The use of probiotics has been well-studied in humans, but did you know that these beneficial effects may also be observed in cats? Using probiotics in the feline population may help to promote digestive health and support immune system responses. The beneficial bacteria and yeasts in probiotics may even help cats manage daily stressors and benefit their moods.
We have developed our list of the best cat probiotics in 2023 that may promote healthy digestion and support immunity.
Best probiotics for cats: a shortlist
- Raw Paw Pet Food — overall best probiotic for cats
- Moxyvites — best probiotic powder for cats
- Dr. Mercola — best multiple-strain probiotic powder
- Pet Honesty — best probiotic and prebiotic combination powder
- Miracle Vet — best chewy treat probiotic
How we compiled our list of best probiotics for cats in 2023
Picking the right probiotic for your cat depends on a multitude of factors and can be overwhelming when evaluating products. We have compiled criteria to help identify high-quality products for your cat.
|High-quality ingredients||Ingredients from reputable sources|
|Value for money||Price per serving size|
|Probiotic strains||Using strains with scientifically-based evidence|
|Colony-forming units||Sufficient number of bacteria or yeast per dose|
- High-quality ingredients. Products that start by using high-quality ingredients and are manufactured under strict controls help ensure the purity of the supplement.
- Value for money. Supplements that are priced well for their ingredients and the number of colony-forming units help you get the most for your money.
- Probiotic strains. Using strains that have scientific evidence supporting their effects helps to identify supplements that may be beneficial for your cat.
- Colony-forming units. Probiotics must contain sufficient numbers of potentially beneficial bacteria or yeast to alter the microorganisms in the body.
Best cat probiotics in 2023: an overview
The over-population of harmful bacteria within the intestinal tract of cats results in a variety of digestive problems and may have an effect on the gut-brain axis. The potential benefits of probiotics help increase the number of beneficial bacteria to promote healthy digestion.
This list of the best feline probiotic for 2023 will assist in selecting the right product for your cat's gut health.
1. Raw Paw Pet Food — best probiotic for kittens
Raw Paw Pet Food manufactures Goat Milk powder with the same taste as fresh goat milk sourced from free-ranged goats raised without antibiotics, steroids, or other hormones. The reconstituted liquid is ideal for orphaned cats or those who need some additional digestive support.
Goat Milk helps to repopulate beneficial bacteria in the gut to produce the digestive and health benefits seen with probiotics. However, the strains and number of colony-forming units are not listed for this product.
Goat Milk powder is low in lactose making it easily digestible and is gluten, wheat, and grain-free to help reduce intolerances to the formula. It is free from preservatives and additives and manufactured using strict quality and safety standards.
A 144-day supply is provided per 7-ounce canister when used at the recommended dosing for a 25-pound cat. The manufacturer recommends mixing one tablespoon in 4 ounces of warm water and providing 2 ounces of this mixture to a 25-pound cat daily. The cost of a 7-ounce container is currently on sale for $39.99.
2. Moxyvites — best overall probiotic powder for cats
Power Flora is a powder probiotic supplement manufactured by Moxyvites that includes 9 live strains in a blend designed to deliver 1.25 billion colony-forming units per serving. The strains provided by Power Flora include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus reuteri, Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium coagulans, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Enterococcus faecium.
Power Flora contains the prebiotic inulin, which helps to support the growth of beneficial bacteria within the gut to help maximize probiotic support. This powder is also free of any preservatives or additives.
Moxyvites manufactures this product in the USA using certified facilities that follow current good manufacturing practices.
The recommended dosage is 1/8 of a teaspoonful per serving which correlates to 280 servings per 4.9-ounce container. The recommended daily dosage is not listed for this product and should be confirmed with your veterinarian. The cost of a 4.9-ounce container is $24.12 with additional savings available with their subscribe and save program.
