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10 Best Cat Foods to Prevent Vomiting in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

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 Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin
  • Specially formulated for sensitive stomachs and skin
  • Added immune system support
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids to reduce skin irritation
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina One Sensitive Systems Purina One Sensitive Systems
  • No chicken
  • High-protein content
  • It contains antioxidants and fatty acids
  • Premium Choice
    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 Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach
  • LifeSource bits provide added nutrition
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Raw meat is the primary ingredient
  • Royal Canin Digestive Royal Canin Digestive
  • Three shapes of kibble
  • Promotes intestinal flora
  • High vitamin content
  • The 10 Best Cat Foods to Prevent Vomiting – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin – Best Overall

    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 our best overall cat food to prevent 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


    2. Purina One Sensitive Systems – 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 – Premium Choice

    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.

    Halo is a more expensive brand of cat food than most, which is why it’s listed as our premium choice.

    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 – 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

    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. Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe

    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


    7. Wellness Signature

    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
    • No extra nutrient fortification


    8. Blue Buffalo Basics

    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


    9. Royal Canin Feline Gastrointestinal

    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

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


    10. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Intense Hairball

    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


    Buyer’s Guide

    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.

    What causes vomiting in cats?

    There are 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.
    cat-vomit,Wutsje, Wikimedia
    Image Credit: Wutsje, Wikimedia

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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 Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin 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

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.