Cat Food

The 7 Best Cat Foods for Sensitive Stomach18 min read

May 2, 2020 13 min read
stomach

The 7 Best Cat Foods for Sensitive Stomach18 min read

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Cats are notorious for being particular. They only like to be petted a certain way and they often seem to make choices based on what will be most inconvenient for you. If your cat is picky, he’s probably picky about everything – including his cat food.

If your cat seems to turn up his nose at dinner time, you might want to ask yourself whether it’s an issue with your cat or if it might really be an issue with the food.

The wrong diet can trigger stomach sensitivity and bring on a slew of digestive issues. That being said, even the best dry cat food simply might not sit well with some cats. It all depends on your cat’s individual sensitivities or food allergies.

At a Glance: Best Cat Foods for Sensitive Stomach to Buy

ImageProductFeatures

Best Overall

Halo Rabbit & Garden Greens Sensitive Stomach Canned Cat Food Recipe
  • Rich in real animal protein from rabbit and chicken
  • Made with non-GMO greens for digestibility
  • Limited number of main ingredients fortified for balance
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Best Affordable

Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food
  • Made with real deboned chicken and wholesome natural ingredients
  • Uniquely formulated for adult cats with sensitive stomach, highly digestible
  • Rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and essential nutrients
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Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food for Kittens

Holistic Select Chicken Pate Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food
  • Nutritionally balanced formula for adult cats and kittens
  • Supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics for digestion
  • Real chicken as first ingredient, no fillers or grains
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Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food for Senior Cats

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Recipe Canned Food
  • Real chicken as the first ingredient, rich source of protein
  • High in moisture, free from fillers and grains for digestibility
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals and essential vitamins
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Best Grain-Free Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach

Canidae PURE Sea Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet with Salmon Dry Food
  • Limited ingredient diet made with real salmon as first ingredient
  • Wholesome, natural ingredients to ensure nutrition and digestibility
  • Supplemented with probiotics, vitamins, and minerals
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Changing your cat’s diet might be the key to resolving his stomach issues.

Read on to learn more about your cat’s dietary requirements and how to meet them through a healthy cat food. You’ll also see our top picks for the 7 best sensitive stomach cat foods on Amazon and Chewy.

The 7 Best Rated Cat Foods for Sensitive Stomach Reviewed and Compared

Your cat deserves a healthy, high-quality diet that nourishes his body and sits well with his digestion. If the food upsets your cat’s stomach, he may not want to eat it. Can you blame him?

Some cats simply have more sensitive stomachs than others. Low-quality ingredients and high levels of carbohydrate can be difficult for your cat to digest and may cause issues like diarrhea, constipation, poor coat condition, and recurrent skin infections.

Here are our top picks for the best sensitive stomach cat food:

Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food Overall: Halo Rabbit & Garden Greens Sensitive Stomach Canned Cat Food Recipe

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein: 11%
  • Fat: 6.5%
  • Fiber: 1.25%
  • Moisture: 78%
  • Calories: 180 kcal/can

Pros:

  • Rich in real animal protein from rabbit and chicken
  • Made with non-GMO greens for digestibility
  • Limited number of main ingredients fortified for balance

Cons:

  • Some cats may be sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • Fairly expensive compared to average cat food

Ingredients:

Rabbit, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Water, Eggs, Natural Flavor, Tricalcium Phosphate, Agar-Agar, Barley Grass, Dandelion Greens, Parsley, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Cats with sensitive stomachs require a high-quality diet made with real ingredients. This sensitive stomach canned food features fresh rabbit and chicken as the main ingredients, both premium sources of real animal protein.

In addition to being loaded with protein, this formula contains a limited number of main ingredients, all of which are free from grains, fillers, and by-products. This recipe is supplemented with chelated minerals and essential vitamins for balanced nutrition as well.

To ensure digestibility, this canned food contains dandelion, barley grass, and parsley. The high moisture content of the recipe helps with digestion as well.

