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7 Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food Options 2021 [Review]

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sensitive stomach cat food

Sometimes even Lelu & Bobo have sensitive stomachs. But there are a few brands of cat foods that usually agree with them. With that in mind, we’ve shared our research on finding sensitive stomach cat food choices with ingredients that are easily digestible for cats.

Our favorite is Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Dry Cat Food.

Regardless of the brand you decide to feed your cat, dry kibble or canned wet food must include vital nutrients. That’s why we’re here to help you as we’ve found 7 cat foods that meet all our criteria for cats with sensitive stomachs. They’re Lelu & Bobo approved!

Dry cat food for sensitive stomachs – our top choices

1. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Cat Dry Food

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Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

Pros

  • They are made with real chicken.
  • Contains FOS prebiotics.
  • Rich in omega fatty acids.
  • Includes LifeSource Bits, infused with vitamins and minerals.
  • Free of artificial ingredients, wheat, and by-product meals.

Cons

  • Dry food may be harder to digest for some cats with sensitive stomachs.

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Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach dry cat food is one of the best options for an adult cat. The first ingredient is real meat. It features high protein from real chicken, providing a high-quality meal.

The protein helps your cat maintain lean muscles, keeping them healthy and thriving. Besides this, Blue Buffalo includes wholesome garden veggies, fruit, and whole grains.

This cat food for sensitive stomachs contains FOS prebiotic. These aid with digestive health and nutrient absorption. It also includes a healthy dose of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin.

This is one of the best dry cat foods for sensitive stomachs, including the brand’s exclusive LifeSource Bits. These consist of a combination of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. The pieces work to support immune health, oxidative balance, and life stage requirements.

This Blue Buffalo option is all-natural. It’s free of artificial flavors and preservatives. There are also no animal by-products, wheat, soy, or corn.

2. Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food

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Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food
Pros

  • Promotes healthy skin.
  • Kind to a sensitive stomach.
  • Made with real turkey.
  • Comes with real carrots and peas.
  • Unique shaped kibble.
  • Economical.

Cons

  • Dry food may be harder to digest for some cats with sensitive stomachs.

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The Purina One Sensitive Systems is a dry cat food for adult cats. This unique formula is kind to sensitive stomachs.

Purina produced the kibble to be kind to the cat’s stomach. It’s a turkey recipe, made with real turkey for the best nutrition.

The recipe is free of fillers but contains wholesome doses of vitamins and minerals. Purina One also promotes a healthy coat, eyes, muscles, and calories.

In the recipe, you’ll have wholesome grains for energy, as well as real carrots and peas. The kibble is a blend of different shapes, providing some variety while chewing.

Bags are available in 3.5, 7, 16, and 22 pounds.

3. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Sensitive Digestion

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Sensitive Digestion
Pros

  • High in protein and prebiotics.
  • Unique-shaped kibble.
  • High energy density.
  • Suitable for older and senior cats.

Cons

  • It’s high in calories.
  • Dry food may be harder to digest for some sensitive cats.

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Cats are often experts at hiding an upset stomach, and that’s one thing Royal Canin dry cat food recognizes. This option is formulated to help adult cats with their stomach sensitivities.

The recipe includes digestible protein and FOS prebiotic. This works to promote better digestion and balanced gut flora.

To make the dry cat food more appealing, the kibble comes in different shapes. This makes it easier to chew and digest.

What’s great about this formula is that it contains a higher energy density. This means that your cat can eat smaller meals without decreasing its energy.

Eating smaller portions also won’t overwhelm their digestive tract. This may suggest it’s the best cat food for older cats that vomit.

You can choose between 3.5, 7, and 15-pound bags. Royal Canin also recommends that you pair the dry food with one of its wet options. But we suggest that you consult your vet.

4. Solid Gold Winged Tiger Holistic Sensitive Stomach 

Solid Gold is an established brand founded by Sissy McGill. This holistic pet food company is an excellent solution to a sensitive stomach.

The Solid Gold Winged Tiger dry cat food contains a balance of prebiotics and superfoods. It includes a patented ‘living probiotic’ that supports the immune system and digestive tract.

Solid Gold infused the kibble with its living probiotics. These are capable of staying alive until consumed. They help to fight off diseases as well as improving skin and coat.

Besides this, the brand uses only high-quality whole superfoods. This includes juice, rind, pulp, and skin. These components increase the fiber content, aiding healthy digestion. This cat food also provides antioxidants and prebiotics improving gut bacteria.

Solid Gold includes real quail as its first ingredient. These are responsibly sourced, providing lean, mild protein. Novel proteins, like quail, venison, salmon, and trout are ideal for cats with sensitive stomachs because they may not have developed a sensitivity to it.

The kibble also contains a moderate amount of fats and omega fatty acids. It’s free of artificial ingredients as well as grains, wheat, and soy.

Pros

  • Includes living probiotics.
  • Made with whole superfoods.
  • Food contains real quail.
  • Rich in omega fatty acids.
  • Moderate in fats.
  • No artificial ingredients.

