Are probiotics good for my cat? Do they make a difference to feline health and wellbeing? These questions are ones I am asked a lot since my return from BlogPaws® where I met the people from Humarian Healthcare.
Humarian have developed a probiotic,
How this post will help cat parents
- I will introduce Humarian Healthcare, so you get to know the company.
- Explain what probiotics are and why they matter to cats.
- The benefits probiotics can bring to your cat family.
- With user-friendly explanations, I will help you understand the science behind these microscopic miracles,
- and I will also tell you what probiotics can’t do.
NOTE I am using a few technical terms, so there is a glossary at the end of the post.
Dash Kitten’s Probonix was supplied to us by Humarian free of charge. We only share news and products that are relevant to our readers. The opinions here are 100% our own, and we are responsible for the researched content of this post. We are not veterinarians, and this post does not constitute medical advice.
Who are Humarian?
Having met the people who represent Humarian personally in April 2018, I want to give you my impressions of them.
The attitude is one of totally professional commitment to pet health. Humarian didn’t just pass the kitty buck and say ‘Oh sure you can use a human grade probiotic’ and disregard pet parents and their concerns.
They care enough to invest considerable time, energy and money in developing and testing the best pet grade probiotic on the market today. No-one has tested as extensively or as well as Humarian.
Humarian knows that pets, just like people, get digestive issues, allergies, yeast infections, constipation and diarrhoea. So they thought, our human product is the best, let us make sure pets get the best as well.
These are people I have talked to. People I know you, and I can trust.
What do Cat Probiotics do?
Cats harbour complex communities of bacteria in their bodies, almost from the day a kitten is born. You never see them, but the difference these almost invisible bacteria make to a healthy kitten or young cat as it grows to adulthood is immense.
What do probiotics like Probonix do for a cat?
- Probiotics support general gut health.
- Aid in proper digestion.
- Helps support a healthy immune system.
- Balance the bacteria in your cat’s gut.
One thing cat owners may not realise is that unlike conventional medicines prescribed by a vet, giving cats a probiotic will not show rapid transformative results. Probiotics have more profound effects on a cat’s general wellbeing, and these effects show themselves differently.
“Bacteria are not simply random squatters, but organised communities that evolve with us and are passed down from generation to generation.”
Why Special Probiotics for Cats?
Why there should be a special cat probiotic, is a good question. As a probiotic is a micro-organism introduced into the body for its beneficial qualities, and this works for both cats and humans, why not give them a human probiotic?
That was our only option until pet probiotics were developed and now Humarian has improved upon the pills and powders currently on the market even further with Probonix drops.
Can I Feed my Cat Human Probiotics?
People used to. Those who are experienced in the field used to recommend human grade probiotics because of the quality of the beneficial elements in those mixtures.
This was before Humarian developed their own specific mixture for cats.
Where Probiotics Get to W
To get to where they do can the most good, probiotic bacteria need to get through the stomach to the cat’s gut. As food is digested in the stomach, this is a pretty powerful part of the cat’s body.
Probonix probiotics have a bacteria survival rate that is 9-11 times higher than top-rated competing products. To understand what this means, let me explain.
Humarian has developed a proprietary carrier to ensure their probiotics get through to the cats GI (Gastro-Intestinal Tract) in much larger numbers than lesser brands. The Probonix proprietary acid carrier coats the healthy bacteria and helps them adapt to the stomach’s acidity as they pass through into the GI.
This is breakthrough technology ensures that a much higher percentage survive the harsh stomach environment. While many brands may promise more probiotics per dose, Probonix gets them where they need to be to do their work.
There is also a worldwide special offer for you to try Humarian probiotics at the end of this post.
Aren’t Bacteria Bad?
How many of you look at bacteria as bad things that cause problems? Do you remember seeing ads on television about evil germs and bacteria that you fight to keep at bay in your nice clean home?
Bacteria Can Be Heroes Too
Scientists are developing more sophisticated research techniques that allow them to investigate new areas of science. Equipment is more sensitive and new ways of measuring are being developed. These changes means probiotics and bacteria are coming under the research microscope much more.