Best Affordable Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach: Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 3.5%
  • Moisture: 9%
  • Calories: 422 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Made with real deboned chicken and wholesome natural ingredients
  • Uniquely formulated for adult cats with sensitive stomach, highly digestible
  • Rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and essential nutrients

Cons:

  • Some cats may be sensitive to chicken or grains
  • Contains some plant protein (pea protein)

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Fiber, Menhaden Fish Meal, Fish Oil (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), DL-Methionine, Calcium Sulfate, Fructooligosaccharide, Calcium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Salt, Cranberries, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Vegetable Juice For Color, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Blueberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil Of Rosemary.

Formulated specifically for cats with sensitive stomach, this Blue Buffalo recipe features real deboned chicken as the main ingredient with nutritious whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley.

This natural dry cat food is packed with premium nutrition and fortified with a rich blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. It also contains FOS prebiotics and probiotic supplements for healthy digestion.

This sensitive stomach dry cat food is completely free from artificial additives as well as fillers like corn, wheat, soy, and by-products.

Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food for Kittens: Holistic Select Chicken Pate Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein: 10%
  • Fat: 5%
  • Fiber: 1%
  • Moisture: 78%
  • Calories: 110 kcal/3-ounce can

Pros:

  • Nutritionally balanced formula for adult cats and kittens
  • Supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics for digestion
  • Real chicken as first ingredient, no fillers or grains

Cons:

  • Some cats may be sensitive to chicken ingredients

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Turkey, Ground Flaxseed, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Apple Powder, Cranberry Powder, Pumpkin Powder, Salmon Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Taurine, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Chicory Root Extract, Choline Chloride, Salt, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Blueberry Powder, Papaya Powder, Pomegranate Powder, Vitamin E Supplement, Peppermint Leaf Powder, Cinnamon, Fennel Powder, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

This holistic canned food recipe is uniquely formulated to meet the nutritional needs of both adult cats and kittens. That means you don’t have to switch recipes when your kitten grows up which saves you the hassle and limits the risk for digestive upset.

Made with real chicken and chicken liver, this digestible chicken recipe pate is rich in animal protein and moisture. It is supplemented with ground flaxseed for healthy fats and digestible carbohydrate, plus apple, cranberry, and pumpkin powder for nutrients and dietary fiber.

You’ll also be glad to know this wet cat food is supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics as well as digestive enzymes and botanicals to ensure healthy digestion.

Also Read: The 5 Best Kitten Foods

Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food for Senior Cats: Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Recipe Canned Food

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein: 7%
  • Fat: 4%
  • Fiber: 2.5%
  • Moisture: 78%
  • Calories: 91 kcal/3-ounce can

Pros:

  • Real chicken as the first ingredient, rich source of protein
  • High in moisture, free from fillers and grains for digestibility
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals and essential vitamins

Cons:

  • May be too high in fiber for some cats
  • Some cats may be sensitive to chicken ingredients

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Powdered Cellulose, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Cranberries, Blueberries, Salt, Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9).

As your cat gets older, he may slow down a bit. He won’t need as many calories and he may have trouble digesting food as well as he used to.

This Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature chicken recipe wet cat food is a great choice. Not only is it made with high-quality natural ingredients, but it is highly digestible as well. Rich in moisture and made with plenty of real chicken flavor, your senior cat will love this recipe.

To ensure digestibility, this formula is free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives.

Also Read: The 5 Best Cat Foods for Senior Cats

Best Grain-Free Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach: Canidae PURE Sea Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet with Salmon Dry Food

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 17%
  • Fiber: 3%
  • Moisture: 9%
  • Calories: 480 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Limited ingredient diet made with real salmon as first ingredient
  • Wholesome, natural ingredients to ensure nutrition and digestibility
  • Supplemented with probiotics, vitamins, and minerals

Cons:

  • Not a single source protein recipe
  • Fairly expensive compared to average cat food

Ingredients:

Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Canola Oil, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (a Source of Vitamin E).

