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Home > Cats > 8 Best Kitten Foods for Sensitive Stomachs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

8 Best Kitten Foods for Sensitive Stomachs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

two grey kittens eating together

Having a kitten with a sensitive stomach can be frustrating. Not only is your kitten in pain, but they often leave quite a mess around your house. Plus, kittens with sensitive stomachs don’t always properly digest their food, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies and diseases later in life.

There are plenty of kitten foods out there that are advertised as helping those with sensitive stomachs. However, not all of these foods are made the same. If you want to help your kitten out, it is essential to choose high-quality food.

Below, we’ve reviewed eight of the best kitten foods for sensitive stomachs. Based on our reviews, you should find the perfect option for your feline!


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription
  • Human grade ingredients
  • No grains or nasty fillers
  • Delivered straight to your door
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Turkey Kitten Food Blue Buffalo Turkey Kitten Food
  • Wet food for extra hydration
  • Turkey as the single animal protein
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Third place
    Orijen Free Run Chicken & Turkey Dry Kitten Food Orijen Free Run Chicken & Turkey Dry Kitten Food
  • Plenty of meat-based ingredients
  • Prebiotics included
  • Low in plant-based ingredients
  • Now Fresh Kitten Dry Cat Food Now Fresh Kitten Dry Cat Food
  • Turkey as the first ingredient
  • Includes prebiotics
  • Lots of added nutrients
  • Wellness CORE Poultry Cat Food Wellness CORE Poultry Cat Food
  • Wet food for extra hydration
  • High in protein, turkey and chicken
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • The 8 Best Kitten Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

    1. Smalls Fresh Ground Bird Cat Food – Best Overall

    First Five Ingredients: Chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken liver, green beans, peas
    Protein: 15%
    Fat: 6%

    We could rave all day long about Smalls Ground Bird’s fresh food recipe. It’s our favorite overall, without question. The high protein, clean list of ingredients is phenomenal and well-researched. It’s one of the closest diets to primal meals we’ve seen.

    We are delighted to show you all of the wonderful ingredients in this meal. This recipe is entirely grain-free. It’s chock full of protein, using ingredients like chicken thigh meat with skin, chicken breast, chicken liver, and chicken hearts.

    In addition to that comprehensive protein list, it has peas, green beans, and kale to provide all the goodness of greens. It has essential additives like phosphorous, calcium, taurine, and sodium. It also contains incredible vitamins for total body health.

    Smalls believes in only necessary ingredients for our carnivorous feline friends. We love everything about the recipe, from the ingredients to our kitty’s reaction. They eat it like it’s going out of style! The difference is noticeable both in the contents and in your cat’s overall vitality.

    The personalized, convenient deliveries are pretty cool, too. Thumbs up.

    • Excellent protein source
    • No grains
    • Ingredients you can see
    • Fresh and nutritionally balanced
    • More pricey than regular kibble

    2. Blue Buffalo Kitten Turkey & Potato – Budget Buy

    Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Indoor Kitten Turkey & Potato Entree Canned Cat Food

    First Five Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, fish oil, natural flavor
    Protein: 9%
    Fat: 7%

    For most kittens, we highly recommend Blue Buffalo Kitten Turkey & Potato. This formula includes very few ingredients, so there are fewer things to upset your cat’s stomach. Turkey and various turkey-derived ingredients are used, as well as a few veggies further down on the list.

    Beyond that, ingredients like fish oil are added to improve the nutritional content of the food.

    As a wet food, this formula also helps ensure that your feline is well-hydrated. Hydration is essential for cats, but many of them do not drink enough. Naturally, they’re designed to get much of their moisture from their prey animals.

    This formula does not include any corn, wheat, or soy. Cats aren’t always sensitive to these ingredients, but their absence can help calm kittens with sensitive digestion.

    By-products, artificial flavors, and other similar ingredients are also not included. Again, these don’t always bother a cat’s stomach, but they absolutely can. Leaving them out is probably in most kitten’s best interest, especially if they already have a sensitive stomach.

    Due to all these ingredient exclusions, this wet food is a great budget kitten food for sensitive stomachs.

    • Wet food for extra hydration
    • Turkey as the single animal protein
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    • Fish oil added
    • No artificial flavors or preservatives
    • Not as convenient as dry food

    3. Orijen Free Run Chicken & Turkey Dry Kitten Food

    Orijen Free Run Chicken & Turkey Dry Kitten Food (1)

    First Five Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, salmon, whole herring, chicken liver
    Protein: 40%
    Fat: 20%

    For those who aren’t on a strict budget, Orijen Free Run Chicken & Turkey Dry Kitten Food is an awesome choice. It is a bit more expensive, but you’re paying for high-quality ingredients.

    Mostly, this food contains quality meat ingredients. For instance, chicken, turkey, and salmon are all included as the top ingredients, followed by a variety of other meat-based ingredients as well. Many different organ meats are included, as well as high-quality ingredients like an egg. Overall, there are many different animal-based ingredients in this food.

