The gut, your cat's internal health

Recent research has demonstrated that maintaining healthy intestinal/gut health plays a major role in our overall health. Indeed, the intestine, along with the stomach, is the first internal barrier against food-borne pathogens (viruses or bacteria).

The gut is one of the body’s most important immune defence systems. The immune cells of the intestine produce antibodies that can detect external aggressions. These antibodies can bind and neutralise pathogens, which are then naturally removed from the body and are no longer a threat.

A healthy and balanced intestinal microflora also plays an important role in helping to fight against external pathogenic bacteria and ensuing disease. So called “bad” bacteria are in competition inside the gut with healthy or “good” bacteria. If the flora is balanced and sound, then the “bad” bacteria find it more difficult to colonise and induce health problems.

But how can we strengthen our cat’s intestinal health?

Mainly through a well-balanced diet which meets your pet’s nutritional needs, rich in nutrients. In addition, consumption of heat-treated lactobacilli has been scientifically proven to strengthen your cat’s natural defences by stimulating the production of antibodies in the intestines. These antibodies can bind to viruses and bad bacteria which are then naturally removed from the body. The action also helps the antibodies to help support a healthy intestinal microflora.

A healthy intestine helps ensure efficient absorption of all the essential nutrients present in your cat’s food. Benefits from the inside that will also have an impact on the outside.

Your cat’s skin, often hidden under their coat that we enjoy stroking so much, plays a vital role: a physical barrier between the outside and the inside, your cat’s skin helps her reduce fluid losses and protects her from outside aggressions. Omega-6 essential fatty acids (which our felines cannot produce and so is essential to them), play an important role in skin and coat health. When included in your cat’s diet at the optimum levels, it is absorbed in the intestines, enters the blood stream and is incorporated into cells in the body. Omega 6 essential fatty acids are crucial for the skin to maintain a strong barrier to the external environment."

A cat suffering from digestive disorders can show various symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, loss of appetite, apathy, or lethargy. There can be different causes for these symptoms, like stress, viruses, parasites, changes in the diet, or hair balls. … If your cat is suffering from digestive disorders, it is best to consult your veterinarian to determine the cause of the symptoms and manage it accordingly.

Stools are an excellent indicator of your companion’s digestive health and even if it’s not very pleasant, remember to keep an eye on them and check them regularly!

Your cat‘s stools should be regular (once or twice a day), well-formed and solid.
Excessively soft or hard and dry stools, and discoloured grey stools can be the sign of a pathology or unsuitable diet. Should you have doubts on any of this, do not hesitate to talk to your vet about it.