If you know your cat has food allergies or food sensitivities, you may want to avoid common allergens like chicken and beef. This Canidae PURE Sea recipe dry food features real salmon and has just 7 main ingredients plus supplements.

This limited ingredient diet is highly digestible. Not only does it contain a limited list of ingredients, but it is free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives. Plus, it’s supplemented with probiotics.

Cats with sensitive stomach find this recipe easy to digest and full of real fish flavor. It is packed with premium animal protein, balanced with essential fatty acids, and supplemented for balanced nutrition.

Also Read: The Best Grain Free Cat Food

Best Limited Ingredient Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach: Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Food

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 4%
  • Moisture: 11%
  • Calories: 395 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Made with a limited list of ingredients featuring real deboned chicken
  • Free from grains and fillers with digestible carbohydrates
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals, essential vitamins, and probiotics

Cons:

  • Some cats may be sensitive to chicken ingredients

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Salt, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Dried Yeast Culture, Ground Flaxseed, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Phosphoric Acid, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

If you’re looking for limited ingredient cat food and your cat doesn’t require a novel protein, this Merrick LID chicken recipe is a great option.

Featuring fresh deboned chicken as the primary ingredient, this recipe also contains chicken meal for supplemental protein. Grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and peas ensure optimal digestibility as well, plus the recipe is free from fillers and artificial additives.

To further boost digestion, this recipe is supplemented with probiotics. You’ll also find chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption and essential vitamins for balanced nutrition.

Best Wet Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach: Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein: 10%
  • Fat: 4%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 78%
  • Calories: 102 kcal/3-ounce can

Pros:

  • Premium-quality wet food made with 92% meat, organs, and mussels
  • Single source of novel animal protein, great for allergies
  • Grain-free recipe made with a single carbohydrate ingredient

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive compared to average wet cat food

Ingredients:

Venison, Water Sufficient for Processing, Venison Tripe, Venison Liver, Chickpeas, Venison Lung, Venison Heart, Venison Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, DL-Methionine, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

You don’t necessarily need to choose a cat food labeled “limited ingredient diet” if your cat has a sensitive stomach. This Ziwi Peak recipe contains a short list of ingredients and features venison as a single, novel source of animal protein.

This formula is made with 92% meat, organs, and New Zealand green mussels. Chickpeas represent the single carbohydrate ingredient and they are both grain-free and digestible.

In addition to being rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, this formula is packed with moisture for optimal digestion and supplemented with chelated minerals for increased nutrient absorption.

Also Read: The 9 Best Canned, Soft, & Wet Cat Foods

Understanding Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs

Your cat is an obligate carnivore which means his body is designed to derive nutrition from animal products. Real meat is the foundation of a high-quality diet for cats.

According to animal nutritionists, adult cats require a minimum of 26% protein in their diet while kittens need at least 30%. These are dry matter values and absolute minimums – most cats do best with higher levels of protein, specifically from animal-based sources.

In addition to plenty of protein, your cat’s diet should include at least 9% crude fat.

Like any good protein source, the best source for fat comes from animals as well. Your cat needs a balance of omega fatty acids, and the fat content of the cat food determines the calorie content. Younger and more active cats need more calories than older cats.

Your cat doesn’t have any minimum requirements for carbohydrates in his diet. In fact, the carb content of your cat’s diet should be as low as possible to ensure digestibility.

That being said, whole grains and fresh veggies provide natural sources for key nutrients as well as some dietary fiber. Just make sure they are digestible whole foods, so they don’t upset your cat’s digestive system. Avoid any cat food that has more carbs than protein as well.

Finally, your cat needs a balance of certain vitamins and minerals in his diet.

Natural ingredients are the best source for these nutrients, but most commercial dry food and wet food recipes contain supplements to ensure optimal nutritional balance.

