Best Cat Food for Digestive Issues

Best Cat Food for Digestive Issues

It’s critical to concentrate on products that are easily digested, easy on the stomach, and created to assist digestive health when choosing the finest cat food for digestive difficulties. Here are some things to think about and cat food varieties to search for:

  1. Diets with Few Ingredients: Diets with few ingredients can help cats that have digestive problems because it’s simpler to recognize and get rid of possible allergens or irritants.
  2. Novel Protein Sources: Cats with sensitive stomachs may benefit from the introduction of novel protein sources like duck, rabbit, or venison, particularly if they have acquired allergies or intolerances to common proteins like chicken or beef.
  3. Grain-Free or Low-Grain Formulas: Grain sensitivities, such as corn, wheat, or soy, might occur in some cats with digestive problems. In such circumstances, choosing low-grain or grain-free formulations can assist ease intestinal pain.
  4. Superior Calibre Components: Seek cat food prepared with premium, readily digestible components such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and whole meats (such as chicken, turkey, or salmon).
  5. Probiotics and prebiotics: Probiotics are good bacteria that support a balanced and healthy gut flora, and prebiotics are the food that these good bacteria eat. Probiotic and prebiotic-enriched foods can help cats’ digestive health.
  6. Wet or Moist Formulas: Because they are softer on the stomach and usually contain more moisture than dry kibble, wet or moist cat food options may be simpler to digest.
  7. Veterinary Formulas: Your physician might occasionally suggest prescription or special veterinary formulas made especially for cats with digestive problems. These diets are designed to address particular digestive health issues using carefully chosen components.
  8. Gradual Transition: To reduce stomach distress, it’s important to gradually change your cat’s food over approximately one week. Until the transition is over, gradually combine progressively more of the new food with progressively less of the old diet.

Keep in mind that each cat is different, so what suits one cat may not suit another. To find the ideal diet for your cat’s unique digestive problems and general health requirements, speak with your veterinarian. Based on the dietary needs and medical background of your cat, they can offer tailored advice.

The best cat food for a sensitive stomach of 2023

Depending on whether your cat has inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, or dietary intolerances, the ideal cat food for a sensitive stomach will vary. A hypoallergenic diet may be recommended by your veterinarian to treat your cat’s food allergy and alleviate symptoms. If your cat is allergy-free, they might suggest a sensitive stomach formula with minimal to moderate fat, easily digested animal proteins, and minimal carbohydrates.

Best Cat Food for Digestive Issues

Royal Canin Care Digestive Thin Slices in Gravy, Hill’s Science Diet Speciality Perfect Digestion Adult 7+, Purina One +Plus Sensitive Skin and Stomach, and Royal Canin Kitten Loaf in Sauce are among our top choices. With guidance from veterinarians, we assessed these diets for cats with sensitive stomachs, taking into account the nutritional content and ingredients of each product. Additionally, these solutions frequently include supplements such as probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil that help reduce inflammation in the gut and enhance digestion. Depending on the reason behind your cat’s symptoms, some dietary fiber types may also be beneficial to them. The Global Nutrition Guidelines, released by the World Health Organisation, and the pet food standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) are also met by all of our suggestions.

Remember that while hairballs are common in cats’ coughs, it’s easy to ignore symptoms of a sensitive stomach, such as frequent loose stools, vomiting, or gas. Dr. Kelly Diehl, a veterinary internist with a focus on gastrointestinal, advises that if your cat vomits stuff that has very little to no hair or vomits more than once a week, they should visit their veterinarian. Although your cat’s symptoms may improve with a change in diet, it’s crucial to see your veterinarian first.

Best wet

To help relieve stomach problems and maintain proper hydration, your veterinarian could advise switching to a wet food diet if your cat has regular digestive problems. Typically, wet cat diets have 75% to 78% moisture content as opposed to 10% to 12% moisture content in dry foods. This is critical for cats that throw up or have diarrhoea, according to veterinarian Dr Kelly Fishman, founder of Strut Animal Mobility Specialists.

The best-wet cat foods usually have fewer carbohydrates and more protein than dry food. According to Dr Jamie Richardson, a veterinarian and head of veterinary medicine at Small Door Vet, this can aid with digestion and weight control.

