When we first adopted Watson, Justine and I weren’t expecting him to have a sensitive stomach. The first couple of months were very tough until we could find a food brand that was a perfect fit for him. We created this guide to help you find the best cat food for sensitive stomach cats.
Justine and I both know first hand that living with a cat that has a sensitive stomach can be a big challenge. Nothing that he or she eats is going to stay down or also stay solid…it’s gross but it is true.
Finally after a couple of vet visits and tests, we landed on the Purina Pro Plan EN prescription food. There were a ton of options out there but the EN provided the most benefits. The EN is prescription so that is why it is not on this list.
Best Cat Food For Sensitive Stomachs
There are many different factors that can come into play when it comes to your cat’s sensitive stomach.
It may take some trial and error to find the right combination. This process is what we experienced with Watson!
The foods listed above do not need prescriptions and can be bought online and shipped in as little as 2 days
What Causes A Sensitive Stomach?
Most of the time in cats, a food sensitivity occurs from a specific ingredient. 99% of the time this specific ingredient is a grain of some sort. Some kinds of ingredients that cause sensitive stomachs in cats are:
Some cat’s stomachs are not ready to digest ingredients manufactured in a factory. Cats are technically “wild” animals so they need to feed on things that are in the wild naturally. A lot of cat food brands made in a factory don’t have the right nutritional value as the wild.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has A Sensitive Stomach?
Luckily there are a lot of signals that can alert you to a sensitive stomach in your cat. If you start to notice these symptoms I would consult your vet ASAP to figure out a plan to get them on the correct type of food. Some symptoms to look for are:
How Does Sensitive Stomach Cat Food Help?
Cat food brands that are labeled for “sensitive stomachs” have been made in a way to reduce inflammation and vomiting.
Unfortunately, some lower end cat food brands source their ingredients from questionable sources. The ingredients aren’t regulated and often filled with by-products and a ton of carbs. Carbs and grains can do a lot of damage to your cat’s stomach.
Most of the sensitive stomach cat foods are made with very limited ingredients and usually contain no grains or carbs. Putting your cat on a limited ingredient food source can do a lot of wonderful things for your pet.
As I mentioned earlier. Our cat Watson was put on a very limited ingredient food brand. When we made the switch we instantly saw an improvement. No more vomiting or diarrhea. It was a huge sigh of relief.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do?
Justine and I felt almost helpless when we were trying to find the right food for our cat. Luckily there were some other things we could do to make the process a little easier on Watson. Here are some tips to make it easier on your cat during this transition period.
Hydration Hydration Hydration
There is nothing worse than a cat who has diarrhea and he or she is not drinking enough water. Diarrhea can really dehydrate your cat and it is crucial to make sure your cat is getting enough water.
If you are feeding your cat wet food then hydration shouldn’t be a huge concern. The big concern comes if you are only feeding your cat dry food. Dry food can dehydrate your cat and having a bowl of water around can ease the dehydration symptoms.
Try To Remove Cat Treats
In the initial food trials your goal is to figure out what foods your cat can’t have. Why not make it easier on yourself and remove cat treats from the equation. At least until you can figure out the bad ingredients making your cat’s stomach sensitive.
You honestly shouldn’t be feeding your cat treats on a regular basis anyways. Treats should only be used when your cat does something good. Think of it as a reward system.
A Stressful Cat Is A Sad Cat
Don’t let the cool calm demeanor of a cat fool you. These furry animals can also get very stressed from time to time.
I know with Watson he was changing locations so frequently. By the time he got to us he was stressed out of his mind! Cats may not show it on the outside but on the inside they can be filled with so much stress.
One thing that the vet suggested we do is let him eat next to his favorite toys and in a room where there won’t be a lot of commotion and noise. Once Watson was comfortable and eating better we transitioned him into the kitchen.
I could tell that the stress was gone because Watson became more loving and fun to play with. Stress can cause diarrhea and poor eating habits in cats.
