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Home > Cats > 10 Best Cat Foods For Sensitive Stomachs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

10 Best Cat Foods For Sensitive Stomachs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Cat-eating-in-a-food-bowl

Cat food for sensitive stomachs can reduce diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. It can prevent vomiting and may even reduce furballs. It usually includes higher quality ingredients, and minimizes the amount of grain and other ingredients that are common allergens or that trigger sensitivities. You should also look for those that have fewer preservatives, additives, and other artificial ingredients.

But that still leaves dozens of different foods, including a selection of dry and wet food, with a hugely varied price range. Below, we have put together reviews of ten of the best cat foods for sensitive stomachs, as well as a guide to help you choose the best one.

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 Glance at Our Favorites of 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription
  • Low in carbs
  • High in protein
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    I and Love and You Naked Essentials Digestive Support I and Love and You Naked Essentials Digestive Support
  • Fiber to improve digestion
  • Several rave reviews of food helping with digestive issues
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy gut
  • Third place
    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber  Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber
  • Seems to work great for megacolon and chronic constipation
  • Contains insoluble and soluble fiber
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Grain-Free Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Grain-Free
  • Good for kitties with food sensitivities
  • Pet parents said this food cleared up vomiting and diarrhea issues
  • Limited ingredients, so it’s easier on the stomach
  • Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Sensitive Skin & Stomach Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • Made poop less smelly and cleared up vomiting issues in cats who regularly threw up
  • Contains live probiotics
  • Has prebiotic fiber
  • The 10 Best Cat Foods For Sensitive Stomachs

    1. Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall

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

    If you are on the hunt for a sensitive stomach cat food, our choice for the overall best cat food for sensitive stomachs is Smalls Fresh Raw Ground Cow Cat Food. This beef-flavored human-grade cat food is made from 90% lean ground beef and 10% cow liver and heart. There is nothing artificial in this cat food that can upset a cat’s stomach, such as unnatural fillers and questionable chemicals.

    Smalls Best Cow Ground is high in protein and low in carbs. Most importantly, there are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives that can upset your cat’s sensitive stomach. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re providing your cat with completely natural food that is of high quality.

    Smalls Best Cow Ground cat food contains the nutrients cats need, including phosphorus, calcium, taurine, and sodium. Instead of fillers consisting of grains, this recipe uses green beans, peas, and spinach in this cat food which are all healthy foods suitable for cats.

    We highly recommend trying Small Best Cow Ground cat food for your cat with a sensitive stomach. It’s our top pick because it contains only natural ingredients that most cats tolerate well, including those with sensitive stomachs.

    It is important to remember that Smalls is not cat food you can find at a pet store. It’s a subscription-only cat food you order online. Once you fill in some basic info about your cat on the company website, you will be sent a subscription box filled with food that suits your cat according to the information you provided.

    Smalls’ prices and subscription requirements may be off-putting for some cat owners. However, considering this brand’s cat food is among the best money can buy, it’s well worth signing up for a subscription.

    Pros
    • All-natural ingredients
    • Beefy flavor
    • High in protein
    • Low in carbs
    Cons
    • A bit pricey

    2. I and Love and You Naked Essentials Digestive Support Dry Cat Food – Budget Buy

    I and love and you Naked Essentials Dry Cat Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal
    Protein: 36%
    Fiber: 6%
    Moisture: 10%

    When you want the best cat food for sensitive stomachs for the money, our pick is I and Love and You Naked Essentials Digestive Support. Not only is this cat food extremely affordable, but it improves your kitty’s digestive health by providing a nice boost of fiber to ensure regularity, as well as probiotics and prebiotics for a happy, healthy gut.

    Tons of cat parents said this food helped clear up vomiting issues, helped firm up loose stools, and even kept their pets from being gassy. However, if your cat is a picky eater, this may not be the food for them, as some finicky felines simply wouldn’t touch it.

