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11 Best Cat Foods to Prevent Vomiting in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

Grey British shorthair eating

When your cat vomits regularly, it can become worrisome. Occasional vomiting is usually not a cause for concern, but it may indicate that your cat’s food is causing them some digestive upset. Switching to a food that settles their stomach and reduces vomiting episodes can improve your cat’s overall health and disposition. There isn’t a single answer for what food will make your cat feel better; it can be tricky to find the best cat food for cats that throw up. With so many different ingredients and possibilities for food sensitivities, you can easily become overwhelmed. In this article, we’ll review the best cat foods to prevent vomiting from helping you choose.

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A Quick Glance at the Winners of 2022

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Fresh Raw Cat Food Smalls Fresh Raw Cat Food
  • Different textures for picky eaters
  • No preservatives or artificial flavoring
  • Grain-free
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina One Sensitive Systems Cat Food Purina One Sensitive Systems Cat Food
  • No chicken
  • High-protein content
  • It contains antioxidants and fatty acids
  • Third place
    Halo Natural Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food Halo Natural Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food
  • Made with real chicken
  • The manufacturing company invests in feral cat rescues
  • Includes taurine for the support of heart and eye health
  • Best for Kittens
    Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Cat Food Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Cat Food
  • LifeSource bits provide added nutrition
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Raw meat is the primary ingredient
  • Royal Canin Digestive Dry Cat Food Royal Canin Digestive Dry Cat Food
  • Three shapes of kibble
  • Promotes intestinal flora
  • High vitamin content
  • The 11 Best Cat Foods to Prevent Vomiting

    1. Smalls Fresh Raw Cat Food Chicken Recipe – Best Overall

    smalls cat enjoying freeze dried raw food

    Primary Ingredient: Chicken
    Food form: Fresh
    Lifestage: All
    Special Diet features: Sensitive digestion, grain-free

    Smalls is a human-grade meal plan catered to your carnivorous cat. They offer three flavors rich in protein, all gently cooked to preserve as much nutritious value.

    Smalls offers different textures like smooth, pulled, and ground meat for picky eaters. You can also choose their freeze-dried raw food or dry food for kitties that like a little crunch.

    Complete a brief questionnaire about your cat, and they’ll start you off with a taste test first so you’re confident your cat loves the food. You have to sign up for a subscription before receiving the sample food. So if your cat doesn’t like it, you’ll have to cancel the subscription, which comes with its own rules and steps.

    It’s worth mentioning that you’re receiving a month’s worth of refrigerated cat food in each shipment, so shipping could potentially cause this food to spoil if something goes wrong. Most customers have never faced this issue, but it’s worth considering.

    Ultimately, many cat owners report better energy levels, shinier coats, fresher breath, less stinky poop, and less vomiting since switching to Smalls cat food. It’s worth a try if your puking kitty needs help transitioning to a fresh food!

    Pros
    • Different textures for picky eaters
    • No preservatives or artificial flavoring

    Cons
    • Canceling an order can be frustrating
    • Meals aren’t pre-portioned


    2. Purina One Sensitive Systems Dry Cat Food – Best Value

    Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Primary Ingredient: Turkey
    Food form: Dry
    Lifestage: Adult
    Special Diet features: Sensitive digestion, high-protein, all-natural

    Purina ONE is our pick for the best value for the money. This cat food promotes intestinal health and also contains a good variety of vitamins and minerals to promote the health of your cat’s muscles, skin, and teeth.

    There are several different varieties of Sensitive Systems food from Purina One, but this one is focused on digestive health.

    There are a few not-so-good ingredients in Purina One food, so if your cat has serious digestive concerns, it may not be ideal. If your cat just needs food that’s gentle on her stomach, however, this will work just fine.

    Pros
    • No chicken
    • High-protein content
    • It contains antioxidants and fatty acids

    Cons
    • It contains gluten and soy
    • Contains artificial coloring


    3. Halo Natural Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Primary Ingredient: Whole meats and seafood
    Food form: Dry
    Lifestage: Adult
    Special Diet features: Sensitive digestion, GMO-free

    The Halo Holistic line of cat foods is specifically formulated to help cats who need dietary care. It’s made entirely with real meat and no by-products. This company even takes extra care to ensure that they use animal products from non-factory farms and that all meat is antibiotic-free.

    However, it’s worth noting that Halo is a more expensive brand of cat food than most.

    Pros
    • Made with real chicken
    • Includes taurine for the support of heart and eye health
    • The manufacturing company invests in feral cat rescues

    Cons
    • Includes soy protein and dried egg
    • Lower protein content than other dry foods


    4. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Cat Food – Best for Kittens

    Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

    Primary Ingredient: Deboned chicken
    Food form: Dry
    Lifestage: All life stages
    Special Diet features: Sensitive digestion, corn, wheat, and soy-free

    If you prefer to feed dry food to your kitten, this Sensitive Stomach mix from Blue Buffalo is a good choice to prevent vomiting. While it’s labeled as adult food, it is safe for all life stages. This food is made with raw, clean meat products. The “LifeSource” bits throughout the kibble add extra vitamins and nutrients. These bits also taste good and encourage your kitten to eat well. The lack of wheat, soy, and corn in this food makes it a healthy option for kittens that are prone to vomiting.

