If you live with a cat you have surely heard of malt or paraffin. These are products that are used to promote the intestinal transit of these felines. But it is common that doubts arise about its use among caregivers.
Some of them wonder how they can administer them to their cat, when or which one to choose. Next we will explain the characteristics of malt and paraffin, their benefits and the methods of administration.
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What is cat malt?
Malt is considered a dietary supplement for cats . It is barley malt. Malting is a process by which this cereal is germinated, dried and roasted. The result is a dark brown paste, thicker in texture than honey . Sold in tubes. It can be offered to cats of any age and size.
The malt pastes that are marketed usually contain more ingredients than malt. Thus, most offer a mixture of malt extract, vegetable oils and fibers. Some also add other nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, prebiotics, dairy, or yeast.
What is liquid paraffin for cats?
Liquid paraffin or paraffin oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons that results in a product with a laxative effect . It is a derivative of oil widely used in cosmetics, in the manufacture of candles and even in the food industry. It can be used when the malt is no longer sufficient to solve the cat’s gastrointestinal problem.
Just as we can give malt as prevention, paraffin should always be prescribed by the veterinarian. It is more common to use it when this professional confirms the existence of a digestive disorder. He will be the one who sets the form of administration for us.
Benefits of malt and paraffin for cats
Both products have an effect on the intestinal motility of these felines. For this reason, they are offered with the aim of helping them to evacuate stools in cases of constipation, to avoid the formation of hairballs and to facilitate their expulsion . But it is important that we know that these uses are recommended for cats with mild symptoms or as prevention.
That is, if our cat has not defecated in a day, a little malt could help him. Likewise, offering malt to cats that ingest a lot of hair, are shedding or have a history of problems with hairballs can prevent their re-formation and, therefore, the problems that they cause.
But if the cat is already showing symptoms and it does not remit, it will not be enough to administer malt. It is necessary to go to the vet. He can prescribe paraffin or other drugs. Severe cases even require surgical intervention. To prevent this type of gastrointestinal problems it is recommended, in addition to malt:
- Offer a quality diet with an adequate supply of fiber that contributes to good intestinal transit.
- Maintain hydration by encouraging the cat to drink water or by incorporating wet products into its diet.
- Brush the hair regularly, especially in the shedding season and in those cats with more hair.
What is the best malt for cats?
There are a large number of malt brands on the market with some variations in their composition. They can be purchased in veterinary centers or specialized establishments. The ideal is to look for a product without sugars, colorants or preservatives . The amount of fat it provides should also be controlled.
In short, the more natural the malt, the better. Some brands contain only 100% malt extract. Lastly, the cat’s preferences, of course, also have to be taken into account. It is normal to try several brands until discovering our feline’s favorite.
How to give malt or paraffin to a cat
The easiest way to administer a product like malt is by applying it directly to the cat. You just have to take a little of the paste, about 2-5 cm, and spread it on the snout or one of the front legs. The dose is adjusted according to the amount of hair of the cat and the frequency of administration.
In this way we take advantage of the cat’s taste for grooming. He will quickly be quick to remove the substance that is staining his fur. You can also put the chosen amount on your food in the feeder , better with wet food. There are cats who love it and can take it straight from the container.
We will only have to squeeze so that the desired amount comes out and the cat will lick it. Regarding frequency, dosage, quantity or any doubt that the use of malt raises, we will follow the veterinarian’s recommendations. Too much could cause diarrhea. As for paraffin, it will be the professional who prescribes its use and administration.
Malt treats for cats
At present, cat food is also marketed, both feed and cookies or snacks, which contain malt among their ingredients. They are another option for the cat to consume malt easily.
Keep in mind that malt is considered a prize when calculating daily calories. This information is especially important in those cats with problems of overweight or obesity.
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