Just as with people, cats have a very intricate and complex network of body mechanics that must keep running in tip-top shape if the cat is to be her best. Some of the barometers of good health are relatively easy to see: shiny hair and clear skin, bright eyes and good mobility. Another very important barometer of good health, a healthy digestive system, is not easily seen, but is indeed critical to helping cats live a long and healthy life. In fact, digestion problems are among the most common reasons for visits to the veterinarian. The high level of concern about digestive health has led nutritionists and veterinarians to look more closely into ways to better understand the cat’s complex digestive system.

The digestive tract is, essentially, a long, hollow tube that runs through the body, from the mouth to the anus. The tube has several main components, including mouth, stomach, small intestine and large intestine. This system is in constant motion, making sure cats get the nutrients from their diet that they need to stay healthy and look their best. The digestive tract is also the system that supplies essential nutrients to the rest of the body, which is why it is critical to keep this system in top condition.

Just as in humans, the digestive tract of cats naturally contains bacteria. As clean as cats are, and as clean as we all think we are, many different types of bacteria share our world