6 Ways to Support Your Cat’s Microbiome and Gut Health

Cats are independent, aloof, and prickly about their litter box habits. They certainly won’t ask you for help when they need something. But there’s one thing that even the most self-sufficient cat owner can do for their pet: support its microbiome. 

Your feline friend has a very complex bacterial ecosystem living inside its body.  A wide variety of both healthy and dangerous microorganisms make up the ecosystem. The ecosystem contains a host of good and bad bacteria. 

While beneficial bacteria support your pet’s immune, skin health, digestion, and other functions to keep it healthy, harmful bacteria damage the digestive system, harming its overall health. 

With 43% of cats suffering from digestive problems, you should save your cat from these disorders. Here are a few practical tips to help maintain balance and ward off mild to severe conditions such as diarrhea, IBD, and skin issues: 

Feed High-Fiber, Protein-Rich Diet

It is essential to feed your cat high-fiber protein-rich food. The protein composition should be 20 to 30% daily. A high-fiber protein-rich diet prevents the formation of hairballs which are the primary cause of digestive disruption. Further, this diet makes it easy for the cat to absorb the food’s nutrients, balance the microbiome, manage sensitivities and foster overall gut health. 

If you don’t know what would make up a perfect high-fiber protein-rich diet, consider gastrointestinal biome digestive food. The gastrointestinal biome for cat prescriptions promote healthy gut flora. As such, it contains specific strains of bacteria that promote healthy stool, activate good gut bacteria, and avert digestive problems like bloating or constipation.

Keeping your cat from a carbohydrate diet is essential to avoid bloating and constipation. It’s also best to give your cat wet over dry food. Wet foods have high water content. This helps the cat’s digestive tract to quickly absorb and digest the food, thereby preventing digestive problems. 

Increase Your Cat’s Water Intake

It’s essential to ensure your cat drinks a minimum of four ounces of water per five pounds daily. If it does not get enough water, toxins from its body won’t be eliminated. This will result in digestive problems, affect kidney function, and a host of other issues. Hence, ensure you fulfill your cat’s daily minimum water requirement.

It’s vital to remember that cats don’t like water very much. If you’re having trouble getting your cat to drink, try adding water to its diet, such as chicken broth or wet canned food. 

Consider Feline Fecal Microbiota Transplant

In a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), excrement from a healthy cat is collected and then deposited into a patient’s colon. The process helps maintain good health by restoring helpful bacteria to the intestines that may have been lost due to illness or antibiotic use.

FMT has been used to treat chronic constipation in cats since the early 2000s. In one study of 126 cats with chronic constipation, 32% had constipation more than once throughout 344 days. However, after receiving FMT treatment for 14 days each month for six months, only 9% developed recurrent episodes.

Maintain Dental Hygiene

Cats are at dire risk of dental diseases. About 41% of cats have some dental disease responsible for many feline deaths. Studies have shown that chronic gum inflammation, or periodontal disease, can cause increased intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome. 

A leaky gut allows harmful bacteria to pass through into their bloodstream, where they can wreak havoc on other organs, including the liver and kidneys. Gentle teeth cleaning can help your cat maintain a healthy mouth. 

Additionally, you should clean your cat’s teeth every time it consumes dry food. Most dry foods include artificial preservatives, which can promote tooth decay. Several times a year, bring it to the vet for a dental visit.

Make Your Cat Work Out

Cats need exercise to stay fit, just like people do. They can’t work out at the gym, but they still need their daily dose of activity. The most important thing you can do for your cat’s health is to ensure it gets enough playtime daily. This will help prevent obesity.

Over 30 percent of cats are obese, about one out of every three pets. Obesity has been linked with health dangers like diabetes and an unhealthy gut. Obese felines tend to have lower levels of certain nutrients in their digestive systems than thinner ones. Exercise helps promote better gut health by encouraging healthy bacteria populations in the intestine by stimulating digestion and circulation throughout the body. This promotes nutrient uptake from food sources and waste removal.

Exercise helps keep our minds focused on positive things while also feeling good physically; those same benefits apply here too. If your pet is able-bodied enough for active playtime outside, take advantage of that opportunity whenever possible. Even short trips to the garden, grocery shopping, etc., offer mental stimulation through sights/smells/sounds.

Lower Your Cat’s Stress

GI parasitism is a widespread issue in cats, affecting as many as 45% of the population in some areas. It occurs when parasitic worms or other organisms live inside your cat’s digestive tract and can cause a variety of signs, such as vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea. 

Stress can exacerbate this condition by suppressing the immune system. They won’t be able to fight off infection as well if they’re under stress. That’s why it’s essential to keep your furry friend calm and relaxed when possible this will help keep their gut healthy. 

Conclusion

Remember, it takes time for the microbiome to change and establish itself in a new environment. It can take longer if your pet is aged or suffers from certain illnesses. If you don’t notice quick results, keep going.

However, suppose you notice any signs of discomfort or illness after making changes to the diet and environment of your cat. In that case, taking it to a vet would be ideal. 

But again, it’s best to make dietary changes after seeking advice from a vet to avoid likely consequences. Consider these measures and make your cat’s gut help and life slide through smoothly. 

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