Choosing a probiotic for cats in the UK.
Are you looking for a probiotic for cats in the UK?
Then as a Holistic Veterinary Surgeon, I have written this article for you.
What are probiotics and how are probiotics beneficial to the health of cats?
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome such as Enterococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium. Prebiotics are the fibres such as galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) that provide nourishment to help maintain probiotic levels.
The beneficial bacteria in the gut are essential for optimal health because they aid digestion, support the immune system, produce 90% of the body’s serotonin, produce Vitamin K and B Vitamins, crowd out harmful bacteria, and produce short-chain fatty acids such as Butyrate and produce enzymes. Therefore, JP Holistic Nutrition have formulated our own probiotic for cats that contains probiotics, prebiotics and bentonite clay. For more information on our probiotic paste for cats, click HERE.
Having a poorly functioning gut microbiome may lead to intestinal disease, behavioural problems, allergies, obesity, liver disease, and diabetes mellitus. Therefore, many Veterinary Surgeons and Doctors now advise a supplement that contains both probiotics and prebiotics.
They populate the gastrointestinal tract and help to metabolize food, absorb nutrients, prevent pathogenic colonisation, and help maintain intestinal health. It is essential to maintain the correct balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut as depletion of beneficial bacteria can lead to a range of health conditions.
The link between the central nervous system and gut microbiota is referred to as the gut-brain axis and has been of significant interest in recent years. Reduced gut health has been linked to anxiety and mood function in dogs and cats. Probiotics have the ability to restore normal microbial balance, and therefore have a potential role in the prevention of anxiety.
A clear link has been established between the health and quantity of the beneficial bacteria in the gut and the effect this has on the brain and hence mood function. The body maintains symbiotic relationships with prokaryotic organisms, some of which are known as probiotics. In the gastrointestinal tract, these organisms help metabolize food and maintain intestinal health. Probiotics compete with pathogenic bacteria for physical space and nutrients in the host tissue. Probiotics are thought to be able to block pathogenic bacteria from finding a spot on the host tissue to bind and grow.
Healthy gut function and its effects on the brain are being increasingly studied especially in relation to the production of Serotonin. Serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes mood and anxiety, feelings of well-being, and happiness. Serotonin also helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion, however, if the brain has too little serotonin, it may increase issues with all these conditions.
It is estimated that up to 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut and is primarily found in the enteric nervous system located in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). There is a clear link between the enteric nervous system and the central nervous system which includes the brain via the vagus nerve and studies are showing a clear link between a healthy gut and improved mood function.
This growing link seems to be focused on the efficiency of the intestinal barrier of the intestine and the probiotic levels. In particular the effect of an insufficient barrier on neurological function.
Natural cat supplements are so important to maintaining the health and well-being of our feline friends. JP Holistic Nutrition have formulated our own range of natural pet supplements that you can find on our website.
Dr Paul Boland BVSc MRCVS
JP Holistic Nutrition