This new research is bringing about significant developments in feline medicine. What once was called alternative medicine and distrusted by some is now becoming more acceptable to ordinary cat owners and veterinary practices
Probiotics for cats is trending because of the positive response from cat parents who realise that bacteria can be the ‘good guys’.
Probiotics and the Healthy Feline
What can a cat parent expect when using
You will see health benefits in the form of improved digestion and nutrient absorption. Kittens and seniors need extra help in this area, and adult cats will always benefit from general digestive protection.
Probiotics regulate the GI and help restore the health of your cat through:
- Preventing the formation of pathogens (see definition below) in the intestines.
- Providing easily absorbed energy
- Maintain the balance of the microflora in the intestines.
- Stimulating a cat’s immune system
- Regulating intestinal motility. (See definition below)
What Do Probiotics Not Do?
Probiotics are vital for feline health, but they are not a miracle cure-all for health issues.
They are weapons on our cat’s armoury of good health, but they will not address the circumstances that created a health problem. For that, you need veterinary care.
I am not sure about you, but this makes a difference to me as a pet parent aiming for a healthy cat.
“There are no reports of any danger in using probiotics, and many veterinarians (myself included) and pet owners report anecdotal benefits of probiotics, especially in reducing stress-related diarrhoea and in decreasing the time until resolution of clinical signs.” Arnold Plotnick, DVM, DACVM
The Digestive Kitty Nitty Gritty
This is where the cat health action is.
The gastrointestinal tract is a community of organisms, a mini eco-system that keeps the entire feline digestive system in balance. It affects the functions of the body in ways that research is only just beginning to uncover.
There is a growing agreement amongst scientists that the relationship between us, our cats, and our microbes is a ‘two-way street’. Bacteria may be tiny, but they are powerful chemical factories that fundamentally affect how bodies function.
The impact of the food we feed our cats does need a more holistic approach from us as cat parents. We need to look at the ingredients of our cat food, as well as considering a probiotic like Humarian’s Probonix.
Probiotics and the Sick Cat
It is essential for you, as a pet parent, to understand that you need to refer to a veterinarian before making any decisions about probiotics for a sick cat.
If your vet does not incorporate a holistic to medicine yet, ask if you can be referred to someone who can advise on probiotics.
You can also ask locally and online for recommendations. Getting a second opinion, or further advice will help clarify your thoughts and allow you to consider if you want to use probiotics as part of your treatment.
Vets and Probiotics
Research and testing in developing areas of medicine are becoming more sophisticated as new techniques emerge. This research is ongoing by veterinary colleges and private companies.
So, while probiotics are not a cure-all for a sick cat, they are slowly becoming part of treatment protocols for issues like IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).
Science is also discovering that the symbiosis between a cat host and its bacteria is so complex and interdependent that bacteria can affect a cat in different ways:
- How a cat digests food.
- A cat’s weight.
- A cat’s immune system and how it functions.
- Oral health and cat breath
Research and Cat Health
The concept of a healthy balance or lack of it comes into its own when you have a sick cat.
The cat microbiome (the host bacteria of a cat) is now thought to be so critical to our felines it should be considered another organ like the heart or kidneys. I believe that research into this potentially important area of cat health to clarify and enhance our current knowledge should be looked forward to by all of us as cat parents.
There are no definite answers right now, but veterinarians will be the first to admit that it is early days for probiotics and the associated research. It is becoming more evident, however, that bacteria are increasingly critical to both feline and human health.
Probiotics used with Antibiotics
“Many doctors (and some veterinarians) administer probiotics to prevent antibiotic-associated side effects, i.e. diarrhoea, vomiting or poor appetite. This is a common problem in people, and most veterinarians have experienced this problem when prescribing oral clindamycin and amoxicillin to their patients. ”Dr A Plotnik DVM, DACVM Tufts
A veterinarian may prescribe probiotics to help a cat recover by improving its chances of increasing its store of positive bacteria. Probiotics fighting are for the cat from the inside out. Vets call the evidence for probiotics prescribed so far as anecdotal. This is because it does not have scientific evidence to support it at the moment.
