Probiotics question

redvelvetone

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If I feed my cat mostly wet (he gets a 5.5 oz can of wet every day), but some  raw as well (mostly giblets or chicken breast with no bone). should he also be on probiotics.  

And if so, where do you get these and how do you feed them to the cat? mix in with the wet food? is it a powder? how much should they get?
 

5lovelykitties

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Hi,

I'm new here, but I thought I would add my experience with probiotics.  I've only learned about probiotics when raising chicks.  Chicks raised in a clean environment (brooder) and then when they become pullets, are put outside in the large chicken pen that has dirt access can easily get coccidiosis, since their systems have never been exposed to it.   I have since learned to add used litter from my previous adult chickens, and added it to the brooder so they get a small exposure of bacteria that is found in the soil and on plants near the ground.  I have also added probiotics to their chick food, but normally just adding the used litter does the trick. 

I don't know about a cat that is indoors only, if probiotics are necessary, but if the cat does not have diarrhea, and you still want to add probiotics to the diet, a once weekly dose is good enough.  That is what is suggested on my container of Bene-Bac Plus powder.  I recently bought this product and it says to add a teaspoon for a cat weighing 1-5 pounds given weekly for maintenance.  If cat has diarrhea, which the cat I recently adopted has, then it is given daily for ten days, and then weekly for maintenance.  My vet sent me home with Vetri-Mega Pro capsules to be given after the six day antibiotic treatment.  (Vet found spiro motile, whatever that is, some sort of bacteria that can get out of control from chronic diarrhea or other underlying illness).   The R/X for these capsules was sprinkle on food, give for ten days.  You can also find products at health food stores, such as Kyo_Dophilus, that contains l-acidophilus, as well as bifidobacterium bifidum and b. longum.  Bene-Bac Plus contains more varied good bacteria that I would assume is made just for dogs, cats and ferrets.  Usually l-acidophilus is only active if one eats dairy products, which is why it is found in fresh yogurt.  Speaking of fresh, if these products aren't kept cool, they can die and will be a waste to purchase.  In the past, at the animal co-op, I have purchased a product called, Probios, a gel in a syringe container. 

I have five other pets that I started giving Bene-Bac Plus to, on a weekly basis, especially in the spring as two of my cats stay inside much of the time during the winter months.  The bacteria found in nature can explode in population when the weather warms up. 

Raw diets are excellent source of live enzymes, another important addition to the cat's diet.  If cats don't eat raw foods or once in a while chew on grass, then they won't get necessary enzymes for proper digestion.   I have one cat that is a regular mouser and his teeth and coat are in excellent condition.  He's outside much of the time. 

The instructions for giving probiotics are to sprinkle on top of food.  If your cat eats dry food, then mist the food with water and then sprinkle on the powder.  Bene-Bac container says to thoroughly wash the food bowl and water bowl with hot soapy water after 8 hours to prevent bad bacteria from developing.  The container suggests use is for post surgery, traveling, birth, weaning, worming, and antibiotic therapy.

I've often been skeptical of pet foods containing probiotics, as I don't understand how the good bacteria could stay alive after the cat food is processed.   To sum it up, I give my pets probiotics, but whether it is helping them or not, I don't know for certain, but I do see improvement in my cat that has had chronic diarrhea (also blood in stool) ever since I adopted her.  She will probably need to be on it for life.
 
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carolina

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If I feed my cat mostly wet (he gets a 5.5 oz can of wet every day), but some  raw as well (mostly giblets or chicken breast with no bone). should he also be on probiotics.  

And if so, where do you get these and how do you feed them to the cat? mix in with the wet food? is it a powder? how much should they get?
When feeding raw, it is a good thing to maintain a healthy flora to keep the kitty on a good probiotic.... You can get one on your health food store, just make sure it is 5 Billion CFU, or use one special for veterinarian use.... This one was highly recommended by both my vets, and it is the ones I use for my kitties: Proviable-DC - I just open the capsule and mix in their food - you can mix it in their wet food, once a day, or sprinkle on the top - it has no taste. Vet offices do sell it, I just buy it online as it is SO much cheaper.... At the vet's it it over $80.....
 
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sugarcatmom

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If I feed my cat mostly wet (he gets a 5.5 oz can of wet every day), but some  raw as well (mostly giblets or chicken breast with no bone). should he also be on probiotics.  

Does your cat have any digestive issues at all? If his poopin' is perfect, there's no vomiting or excessive gas and you don't have any specific reason to give probiotics, than I'd be inclined to skip them. I have 4 cats, all fed raw and canned, and the only one that gets daily probiotics is my old guy (who has a variety of ailments). While it isn't going to hurt if you do decide to give probiotics, I just think that less is more sometimes when we're trying to decide what supplements to administer to our kitties. Now if you were just starting to give raw or change his diet, that would be a different story. But for long-term maintenance, I tend to think it's unnecessary.
 
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redvelvetone

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HI

Thanks for all replies so far. No, the cat is in perfect health and has no bathroom issues. I started feeding him raw maybe 5 weeks ago.... he took to it like a champ. (Then again he WAS feral before he was rescued so I'm guessing he has eaten raw before, probably mice his mom brought him or something). I was just wondering about the probiotics because I don't plan on doing all raw,  just some raw. And I've heard some people say the c ats should be on probiotics if they are eating raw. To be honest, I'd rather not have to buy extra supplements if he doesn't need them, but if it's a good idea I will. He is indoors only.

Should I just wait and see if he has issues or just give him a dose weekly?
 

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Does your vet have a clue about raw feeding? You might want to discuss this with them.

My cats are mostly older, all feral rescues. No one other than my FIV+ boy has had poop problems. His holistic vet put him on probiotics among a number of things (he had chronic diarrhea), so he's been getting probiotics daily since October 2010. Several of my kitties have immune-related issues, and Lazlo's recovering from cancer. But I've got all of them on probiotics daily, and intend to continue to do so.

When your cat is on antibiotics, whether you feed raw or not, they ought to be on probiotics daily, don't wait until the course of antibiotics is done. Antibiotics kill the good gut bacteria too. The proper way to give them when a cat is on antibiotics is to wait several hours after the antibiotic was given, and then give the probiotic (otherwise the antibiotic just kills it).

I just use an acidophilus+bifidus supplement I buy from the refrigerated section at the health food store. I sprinkle on 1/2 a capsule on the morning meal and then usually the late night meal.
 
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redvelvetone

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Hi LDG

I really like my vet. He's great with cats and is very thorough in regards to their health. HOWEVER, I've come to the conclusion he does not know anything about nutrition. I have not asked him specifically about raw feeding but I know he's anti wholistic food and pretty much thinks cats should be on science diet. When I brought Magnus in for his first check up at 7 Months, he got a clean bill of health and then the vet asked me what I was feeding him (I told him Grain Free wet food ) and he told me he should be on half a cup of Science diet plus some wet food a day. He told me the food I was feeding him was high in ash content etc. He also told me many of the cats who were on the holistic foods had urinary problems / crystals etc. I went home and looked up the ash content of the food I was feeding him and it was less than or the same as Science Diet. So, I am pretty much doing my own research in terms of nutrition as I don't think he's up on some things.

Magnus is not on any antibiotics or any medicine. 

Maybe I'll buy some pribiotics and just give him a dose once a week. I guess it could help and it couldn't hurt?
 
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