3. Dr. Mercola — best multiple-strain probiotic powder
Complete Probiotics For Pets is a powder supplement that provides 14 different strains of microorganisms. These include organisms from the Lactobacillus spp., Enterococcus spp., Bifidobacterium spp., and Streptococcus spp. that are geared towards promoting healthy digestion.
The product contains between one and five billion colony-forming units per strain providing a high dosage of colony-forming units of bacteria per 3-gram serving.
The maintenance dose recommended for cats is half a scoop daily which correlates to 1 gram. This provides a 90-day supply, however, when using the higher recommended dosage of 1 scoop per day the container will provide a 45-day supply. The cost of a container is $32.37.
4. Pet Honesty — best probiotic and prebiotic combination powder
Digestive Probiotics by Pet Honesty uses a combination of 12 different live strains of microorganisms in their powder formulation. It also contains chicory root to help support the growth of these probiotics and catnip leaf is included to increase the palatability of the product.
Pet Honesty manufactures its products in certified facilities located in the USA using current good manufacturing practices.
Each scoop of Digestive Probiotics contains 5 billion colony-forming units of their microorganism blend and other natural ingredients such as chicken liver and fish collagen. The product is free of preservatives and artificial flavors.
The 4.2-ounce canister contains 120 scoops with a recommended serving size of 1 scoop. The recommendations for the number of servings per day are not listed and should be confirmed with your veterinarian. The cost of a 4.2-ounce container is $30.99 but multiple container and subscribe and save programs are available to provide additional savings.
5. Miracle Vet — best chewy treat probiotic
Weight Gain 3-in-1 chews are manufactured by Miracle Vet to contain 125 million colony-forming units of Bacillus coagulans per chewy treat. This product also contains 50 calories per chew to help maintain or increase weight in cats.
These treats are manufactured in medical grade FDA-registered facilities in the USA. Weight Gain 3-in-1 treats are manufactured to have a stable shelf-life of one year.
This product contains all-natural ingredients free from preservatives and artificial flavorings and is free of gluten and wheat for added tolerability.
One bag contains 60 chewy treats and costs $23.99 with multiple bags and subscribe and save programs to provide additional savings. The dosage for cats is not listed on the product and should be confirmed with your veterinarian.
Comparing the best probiotics for cats
|Brand||Product||Cost||Cost per serving||CFUs per serving|
|Raw Paw Pet Food||Goat Milk||$39.99||$0.27||Not listed|
|Moxyvites||Power Flora||$24.12||$0.09||1.25 billion|
|Dr. Mercola||Complete Probiotics For Pets||$32.37||$0.36 (maintenance), $0.72 (treatment)||58 billion|
|Pet Honesty||Digestive Probiotics||$30.99||$0.26||5 billion|
|Miracle Vet||Weight Gain 3-in-1||$23.99||$0.40 (per treat)||125 million|
Tips how to choose the best probiotics for cats
When evaluating a product, having a list of criteria to judge each feature is essential to identify high-quality products. Therefore, we suggest looking at the following criteria when deciding which probiotic is best for your cat.
- Ingredient quality. Products that use all-natural ingredients without artificial flavors and preservatives are going to be healthier options for your cat. Those that are free of gluten and other wheat products can improve the tolerability of the supplement.
- Reputation. Check with your veterinarian for probiotic supplement recommendations. They will often be able to provide a list of products with a reputation for providing good results.
- Colony-forming units. The number of bacteria or yeast cells in the product is represented by colony-forming units. To produce an effect, the product must contain a sufficient number of colony-forming units.
- Probiotic strains. Specific microorganism strains are associated with healthy digestion in cats and those including these specific strains are preferred. The best probiotics often contain strains from the Enterococcus and Bifidobacterium species.
What are probiotics for cats?
Probiotics contain certain strains of bacteria or yeast that may help to alter the type of microorganisms normally living in the intestines of cats. These strains are specifically selected for their potential to help restore and improve gut health. Changes in the number of beneficial and harmful microorganisms within a cat's intestines may be triggered for different reasons, such as stress and diet.