Our choice from Royal Canin has omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and powdered cellulose. As per Tufts University, cellulose is an insoluble fibre that has the potential to alleviate constipation by augmenting the volume of stool and frequency of bowel movements. Our choice from Merrick has a small number of components. According to nutritionist and associate professor of clinical nutrition at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, cats on limited-ingredient diets have less stomach disturbance.

You must convert wet food values to a dry matter basis to compare the nutritional contents of wet and dry cat food. This implies that the wet meal must be completely dried out before the nutritional values can be determined using the solids that are still there. To obtain the dry matter values of our suggested foods, we got in touch with the food makers. You can use these directions from the Cummings Veterinary Medical Centre at Tufts University to compare alternative recipes, or you can give your veterinarian a call.

Best dry

Dry food is a good substitute for most cats, but wet food isn’t always practical or economical, and some cats just don’t enjoy it. When you open a package of dry kibble, it stays fresher for longer than canned food. Therefore, you can purchase the recipe that your cat responds to the best in greater quantities, which is typically more cost-effective.

Best Cat Food for Digestive Issues

But remember that dry foods usually have higher carb counts than moist ones. Thus, certain cats with sensitive stomachs can find it more difficult to digest kibble, according to Richardson. Seek up dishes that use complex carbohydrates like white potatoes, corn, or whole wheat. These carbs supply nutrients including fibre, antioxidants, and vital fatty acids, according to Tufts University.
The top dry cat food options that we’ve selected below are specially made for cats with delicate stomachs. They have readily digested animal proteins and nutritious additions like oats and dried beetroot pulp. The inventor of Zootrition and a comparative animal nutritionist, Ellen Dierenfeld, claims that beetroot pulp is highly fermentable by cats and contains both soluble and insoluble types of fibre. Fermentable foods support the microbiome’s beneficial bacteria, which helps enhance digestion. Soluble fibre from oats slows down digestion and may alleviate diarrhoea.

Best for seniors

Health issues may be more common in older pets, but illness isn’t a natural aspect of ageing. For this reason, it’s critical to keep a watchful eye out for any indications of gastrointestinal problems in your elderly cat. For example, cats with dull coats or diarrhea may not gain weight even when they aren’t obtaining enough nutrition.

When they’re sick, cats know how to hide, according to Diehl. Nonetheless, symptoms like persistent vomiting, loose stools, or strongly scented excrement can all indicate medical problems. Your veterinarian can assist in determining the cause and suggest dietary adjustments that might be beneficial. Managing a sensitive stomach through diet relies on several things, including other underlying health concerns, so consulting your veterinarian is crucial, according to Diehl.

The ideal cat food for a sensitive stomach may be heavy in protein because cats are obligate carnivores. However, not all elderly cats can consume diets high in protein. Senior cats with chronic kidney illness, for example, may not benefit from high-protein diets. Fish oil, which can help reduce gastrointestinal irritation and enhance skin and joint health, is a component of our low-protein senior selection from Hill’s. Inulin, a soluble and insoluble fibre source that is typically sourced from chicory root, is present in our high-protein senior selections from Purina and Wellness. Soluble fibres absorb water and gel in the stomach, whereas insoluble fibres aid in regular bowel motions. Slowing their digestion and keeping them full between feedings, can assist cats in maintaining a healthy weight.

best cat food for digestive issues

What to look for in sensitive stomach cat food

The following factors should be taken into account while looking for the finest cat food for a sensitive stomach:

AAFCO’s statement on nutritional sufficiency for growth, maintenance in adulthood, or all life stages: AAFCO certification is the most fundamental indicator of nutritionally complete kitten and cat food. A nonprofit group called the AAFCO provides dietary guidelines for pet food. Food with an AAFCO statement for growth or all life stages is complete and balanced for kittens, while food with an AAFCO statement for maintenance or all life stages is complete and balanced for adult cats. Recommendations are based on life stages. The AAFCO has not released any particular dietary guidelines for older cats. The minimum AAFCO nutritional guidelines for adult or all life stages foods must be met by foods intended for senior cats.