    Due to the heavy use of animal ingredients, this food is easy on some kitten’s stomachs. After all, cats are obligate carnivores, so they often do best when eating meat.

    However, other cats may react to a wide variety of different animal proteins. If your cat has any allergies, this probably isn’t the best food for them!

    This formula does include a variety of prebiotics, such as whole pumpkin and whole apples. These can also provide your feline with plenty of extra prebiotics, improving their gut health.

    • Plenty of meat-based ingredients
    • Prebiotics included
    • Low in plant-based ingredients
    • Includes lots of organ meat
    • Expensive

    4. Now Fresh Kitten Turkey Salmon Duck Dry Cat Food

    Now Fresh Kitten Recipe Dry Cat Food (1)

    First Five Ingredients: Deboned turkey, whole dried egg, peas, potatoes, potato flour
    Protein: 33%
    Fat: 20%

    Now Fresh Kitten Recipe Dry Cat Food is specifically made without by-product or meat meals. Instead, it uses whole, fresh ingredients like turkey and whole dried egg. It also includes added omega fatty acids, which can improve your kitten’s skin and coat health. Furthermore, these omega fatty acids are great for your cat’s joints—though this likely isn’t a problem with kittens.

    Furthermore, this dry kitten food includes a lot of other additives, such as taurine, to support healthy eye development. Prebiotics are also included, as is pumpkin. These two ingredients may help support your kitten’s digestive system as well.

    Quality foods like cranberries and whole eggs are included as well, which provide plenty of benefits to your feline.

    However, this food also includes some low-quality ingredients. For instance, peas and potatoes are both included high on the ingredient list. While these are fine for your feline in lower amounts, they are included in high quantities in this cat food.

    • Turkey as the first ingredient
    • Includes prebiotics
    • Lots of added nutrients
    • High in peas and potatoes

    5. Wellness CORE Turkey & Chicken Cat Food

    Wellness CORE Natural Turkey

    First Five Ingredients: Turkey, chicken liver, turkey broth, chicken, chicken meal
    Protein: 12%
    Fat: 5%

    Wellness Core is a solid brand for most felines out there. It includes turkey as the first ingredient, followed by a variety of other animal-based ingredients. Organ meats are included as well, including the chicken liver.

    Instead of water, turkey broth is used to add the appropriate amount of moisture to this food. This ingredient increases the nutritional content of the food, as turkey broth includes extra nutrition beyond what water provides.

    This recipe is extremely high in protein, likely because it includes mostly animal ingredients. For kittens with sensitive stomachs, the lack of high amounts of veggies and grains may help calm their stomachs. Cats were designed to thrive on meat, after all. Some just need it more than others.

    DHA is also included for appropriate brain and eye development.

    However, this formula is not specifically designed for sensitive stomachs. It does have limited ingredients and does not contain any potentially harmful ingredients. But it doesn’t contain common gut-helpful ingredients like pumpkin and probiotics.

    • High in protein
    • DHA included
    • Turkey as the first ingredient
    • Not specifically designed for sensitive stomachs
    • Doesn’t contain probiotics

    6. Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Dry Cat Food

    Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe Grain-Free Kitten Dry Cat Food

    First Five Ingredients: Salmon, whitefish, dried egg product, dried peas, dried chickpeas
    Protein: 33%
    Fat: 19%

    Because Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe Dry Cat Food is organic and non-GMO, it is sometimes suggested as food for sensitive kittens. However, it doesn’t actually have many ingredients or features that would specifically make it a good option for kittens with sensitive stomachs.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t help your feline, but it absolutely isn’t as powerful as some of the other options on this list.

    Furthermore, you’re going to pay a lot for non-GMO ingredients. Non-GMO ingredients are always more expensive than GMO ingredients. Therefore, they drive up the cost quite a bit. This formula is one of the more expensive options on the market.

    This formula doesn’t include any artificial ingredients, which may make it nicer on your feline’s stomach.

    • Non-GMO
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Expensive
    • No probiotics or similar ingredients

    7. Royal Canin Vet Diet Gastrointestinal Kitten Cat Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Kitten Ultra Soft Mousse

    First Five Ingredients: Water, chicken liver, chicken, chicken by-products, pork by-products
    Protein: 10%
    Fat: 4%

    While Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Kitten Canned Cat Food may look pretty similar to other entries on our list, there are more differences with this formula than you may guess.

    To some extent, this food includes decent-quality ingredients. Chicken liver is the first ingredient (not counting the water necessary to make this a wet food). Whole chicken is included as well. However, by-products are also included, though we would choose them over things like wheat gluten.

    Prebiotics are included to promote digestive health, as are omega fatty acids. As you might imagine, all of these ingredients can go a long way to supporting your kitten’s digestive system.

    However, you are going to pay quite a bit for it. This food is exceedingly expensive, as you might expect. It is both wet food and a veterinary formula, after all.