An increase in harmful bacteria affects a cat's digestive system causing diarrhea, gas, and bloating. The intestines play an important role in immunity, nutrient absorption, and infection prevention, and can be impaired by an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria. Providing feline probiotics to your cat can help to restore the balance between helpful and harmful bacteria and promote healthy digestive functions.
Probiotics for kittens
As kittens mature, they are often weaned from their mother's milk, required to adapt to different environments, and experience alterations in their diets. The stresses of early development may place kittens at risk for developing digestive dysfunctions.
Incorporating a probiotic into their daily routine helps to support healthy digestive function and provides benefits during their growth and development.
Care must be taken when selecting probiotics for kittens. Their size and immaturity may require lower dosages and specific combinations of microorganisms. Therefore, it is essential to discuss starting probiotics in kittens with your veterinarian who can provide guidance as to the type and dosage best suited for them.
How can cats get probiotics?
Many probiotic formulations are available on the market, giving owners a wide selection of options. Discussing the use of probiotics in cats with your veterinarian helps to determine which formulation may be best for your cat.
Cat probiotic treats
Treats containing probiotics provide a tasty option to supplement the diet of your cat. These treats are often formulated in flavors to make them easier to administer. Using treats can be seen as a reward for your cat, who may even begin expecting the supplement on a daily basis helping you to remember to administer it.
Cat food with probiotics
Various brands of cat food provide options that contain probiotics to help promote healthy digestion. These products are easy to incorporate into a cat's daily routine and do not require any additional effort in administering the daily dosages. These products are available in hard and soft cat foods to accommodate a wide variety of cat diets.
Probiotic supplements for cats
Probiotic supplements provide dosages in a variety of forms including capsules and oral gels. These require owners to administer the supplement and should be given at convenient times to prevent missed dosages. The gel form may be better suited for kittens that have trouble swallowing pills.
When should you give a probiotic to your cat?
Probiotics may support immune and digestive health and help to re-establish healthy gut microbial populations in the digestive tract. Therefore, probiotics can be used on a daily basis or in instances when a cat is afflicted with intestinal issues. Regardless, they should be administered in easy-to-remember times to prevent inconsistent use and missed doses.
Cats may benefit from probiotics if they have problems with their weight, recurrent infections, and are undergoing a stressful transition. The immune support properties of probiotics help keep cats healthy and active. Be sure to discuss this with your veterinarian before starting your cat on a probiotic. Some additional instances where probiotics may be beneficial include:
- When having problems with the stomach. Probiotics may help settle sensitive stomachs and reduce digestive stress to keep cats healthy and reduce the issues with maintaining a healthy weight.
- In the case of digestive issues. Symptoms such as gas and diarrhea, establish beneficial bacteria in the intestine that help digest certain components of foods that commonly upset the intestines.
- After a course of antibiotics. They often kill beneficial bacteria, allowing resistant, harmful bacteria to overgrow. Probiotics help increase the number of beneficial bacteria, leading to fewer digestive issues after antibiotic use.
Can probiotics help cats with different conditions?
Probiotics may help cats by supporting the immune system to help fight off infections and improve digestive problems allowing cats to maintain a healthy diet and proper weight. During stressful events, many cats develop diarrhea but using probiotics can help to relieve the diarrhea and improve the transition during a stressful time.
For cats with diarrhea
Probiotics help to reduce diarrhea by slowing the transit time of contents through the intestines and improving stool consistency. Probiotics have been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria known to cause diarrhea. Probiotics help metabolize components of food that can result in diarrhea.
For cats with constipation
Probiotics help improve the consistency of stools which may be beneficial to cats that commonly have constipation. They may also help prevent the formation of hair balls which can lead to gastrointestinal complications. The frequency of bowel movements can also be increased by probiotics which helps with constipation.
For cats with kidney disease
Reduced kidney function results in the accumulation of harmful substances in the blood, which are then excreted into the GI tract by the body. Beneficial bacteria in the intestines can metabolize the substances and may help reduce these toxic substances.
