Types of cat probiotics

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Probiotics for Cats: Complete Guide + 5 Product Reviews

Veterinarians.org Team

By

Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec, DVM

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Best Probiotics for Cats Summary

  • Best Overall Probiotics for Cats: Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotic
    This probiotic is the best overall as it provides support to your cat’s immune system and maintains gut health.
  • Best Probiotic for Cats with Diarrhea: Purina FortiFlora Cat Probiotic Powder
    Featuring a single strain of gut bacteria, the probiotic helps the dietary management of kittens and adult cats with diarrhea.
  • Best Probiotic for Cats with IBD: FERA Probiotics for Cats
    This USDA-certified probiotic has 12 strains of good bacteria and is free from additives, fillers, or preservatives.
  • Best Affordable Probiotic for Cats: Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Probiotic for Cats
    With no artificial ingredients, this probiotic is easy on the stomach and comes at a budget-friendly, affordable price.
  • Best Multipurpose Probiotic for Cats: TummyWorks Probiotic Powder for Cats
    This probiotic has several functions, including allergy relief, hot spot treatment, diarrhea, and Yeast Infections.

What are Probiotics for Cats?

probiotics for cats
 

Probiotics for cats are natural supplements recommended in cases when the cat’s individual microbiome gets kicked out of balance. Cat probiotics come in different forms (oral powders and capsules) and flavors (liver, beef, chicken).

Probiotics are naturally occurring live microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that inhabit the cat’s small and large intestines. The name probiotics translate to “life-promoting.” They are popularly called “good bacteria.”

The cat’s body harbors trillions of live bacteria, and most of them reside within the intestines. These bacteria are collectively known as gut flora or microbiome. Every cat has an individual microbiome whose population varies based on health, diet, and lifestyle.

What are the Benefits of Probiotics for Cats?

From improved digestion to a more potent immune system – probiotics for cats have several health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at what probiotics for cats can do:

  • Balanced GI Tract. The most obvious and direct benefit of probiotics is keeping the cat’s gut microorganisms balanced and maintaining a healthy GI tract. 
  • Improved Digestion. Regular use of probiotics for cats can prevent digestive issues and ease symptoms like vomiting, stomach irritation, constipation, and diarrhea.
  • Potent Immunity. A large and important part of the immune system is located in the gut. Therefore, probiotics for cats also help support healthier immunity.
  • Fresh Breath. Beneficial bacteria from probiotics for cats help balance the microbiome in the cat’s mouth, thus preventing bad breath or halitosis.
  • Better Mood. There is an established link between the brain and the gut (gut-brain axis). In these terms, gut health results in a better mood and decreased anxiety.

What are the Side Effects of Probiotics for Cats?

benefits of probiotics for cats
 

The most common side effect of probiotics for cats is digestive problems. However, this is only possible if the probiotics are misused.

Here are the potential side effects of probiotics in cats:

  • Digestive Issues. Some cats may experience diarrhea, nausea, gassiness, and bloating after using probiotics. Like with new cat foods, the cat’s digestive system needs time to adjust to the probiotic supplement.
  • Intolerance. Some cats are not able to tolerate certain probiotic brands (or, better said, strains of probiotics). Therefore, we recommend talking to a vet before giving your cat any probiotic supplement.

Based on a study understanding the efficacy of probiotics, all cats were found to be healthy during the study, with no side effects.

This is because probiotics contain strains that are normal inhabitants of the cat’s microbiota. As a result, probiotics are considered “relatively safe to use.” 

The Best Probiotics for Cats Reviewed

There are different brands offering various types of cat probiotics. To make things simple, we have reviewed the best probiotics for cats on the market.

Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotic

Honest Paws Probiotics for dogs and cats

Get it on Honest Paws

Summary: This premium quality blend of probiotics and prebiotic fibers improves digestion, alleviates seasonal allergies, and boosts the immune system. It comes in the convenient form of a chicken-flavored powder packed in individual single-dose packs. The blend is GMO-free and made in the USA. Plus, it is safe for both cats & dogs.

Pros

  • With different strains of probiotics
  • Contains prebiotic fibers
  • Improved gut flora and digestive tract health
  • Supports the immune system
  • Perfect addition to your cat’s diet

Cons

  • Often out of stock due to high demand

Review: This digestive supplement is great for your cat’s health, much to the relief of cat owners. It not only ensures a healthy gut but also works on the cat’s overall health.

Purina FortiFlora Cat Probiotic Powder

Purina FortiFlora Cat Probiotic Powder

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This probiotic powder is great for your cat’s immune health and is recommended by veterinarians and pet owners. Being in the form of a powder, it is easy to administer. Plus, the probiotic has a tasty liver flavor that dogs love. This probiotic supplement is safe and of high quality.

Pros

  • Vet-recommended brand and formula
  • Improves digestive health and builds immunity
  • Supports overall health and wellbeing
  • Made with a proprietary microencapsulation process
  • Easy use (sprinkle on top of pet food)

Cons

  • Contains only one bacteria strain

Review: This probiotic cat supplement helps build stability in your cat’s digestive system. As a result, your cat needs to use the litter box a lot less and passes firm stools.