With research proceeding rapidly on so many fronts in both the medical and holistic spheres, evidence may arrive sooner than we expect. Then probiotics will take their place in the veterinary armoury to encourage our cats’ wellbeing and general good health. The Humarian Probonix Difference
Probiotics Didn’t Work For My Cat
Some people try a probiotic and get frustrated. ‘It didn’t work,’ a cat parent might say. Nothing happened.
There are a couple of reasons why probiotics might not work.
- The right strain might not have been used or,
- the probiotic might not have enough CFU’s or ‘colony forming units’
The colony forming units are fundamental. They are part of the balance in a cat’s gut. In the cat’s GI tract, colonies form to benefit the cat and to increase the good bacteria. These are the right bacteria, the strains that can help.
The Probiotic Family in Close-Up
Meet the probiotic family. They have names that will intimidate most cat people. Lactobacillus acidophilus is a probiotic bacillus, along with others it contains strains of Bacillus, Enterococcus, Bifidobacteria and Streptococcus.
If you are like me, you might be sat here like a rabbit staring at a headlight. These long names are not helping me understand probiotics at all. I need someone I trust to make this easy for me to understand and use.
This is where Humarian, its investment in research, and its products are a big help. They make the science and the bacteria much easier to understand.
I know that Probonix contains 45 billion of the CFU’s I mentioned earlier and Humarian includes eight strains of probiotic bacteria most suitable for a cat.
Best of all it tastes nice, I know because our senior cat Harvey enjoys it.
A Real Example of Probonix Success
Our senior cat Harvey is Mr Picky when it comes to additives to his food. It’s sometimes difficult getting him to eat his renal formula, but he loves his Probonix drops and takes them daily. His poop is firm, and he is doing fine for a 14 year old cat.
The liquid is liver flavour and non-GMO. In other words, it is tasty and has not been genetically modified in any way, because I swear Harvey would know. Would your cat be the same?
The most positive thing about Probonix? I don’t have to sneak it into his food or hide it inside a treat. I don’t have to struggle to encourage him to eat his probiotics every day.
Both Harvey and Jack (my other probiotic tester) accept and enjoy the Probonix drops.
Six drops each morning and a cat at is set up digestively for the day. No more stress for me as a pet parent.
From My Point of View as a Cat Parent
My probiotic research for this post revealed a lot of interesting facts and these helped me write what I hope is an informative post.
I have learned that a cat probiotic that encourages you to give three or four times the amount of the Probonix dosage (6 drops per cat per day) is not a stronger product. Probonix is proof of the quote ‘quality over quantity’.
Make the Humarian Choice For Your Cat
I hope I have given you a good idea about the benefits probiotics can bring and about the positive effects they can have on your cat. A healthy cat will feel the benefit in a host of small ways, and we just know that the Humarian people are the right choice.
I have a special offer for you to see how good Probonix are for your cat, or for you. You will be impressed by the general increase in the wellbeing of your fur family. I am impressed with the general improvement of Harvey’s health.
- Humarian ship their pet and human probiotics worldwide.
Use our affiliate link as Humarian Ambassadors and receive a substantial 20% off your first order using the code – DASHKITTEN
. Shippingis fast – our own order for cat Probonix reached us in New Zealand in 5 days.
If you have any questions about probiotics or Probonix, drop us a note in the comments we will either answer or ask the experts at Humarian for you. You can also check our Q&A post and our supplementary post on probiotics and the senior cat.
The Dash Kitten Crew
Helpful Probiotic Related Definitions
Gastro-Intestinal Tract: The
Gut Motility: Gastro-intestinal (GI) motility is defined by the movements of the digestive system and the transit of the contents within it. – About Motility
Colony forming units (CFU): Stands for “colony forming units” and is used to indicate how many bacteria in probiotics are capable of dividing and forming colonies (for a healthy gut). – Probiotics Guide
Symbiosis: Symbiosis is a relationship between two or more organisms that live closely together. … One organism benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped – Genetic Science Learning Center
Microbiome: A microbiome is a microbial community (bacteria, fungi, viruses and other tiny things) occupying a discrete habitat, such as the
Probiotics and Probiotics: Outside the immediate scope of this post but helpful for cat lovers to know the difference. – PetMD