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Home > Cats > 9 Best Cat Foods for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

9 Best Cat Foods for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Cute cat eating on floor at home

It can be difficult to find the right type of cat food that does not flare your cat’s irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Allergies are a major factor that can trigger IBS in cats. Therefore, it is recommended to choose hypoallergenic foods as a solution for your cat. Many vets will prescribe a protein-based food for cats who are suffering from IBS to ease some of the uncomfortable symptoms your cat will experience.

If your cat is vomiting, and suffers from diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and chronic inflammation, then they may have a case of IBS. In this case, wet cat foods with minimal carbohydrates are a good choice. The food should exclude allergens, and since cats are carnivores, the food should contain wholesome protein such as duck or venison. Always consult a veterinarian if your cat may be showing signs of IBS.

We have chosen some high-quality cat foods and picked the top products that vets recommend for this condition.

Disclaimer: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2024)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Human-grade
  • Taurine supports cardiac health
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food
  • Affordable
  • Omega fatty acids nourish your cat’s coat
  • Includes prebiotics and fiber to support healthy digestion
  • Third place
    Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Dry Cat Food Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Dry Cat Food
  • Veterinarian-recommended diet
  • Antioxidants boost the immune system
  • Helps your cat to maintain a healthy weight
  • Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food
  • Excellent value
  • No filler ingredients
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Low glycemic formula
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Includes high-quality ingredients that mimic a cat’s natural diet
  • divider-catThe 9 Best Cat Foods for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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

    smalls fresh bird with cat eating

    Protein content: 23.4%
    Fiber content: 0.3%
    Fat content: 6.6%
    Hypoallergenic: Yes

    Smalls produces several premium recipes for cats, but the Fresh Other Bird was our 1st best overall food for cats with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Cats suffering from IBS benefit from low-fat meals enriched with minerals and vitamins. This recipe also has a higher moisture level, ensuring your cat stays hydrated. Fresh Other Bird contains less crude fat (6.6%) than any Smalls recipes. Its primary protein sources are turkey (skin on) and chicken livers which contain essential vitamins and minerals. Smalls brand does not add artificial colors, fillers, or preservatives. This is what makes it the overall best cat food for irritable bowel syndrome.

    Pros
    • Only 6.6% crude fat
    • All-natural ingredients
    • Taurine supports cardiac health
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Turkey Dry Cat Food – Budget Buy

    Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Turkey Dry Cat Food

    Protein content: 33% minimum
    Fiber content: 3% maximum
    Fat content: 14% minimum
    Hypoallergenic: No

    The best cat food for irritable bowel syndrome for the money is Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Turkey Dry Cat Food. Iams Proactive Health has omega fatty acids in this recipe that provide nourishment for your cat’s skin and coat.

    Iams Proactive Health contains a blend of dietary fiber and prebiotics, supporting your cat’s digestive system. This is especially helpful for cats who struggle with irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive difficulties.

    While such an affordable option may seem like the natural choice, you should note that some cats refuse to eat Iams Proactive Health. If your cat is a picky eater, then you may need to look for other options.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Omega fatty acids nourish your cat’s coat
    • Includes prebiotics and fiber to support healthy digestion
    Cons
    • Picky eaters may avoid this cat food

    3. Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit with Chicken Dry Cat Food

    Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit with Chicken Dry Cat Food

    Protein content: 34% minimum
    Fiber content: 9% maximum
    Fat content: 7.5% minimum
    Hypoallergenic: No

    For a premium choice, try Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit with Chicken Dry Cat Food. Hill’s Prescription Diet is a veterinarian-recommended diet with an impressive protein content minimum of 34%. It also bolsters your cat’s urinary and immune system health.

    As a premium choice, it is only natural that Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit leans on the expensive side. However, the benefits it provides your cat are well worth the cost. The recipe is designed to support your cat’s weight maintenance. Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit boosts the metabolization of fat while supporting the pre-existing lean muscle, ensuring your cat stays at a healthy weight.

    Pros
    • Veterinarian-recommended diet
    • Helps your cat to maintain a healthy weight
    • Antioxidants boost the immune system
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Sensitive Stomach Natural Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Sensitive Stomach Natural Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food

    Protein content: 32% minimum
    Fiber content: 3.5% maximum
    Fat content: 16% minimum
    Hypoallergenic: Yes

    Next on the list is the Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Sensitive Stomach Natural Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls provides a 32% minimum protein content with high-quality ingredients such as deboned chicken. There are no unhealthy filler ingredients included in the recipe. For such excellent quality, the price is an excellent value.

    The prebiotics in this formula support cats with sensitive stomachs, which is especially helpful for cats struggling with irritable bowel syndrome. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls also supports your cat’s immune system with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Unfortunately, some fussy eaters don’t enjoy this recipe, so if your cat is known to be picky, you may need a backup plan.

    Pros
    • Excellent value
    • No filler ingredients
    • High-quality ingredients
    Cons
    • Fussy eaters may not enjoy it

    5. Dr. Elsey’s clean protein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Protein content: 59% minimum
    Fiber content: 4% maximum
    Fat content: 18% minimum
    Hypoallergenic: Yes

    Dr. Elsey’s clean protein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is an excellent choice for cats who need a little extra protein in their diet. The high-quality ingredients mimic your cat’s natural diet and contain a 59% protein content minimum, ensuring that your cat’s meals are packed with the nutrients they need. In addition, Dr. Elsey’s formula is a low glycemic option, meaning that only a tiny amount of your cat’s energy needs will be provided with carbohydrates.