    Pros
    • Fiber to improve digestion
    • Prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy gut
    • Several rave reviews of food helping with digestive issues
    Cons
    • May not be the best for picky eaters

    3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Fiber Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry Cat Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Primary Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn
    Protein: 29%
    Fiber: 7%
    Moisture: 8%

    This vet-exclusive food by Royal Canin is specifically designed for digestive issues, whether long-term or temporary. Featuring highly digestible proteins, prebiotics, and a healthy dose of fiber, this is one cat food made to reduce gastrointestinal issues. This food contains both insoluble and soluble fiber, which ensures healthy transit throughout the gastrointestinal tract and improves the quality of your feline’s stool.

    This cat food seems particularly good for felines with megacolon and those experiencing chronic constipation. However, there are some downsides. For one, it is on the pricey side; for another, it requires a prescription.

    Pros
    • Seems to work great for megacolon and chronic constipation
    • Contains insoluble and soluble fiber
    Cons
    • On the pricier side
    • Requires a prescription from your vet

    4. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Grain Free, Natural Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Primary Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Pea Protein
    Protein: 30%
    Fiber: 6%
    Moisture: 9%

    Sensitive stomachs tend to appear with sensitive skin in felines, especially those with food sensitivities, so this food is designed to address those issues. Because this food is a limited-ingredient recipe, it’s gentler on the stomach, which should reduce gastrointestinal problems. Plus, the carbs contained in this food are easily digestible.

    Felines fed this Blue Buffalo food had better-formed stools, stopped vomiting, and had less diarrhea. Unfortunately, though, several cats simply did not like the taste and refused to eat it.

    Pros
    • Good for kitties with food sensitivities
    • Limited ingredients, so it’s easier on the stomach
    • Pet parents said this food cleared up vomiting and diarrhea issues
    Cons
    • Some felines didn’t like the taste of this recipe

    5. Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula Dry Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics, Sensitive Skin & Stomach, Natural Dry Cat Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Primary Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein
    Protein: 40%
    Fiber: 5%
    Moisture: 12%

    This food by Purina may not have a lot of fiber, but it does have live probiotics that aid in improving digestion and relieving gastrointestinal issues. It also contains prebiotic fiber designed to nourish good bacteria in the gut to keep your cat’s gut health in optimal condition.

    Cat owners said this food helped their pet’s poops be less smelly and stopped vomiting in cats who had a habit of throwing up. But for a few cats that didn’t normally throw up often, this food seemed to make them vomit. This cat food is also on the more expensive side, so you may need to look for something a bit more affordable.

    Pros
    • Contains live probiotics
    • Has prebiotic fiber
    • Made poop less smelly and cleared up vomiting issues in cats who regularly threw up
    Cons
    • Made a handful of kitties vomit
    • On the pricier side

    6. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Adult Dry Cat Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Primary Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice
    Protein: 32%
    Fiber: 3.5%
    Moisture: 9%

    Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Adult Dry Cat Food lists deboned chicken and chicken meal as its two primary ingredients. These are both good quality ingredients to see at the top of the list and suggest that the food’s 32% protein is made up primarily of meat protein. Other beneficial ingredients include chicken fat, which might not sound appealing but is a good source of omega fatty acids.

    Other sources of Omegas found in the Blue Buffalo food include flaxseed, menhaden fish meal, and fish oil. The ingredients also include prebiotics and probiotics to help promote good gut health. 32% protein and 9% moisture levels could both do with being a bit higher, but this is a reasonably priced cat food that will benefit even the most sensitive and picky of felines.

    Pros
    • Primary ingredients are deboned chicken and chicken meal
    • Decent price
    • Contains prebiotics and probiotics
    Cons
    • 32% protein could be higher
    • 9% moisture could be higher

    7. Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Dry Cat Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Primary Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn
    Protein: 33%
    Fiber: 3%
    Moisture: 10%

    Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Dry Cat Food contains turkey as its primary ingredient, followed by chicken by-product meal. Meat by-products are not considered the best quality as a primary ingredient because they are the leftover bits of meat after the slaughtering and preparation process, so they are not necessarily the most nutritionally beneficial parts of the chicken.

    The first ingredient, turkey, is a good source of meat protein, but in its pure form it is 60% moisture so by the time it has been prepared for the food, it is likely to feature much lower on the list of ingredients.