Best Cat Food for Digestive Issues

Guaranteed analysis and nutrient profiles: The percentages of significant nutrients, including protein, fat, fibre, and other vital vitamins and minerals, are displayed in the guaranteed analysis section of pet food labels. Food for adult cats, including senior cats, should include a minimum of 26% protein and 9% fat, whereas food for kittens should adhere to the AAFCO’s recommended minimum of 30% protein and 9% fat.

It’s crucial, according to our specialists, to closely review the guaranteed analysis for cat food. Cats can digest meals high in protein more easily than diets heavy in carbohydrates and low in animal protein since they are obligate carnivores. The finest cat food for sensitive stomachs may be high in protein for some cats, but elderly cats with specific medical issues may not benefit from high-protein diets. This is one of the main reasons you should consult your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.

components list: A pet food label lists the components according to weight. According to Dierenfeld, the best supply of critical amino acids for obligate carnivores like cats is the proteins found in muscle meat. Put another way, the list of components should prioritize using animal proteins such as meat, meat meal, or animal byproducts. Additionally, you can look for components like probiotics, prebiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil that support good digestion and reduce inflammation when selecting the finest cat food for a sensitive stomach.

Since cats are obligate carnivores, the first item on a cat food label should always be an animal source of protein. Compared to other cat feeds, the best cat food for a sensitive stomach could have more protein. We suggest high-quality protein sources such as meat meals, meat byproducts, and whole meat. Meals and byproducts, according to Saker, are concentrated sources of protein that are equally as nutrient-dense and easily digestible as whole protein sources, if not more so.

Expert formulations: WSAVA-recommended quality control criteria are met by our selections of the best cat food for sensitive stomachs. This indicates that the brands have an animal nutritionist with a Ph.D. degree or a full-time board-certified veterinary nutritionist on staff. These guidelines make sure the components and nutritional values in the food your cat eats are correct.

Manufacturing standards: According to Zoran, there may be tiny variations in pet foods across batches, which could cause digestive distress in cats with delicate stomachs. It makes sense to take quality control procedures and facility usage into account when selecting the best cat food for a sensitive stomach. Ownership of production facilities by brands gives them more control over the components used in their recipes and, consequently, the food your cat eats. Brands of pet food should also be open about the way they carry out quality assurance procedures. To put it briefly, they shouldn’t merely claim to carry out quality control.

Calorie content: Kilocalories (kcals) are used to express the calorie content of cat food. Your cat’s calorie requirements will vary according to their age, degree of activity, and general health. For instance, throughout their first year of life, kittens should have several high-calorie meals a day due to their rapid growth. Based on the lifestyle and desired weight of the cat, your veterinarian can advise on the appropriate daily calorie intake for adult and elderly cats. In between wellness visits, veterinarians can also educate you on how to monitor your cat’s body condition score (BCS). Using a scale from 1 to 9, you can evaluate your cat’s body fat with the BCS, a visual tool. You can determine if they need to gain or lose weight with the use of this information. However, it’s usually advisable to.

What symptoms are typical of digestive problems in cats?

Frequent symptoms include tiredness, gas, bloating, constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight.

If my cat has stomach problems, should I change their food?

One possible solution to symptoms could be to switch to a cat food designed with digestive health in mind. Making the switch gradually is crucial, and for individualized advice, speak with your veterinarian.

What components of cat food should I check for if my cat has digestive problems?

Seek for full, high-quality products; limited ingredient diets; innovative protein sources; probiotics and prebiotics; and readily digestible proteins (such as fish, poultry, or turkey).

What particular elements in cat food should I stay away from if I have digestive problems?

Avoiding common allergies like grains (including corn, wheat, and soy) and artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives may be beneficial for cats with sensitive stomachs.

Which food is best for cats with digestive problems—dry or wet?

Because of its softer texture and higher moisture content, wet or moist cat food is frequently simpler to digest. On the other hand, if the dry food is easily digestible and satisfies its nutritional requirements, some cats might thrive on it.


When selecting the best cat food for digestive problems, give top priority to products that are high-quality, easily absorbed, and specially formulated for your cat’s needs. Think of things like diets with few ingredients, new sources of protein, low- or no-grain recipes, and the addition of probiotics and prebiotics. Additionally, for specific advice and recommendations on introducing a new diet to your cat, speak with your veterinarian. You may contribute to the general health and digestive health of your cat by giving it thoughtful thought and following veterinarian advice.

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