    Pros
    • Includes high-quality ingredients that mimic a cat’s natural diet
    • Low glycemic formula
    • Packed with vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Expensive

    6. Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Dry Adult Cat Food

    Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Dry Adult Cat Food

    Protein content: 34.0%
    Fiber content: 4.0%
    Fat content: 14.0%
    Hypoallergenic: No

    This food has been formulated for adult cats that have sensitive stomachs and skin. Turkey is the first ingredient in this food, so a large percentage of the food is based on the health benefits of real, high-quality turkey. It features an easily digestible formula for cats with sensitive stomachs. This food also contains omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health which can also benefit cats who have sensitive skin. Purina sensitive systems is veterinarian recommended, which increases the quality and trust of this food.

    Pros
    • Sensitive skin and stomach formula
    • Turkey as the main ingredient
    • Recommended by veterinarians
    Cons
    • Contains grains

    7. Royal Canin Digestive Sensitive Loaf in Sauce Wet Cat Food

    Royal Canin Digestive Sensitive

    Protein content: 7.5%
    Fiber content: 1.8%
    Fat content: 2.0%
    Hypoallergenic: No

    This is an adult wet cat food loaf that is soaked in a tasty sauce. It has been formulated for cats over 1 year of age with sensitive stomachs. This food contains highly digestible proteins that help cats absorb nutrients better while reducing stool odor. It helps maintain an ideal weight in cats using specially formulated nutrition. The precise blend of vitamins and minerals in this cat food also helps keep your cat in optimal health. Overall, it a good for mature and adult cats who suffer from IBS and other digestive issues.

    Pros
    • Sensitive stomach formula
    • Helps cats absorb nutrients
    • Gentle on your cat’s stomach
    Cons
    • Contains grains

    8. Blue Buffalo True Solutions Digestive Care Wet Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo True Solutions

    Protein content: 8.5%
    Fiber content: 3.0%
    Fat content: 3.0%
    Hypoallergenic: Yes

    This cat food is made of highly digestible ingredients with the addition of a prebiotic fiber that has been clinically proven to support a cat’s digestive health. The main ingredient in this cat food is chicken with the inclusion of other wholesome ingredients such as fruits and vegetables. Fiber sources have also been included to be gentle on your cat’s digestive system. It is made without wheat and has no corn, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives. No chicken by-products have been added to the formula, to make the food gentle on your cat’s stomach. The downside is that this food contains a high amount of fat.

    Pros
    • Highly-digestible ingredients
    • Contains fruits and vegetables
    • Free from artificial flavors and preservatives
    Cons
    • High-fat content

    9. Purina Cat Chow Gentle Sensitive Stomach Adult Cat Food

    Purina Cat Chow Gentle

    Protein content: 34.0%
    Fiber content: 5.0%
    Fat content: 11.0%
    Hypoallergenic: No

    This food is made from real turkey and a blend of natural fiber to support your cat’s digestive health. It also provides your cat with 25 essential vitamins and minerals to support its well-being. This food is 100% balanced nutrition-wise and is suitable as a long-term diet for a cat with mild IBS symptoms. This food does not contain any added flavors or preservatives, which makes a decent percentage of the food natural. It does contain a large portion of grains if that’s an ingredient you want to avoid feeding to a sensitive cat. It seems to have a high number of fillers and by-products added to the recipe.

    Pros
    • 100% balanced nutrition
    • No added flavors or preservatives
    Cons
    • Contains grains

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    Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Cat Foods for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    When you are searching for a food that is suitable to feed a cat suffering from IBS, the ingredients list is the first most important place to start. You want to ensure that the food contains little to no allergens, such as corn, wheat, and soy. You also want to check that the food contains no artificial flavors and preservatives which could further upset your cat’s stomach.

    Food high in protein is ideal for cats suffering from IBS. Cats are carnivores and a large portion of their diet is based on protein-rich foods such as chicken, turkey, or fish. Cat food with a single protein source as the first ingredient will most likely be high in healthy proteins. Avoid foods high in fillers and allergens, as these ingredients can be harsh on your cat’s stomach. Look for labels on the products that specify if the food is digestive-friendly or hypoallergenic, as these foods are better for cats with IBS.

    What Types of IBS-Friendly Cat Foods Are There?

    There are primarily two types of foods for cats suffering from IBS, namely:

    Dry Cat Foods

    This is a standard diet for cats and typically contains all the nutrients your cat needs. A downside is that dry food is high in carbohydrates and calories. Some cats will struggle to digest dry cat foods as they are more likely to contain allergens like wheat and gluten. The label should specify if the food in question has been formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs.

    Wet/Canned Cat Foods

    These types of cat foods will generally contain fewer ingredients in comparison to dry cat foods. Allergens are rarely found in wet cat foods, which makes them better for cats with IBS.

    Kitten Formula

    This type of food has been specifically formulated for kittens who have trouble digesting other types of cat foods. It can be either dry or wet. Most kitten foods are high in protein to aid in their growth, which is beneficial as cats with IBS benefit from a protein-rich diet.

    Factors When Buying Food for Cats With IBS
    • The food should ideally be hypoallergenic and grain-free.
    • The formula should be mindful of cats suffering from digestive issues.
    • The food should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates and empty calories (fillers).
    • The food should meet your budget requirements and be affordable for you in the long term.

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    Final Thoughts

    Caring for a cat with irritable bowel syndrome can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Smalls Human-Grade food is our favorite pick, yet options like the affordable Iams Proactive Health or Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit also provide plenty of benefits. We hope these reviews have helped you find the cat food that is right for your pet’s sensitive stomach.

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