What Causes Sensitive Stomach in Cats?

As a cat owner, you are responsible for your pet’s wellbeing. It’s your job to provide a nutritious diet.

The trouble is, not all pet food is created equal and your cat may have specific preferences. If your cat has a sensitive stomach, it may be even more challenging to find the best food for him.

Here are some of the signs of sensitive stomach in cats:

  • Regurgitating food
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Increased thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in stool
  • Poor skin or coat condition
  • Recurrent skin problems

Many cats with sensitive stomach also have sensitive skin.

If your cat has recurrent skin issues like ear infections and itchy skin, it’s likely a problem with food allergies or sensitivities. Talk to your veterinarian to rule out underlying conditions that might be causing your cat’s digestive problems, then consider a change of diet.

The quality of your cat’s diet affects all aspects of his health, so it’s important to make a smart choice. A low-quality diet could not only upset your cat’s tummy, but might also compromise his immune system, cause issues with hairballs, and could contribute to other health problems.

The key to keeping your cat healthy and happy is to find the right sensitive stomach kibble or wet food.

What to Look for in Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach

The best dry cat food or wet cat food for cats with sensitive stomach is one that is easy to digest. Real meat and other high-quality natural ingredients are essential.

You don’t necessarily need a prescription diet if your cat frequently experiences stomach upset. All you really need to do is avoid any potential allergens and make sure the recipe is easy to digest.

Here are some things to look for in sensitive stomach cat food:

  • Wholesome, natural ingredients. The higher the quality of the ingredients in your cat’s diet, the easier they will be to digest. That means less digestive upset and improved overall health.
  • High-quality animal protein. Look for a source of real animal protein like meat, poultry, or fish as the first ingredient. Avoid animal by-products and consider a recipe made with a single source of protein. Novel protein is good for cats allergic to common proteins like chicken or beef.
  • Healthy animal-based fats. Fats provide your cat with a concentrated source of energy. They are best form animal sources like chicken fat or salmon oil.
  • Low in digestible carbohydrates. The carb content of your cat’s food should be limited but look for digestible, nutritious options like whole grains and veggies.
  • No fillers or artificial additives. Avoid cat foods with too many fillers (like corn, wheat, and soy) or artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives. They’re harder to digest.

The best cat food for sensitive stomach may differ from one cat to another. Many cat food allergies are for common proteins like chicken and beef. If your cat is sensitive to these proteins, you may need to look for a recipe made with a novel protein like venison or turkey.

In some cases, a limited ingredient diet with a single source of animal protein may be the best option.

A limited ingredient diet is simple a cat food recipe made with a lower number of main ingredients. Fewer ingredients limits the number of things that are likely to trigger food sensitivities which improves the digestibility of the product.

Also Read: The 5 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Foods

Final Remarks

If your cat has a sensitive stomach, you need to be extra careful what you feed him.

Either dry food or wet food will work – what matters most is the quality of the ingredients. Look for a cat food made with real animal protein, healthy fats, and limited content of digestible carbohydrates.

If your cat has specific allergies or food sensitivities, choose a recipe free from those allergens. You don’t necessarily need a prescription diet but consider a limited ingredient diet to make sure the food is as digestible as possible for your cat’s sensitive stomach.

If you’re not sure what the best sensitive stomach food is for your cat, consider one of our top 7 recommendations reviewed above!

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Kate Barrington is avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines
2 Comments
  1. Avatar

    Joan Salinger

    Most cats with IBD cannot tolerate chicken and need a novel single source protein!!! Flaxseed in some cat food and tapioca in some cat food causes cyanide poisoning that can chronically build up over time

    • Avatar

      Kate

      Yes, cats with diagnosed food allergies should be fed a single source of protein and many cats with IBD benefit from the same. For cats sensitive to low-quality food, increasing the quality of the diet may improve symptoms. If the cat also has food allergies or sensitivities, those should be addressed.

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