FERA Probiotics for Cats

FERA Probiotics for Cats

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This probiotic is USDA Organic Certified that contains 12 hand-picked strains of good bacteria along with organic prebiotics (inulin, Arabic gum, and FOS). All ingredients in the blend are organic and free from additives and preservatives. It comes in an easy-to-use powdered form.

Pros

  • USDA-certified mix of probiotics and fiber
  • Pure formula with no artificial additives
  • Up to 5 billion CFUs per scoop
  • Helps cats with inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gluten-free and made in the USA

Cons 

  • The flavor of the supplement is not specified

Review: This probiotic improves your cat’s diarrhea, excess gas produced, and even bad breath. Pet owners love the fact it is made of organic ingredients.

Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Probiotic for Cats

Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Probiotic for Cats

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This probiotic is a perfect blend of beneficial bacteria and dietary fiber. It comes in the form of duck-flavored soft chews that are straightforward to give even to cats that are finicky eaters. Each soft chew contains 100 million CFUs, and there are 30 chewables in one package.

Pros

  • Includes probiotics and prebiotics
  • Easy to use duck-flavored soft chews
  • Supports gastrointestinal and overall health
  • Free from corn, wheat, and artificial additives
  • Made in the USA with an NASC seal

Cons

  • Higher calorie content than other probiotics

Review: This probiotic helps reduce gassiness, diarrhea, constipation, and blockages in the GI tract. Pet parents are satisfied that the duck flavor chew form is easy to use.

TummyWorks Probiotic Powder for Cats

TummyWorks Probiotic Powder for Cats

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This excellent probiotic not only improves your cat’s digestive health but reduces any problems with their overall health. Additionally, it also provides a healthier coat and less itchy skin. The probiotic supplement is made in the USA, and the brand offers a money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Life-changing, advanced formula
  • Supports different health aspects
  • Can be topped over your pet’s food
  • Free from additives or preservatives
  • Fit for cats (and dogs) of all ages

Cons

  • No info on the powder’s flavor

Review: This high-quality probiotic is exactly what your pet needs. It also helps with diarrhea, yeast infections, itching, bad breath, bloating, and constipation.

What is the Best Probiotic for Cats?

How to Find the Best Probiotics for Cats
 

The Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotic is our top pick for the best probiotic for cats. It is custom-formulated with all the right ingredients to keep your cat’s digestive system in shape. Plus, it is powdered and chicken-flavored for easy use.

When searching for the best cat probiotic, there are several things worth considering:

  • Bacteria Strains. The best product contains different types of probiotics – each strain of bacteria works for a different issue. However, single-strain probiotics can be great when used for the specific issue they help with.
  • Colony-Forming Units. The next thing you need to check is the number of beneficial bacteria per serving. In general, the more good bacteria, the better. However, human probiotics contain CFUs that are too big for cats.
  • Overall Formula. All probiotic supplements feature added ingredients – some beneficial and others not. For example, prebiotics is an excellent added ingredient. On the other hand, avoid products with artificial ingredients and additives.
  • Form and Flavor. Even the most efficient probiotic will be useless if you cannot give it to your cat. That is why probiotics for cats are available in different forms and flavors. You need to pick the one that is best for your pet.
Top Pick
Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotics
10/10Our Score
  • Specially formulated with both cat probiotics and prebiotics.
  • Avoid diarrhea, loss of appetite, constipation, and many other problems.
  • Helps promote the production of natural antibodies, fight free radicals, and support a healthy immune system in your cat.

What Probiotics are Good for Cats?

The best probiotics for cats belong to the following families: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Bacillus, and Enterococcus. Here are some specific probiotic strains good for cats:

  • Bifidobacterium lactis animalis
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Enterococcus faecium.

Bifidobacterium strains live in the small and Enterococcus strains in the large intestine. If you are not sure which probiotic is best for your cat’s problem, talk to a veterinarian.

Can Cats Have Probiotics Daily?

cat cuddling with owner
 

Yes, cats can have probiotics daily. Regular use of probiotics can be beneficial. However, it is not always necessary.

For example, if your cat is healthy and eats well-balanced food, there is no need for regular use of probiotics. On the other hand, if your cat has chronic diarrhea, IBD, seasonal allergies, or suffers from anxiety, it may benefit from long-term probiotic supplementation.

Always talk to your trusted vet about how long to use probiotics. In some cases, the vet may recommend ongoing use with short no-use intervals (use probiotics for two weeks and then pause for a week).

How Long do Probiotics Take to Work in Cats?

Depending on the underlying problem and the probiotic, it may take between a few days to a few weeks of use for the supplement to start working.

The probiotic starts working as soon as it reaches the cat’s intestines. However, it may need more time for its beneficial effects to become apparent.

How do I Give My Cat Probiotics?

From sprinkling the probiotic with the pet’s food to giving it in the form of a tasty treat – cat probiotics can be used in different ways.

Here is an overview of the different ways you can give your cat treats:

  • Mixed with the Cat’s Food or Water – probiotic powders are usually sprinkled on top or mixed with the regular food or water.
  • Hidden in Pill Pockets – probiotic supplements in the form of capsules are best given if hidden inside a pill pocket made for cats.
  • Given as Tasty Treats – probiotics in the form of a soft chew feature cat-friendly flavors and can be offered as regular treats.