Health

Without a wholesome intestine, your cat can’t reside its finest life. Fortunately, there are many preventative and reactive measures you’ll be able to take to assist your cat’s microbiome flourish and thrive. Before making any vital modifications to your cat’s food plan or life-style, please seek the advice of a veterinarian for steerage.


Cats are obligate carnivores, which implies that they thrive on a food plan excessive in protein and low in carbohydrates. Many cat mother and father discover that feeding their cat a raw diet maximizes their protein consumption whereas delivering clear vitamins from entire, unprocessed meals. If you’re contemplating transitioning your cat to a uncooked or minimally processed food plan, ensure to take action slowly by steadily growing the proportions of latest meals to outdated of their dish over the course of 1–3 weeks. As at all times, attempt to discourage any scavenging habits your cat could have developed, as this could improve the possibility of a intestine well being imbalance. Refer to the chart beneath for a perfect transition schedule.

Percentages are out of the entire quantity of meals given at every feeding.

Before making any modifications to your cat’s food plan, please seek the advice of with a nutrition-focused veterinarian. Any well being points and medicines needs to be accounted for when altering your cat’s food plan or day by day meals consumption.

Day Increments Old Food New meals
Day 1–3 90% 10%
Days 4–6 75% 25%
Days 7–10 50% 50%
Days 11–15 25% 75%
Days 16–20 10% 90%
Days 21–onward 0% 100%

Water Intake

Cats haven’t developed with a excessive thirst drive, since a lot of the moisture they obtain within the wild comes from their food plan of contemporary, uncooked meat. Domestic cats require extra intentional moisture consumption, since inadequate hydration can result in an imbalanced intestine. Feed them top quality, excessive moisture meals (uncooked or canned) to assist in total hydration ranges, even when solely a pair instances every week. Keep a number of bowls of contemporary water the place your cat can attain them (by no means close to their litter field, the place water can grow to be contaminated), or present them with their own water fountain in the event that they prefer to drink from the faucet.


If dangerous micro organism in your cat’s intestines are inflicting an infection or sickness, their vet could prescribe antibiotics. However, since antibiotics don’t discriminate when eradicating micro organism, your cat’s intestine well being could also be considerably weakened after remedy. Luckily, prebiotics, probiotics or different dietary supplements might help restore essential microbes.

Prebiotics & Probiotics

Probiotics are oral dietary supplements that comprise billions of reside micro organism, whereas prebiotics comprise dietary fiber that promotes the expansion of wholesome micro organism. Many cat meals comprise these dietary supplements already, however growing your cat’s consumption might help regulate an imbalance microbiome. Prebiotics and probiotics could be particularly useful following an antibiotic routine; make sure to select capsules specifically formulated to face up to a cat’s robust abdomen acid as they make their technique to the intestines.

Physical Exercise & Mental Stimulation

Exercise stimulates the massive gut, which helps help your cat’s intestine motility. Regular bodily exercise additionally helps your cat preserve a wholesome weight; weight problems can have a unfavorable impact in your cat’s microbiome, to not point out result in a bunch of different well being points. Likewise, cats who’re bored or careworn can expertise poor intestine well being, so it’s essential to maintain them busy and energetic. Engage them in looking play with toys, string or laser pointers; make the most of a puzzle feeder or activity tray at meal instances; and supply them with objects they will climb and scratch to their coronary heart’s content material.

Grooming & Dental Hygiene

Regular fur brushing helps cut back the incidence of gut-blocking hairballs, which is particularly essential for longer-haired cats. And since a cat’s mouth is a part of its digestive tract, oral well being can have a significant impact on intestine well being. Certain meals or toys might help hold your cat’s enamel clear, however brushing could also be required if plaque buildup is extreme. Regularly brushing your cat’s teeth with feline-formulated toothpaste will assist cut back the chance of intestine irritation attributable to dangerous mouth micro organism.

Most cat house owners are usually not specialists in cat well being, and cats are notoriously secretive with their emotions. However, their conduct can ship some revealing messages about their intestine well being, and whether or not intervention is required.

Keep an eye fixed out for indicators like irregular bowel actions, extra frequent hairballs, modifications of their consuming or exercise habits or a normal change in temper. When unsure, seek the advice of a veterinarian for steerage. But in case you take the preventative measures above, you’ll assist your cat preserve optimum intestine well being for years to come back.

Author Bio:

RAWZ makes minimally processed pet meals that pets love. Using 100% rendered-free elements, RAWZ Meal Free Dry Food and Gum Free Wet Food present your cat with the standard protein and wholesome hydration they crave. RAWZ is accessible at choose pet retail shops throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia. One hundred p.c of proceeds are donated to service canine suppliers and to causes that help survivors of traumatic mind and spinal wire accidents.


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