Slippery Elm for Cats
What is Slippery Elm? Slippery elm soothes inflammation and irritation in the digestive and respiratory tract. It serves as a demulcent which means it creates a protective film on the mucus membranes and has a beneficial effect on the microbiome.
Benefits of Slippery Elm
- Inflammation in the digestive tract, diarrhea, vomiting
- Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Inflammation of the respiratory tract, cough (as a tea)
- Conditions such as collapsing trachea and kennel cough
Where to buy Slippery Elm
- Purchase capsules and open to fill a teaspoon (this will require about four to 5 400-500 mg capsules). Loose herbs are mostly available online.
How to Prepare Slippery Elm Tea
- Add 1 level tablespoon slippery elm to 1 cup water in a small saucepan.
- Heat to a low boil while stirring.
- Turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- For dogs add tsp of honey. Do not add honey for cats.
- Keep in refrigerator.
How do I give Slippery Elm to my cat?
Use a dropper, spoon or syringe. A 5 ml syringe=1 TSP=5 ml. I always keep one of these handy. You can ask your veterinarian if you can purchase one to have on hand for your pets.
My favorite method to medicate my cat is to make a "kitty burrito" using a towel or soft blanket. Administer with a syringe in the crook of the mouth. You can see how to do this by watching a short video here (clickable link)
Slippery Elm Dosage for Cats
1/4 to 1/2 TSP (2.5 to 5 mls) every 8 to 12 hours. Can be given by mouth or added to food.
Contraindications of Slippery Elm
- Slippery elm should be given at least 2 hours from the time of any other medications as it may decrease the absorption of these medications by coating the digestive tract.
- If diarrhea persists despite a day of treatment, you should contact your veterinarian
Note: Although slippery elm is very safe, you should let your veterinarian know if your cat is having moderate to severe diarrhea and especially if vomiting is present and seek their immediate advice for next steps. Further diagnostics (such as a fecal parasite exam) and/or treatments may be necessary.