Cons

  • Dry food may be harder to digest for some sensitive cats.

Wet cat food for sensitive stomachs – our top choices

5. Royal Canin Feline Digest Sensitive Thin Slices in Gravy

Royal Canin Feline Digest Sensitive Thin Slices in Gravy
Pros

  • Helps maintain a healthy weight.
  • Food reduces stool odor.
  • High in digestible protein.
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals.
  • High in moisture.

Cons

  • Has protein by-products.

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If your cat prefers wet food with lots of gravy, we recommend this option from Royal Canin. More cat owners are trying wet food options as cats seem to enjoy the texture.

This canned cat food consists of thin slices of well-balanced morsels of chicken. Included are high digestible proteins, excellent for a sensitive stomach. It helps your cat maintain a healthy weight.

The balance of nutrients is what won us over.

Besides the above, this wet cat food for sensitive stomachs is supposed to reduce smelly stools. It’s one of the best cat foods for diarrhea. Also, the moisture helps to keep your cat hydrated.

6. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Pate

If your cat also struggles with food sensitivities, we recommend Blue Buffalo Basics. This paté-style canned option is one of the best cat foods for sensitive stomachs, vomiting, or diarrhea.

The formula contains real duck. It’s free of chicken, or beef and only includes high-quality, natural ingredients like potato and duck-based broth.

It provides healthy doses of taurine and omega fatty acids.

What’s great about this paté is the smooth texture. It’s easy to chew and digest. This formula is also suitable for adult cats.

This diet is free of wheat, soy, and dairy, as well as artificial preservatives. It reduces food sensitivities while providing your cat with all its needed nutrients.

Pros

  • Includes real duck and duck broth
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • Soft, smooth texture
  • Highly digestible
  • Contains no chicken or beef
  • Free of fillers and artificial ingredients
  • Grain free

Cons

  • It has a distinct odor
  • May cause smelly poop

Raw cat food for sensitive stomachs

7. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Absolutely Rabbit

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Absolutely Rabbit
Pros

  • Preserved nutrients and flavor.
  • Food is high in protein.
  • No fillers or grains.
  • Kind to the digestive tract.
  • Responsibly sourced ingredients.
  • Made in the U.S.

Cons

  • The scent is weak, so not all cats feel inclined to have a bite.
  • Morsels are tough, so add a little water before serving.

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If you think a raw freeze-dried option would be better, we suggest this one from Stella & Chewy.

This ‘Absolutely Rabbit’ meal consists of freeze-dried morsels made from a real rabbit. It contains high-protein meat and bones, providing your cat with a high-quality meal.

Besides the protein, the morsels include organic veggies and fruits. The meat is quickly freeze-dried, preserving flavor and nutrients.

These cat food morsels contain no added antibiotics, hormones, or fillers. It’s manufactured in the U.S. using high-quality, responsibly sourced ingredients. No ingredients come from China. It can be served as a topper.

sensitive stomach cat food high protein

How to tell if your cat has a sensitive stomach

Just like us humans, cats can easily get an upset stomach. Don’t forget that cats are obligate carnivores and should be eating high-quality foods that include protein. Cats also need more than a dozen other nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids), including taurine.

As soon as you notice any of the below signs, you should start a journal. If these signs last more than a few days, it may be time to schedule a visit to see your vet.

There are a few telltale signs that your cat is unwell. These may include:

  • Licking the lips: This is usually a sign of nausea and vomiting.
  • Refusal to eat: Such a symptom may indicate nausea.
  • Diarrhea: Generally, something affecting the lower section of the gastrointestinal tract causes diarrhea.
  • Change in behavior: This could include being less active or not interacting. Your cat might hide in unusual places (1).

Keep in mind that throwing up hairballs isn’t the same as vomiting. Ejection of hair is normal cat behavior—some even poop it out (2). But, vomiting has a long list of possible triggers that includes an upset stomach and even food allergies (3).

How to Deal with Cat Vomit | Cat Care

6 major causes of sensitive stomachs in cats

There’s a variety of possible causes. Some cats are born with sensitive stomachs and need a special diet. These causes should be on every cat owner’s radar:

  • Allergies: A cat with food allergies has a hypersensitive immune system (4). Their body may recognize food molecules as threats, triggering a defense mechanism. Allergies may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Food Sensitivity: Any food that causes an adverse reaction in your cat, like a digestive issue, could be a result of food intolerance (5).
  • Questionable food sources: If your cat spends time outdoors, it may consume something unsafe. Even a mouse can trigger vomiting and other symptoms.
  • Sudden change in diet: This is a common cause of stomach upset in cats. When owners change their food too quickly, their tummies don’t have time to adjust (6). Always take 7 days to transition their diet.
  • Kidney disease: Causes the loss of kidney functioning over time.
  • Parasites: Sometimes, your cat may have an unwanted intestinal occupant causing trouble (7). Parasites are common in kittens, young cats, and outdoor cats.

