Managing diarrhea and other stomach troubles in cats can be difficult. When it comes to kittens, it can be extremely difficult because you’re dealing with a high risk of dehydration and nutritional deficiencies. Choosing the right food for your kitten with diarrhea should be done under the guidance of your kitten’s vet. The vet should determine why your kitten is having diarrhea to choose the best food to support your kitten’s digestive tract. These reviews are to help you know where to start when it comes to picking the right food, but you should not make changes to your kitten’s diet without checking with your vet first, especially if the vet isn’t aware that your kitten is having diarrhea.
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|Best Overall||Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription||
||Click to Save 40%|
|Budget Buy||Purina Pro Plan Chicken Kitten Food||
|Royal Canin Mother & Baby Mousse Food||
|ORIJEN Kitten Dry Food||
|Wellness Complete Health Kitten Food||
The 11 Best Kitten Foods for Diarrhea
1. Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall
|Primary protein:||Chicken breast|
There’s a lot to love about the Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Pulled Bird recipe, and that’s why it’s our best overall kitten food for diarrhea. All the ingredients used are of the same quality that humans eat, and are all sourced from the United States or Canada. The ingredients in all the recipes are USDA-certified and free from preservatives and fillers.
This Smalls recipe is suitable for both adult cats and kittens and provides them with a high-protein diet that includes chicken breast, chicken broth, chicken liver, and chicken heart. The muscle, heart, and liver are solid bits for your cat to munch on. A suitable amount of taurine is added to every recipe to aid in good digestion.
This recipe also includes green beans, peas, flaxseed, and kale to provide your kitten with the necessary vitamins and minerals. However, its fiber content is under 10%, keeping the recipe a low-carb one, suitable for an obligate carnivore.
Its high moisture content will help prevent dehydration in your kitten, as diarrhea can cause them to lose a lot of fluid. However, you must still place a bowl of clean water out for them, as this recipe won’t be enough to replenish their bodies on its own.
Smalls offers other recipe options for your kitten to try, but they are a subscription-based service, preventing you from buying their products from your local store. They don’t ship worldwide, and they’re also more pricey than commercial food, albeit better. They also promise to refund you if your kitten doesn’t eat their food.
2. Purina Pro Plan Kitten Blend Chicken & Rice – Budget Buy
The best kitten food for diarrhea for the money is Purina Pro Plan Kitten Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice, which contains 42% protein and 19% fat, making it in the range for kitten food. It has 2.5% fiber to help support healthy stool and features chicken as the first ingredient. It contains 1% calcium, which is also in range for kitten food. It also contains DHA to support brain and eye health. Chicken and rice blend foods tend to be easier to digest than more complex foods, which supports a healing digestive tract. It’s made with actual meaty bits of chicken to enhance palatability. This food does contain corn gluten meal as the second ingredient, which is a filler that adds little nutritional value to the food.
3. Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Mousse Cat Food
Another good kitten food for diarrhea is Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse in Sauce, which is a wet food containing 47.4% protein and 21.1% fat on a dry matter basis. It has 10% fiber, which is higher than most kitten foods, and 1.35% calcium, which is within the recommended range for kittens. The high fiber content supports healthy stools and this food is calorie-dense, making it ideal for the rapid growth that kittens experience. This highly palatable food is easy on the tummy and is ultra-soft, making it ideal for weaning kittens. It is not recommended to continue to feed this food as the primary source of nutrition beyond 4 months of age.
4. ORIJEN Premium Ingredients Kitten Dry Food
The ORIJEN Kitten Dry Food contains 40% protein and 20% fat, putting it in the recommended range. It also contains 3% fiber to support digestion and 1.4% calcium, which is within range. Chicken, turkey, salmon, whole herring, chicken liver, turkey giblets, whole mackerel, eggs, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated herring, dehydrated chicken liver, and dehydrated egg are the first 13 ingredients, making it one of the most animal protein dense foods for kittens. It also contains great sources of fiber including butternut squash, collard greens, apples, lentils, and navy beans. This is a premium-priced food, so it may be out of some budgets.
5. Wellness Complete Health Kitten Whitefish & Tuna Cat Food
The Wellness Complete Health Kitten Whitefish & Tuna Formula contains 50% protein and 20.5% fat on a dry matter basis, which are within recommended ranges for kittens. The 4.5% fiber content supports healthy stools, thanks to ingredients like carrots and flaxseeds. This food contains 1.88% calcium, which is higher than recommended, so it should not be fed once your kitten is old enough to switch to adult food. This food is a great source of omega fatty acids, which support brain, eye, skin, coat, and digestive health. It’s pate-style and smooth, making it easy for kittens to eat, even when weaning. This is a budget-friendly canned food pick.
6. ACANA First Feast High-Protein Dry Cat Food
ACANA First Feast High-Protein Kitten Dry Cat Food is another kitten food for diarrhea for kittens who don’t need a prescription diet. This food contains 36% protein and 18% fat, putting it within the recommended ranges for kittens. It also contains 4% fiber, which will help add bulk and form to your kitten’s stool. It contains 1.7% calcium, which is barely above the recommended range for kittens and is too high for adult cats, so it should be switched when your kitten is old enough to advance to adult food. This food includes animal proteins as the first three ingredients and multiple sources of insoluble fiber, like chickpeas, oatmeal, lentils, and dried kelp. It also contains multiple sources of probiotics to support gut health and immunity. Most people who try this product report it being highly palatable to their kittens.
