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Home > Cats > 8 Best Cat Foods for Firm Stool in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

8 Best Cat Foods for Firm Stool in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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a fluffy cat not eating dry food

Diarrhea can be a serious issue for cats because it can quickly dehydrate them. Most cats don’t like to drink water which will make it hard to replenish the fluids lost. Dehydrated cats can suffer from excessive dander, and their diarrhea can quickly turn to constipation. While health problems and other issues can cause diarrhea, the food it eats is usually the main reason. If your cat suffers from frequent diarrhea and you would like to know which foods can help prevent it, you’ve come to the right place. We’re about to review several different brands to see how they cure and prevent diarrhea. We’ll give you the pros and cons of each one and tell you how our cat liked it. We have also included a short buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for if you continue to shop. Keep reading while we discuss ingredients, moisture, food type, and more to help you make an informed purchase.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription
  • All-natural
  • Species-appropriate
  • Human grade ingredients
  • Best Value
    Second place
    American Journey Sensitive Dry Cat Food American Journey Sensitive Dry Cat Food
  • Chicken as first ingredient
  • No wheat, corn or soy
  • Rice helps absorb moisture
  • Third place
    Merrick Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food Merrick Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food
  • Easy to digest
  • High in protein
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Evolve Chicken & Dry Kitten Food Evolve Chicken & Dry Kitten Food
  • Omega fats
  • Grain-free formula
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • Blue Buffalo Sensitive Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Sensitive Dry Cat Food
  • LifeSource bits
  • Prebiotics in antioxidants
  • Real fruits and vegetables
  • The 8 Best Cat Foods for Firm Stool

    1. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall

    smalls human-grade fresh and freeze-dried raw cat food on a table

    Size: 11.5 Oz
    First Ingredient: Chicken, Turkey or Beef

    Smalls Human Grade Fresh Cat Food is our pick for the overall best cat food for firm stool. Its gently cooked, all-natural recipes are unlikely to cause flatulence or loose stool. They contain human-grade ingredients including vegetables that provide important nutrients and a source of fiber.  With chicken, turkey, or beef as single protein alternatives, there is an alternative option for cats with food sensitivities. The pulled formulas also contain flaxseed, a source of fiber that helps to regulate gut motility and give consistency to stool.

    We love Smalls as it provides species-appropriate complete and balanced nutrition to your cat, they offer different presentations in their fresh formulas to provide just the right texture for your cat. While having the food delivered right to your door regularly is a great advantage, it requires economic planning, especially considering that this food is more expensive than commercially available kibble. The great health benefits on your cat’s digestive system, stool consistency, and overall health are worth the price tag and will save you on future vet bills, this is why Smalls is our best overall!

    Pros
    • All-natural
    • Species-appropriate
    • Human grade ingredients
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. American Journey Sensitive Stomach Cat Food – Best Value

    American Journey Sensitive Stomach Total Health Formula Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

    Size: 15 pounds
    First Ingredient: Deboned Chicken

    American Journey Sensitive Stomach Total Health Formula Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food is another brand that uses deboned chicken as its first ingredient to provide a high protein (32%) diet. Protein will help your pet have plenty of energy and the building blocks for strong muscle. Real fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals your cat requires to stay healthy and fight disease, while omega fats will promote a soft, shiny coat.

    The downside we experienced while reviewing American Journey was that the bags were not resealable, so it’s harder to keep the food fresh. Several of our cats also wouldn’t eat it unless there were no other options.

    Pros
    • Real fruits and vegetables
    • High protein
    • Omega fats
    Cons
    • Bags not resealable
    • Some cats don’t like it

    3. Merrick Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food

    Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

    Size: 12 pounds
    First Ingredient: Deboned Chicken

    Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food is our premium cat food for firm stools. It featured deboned chicken as its first ingredient, which helps provide your cat with 32% protein, great for energy and developing strong muscles. The green-free recipe is easy to digest, so it’s less likely to contribute to diarrhea or constipation and will help your pet stay regular. Omega fats help keep your pet’s coat looking great.

    Merrick Limited Ingredient is an amazing brand that quickly eliminates litter box problems. The only negative thing we could say about it was that it made our cats poop very smelly.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Omega fats
    • Grain-free recipe
    • Easy to digest
    Cons
    • Smelly poop

    4. Evolve Chicken & Pea & Dry Kitten Food

    Evolve Chicken, Pea, & Sweet Potato Recipe Kitten Formula Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food

    Size: 2.75 pounds
    First Ingredient: Deboned Chicken

    Evolve Chicken, Pea, & Sweet Potato Recipe Kitten Formula Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food is our pick as the best kitten food for firm stools. It features deboned chicken as the first ingredient to provide your pet with a high-protein (36%) meal. The grain-free formula is easy to digest and more closely mimics its natural diet. There are no artificial colors or preservatives, and it includes healthy omega fats that help with the kitten’s brain and eye development.

    Evolve chicken is a great choice for cans with all healthy and greetings. The only thing we didn’t like about it what is that several of our kittens didn’t like it and would only eat it if there was nothing else available.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Omega fats
    • Grain-free formula
    • No artificial colors or preservatives
    Cons
    • Some cats don’t like it

    5. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

    Size: 15 pounds
    First Ingredient: Deboned Chicken

    Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food is another brand that’s easy to find in most grocery stores, so it’s a great choice if you need something immediately. It contains deboned chicken as its first ingredient, which provides your cat with 32% protein per serving. Real fruits and vegetables supply the vitamins and minerals your cat needs, and LifeSource bits deliver antioxidants and prebiotics that help boost the immune system and strengthen gut bacteria.