    Pros
    • LifeSource bits provide added nutrition
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    • Raw meat is the primary ingredient

    Cons
    • It causes negative reactions in some cats
    • Chicken is the primary ingredient – this food won’t work if your cat is vomiting due to chicken sensitivity


    5. Royal Canin Digestive Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food

    Primary Ingredient: Chicken
    Food form: Dry
    Lifestage: Adult
    Special Diet features: Sensitive digestion, pea-free

    While Royal Canin is notorious for not being transparent about their ingredient lists, this food works so well for decreasing vomiting in cats; it was impossible to leave it out. This food has three different shapes of kibble, which is different from most dry food recipes.

    Royal Canin Digestive promotes gut flora by adding fermentable fiber into their cat food. This has a huge impact on digestion and significantly reduces the risk of vomiting.

    Pros
    • Three shapes of kibble
    • Promotes intestinal flora
    • High vitamin content

    Cons
    • Contains wheat gluten
    • The company doesn’t provide a breakdown of ingredients


    6. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Cat Food

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult

    Primary Ingredient: Chicken
    Food form: Dry
    Lifestage: Adult
    Special Diet features: Sensitive digestion, pea-free

    The sensitive stomach blend from Hill’s Science Diet may be just the dietary change your cat needs. It not only promotes healthy digestion but reduces skin irritations as well. It’s well-received by most adult cats and has added vitamins and antioxidants to support their immune system. The comprehensive ingredients in Hill’s food are what make this cat food is great in preventing vomiting.

    This food isn’t recommended for pregnant or nursing females as it doesn’t provide enough calories to support them.

    Pros
    • Specially formulated for sensitive stomachs and skin
    • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids to reduce skin irritation
    • Added immune system support

    Cons
    • Not for kittens or pregnant/nursing females
    • Contains corn gluten


    7. Instinct Original Grain-Free Chicken Cat Food

    Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food

    Primary Ingredient: Chicken
    Food form: Dry or wet
    Lifestage: All life stages
    Special Diet features: High protein, wheat-free, gluten-free, corn, and soy-free, all-natural

    For a completely grain-free, all-natural option in cat food, Instinct Original has you covered. This cat food is comprised of 81% natural ingredients and is 100% grain-free.

    This food can be fed to kittens and adult cats, as it has a balance of high protein and low carbohydrates. While the kibble version is classified as dry food, it’s actually freeze-dried raw food that’s coated to look like kibble. The bonus of this is the ability to feed an all-natural raw diet without the hassle of preparation and storage.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • Promotes healthy digestion
    • Use across the lifespan
    • Low carb content

    Cons
    • Contains peas


    8. Wellness Signature Seafood Selection Canned Cat Food

    Wellness CORE Signature Selects Seafood Selection Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

    Primary Ingredient: Seafood or poultry
    Food form: Wet
    Lifestage: Adult
    Special Diet features: Grain-free

    Wellness Signature is one of the very few wet foods on this list for cats that throw up. It has a palatable texture and comes in six different flavors. It’s also 100% grain-free.

    The ingredients in this food are designed to promote digestive, eye, teeth, and gum health while increasing fluid intake and increasing your cat’s overall energy level.

    The ingredient list on the can isn’t very comprehensive, so it’s impossible to know everything that’s in it. It is, however, a great soft food for cats with sensitive stomachs.

    Pros
    • Six different flavors
    • Grain-free
    • Promotes fluid intake

    Cons
    • It contains rice and chicken
    • Non-comprehensive ingredient list


    9. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited ingredient Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

    Primary Ingredient: Turkey, duck, or fish with potato
    Food form: Dry or wet
    Lifestage: Adult
    Special Diet features: Grain-free, sensitive digestion, no wheat, corn, or soy, limited ingredient diet

    Blue Buffalo is one of the healthier brands of cat food out there, and for cats with sensitive stomachs, their Basics line of food contains limited ingredients. For cats unable to tolerate chicken, this is a great option. There is no chicken contained in Blue Buffalo Basic, and it’s available as wet or dry food, depending on your preference.

    One unique factor about this food is that it contains pumpkins. Pumpkin is commonly fed to cats to settle an upset stomach, as it promotes gentle digestion.

