The Pros of a Probiotic


Probiotic Packet

Persian owners spend so much time caring for their kitties on the outside -- combing, bathing, and fluffing. It's easy to sometimes forget that the inside might need extra attention as well. A Persian's gastrointestinal health can become thrown out of balance from a myriad of outside factors, such as stress, allergies, diet, or parasites just to name a few. A high-quality probiotic can be effective in restoring the balance of microflora in the digestive tract.

Do any of the following apply to your Persian?

  • Acid stomach due to kidney disease
  • Allergies
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive problems
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • On antibiotics
  • On a raw food diet

If so, then a probiotic treatment may be worth exploring.

Benefits of a Probiotic
Probiotics contain live microorganisms usually delivered in the form of a capsule or powder over food. When administered to your Persian, a probiotic can promote the growth of good bacteria levels.

Many vets recommend the use of probiotics as a dietary supplement. After beginning a probiotic regimen, your Persian may experience improvements to his/her:

  • Immune system
  • Oral health
  • Metabolism
  • Mineral absorption
  • Production of B vitamins
  • Protein and carbohydrate digestion
  • Toxin removal

Not All Probiotics Are Equal
The number of strains is critical. A product containing only one or two strains may not deliver results. For example, Purina FortiFlora Feline Nutritional Supplement contains only one strain: Enterococcus faecium. Granted, it has some other ingredients and flavors which definitely tempt cats with sluggish appetites. But ideally you want to find a product with multiple strains. Another example Nutramax Proviable DC for Cats contains seven strains: Bifidobacterium bifidum, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, and Lactobacillus plantarum. As you research various products, you'll see that pet probiotics typically contain anywhere from one to 14 strains.

When selecting a probiotic, you also want to look at the number of Colony-Forming Units (CFUs). This represents the amount of viable (living) bacteria in a serving. If the ingredients do not state the amount of CFUs, then that probiotic may only contain an insignificant amount. Some say the more CFUs, the better, i.e., in the billions. However, when you get into the neighborhood of 50 or 60 billion, that may not be ideal for the Persian's small digestive tract.

As with any supplement to your Persian's diet, be sure to discuss with your vet first. If your Persian is undergoing treatment for a disease, such as cancer, then it might not be the right time to introduce something new into a weakened system.