    The biggest downside to Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach is that some of our cats didn’t like it, and it took a while to get them transitioned.

    Pros
    • Real fruits and vegetables
    • LifeSource bits
    • Prebiotics in antioxidants
    Cons
    • Some cats don’t like it

    6. Halo Holistic Seafood Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Size: 6 pounds
    First Ingredient: Whitefish

    Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food is another great pick of cat food for a firm stool. Its sensitive formula is unlikely to cause gas or diarrhea. It contains real fruits and vegetables that provide important nutrients and prebiotics that strengthen the cat’s natural good gut bacteria. It lists whitefish as the first ingredient and provides your cat with plenty of protein at 32%. Fish oil delivers omega fats that can reduce swelling and promote a shiny coat.

    We liked using Halo Holistic. Most of our cats liked it, and it helped firm their stools. The only thing we didn’t like about this brand was that the kibble is quite small, leading to fast eating.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Real fruits and vegetables
    • Omega fats
    Cons
    • Small kibble

    7. Purina Pro Plan Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food

    Size: 7 pounds
    First Ingredient: Lamb

    Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food is our pack as one of the best cat food for firm stools for the money. It features lamb as its first ingredient, which helps provide your cat with plenty of protein at more than 40% per serving. It also features rice as its second ingredient, which will help absorb excess moisture and firm up loose stools. Prebiotic fiber will help nourish your cat’s natural gut bacteria, strengthening yet and reducing the risk of digestive troubles.

    We liked Purina Pro Plan because it’s easy to find in most grocery stores, works well, and most of our cats seemed to like it. However, it’s not without problems. It contains soy ingredients which we usually try to avoid because it’s a filler that can lead to weight gain. It’s also high in calories at more than 500 per serving, so you will need to watch portion size carefully.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Rice helps absorb moisture
    • Prebiotic fiber
    Cons
    • Contains soy ingredients
    • High in calories

    8. Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Cat Food

    Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

    Size: 15.5 pounds
    First Ingredient: Chicken

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food is the last brand on our list, but it still makes a great choice, especially if a vet prescribes it. It contains an easy-to-digest formula that won’t result in diarrhea or constipation and will help your pet maintain a firm stool. Another positive thing about using this food is that most of our cats like it.

    Unfortunately, this veterinarian-prescribed food is extremely expensive and doesn’t contain the best ingredients. It’s lower in protein than the other brands we’ve looked at so far and higher in calories and more than 500 per cup. The idea is that you will feed your cat less, but in our experience, they forgot to explain that to the cat, and this food can quickly lead to weight gain if you’re not careful with portion control.

    Pros
    • Easy to digest formula
    • Omega fats
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Lower in protein
    • High in calories
    • Corn ingredients

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Cat Food for Firm Stool

    Avoid Trigger Ingredients

    While health problems can often be why your cat suffers from diarrhea or constipation, food is often to blame. Avoid any foods that contain dairy products, including eggs, until you locate the source of the problem. Some brands contain ingredients like pumpkin that can be helpful to clear up constipation but might lead to diarrhea in a healthy pet. Your cat might also be sensitive to chemical preservatives or artificial food coloring, so make sure the brand you choose doesn’t contain them.

    Limited Ingredient Foods

    Some brands contain long lists of ingredients, and cats have sensitive digestive systems, so nearly anything can be causing problems. The best way to locate the source of your cat’s trouble let’s start by using limited ingredient foods. These brands only contain what’s necessary to provide your cat with a complete and balanced diet, so it will be easier to narrow down the list of problem ingredients.

    Bengal cat eating
    Image Credit by: AJR_photo_Shutterstock

    Changing Foods

    Owners often report that their cat experiences diarrhea, flatulence, and even vomiting when they change brands. In many cases, your pet will need a short time to adjust to the new recipe, but if it lasts more than a few days, we recommend trying a different brand as the new food might contain ingredients that cause your pet to have diarrhea or constipation. Take note of the ingredients in the two brands as they might give you a clue about problem foods your cat needs to avoid.

    Wet Food vs Dry Food

    Many people like to feed their cats wet food because of the higher moisture content. However, wet food is also very rich and high in fat, so it can easily lead to diarrhea and even vomiting, especially if your cat isn’t used to eating it. Wet food makes a nice treat, and it can be helpful if your cat is suffering from constipation or needs to take medicine, but dry food helps clean teeth, promotes a healthy weight, and doesn’t cause diarrhea as frequently.

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    • Want to know how various cat foods stack up against one an other? Read our guide to the Best Cat Foods

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    Conclusion

    When choosing your next cat food for firm stool, we recommend limited ingredients, cat food for sensitive stomachs. Our pick for the best overall cat food for a firm stool goes to Smalls Human Grade Fresh Cat Food, with human-grade ingredients and recipes formulated to provide the best nutrition to your cat while keeping a healthy and balanced GI tract. Another smart choice is our pick for the best value. American Journey Sensitive Stomach Total Health Formula Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food, their formula includes rice which can help absorb excess moisture promoting a firm stool. This product comes in 15 lb non-resealable packages so we recommend storing it in an air-tight container for nutrient preservation.

    We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and found a few brands you would like to try out in your home. If we have helped get your cat back to normal, please share this guide to cat foods for a firm stool on Facebook and Twitter.

    See also:


    Featured Image Credit: Popel Arseniy, Shutterstock

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