Why buy special cat food for cats with sensitive stomachs?

Finding cat food that’s easy to digest is essential if your cat displays signs of sensitivities. This will reduce the risk of vomiting and diarrhea. Ignoring these digestive issues can result in malnourishment and dehydration.

Feeding cat food for sensitive stomachs is an excellent place to start. These formulas reduce adverse reactions, like vomiting and diarrhea. But, not every cat with a sensitive stomach will do well with these new food formulas. The most important thing is to find a food your cat does well on and stick with it.

Cat food formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs often focuses on including ingredients that are easily digestible and contain both pre and probiotics. Some also look to eliminate problematic ingredients, like wheat, barley, and corn. By removing these types of ingredients, there’s less chance of the cat’s stomach irritation.

Always look at the guaranteed analysis and nutrition values to decide what foods would be the best fit for your cat. High protein and low carbohydrate levels are recommended, especially if you own an overweight or diabetic cat. If you’re looking for a low carb cat food option check out our article on high-quality low carb cat foods here: 5 Best Low Carb Cat Foods Options

Over time, some of these special diets may help restore healthy eating habits and improved quality of life.

sensitive stomach cat food special diet

What food is best for cats with sensitive stomachs?

The best food for cats with a sensitive stomach depends on the individual cat. You will have to do some detective work to find out exactly what could be upsetting your kitty’s stomach. But there are certain foods that are known to cause digestive problems in cats and specific cat food ingredients to avoid.

Foods to avoid feeding your cat:

  • Beef: Some cats experience diarrhea after eating beef. Proteins in general are the most common food allergens for cats.
  • Dairy: Contrary to myth, dairy is difficult for cats to digest. This includes milk, cream, and cheese. Giving cats dairy often causes diarrhea (8).
  • Grains: A cat’s digestive tract isn’t designed to digest carbohydrates. But many dry cat food brands contain significant amounts, so watch out. Grain free cat food is worth a try.
  • Preservatives: Cat food with preservatives like Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) can make your cat sick. Opt for high-quality brands that clearly list their ingredients and avoid those containing dangerous preservatives.
  • Fat: To emulsify fats, your cat needs to produce a lot of bile. If they can’t do this, it often exits the body as either diarrhea or vomit. Look for cat foods that are low in fat to help your cat.

Frequently asked questions

What do you feed a cat with gastrointestinal disease?

Cat food has a direct impact on your cat’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your vet may recommend a special diet to reduce symptoms in your cat.

The best formula is a diet designed to reduce irritation. High-soluble and insoluble fibers with moderate levels of fat can also help (9).

Besides food, you should monitor your cats’ water intake, be it how much they are getting from their food or how much they are drinking every day from their water bowl. Consider getting a cat water fountain to help your cat drink enough water or adding wet cat food into your cat’s diet.

Why is my cat throwing up undigested food?

Cats may throw up undigested food for several reasons.

Cats who have systemic illnesses like kidney disease or hyperthyroidism will often have a sensitive stomach. If you have a cat with hyperthyroidism check out our article on “Best Food For Cats With Hyperthyroidism.”

Other reasons may be that your cat is eating too fast. As the food enters the stomach, it expands, which may cause them to vomit. Consider a puzzle toy or slow feeder cat bowl to slow your cat down and make sure they’re not competing with another cat during mealtime!

Other times, it could be due to a food allergy. Your cat may vomit after eating seafood-based food, but not with chicken. Try to eliminate the allergen food, you may want to try a limited ingredient diet, like one that consists of a single animal protein. Work with your vet on the best ingredients and ask them for food recommendations.

If vomiting continues, you may want to ask your vet for the best food for cats who vomit.

sensitive stomach cat food grain free

The takeaway

Some cats are prone to upset tummies. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or a change in behavior. To help your cat, it’s essential to find the best cat food that agrees with your cat’s sensitive stomach.

Food for cats with sensitive stomachs is often grain free cat food, or cat food that is free of beef, dairy, and low in fat. They reduce irritation in the cat’s digestive tract.

All the options on our list are worth a look. But, our favorite sensitive stomach cat food is the Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Cat Dry Cat Food. It consists of real chicken and wholesome garden veggies and fruits. To help healthy digestion, it features FOS prebiotics.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.petmd.com/cat/how-relieve-cat-stomach-issues
  2. https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/what-to-do-about-hairballs-in-cats#1
  3. https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/vomiting
  4. https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/food-allergies
  5. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/adverse-reactions-to-food-in-cats
  6. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/kittens-cats/changing-your-cats-food#:~:text=Never%20change%20their%20food%20suddenly,the%20food%20offered%20to%20them
  7. https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/gastrointestinal-parasites-cats-brochure#:~:text=Common%20Cat%20Hazards-,Gastrointestinal%20Parasites%20of%20Cats%20Brochure,%2C%20Giardia%2C%20Toxoplasma
  8. https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cats-and-dairy-get-the-facts#1
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19081554/
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