    Brewers rice is an inexpensive filler, found a little further down the ingredient list, while ground whole grain corn is somewhat controversial: some claim that it is a good source of vitamins and minerals while others claim there are better sources of vitamins and that it is used solely because it is cheap.

    Pros
    • Contains plenty of meat protein
    • Cheap price
    • No artificial colors or preservatives
    Cons
    • Contains a few controversial ingredients
    • Turkey is not the best primary meat ingredient

    8. Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Thin Slices In Gravy Canned Cat Food

    Food Type: Wet
    Primary Ingredients: Water, Chicken By-Products, Pork By-Products
    Protein: 7.5%
    Fiber: 1.7%
    Moisture: 82.5%

    Most of the foods on our list are dry foods. This is because wet food tends to be richer, which can exacerbate digestive problems. However, there are some benefits to wet food. It has a very high moisture content, which can be important to cats because many felines do not like to drink water from a dish so they need to get moisture from their food. It also tends to be more appealing to cats. While most cat food products for sensitive stomachs are dry foods, Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Thin Slices In Gravy is canned wet food.

    As well as water as its primary ingredient, which is typical in wet foods, it also has chicken by-products and pork by-products. It then has pork liver, salmon, and chicken liver, all of which suggest that this food gets the majority of its protein from meat sources.

    Although expensive compared to dry food, it is well priced for wet food. The food does contain gluten and corn, it is very watery even for wet food, and it can be too rich for cats with sensitive stomachs.

    Pros
    • Made up of meat proteins
    • Wet food tends to be more appealing to cats
    • Decent price for wet food
    Cons
    • Very wet
    • Too rich for some cats
    • Contains gluten and corn

    9. Solid Gold Winged Tiger Grain-Free Sensitive Stomach Adult Dry Cat Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Primary Ingredients: Quail, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal
    Protein: 30%
    Fiber: 3%
    Moisture: 10%

    Solid Gold Winged Tiger Grain-Free Sensitive Stomach Adult Dry Cat Food is a dry kibble with the main ingredients of quail, turkey meal, and chicken meal. These are considered high-quality ingredients and show that the food’s protein is made up primarily of meat sources.

    The food also contains chelated minerals, which are more bioavailable than standard minerals, and it contains prebiotics and probiotics to promote good gut health. It is an expensive food and while the 10% moisture level is to be expected with dry food, the 30% protein could do with being higher. It uses pumpkin for fiber, although this is not considered species-appropriate, and it is high in calories, so you need to avoid overfeeding your cat.

    Pros
    • Good quality primary ingredients
    • Contains prebiotics and probiotics
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • 30% protein could be higher

    10. Halo Holistic Whitefish Recipe Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Primary Ingredients: Whitefish, Salmon, Dried Egg Product
    Protein: 32%
    Fiber: 5%
    Moisture: 10%

    Halo Holistic Whitefish Recipe Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food is a dry kibble that uses whitefish, salmon, and dried egg products as its main ingredients. Although the two main ingredients are considered good sources of protein, in their raw form they consist of 60% moisture.

    Once the ingredients have been prepared and added to the finished food, they would likely feature lower in the list of ingredients and may not contribute as much to the protein of the food as it first appears. Soybean protein concentrate and potato protein are found in the ingredients.

    These do contain protein but because plant protein is not considered as high a quality as meat protein, these ingredients would be better replaced with meat or a meat-based ingredient. Halo Holistic food is expensive and derives a lot of its protein from plant sources, rather than meat.

    Pros
    • Contains prebiotics and probiotics
    Cons
    • Expensive

    divider-cat Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs

    Looking after our cat’s health is important and one way that we do that is by providing good food that contains decent protein and is free from ingredients that might cause an allergic reaction or a food sensitivity. This is especially true if your cat suffers from a sensitive stomach. Sensitive stomachs can be caused by serious medical conditions, so you should consult a vet if changing diet doesn’t help, but it could also simply be that your cat has a delicate digestive system.