Our Top 5 Sensitive Stomach Cat Foods
So without further waiting. Here is our top 5 choices of the best cat foods if your cat has a sensitive stomach.
I just wanted to make it clear that we are not vets. We are just here to provide reviews and opinions. If your cat has a much larger problem you should consult a vet for further information.
Purina One Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food
Purina One sensitive stomach dry cat food is the perfect addition to your cat’s diet. This dry cat food is made with zero fillers. As mentioned above, the fillers in other cat foods is what usually causes a sensitive stomach in cats. All cats are carnivores and need to eat things found in the wild. Fillers are made in a factory and it is hard for a cat’s stomach to digest.
Purina One also makes this specific type of cat food with 100% real turkey. None of the fake stuff like other brands. Purina also made sure to pack this food with vitamins, antioxidants, and omegas your cat needs to become strong and healthy. If your cat has a very sensitive stomach then I would suggest this brand of cat food as a solid starting point.
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet is a very strong brand in the cat food line of food. They produce very high quality products at rather affordable prices. This specific brand of food is designed to ease a sensitive stomach and give your cat the nutrients and vitamins it need. The ingredients in this food are combined in a way to ease the digestion for your little baby.
Vitamins C and E will give your cat healthy skin but also bulk up their immune system. This food is made with 100% real ingredients. They don’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. You can feel confident that what you’re getting is real. This food is recommended for adult cats that have sensitive stomach issues. I think they also make a sensitive stomach cat food for kittens as well. Each ingredient at Hill’s Science must meet a strict requirement before being put into the food.
Royal Canin Digestive Sensitive Canned Cat Food
Canned cat food has always been our go to. It is easy to serve and another benefit is that it keeps our cat hydrated throughout the day. Dry cat food makes the cat very thirsty and sometimes dehydrated if there is no water available.
Royal Canin is another strong brand in the cat food market. Some of the best cat food for sensitive stomachs source their ingredients from trusted sources. Royal Canin also fits into this category. This brand has over 40 years of science and research. So they know what is right for your cat.
This wet cat food is perfectly balanced to give your cat all the nutrients it needs. They only put ingredients in their food that a cat would normally eat out in the wild. This food is perfect for any adult cat 1 year old or higher.
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food
Purina is a huge brand name for animal food. Watson actually gets the EN version provided by Purina and he absolutely loves it! I don’t think Justine and I will go to any other brand name after settling on Purina. The FOCUS line of food by Purina is a lamb and rice formula. It is available in a dry and also a wet I believe.
Their #1 ingredient for this cat food is lamb. Lamb will give your cat the nutrients it needs but also reduce the sensitivity in their stomachs. Natural fibers help your cat digest the food easier. The FOCUS line is made without any fake colors and flavors. Everything is 100% natural and not modified in any way. There are many Purina choices on this list because I like what they are doing. All of their food brands are checked before leaving the plant.
Purina One Grain Free Canned Cat Food
Another strong recipe in the Purina line of food is the grain free variety. Grains are the #1 issue for cats with sensitive stomachs. Cats usually don’t eat grains out in the wild so when you introduce their bodies to it, their stomachs can’t digest it easily. That is when the sensitivity comes in.
The Purina One grain free cat food eliminates all grain from the recipe. That way you can feel confident you aren’t giving the cat something it can’t handle. This canned cat food is packed with moisture rich ingredients to keep your cat hydrated. Real chicken is used in every can and there are no by-products or fake flavors being introduced. Everything is fresh and tested in the Purina factory.
To Sum Things Up
It can be challenging to live with a cat who has a sensitive stomach. There are many factors that come into play but the two major factors are grain and dairy. These can do a number of harm to your poor cat’s stomach because they are not used to eating this in the wild. Our number one choice for the best cat food for sensitive stomachs is the Purina One Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Food.
If things get progressively worse then I would suggest going to see a vet for further investigating.
If you have dealt with a cat before who had a sensitive stomach I would love to hear about it in the comments below! What did you do fix it and how long did it take? Also make sure to share this article with all of your other cat friends!