8 Ways to Give Your Cat the Best Digestive Support
Though a cat’s digestive system is very different to ours, giving the best digestive support to your feline friend is easier than it seems. Animal protein and the right fats are the essential components of a cat’s diet, and make up the bulk of every meal. But there are other nutrients that every cat needs. Here are 8 ways to give your cat the best digestive support.
The digestive system of a cat includes the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, pancreas, liver and the gall bladder. Saliva, healthy cells and the structure of organs all play a part in their digestion, including the gut. A healthy digestive system means better immunity and maximum absorption of nutrients results in improved overall health.
Here are 8 ways you can give your cat the best shot of optimal digestive health.
Even exclusively indoor cats can pick up worms. Regular deworming is a must to protect a cat’s digestive health. Tapeworms live inside the small intestine and can be transmitted through a single flea that comes into the home on visitors or on other pets that spend even the shortest amount of time outside.
Roundworms are highly transmissible. They can be walked into your home on shoes or brought in on clothing. They also reside in the small intestine and can lay thousands of eggs every day.
Hookworms live in the intestines. They are blood suckers mostly transmitted through lizards and any rodent that makes its way into the home. Outdoor cats are naturally more exposed to these worms, but unfortunately, keeping your precious feline inside is no guarantee of safety from these parasites.
In the wild, a cat derives all the hydration they need through the animals they consume. Their domestic cousins live a rather different lifestyle, including processed, cooked meals, treats and dry cat food. All cats must have access to plenty of clean, fresh water. If you notice your cat drinking from your water glass or from any household tap, increase the number of water bowls around the house. It could just be that they prefer drinking from the shower, but always keep track of their water supply.
3. Dietary Needs
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need animal protein and fats in their diet. Animal protein maintains a cat’s remarkable muscular make up, and the omega fatty acids support the heart, healthy skin and give them a lustrous coat. Providing cat grass, a safe blend of oat, rye, barley and wheat grasses, allows a cat to self medicate. Cat grass can help shift a furball, and they enjoy the taste.
Taurine is an essential amino acid that all good cat food contains. It helps to support digestion as well as heart, eye and brain health and the immune system. Another important additive is inulin.
Inulin is a prebiotic fibre, which means it feeds the healthy gut bacteria of a cat, supporting better digestion. A healthy gut gives a cat stronger immunity and ensures maximum availability of all nutrients in their meals.
Cat stools will never be a delight to the nose, but dietary correction of a cat’s gut microbiota with inulin can reduce foul faecal odour. A study published by Oxford University Press shows that the elements that cause this bad odour are linked to colorectal cancer in cats.
6. Changing Food
Making a change to a healthier cat food is always the best option. The transition needs to be gentle and measured, no more so than for cats with delicate tummies. Read The Importance of a Healthy Weight for Your Cat for tips on how to switch to a new cat food.
Cats are fastidious self-groomers, and catching loose cat hair before it enters the gut will reduce stress upon the digestive system. It also lessens the frequency of furballs.
Regular grooming lowers the amount of harmful bacteria entering into the gut. Dirt, faeces, kitty litter and other contaminants can be brushed out of their coat along with loose fur.
8. Vet Check
Try to keep up with your cat’s regular vet checks. Your veterinarian will check their heart, weight and general health and will answer any questions you have to ward off the progression of illness.
The Final Word
There are many things you can do to give your cat the best digestive support. Regular deworming, changing to a better quality cat food, grooming and regular vet checks will all help keep your cat’s digestive system healthy, resulting in better health for your cat.