    Signs of a Sensitive Stomach

    Some of the signs of a sensitive stomach are self-explanatory. If your cat vomits or has bouts of diarrhea, their food should be your first port of call. Check for ingredients that might be causing the problem and try a different protein source. Other symptoms may be less obvious but just as telling. A cat will lick its lips more often if it is feeling nauseous and it may be inclined to reject food that it would normally wolf down. Excessive gas, smelly stools, and more frequent visits to the litter tray are other possible symptoms.

    vet checking up the cat
    Photo Credit: YULIYA Shustik, Shutterstock

    Causes

    Sensitive stomachs can be caused by several factors. A change in diet is one obvious cause but cats can also suffer as a result of stress, anxiety, or because they are taking a medication that does not agree with them. They may be eating something when out of the house or getting into your kitchen cupboards at home. However, sensitive stomachs may also be caused by an underlying and potentially serious medical condition so you must take it seriously.

    Other possible causes include:
    • Intestinal parasites
    • Overeating
    • Eating too quickly
    • Hairballs
    • Eating non-food objects
    • Food allergies

    Foods To Avoid

    Food choice is one of the biggest causes of a sensitive stomach. Even making relatively simple changes to your cat’s daily diet could be enough to remedy the situation and steady your cat’s stomach.

    Avoid feeding table scraps, do not give your cat human processed food, and absolutely avoid foods that are considered toxic to cats: chocolate, grapes, garlic, and onions are just some of the ingredients that might be causing your cat to be sick. You should also avoid feeding raw fish. Although it is a food that we often associate with cats, they would rarely eat this in the wild and they contain a high level of thiaminase.

    Other foods to avoid include raw eggs and members of the allium family, such as onions and garlic. Many cats are lactose intolerant, too, so you should avoid feeding any dairy products: this can help eliminate dietary problems in cats.

    Sensitive Stomach Cat Food Features

    When buying cat food for sensitive stomachs, there are certain factors to consider and several choices you have to make.

    Protein Source

    Cats are obligate carnivores, and unless there is a recognized medical reason to avoid it, meat should be the primary source of protein in your cat’s diet. Avoid foods that have too high a concentration of plant-based proteins because they are not as beneficial to your cat and feeding too many plant proteins could cause stomach problems. Common animal proteins come from beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish. If you believe any one of these might be causing an intolerance in your cat, try changing to a different meat source.

    persian cat eating dry food
    Photo Credit: Patrick Foto, Shutterstock

    Food Type

    Whatever your primary concern when buying cat food, you need to choose between dry and wet food, or feed a combination of the two. Wet food is preferred because it tends to be more palatable and appealing to cats, and it has a high moisture content, which is important because a lot of cats simply won’t drink water straight from a bowl. Wet food does not keep as long, costs more, and can be richer. Rich foods are best avoided if your cat does have a sensitive stomach. Dry foods can be left down for several hours without degrading in quality. But you will need to provide a bowl of fresh water and ensure that your cat does drink from it.

    Grain-Free or Grain Inclusive

    Another common choice you have to make when buying cat food is whether to buy grain-free or grain-inclusive. Grains are not considered species-appropriate because cats would not eat grains in the wild, other than a potentially very small amount present in the stomachs of their prey. Grain is a common allergen and is also one ingredient that is more likely to cause food sensitivities. If you know that your cat cannot stomach grains, buy grain-free. If you are unsure, try to buy grain-free but you can try your cat on grain-inclusive food first.

    Introducing Your Cat to a New Diet

    One of the major causes of a sensitive stomach is changing cat foods. Cats do generally have sensitive stomachs and if you change their food too often or too quickly, this can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems. Change the food gradually, over at least a week, starting with 75% old food and 25% new food. Be aware that even this seemingly slow rate can be too quick for some sensitive cats.

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    Conclusion

    Now that you’ve finished our reviews of the top ten best cat foods for sensitive stomachs, here’s a round-up of our top three picks. We believe Smalls Fresh Ground Cow Raw Cat Food is the best cat food for sensitive stomachs because it has only natural ingredients. If you’re looking for the best cat food for the money, check out I and Love and You Naked Essentials Digestive Support for its affordability and high fiber content. Finally, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry Cat Food is a fantastic option for cats dealing with megacolon and chronic constipation (even though it is pricier).

    We hope our reviews and guide have helped you find the best cat food for sensitive stomachs.


    Featured Image Credit: sweetlouise, Pixabay

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