    • Chicken as the first ingredient
    • Improves hydration
    • Prebiotics included
    • Expensive
    • By-products included

    8.  FirstMate Grain Friendly Cat & Kitten Formula Cat Food

    FirstMate Grain Friendly Cat & Kitten Formula Cat Food

    First Five Ingredients: Ocean fish meal, chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken fat
    Protein: 32%
    Fat: 19%

    For most kittens, FirstMate Grain Friendly Cat & Kitten Formula Cat Food isn’t a poor choice by any means. In fact, it may actually be one of the better options on the market, especially since it is for both kittens and adults.

    About 86% of the protein in this recipe comes from ocean fish meal and chicken meal. Both of these ingredients are great options for kittens, especially since fish are high in omega fatty acids. This formula is also free from peas, potatoes, corn, wheat, and soy.

    However, that’s about where the benefits end. While some kittens will benefit simply from the use of quality protein and no wheat, others need a bit more to calm their stomachs. For kittens with severely sensitive stomachs, this food likely isn’t enough for them.

    This food isn’t the tastiest of the bunch, so a few cats may decide not to eat it at all. It depends on the feline, though.

    • Ocean fish meal as the first ingredient
    • High in animal protein
    • Not very tasty
    • No specific ingredients for sensitive stomachs


    Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Kitten Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

    Choosing kitten food is always a bit overwhelming. However, when you’re also dealing with a sensitive stomach, things can get complicated very quickly.

    Luckily, you can easily pick out the best cat food for your kitten if you follow a few key steps. Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about choosing the perfect food for your kitten.

    Ingredients That Support Sensitive Stomach

    There are quite a few ingredients out there that may support your kitten’s sensitive stomach. When you’re choosing kitten food, it is likely in your best interest to choose options that include these ingredients.

    One of these ingredients is pumpkin, which is actually one of the few additives that have scientific evidence behind it.
    • Pumpkin has been shown to help with a variety of different ailments – most of them digestive-based. Therefore, they may help with your feline’s sensitive stomach.
    • Probiotics are also a solid option for most cats. Without the proper gut microbiome, many felines will have sensitive stomachs. After all, it’s their microbiome that helps them digest all of their food. If it isn’t working properly, they can have problems. Therefore, live probiotics can be extremely helpful for many felines. It settles their stomach and helps them digest food easier.
    • Prebiotics can also be helpful. Prebiotics work as food for your cat’s microbiome. This helps improve your feline’s overall health, including their digestive health. For this reason, we highly recommend prebiotics in any kitten food, though it can be particularly helpful for those with sensitive stomachs.

    Keep an eye out for these ingredients in your cat’s food. If they’re there, then it is likely that the food is suitable for felines with sensitive stomachs. Otherwise, you may want to look elsewhere.

    Ingredients to Avoid

    There are also a few ingredients that you should avoid when your kitten has a sensitive stomach. For instance, wheat, corn, and soy can all cause stomach problems. While many cats can eat these foods just fine, others experience serious stomach discomfort.

    • Artificial ingredients can also cause stomach issues as well. Oftentimes, cats do just fine with artificial ingredients in their food, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that we recommend them. However, some cats are particularly sensitive to these sorts of ingredients.

    Some cats are allergic to particular foods. In these cases, the quality of the ingredient usually does not matter. For instance, some cats are allergic to chicken. While chicken is usually a fine ingredient, it can cause digestive upset for felines with allergies.

    If you’ve attempted formulas for a sensitive stomach or your feline shows other allergy symptoms, we recommend looking into potential food allergies. Often, limited ingredient cat foods are helpful in this case since they have very few ingredients for your cat to react to.

    We did include a few limited ingredient diets in our reviews above.

    Wet vs Dry Food

    There is a large debate over whether or not wet or dry cat food is best. In the end, they both have their benefits. It largely depends on your specific feline.

    Wet cat food is higher in moisture. In many cases, it is tastier since the moisture content is higher. It is also great for cats with recurrent urinary tract problems, as increased water intake is often helpful. However, this increased moisture content can also hurt some cats’ stomachs.

    Dry food is often more convenient. You can leave it out for longer periods—though this may also contribute to obesity. It also doesn’t include any moisture, which may raise the chance of UTIs and similar infections.

    Cats are notoriously bad at meeting their water needs through drinking alone. Dry food doesn’t help this problem.

    In the end, which one you choose largely depends on your cat. If your feline has a sensitive stomach, you should choose the food that upsets their stomach the least. Oftentimes, this will be the dry food. However, some cats do tolerate wet food more.

    In many cases, the type of food won’t matter in the least. It’s the formulation of the food that matters more.

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    For most kittens with sensitive stomachs, we highly recommend Smalls Ground Bird’s fresh food recipe. This formula includes few but good quality ingredients, so there are fewer things to upset your cat’s stomach. It is also human grade so you know your kitten is getting the very best!

    If you’re on a strict budget, you may want to consider Blue Buffalo Kitten Turkey & Potato. This formula has good quality ingredients at a cheaper price.

    In the end, you may have to try a few different foods before one works for your kitten. Each kitten has a sensitive stomach for a different reason. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. We hope our reviews help point you in the right direction.

    Featured Image Credit: MaraZe, Shutterstock

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