A single bout of diarrhea is generally not a cause for concern in cats, but if it persists longer that a day or two it can lead to dehydration. So when is a Veterinarian visit in order? Here are some things to watch for that would prompt a visit to your cat's health professional.
Take note when you observe lethargy, vomiting, fever, dark-colored or bloody stools, straining to defecate, decreased appetite or unexplained weight loss. When you see these signs make an appointment without delay. After your visit to the Vet and you are both confident that it is not a medical issue, what can you do to support healthy bowel habits and insure your cat will lead a long and healthy life?
Let's take a look at some of the things that cause diarrhea in cats that is not disease related.
Long-haired cats that are prone to hairballs can experience occasional bouts of diarrhea. Also be aware that cats that spend a lot of time unsupervised outdoors may be exposed to eating inappropriate foods, which could lead to diarrhea because of the bad bacteria that is present in garbage bins or on dead carcasses.
In the wild, cats of all varieties and sizes have one dietary thing in common; they kill and eat fresh raw food. A raw food diet, while closest to the natural cat diet can be expensive and difficult to manage.
The largest percentage of modern domestic cats will be eating cooked kibble or cooked processed food from a pouch or a can. Without the naturally occurring enzymes that are in raw food, the cooked food does not digest well on its own, stressing the cats system, which can possibly contribute to food allergies.
Whatever the cat cannot digest could cause an allergic reaction prompting the cat's digestive system to eliminate the problem quickly through diarrhea. Both poor digestion and food allergies can cause diarrhea. Adding digestive enzymes to your cat's food will take the stress off the cat's digestive system and help eliminate food allergies while raising the nutritional density of what gets delivered to the cats system.
Make sure to choose a digestive enzyme that is from vegetarian sources and contains at least sixteen different enzymes to digest all the different food ingredients. An enzyme product that contains only four or five enzymes will do a poor job digesting the modern can diet.
Supporting your cat's digestion with vegetarian digestive enzymes is only half the solution. Probiotics are a huge part of the natural balance in the intestinal tract of both cats and dogs.
As an example when humans get a flu virus, we get diarrhea because the virus kills off and interferes with the natural probiotic balance.
The probiotics are responsible for regulating and balancing the amount of moisture in our stool. Without any probiotics our systems would be overrun with yeasts and disease causing bacteria resulting in diarrhea, dehydration or even more serious conditions.
Cats are no different; without a proper balance of good guy bacteria (probiotics) the result can be either constipation or diarrhea. Letting that imbalance of bacteria in the gut continue just sets the cat up for future problems.
A supplement with only three or four different species will not do a good job colonizing the entire intestinal tract. Since each probiotics species gravitates toward a certain pH range, introducing multiple strains that each like a different pH range will colonize more of the intestinal tract than a supplement offering only one or two species.
. I also recommend avoiding probiotics that use yeasts instead of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria strains. Look for a supplement that includes prebiotics in the formula. Prebiotics act as food for the probiotics and greatly improve their colonization.
The idea is to top off at every meal the amount of probiotics in the gut and to replace those that have been lost. A CFU stands for "Colony Forming Unit".
Think of it as a seed count for the garden you are trying to plant. You should include 250 million CFUs of live, stable probiotics to each half cup of pet food as a maintenance dose every day at every meal. In times of loose stool this can be easily doubled, returning to the maintenance dose when the bowels are normal again.
To support normal digestion and help prevent feline diarrhea you should:
Feed a quality fresh food
Use a digestive enzyme with at least 14 different enzymes
Supplement every meal with a good multi-strain probiotic
The probiotic should be formulated for pets with at least 11 different species of probiotics
Make sure to dose at least 250 million CFUs per ½ cup of food
The probiotic supplement should include prebiotics
And lastly, love that cat
As Seen In Animal Wellness!
CEO and Founder
Author John R. Taylor the formulator of NWC Naturals Pet Products
Healthy cats are happy cats!
|HOW DO ENZYMES WORK?|
The primary purpose of enzymes:
Every cat can benefit from supplementation with enzymes daily.
Even healthy cats may improve their absorption and utilization of nutrients through the use of digestive enzymes.
When enzymes are missing from our pets food, the full burden of digestion falls on the pets own digestive system and pancreas. This also can affect their immune system.
Taking a supplemental with vegetarian enzymes like Total-Zymes can help take stress off not only their digestive organs, but also our cat's immune system. This helps with food allergies in pets.
Always check the labels: some enzyme products put beet root fiber in their formula as a filler. But yet they say they use no fillers read the label.
This is an controversial ingredient that is made from sugar beets and put into dog products as a fiber filler. Avoid supplements with Beet root fiber.
Total-Zymes® use beet root juice not fiber. The beet root juice in the product is not from sugar beets and supports the liver and the digestion process. We would never use Beet Root Fiber!
Pro-biotics are linked to long life...
Even the pet foods we feed our pets to keep them healthy, like meat and poultry can contain antibiotics, further reducing the levels of good bacteria.
For most pets this means they are negatively affecting their bodies' ability to stay healthy on a daily basis.
So the answer is your pets need probiotics and enzymes every day.
Any information provided is not veterinary advice and should not be substituted for a regular consultation with a veterinary professional. If you have any concerns about your pet's health, contact your veterinarian's office.
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