7. Grandma Lucy’s Simple Replacement Freeze-Dried Cat Food
Grandma Lucy’s Simple Replacement Anti-Diarrhea Freeze-Dried Meal Replacement is a good option for short-term diarrhea relief. This food contains freeze-dried chicken and rice with no other additives, so it is not intended to be fed as a permanent dietary option.
This bland formula contains 37% protein and 7% fat, so it is out of the ideal nutritional range of a growing kitten’s diet; as mentioned this is not a diet but an easy-to-digest remedy that has been formulated to give the digestive system some relief. While this product is not intended to remain as a primary diet, it’s very beneficial in aiding the recovery of upset stomachs and diarrhea, making it a great option to feed a kitten with diarrhea for a day or two. The low fiber content may not be high enough to help form healthy stools, but this food is highly digestible and palatable. This food should be reconstituted before feeding, which means you can add as much moisture as needed to support hydration for your kitten. Once reconstituted, this food is only good in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.
8. Blue Buffalo Basics LID Kitten Turkey & Potato Wet Cat Food
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Indoor Kitten Turkey & Potato Entrée contains 40.9% protein and 31.8% fat, within the kitten food range. Turkey, turkey broth, and turkey liver are the first three ingredients and it’s a good source of omega fatty acids. At 6.8% fiber, this food is higher fiber than most, and it contains good sources of high-quality fiber like pumpkin and blueberries. The calcium content of this food is not listed and it sells for a premium price. The smooth texture is easy for the smallest kittens to eat and since it’s a limited-ingredient food, most kittens with food sensitivities will not have difficulties with this food.
9. Royal Canin Vet Diet Gastrointestinal Kitten Mousse Cat Food
The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Kitten Ultra-Soft Mousse in Sauce contains 48.8% protein and 19.5% fat, as well as 11.2% fiber, making it one of the highest fiber options for kitten foods. It also contains 1.2% calcium, which is in range for kitten food. The ultra-soft mousse texture is easy for the smallest kittens to eat, and the high moisture content and sauce make it palatable and good for maintaining hydration. It contains prebiotics to support digestion and aid kittens who are weaning. This is a prescription food, so your veterinarian will have to sign off on it before you buy it, and it sells for a premium price.
10. Solid Gold Touch of Heaven Chicken & Sweet Potato Kitten Food
The Solid Gold Touch of Heaven Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe for Kittens contains 36% protein and 18% fat, putting it in range for kitten food. The 3% fiber content ensures healthy stools, thanks to the high fiber foods it contains, like sweet potatoes, peas, and pumpkin. It’s also a good source of probiotics that support digestive health. The first three ingredients are animal proteins and this food is a good source of omega fatty acids. The calcium content of this food is not listed. Some people report finding the smell of this food unappealing and it may not be palatable to all kittens, especially picky kittens.
11. Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Intestinal Support Cat Food
The Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Intestinal Support Diet is a good option for some older kittens with diarrhea, although it is not a kitten food. The protein content is 29% and the fat content is 10.5%, which are lower than generally recommended for kittens. However, the 6% fiber content, thanks to ingredients like psyllium seed husk and dried rosehips, will support healthy stools in kittens with diarrhea. This is not a good long-term solution for a kitten with diarrhea, though. The calcium content for this food is not listed and sells for a premium price. It’s a limited-ingredient diet with a single protein source, making it a good option for kittens with food sensitivities. It also contains probiotics to support digestive health.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Kitten Food for Diarrhea
Choosing the right food for a kitten with diarrhea can be difficult if you don’t know what’s causing the issue. Determining the cause is essential to selecting the best food to help your kitten’s digestive tract heal. Diarrhea related to difficulty adjusting to solid food during weaning often clears up on its own or with some extra fiber and hydration. However, diarrhea that’s caused by a medical condition, like parasites, may require further interventions and treatments. If your kitten develops diarrhea, it’s a good idea to at least call your vet to determine if your kitten should be seen or not.
What to Look for in Kitten Food
The dry matter basis protein content of kitten food should be between 35–50%. Ideally, at least 9% of that protein content should be from animal protein. Protein supports overall growth and development and is especially important during the weaning phase.
The dry matter basis fat content of kitten food should be 18–35%. Fat is calorie-dense and great for supporting growth and development, but too much fat can result in obesity and pain or malformations of the joints.
On a dry matter basis, kitten food should contain 0.8–1.6% calcium. Calcium aids in the development of many parts of the body, primarily the bones, and is also important for the development and function of the brain and heart.
Did you find these reviews useful in narrowing down foods that may be appropriate for your kitten with diarrhea? To recap, the best overall pick is the Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Pulled Bird, which is a great source of animal proteins and fiber. The most budget-friendly option is the Purina Pro Plan Kitten Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice, which is palatable and nutrient-dense.
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