You may like it in your morning smoothie, but yogurt for your cat? It may not seem like such a bad idea after you understand the benefits. In small doses, a bit of plain yogurt or kefir can build up your cat's good bacteria, helpful if she's recovering from an infection.
Benefits of Yogurt for Cats
Generally, a healthy cat who eats a nutritionally balanced diet doesn't need any supplements; in fact, too many of some, such as vitamin D, can be harmful. However, there are a few extras you can add to your cat's diet that may give her a boost without doing her any harm. Yogurt is a good source of probiotics, especially helpful for a cat who's been battling an infection with the help of antibiotics. The probiotics in yogurt repopulate the intestinal tract with good bacteria necessary to ward off infection. As well, yogurt is a great source of omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals and helps fight periodontal disease.
Using Yogurt for Your Cat
If you decide to add yogurt to your cat's dietary regimen, avoid anything with additives, including fruit and artificial flavors or sweeteners, and stick to plain yogurt or kefir. Use products with the bacterial cultures lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus casei and bifdobacterium lactis. Since yogurt is a good source of vitamins, don't give your cat too much of it -- take a week or two to work your way up to one teaspoon of yogurt per day to allow her digestive tract time to get used to her new treat.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.