    Pros
    • Contains real meat
    • No by-products
    • Contains pumpkin

    Cons
    • Contains peas
    • Higher than average calorie counts than most foods


    10. Royal Canin Feline Gastrointestinal Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry Cat Food

    Primary Ingredient: Soluble fibers
    Food form: Dry or wet
    Lifestage: Adult
    Special Diet features: Veterinary diet, pea-free, sensitive digestion

    Sold as dry or wet food, Royal Canin Gastrointestinal is a special veterinary food for cats with digestive challenges. This food is also fortified for hairball prevention, which can reduce the frequency of vomiting episodes.

    The biggest downside of this food is that the first ingredient is water and “soluble fiber.” The protein content is unidentified, which likely means that it’s mostly filler and by-products.

    Pros
    • Contains fatty acids
    • Promotes microflora growth in the digestive tract
    • It contains probiotics for digestive wellness

    Cons
    • It contains corn and rice flour
    • The wet food is only available in pate form


    11. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Hairball Cat Food

    Royal Canin Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

    Primary Ingredient: Soluble fibers and psyllium seed husk
    Food form: Dry or wet
    Lifestage: Adult
    Special Diet features: Indoor cats

    If you need multi-purpose cat food for your indoor cat, try this Hairball formula from Royal Canin. This recipe helps promote the health of your cat’s GI tract while also helping reduce hairballs. If your cat is vomiting while trying to pass balls of hair, this food is worth a try.

    For older cats, Royal Canin has added ingredients that help reduce inflammation and provides triangular-shaped kibble to promote chewing and reduce plaque buildup on your cat’s teeth.

    Some of the ingredients in this food are a little questionable. In other words, there are some fillers, by-products, and “meal” ingredients. The benefits offered by this blend are strong enough to earn it an entry on this review list.

    Pros
    • Promotes healthy elimination of hairballs
    • Includes fatty acids to reduce inflammation
    • High-fiber for GI health

    Cons
    • Contains gluten
    • It contains some filler ingredients

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Cat Food To Prevent Vomiting

    How do you stop a cat from throwing up?

    Frequent vomiting can be a sign of food intolerance or dehydration. Dehydration can usually be resolved by ensuring your cat has access to a water bowl at all times.

    For food intolerance, it’s critical to find the right food. Food for stomach sensitivity is easy to find at most major pet stores. It’s also important to avoid rich treats or snacks to make sure your cat only has easy-to-digest food.

    If you have transitioned your cat to a sensitive stomach recipe and they are still throwing up, it’s probably time to see your veterinarian. In most cases, however, finding a food your cat can tolerate will fix the problem.

    Regardless of whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you need a bowl that is sure to keep the mess contained—you can do just that with the Hepper Nom Nom Bowl.

    This product is designed with your cat’s comfort in mind. The whisker-friendly bowls are low and wide to prevent whisker fatigue, and the wide catch tray ensures that all food stays exactly where it should—inside the bowl.

    At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    What causes vomiting in cats?

    There are a few key features to look for when shopping for cat food to prevent vomiting. The choice between wet vs. dry food is mostly based on personal preference (whether yours or your cat’s). Wet food is usually more expensive, but it also has more water content and can help maintain hydration.

    Here is a list of the most common reasons cats throw up:

    • Nature – This is the simplest reason for vomiting – your cat has eaten something that doesn’t agree with them. This could be something they’ve picked up off the ground, or it could be something in their food.
    • Food formulations – Choose food with a limited ingredient list. The fewer ingredients in the cat food, the less there are to irritate your cat’s stomach. Natural ingredients are usually a good choice, with high-protein levels to keep your cat’s energy level up.
    • Hairballs – As much as we don’t like to think about it, cats ingest a lot of hair. They swallow hair when they groom themselves, and this usually isn’t a cause for concern. If your cat’s vomit contains a lot of hair, however, it may be a good idea to switch them to a food recipe designed to reduce hairballs.
    • Food sensitivities or allergies – Like humans, animals can have allergies or sensitivities to certain food. Beef, chicken, eggs, and fish are the most common culprits. It is possible for a cat to have a grain allergy, but it’s rare. Duck meat is a much rarer form of protein in cat food that cats have little exposure to, therefore reducing the risk of an allergy developing.
    • Diet changes – If you’ve recently changed foods, it’s possible that this is the cause of your cat’s stomach upset. This is why it’s always recommended to change foods slowly over a period of a few days.
    • Activity – If your cat is very active after eating, this can sometimes cause an upset stomach.
    • Eating too fast – Eating too fast can also cause your cat to vomit. Dividing food into different bowls, placing a golf ball in the bowl, or switching to wet food can help slow them down.

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    Conclusion

    If you’re looking for the best cat food to prevent vomiting, you are sure to find one on our list. We recommend Smalls Cat Food as the best overall choice. Purina One Sensitive Systems lands second on our list as the best value for the money. If you are feeding a kitten, we recommend choosing Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach as it can be used across the lifespan.


    Featured Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

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