Too often we take it for granted that cat foods are perfectly formulated for our cats. Yes, they contain the protein and vitamins cats need to be healthy. However, not all cat food is created equally.
Unfortunately, a lot of cat food brands include ingredients that aren’t that good for cats. In the worst cases, it can give your cat serious stomach issues.
If that’s the situation you’re finding yourself in, you need to look for sensitive stomach cat foods.
What Triggers Sensitive Stomach in Cats?
Some cats naturally have more sensitive stomachs. Other cats may only have stomach issues when they eat certain ingredients. These can vary widely depending on what exactly your cat is sensitive to.
Typically, ingredients that wouldn’t naturally be in a cat's diet are triggers. For example, grains, carbohydrates, and even dairy products (once they’re no longer kittens).
Sometimes, even less noticeable things cause the problem, like preservatives, additives, or food coloring.
Symptoms of Sensitive Stomachs
Unfortunately, the signs of a sensitive stomach aren’t all the same, nor are they always easy to pick out.
Of course, many of the symptoms may also mimic other problems, which makes it even trickier.
Remember, you should always contact your vet for any concerns about your cat’s health.
The most common symptoms in cats with sensitive stomachs include:
- Weight loss, without other health issues present
- Issues with skin or coat
- Excessive thirst, or drinking more often
- Vomiting, spitting food back up
- Change in litter box habits
Important Factors When Choosing Sensitive Stomach Cat Food
While certain foods may be branded for sensitive stomachs, it’s still important to do your research. Often, you can tell how a good food is based on these factors:
If your cat has a sensitive stomach, limit carbohydrates. You can opt for a zero carb food, look for reduced carb options, or find a formula that’s easier to digest.
- Natural vs. artificial ingredients
As we mentioned, the more close to a natural diet the cat food is, the better. Always check the label on cat food for artificial ingredients, preservatives, or any other additives.
While these ingredients may be at the bottom of the list, they can be a top cause of stomach upset.
Look for cat food with wholesome protein that doesn’t come from animal byproducts. Single source animal protein is the absolute best way to go.
- Nutritional Content
Find a cat food that has all the nutrients your cat needs. Ideally, it’s best to find a balanced formula that’s tailored to your cat’s life stage. There should be plenty of protein, and a fair amount of ‘good’ or healthy fats.
- Other things to look for:
While the main ingredients and nutritional content should be top priority, there are other things you can look for to help your cat.
There should be plenty of vitamins and minerals to support your cat’s health.
However, when your cat has stomach issues, an added probiotic or prebiotic can make a huge difference too.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of sensitive stomach food, and what you should know about cats with stomach issues, it’s time for reviews. We’ve aimed to include nothing but the best of the best, and left the disappointing foods off our list. Ready to see what we found?
For Cats That Rush: Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Loaf Food
Sometimes when cats eat, they really go for it, sensitive stomach or no. Unfortunately, when cats eat much too fast, it can cause a slew of other problems.
The most noticeable is frequently vomiting right after eating. We liked this cat food because it works to solve a few problems at once.
First, it’s designed to help cats slow down when they eat. It’s not difficult to eat, so don’t worry about that.
The texture is somewhat different from other canned cat foods, and it helps cats avoid eating too quickly.
It has a high protein and healthy fat content, and plenty of different flavors to choose from. However, it’s designed to ease the problems cats have with both sensitive stomachs and digestive problems.
If you have a chubby kitty, there’s more good news. It’s fairly low calorie, and very healthy, so it can help with shedding some extra weight.
- Helps cats pace eating
- Good for stomach and digestive problems
- Low calorie, high protein formula
- Plenty of flavor options
- Still contains some carbs
- Not for underweight cats
Best Limited Ingredient Food: Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe with Real Rabbit
One of the best ways to help a cat with stomach problems is giving them limited ingredient food. Basically, limited ingredient food includes only necessary, wholesome items to create a balanced diet.
This eliminates irritation from artificial ingredients, byproducts, and anything else hiding on the label that otherwise might bother your cat.
As we mentioned in our guide, the best choices are those with wholesome, single source protein. Luckily, we found this Instinct cat food.
There’s only one source of animal protein: farm raised rabbit. They do offer different flavors, but they never have more than a single protein source.
There’s something else unique about this food too: it may be kibbles, but it’s covered in raw, freeze dried coating.
Not only do cats love it, it adds more nutrition too. We should also mention, this is an all life stages formula, so you can use it no matter the age of your cat.
- Limited ingredient formula
- Single source, wholesome protein
- Balanced for all life stages
- No grains
- Dry kibble food
Cat’s Choice: Ziwi Peak Canned Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food
We have to do what’s right for our cats, whether they like it or not. Of course, it’s always easier when they do!
Thankfully, this Ziwi Peak cat food is great for sensitive stomachs, but cats love it too. Out of any other choice, this was undeniably one of the top favorites (as determined by cats).
There’s a lot to love about this food for cat parents too. First, it’s a cat food you can feel good about buying.
All animal protein comes from free range farms, or freshwater, and it’s all ethically processed. Not only that, they’re a sustainable company too.
It’s hard to find a cat food as wholesome as this. You’ll never see artificial additives, and the animal protein comes from animals that are never given hormones and antibiotics.
There aren’t any carbs or grains, which are common culprits for sensitive stomachs. Plus, cats love how it tastes, and it’s easy to digest.
- Natural, wholesome ingredients
- Cats love the flavor
- Animal protein without hormones and antibiotics
- No grains
- No carbs
- Supports joint health
- A little pricier than other options
Best Dual Purpose: Hill's Science Plan Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Cat Food
Now for a brand that most pet owners are familiar with: Hill’s. As we mentioned, one of the less expected (but still fairly common) symptoms of sensitive stomach is skin problems.
It’s hard enough to solve one problem with a sensitive stomach, let alone two. That was the first thing that caught our attention with this food.
Anything that solves two problems at once is a winner in our books.
This formula is easier to digest than regular cat food, which is where a lot of stomach problems arise from.
It helps cats get the nutrients faster, while making digestion easy. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, and plenty of good fatty acids to help restore your cat’s skin and coat too.
- Made for easy digestion
- Improves skin and coat health
- Made with prebiotic fiber
- Balanced adult cat formula
- Some cats don’t do as well with dry food
Best Grain Free: Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Adult Wet Cat Food
We love this cat food because it contains everything cats need, and leaves out anything they don’t. Grain free recipes are often a priority when your cat has a sensitive stomach, but there’s also no corn or soy.
It includes plenty of protein, but not from byproducts. The first ingredient is always real meat, and cats seem to flock to it too.
The wet food texture makes it easier for a lot of cats to eat and digest, which is a huge bonus for us.
We also saved one of the best things for last: it’s really budget friendly, and you can’t beat that!
Our Top Pick
We’ve included all kinds of cat food for sensitive stomachs, but our biggest concern is always how well it works, and the nutrition it provides.
We were pretty happy with each food on our list, and while the cats may have had their say, we have ours too. In the end though, it was the same!
For both cats and pet parents, Ziwi Peak is the top pick. You can’t beat how natural and wholesome it is.
Cats love the flavor, and getting a very natural diet, while you get to ease stomach issues.