Benefits of probiotics for cats
The addition of probiotics into your cat's diet can help to support healthy digestion and provide immune system support. They are available in the form of a supplement or treat or can be added to foods. Some benefits of probiotics include:
- Intestinal health benefits. Microorganisms contained in probiotics aid in digestion by helping break down certain foods. In addition, the production of additional nutritional substances by the microorganisms further supports the health of your cat.
- Calmness. The use of probiotics has an effect on the gut-brain connection responsible for handling stressful situations. The microorganisms produce short-chain fatty acids which can work as neurotransmitters that can have a direct effect on the brain.
- Relief of diarrhea. Increasing the amount of time food spends in the intestines, probiotics help to improve the absorption of nutrients and reduce the frequency of diarrhea.
- Improved digestion. A cat's body can have difficulty metabolizing various dietary ingredients, leading to digestive problems. Probiotics assist the cat's body in digesting these substances and produce substances with positive effects on their health.
What is the recommended dosage of probiotics for cats?
When using probiotics to help with active complaints like diarrhea, the dosage is often in higher amounts than for maintenance doses. The typical therapeutic dosage of probiotics is 10 billion colony-forming units daily.
When using probiotics to support healthy digestion and immunity, the recommended dosages vary, while many products on the market recommend starting with 5 billion colony-forming units daily. However, the dosages may differ based on the size of your cat, thus it is important to follow the package directions for more complete dosage recommendations.
If you have any questions regarding dosage, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian for guidance.
Possible side effects from probiotics for cats
Like all supplements, probiotics are able to produce unwanted effects in your cat, and these effects should be monitored for when starting or increasing the dosages of probiotics.
One potential side effect of probiotics includes the triggering of an allergic reaction that is often due to an additional ingredient in the product. If your cat does not appear to be tolerating the probiotic well they may have an allergy or intolerance to one of the ingredients.
Temporary digestive discomfort may occur when starting a probiotic, especially when starting with higher dosages. To help minimize these side effects, it is advised to start probiotics at a low dosage and increase if recommended to do so.
Severe adverse effects have been rarely reported with probiotic supplementation in humans. Little is known about this effect in cats. However, many pet health experts do advise the use of probiotic supplements cautiously in cats with immunosuppression.
Best probiotics for cats in 2023: conclusion
Probiotics help support healthy digestion, support the immune system, and help with stress management in cats. If you are searching for a probiotic, using specific criteria like probiotic strains, reputation, ingredient quality, and number of colony-forming units could help you identify high-quality products.
Some side effects could be experienced when using probiotics, so it is recommended to start with lower dosages and increase as tolerated to help reduce these adverse effects. It is essential to have a discussion with your veterinarian before using any probiotic supplement.
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What kind of probiotics do you give to a cat?
There are specifically designed probiotics for cats that contain organisms that have been shown to be beneficial in cats and formulated in dosages designed for their size. The two most common strains used are from the Enterococcus and Bifidobacterium species.
Should I give my kitten probiotics?
As kittens mature, they must be weaned from their mother's milk, adapt to different environments, and tolerate alterations in their diets. These stresses during early development can place kittens at risk for developing digestive dysfunctions. However, using a probiotic may help kittens maintain healthy digestion.
How many times a day should I give my cat probiotics?
The daily dosing requirements depend on the number of colony-forming units per product serving, the size of your cat, and whether you are using maintenance or treatment dosing recommendations. Check with each manufacturer to see their recommendations, but ultimately, it is best to discuss dosing recommendations with your veterinarian.
- American Veterinary Medicine Association. Use of probiotics in small animal veterinary medicine.
- American Veterinary Medicine Association. Probiotics in veterinary practice.
- American Veterinary Medicine Association. Effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus DSM13241 as a probiotic in healthy adult cats.
- Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. Open-label trial of a multi-strain synbiotic in cats with chronic diarrhea.