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Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach

It’s not uncommon for cats to have digestive issues at some point during their lives. Whether it’s kittens getting used to solids, older cats struggling to digest protein, or outdoor cats eating things they probably shouldn’t, it doesn’t take much to upset a cat’s stomach.

But for some moggies, gastrointestinal irritation is more than an occasional experience. For these cats, the wrong food can cause months of discomfort, from diarrhea and vomiting to serious malnutrition and inflammation.

That’s why manufacturers put time and resources into developing recipes specifically for sensitive feline stomachs. These cat foods should be made of simple, calming ingredients, allowing owners to make the right choices for their cats.

Let’s take a look at the main causes of feline food sensitivity, how to ensure your cat receives the right nutrition, and the best cat foods for sensitive stomachs on the shelves in 2020.

Common signs of food sensitivities, intolerance, and allergies in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, lethargy, or a dull coat. If your cat frequently experiences any of these symptoms, or if symptoms are combined with abdominal pain, depression, significant weight loss or gain, hiding, or aggression, then seek veterinary consultation as soon as possible.

The best cat food for sensitive stomachs in 2021

Best Dry Food for Sensitive Stomach

If your cat struggles with a sensitive stomach then you’ll want to try them on a food that is easy to digest. Halo Holistic Seafood Medley contains no meat meals or artificial ingredients. It is formulated using easy to digest meats and grains.

Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food
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Key features:

  • High quality ingredients
  • Whole meat (no rendered meat)
  • Quality source of fiber

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Whitefish’
  2. Salmon
  3. Dried Egg Product
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Dried Peas

Cats love seafood, and this product by Halo delivers sustainably sourced fish, not from any factory farms. This means your cat is essentially eating fish that you’d catch in the ocean, yum! The taste of this seafood medley has gotten rave reviews, we don’t know if people have been trying it? Or maybe they’re just speaking on behalf of their cats. Packed full of protein and healthy fats, you won’t regret getting this product if your cat has a sensitive stomach.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): %32.0
  • Crude fat (min): %16.0
  • Crude fiber (max): %5.0
  • Moisture (max): %10.0

Runner up

Merrick has created this limited-ingredient recipe that goes beyond being simple ‘grain-free,’ adding carefully picked carbohydrates that should support cats with difficulties digesting regular foods.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food
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First 5 ingredients:

  1. Deboned Chicken,
  2. Chicken Meal,
  3. Chickpeas,
  4. Peas,
  5. Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols).

Chickpeas are a tried-and-tested source of plant fiber, while Merrick ensures that the chicken meal, which they pair with the whole chicken, doesn’t contain any potato or other gluten sources.

What are owners saying?

With a rating of 4.2 by over 132 reviewers, many owners of picky cats found that this formula stood out as being far more palatable than most. It’s also been used by several customers as a way to continue feeding their cats chicken without encountering digestive issues. However, as can be the case with formulas targeted at cats with sensitive stomachs, a significant number of cats simply refused to eat Merrick’s grain-free food.

Nutritional info:

  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 14%

Best Wet Food for Sensitive Stomach

If your cat has sensitivities and you want to feed it a wet diet, then this is the best we’ve seen. This product by Hound & Gatos is healthy and will be so smoothly accepted by your cats digestive system.

Hound & Gatos 98% Chicken & Liver Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
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Key features:

  • Contains 98% animal protein
  • Completely free of plant protein or added carbohydrates
  • Made in the United States

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken broth
  3. Chicken liver
  4. Calcium carbonate
  5. Agar-agar

Hound & Gatos has a clean recall history, and they develop their recipes using ingredients that pay homage to the ancestral diet of cats. Focusing on high protein and simple (but effective) ingredients. If you look at the ingredient list of Hound & Gatos compared to other wet cat foods, you’ll notice it’s much shorter, and that’s a good thing! Less is more for cats with sensitive stomachs. The ingredient list contains 98% animal protein, and the remaining 2% is vitamins and minerals. There are no plant proteins, added carbs, or artificial preservatives in this recipe.

Whether your cat has a sensitive stomach or not, this recipe is a must try.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 10.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 9.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 1.0%
  • Moisture (max): 78.0%

Runner up

Our next product is a protein rich product, which is packed full of omegas from flaxseed and salmon oil for your cat to maintain a healthy skin and coat. There are no grains in this recipe, and having chicken and chicken liver as the top ingredients make this product easy to endorse.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe Canned Cat Food
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Key features:

  • Smooth pate texture for palatability
  • First 5 ingredients meat based
  • Made in the United States
  • No grains or artificial preservatives, carrageenan, colors or flavors

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken liver
  3. Chicken broth
  4. Turkey broth
  5. Chicken meal

With a relatively low 74 kcal/can this is an ideal wet food to give to indoor cats with sensitive stomachs. Your cat will still be getting valuable nutrients with 11% protein, and 4% fats. This product is specially formulated to support urinary health as well, the product that keeps on giving!

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 11.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 4.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 2.0%
  • Moisture (max): 78.0%

Also Consider

We like to give plenty of choices here at The Daily Cat, and so our first two are chicken based. This next product is using rabbit meat. With a simple and delicate recipe, the majority of stomachs will be able to handle this food. There is only one animal protein, and one vegetable (peas).

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Key features:

  • Farm-raised rabbit
  • One vegetable
  • Made without dairy, eggs, grains, potato, corn, wheat or soy
  • Made in the USA (some ingredients not US sourced)

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Rabbit
  2. Water
  3. Pea Protein
  4. Peas
  5. Rabbit Liver

With farm-raised rabbit providing the majority of the protein in this recipe, you’ll be avoiding harsh protein sources. There are 85 kcal/can, so it is a great amount to feed most cats (indoor/outdoor).

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 10.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 3.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 1.5%
  • Moisture (max): 76.0%

Best Kitten Food for Sensitive Stomachs (dry)

It can be difficult to find the right food for your kitten, and if it has a sensitive stomach this can complicate things. If you choose the wrong food it can cause discomfort, and perhaps unwanted cleanup for the owner. Taste of the Wild offers a limited ingredient food that is a good option for most kittens.

Taste of the Wild PREY Turkey Formula Limited Ingredient Recipe Dry Cat Food
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Key features:

  • Real turkey top ingredient
  • Contains 80 million CFU/lb of proprietary probiotics
  • No grain, GMOs, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Turkey
  2. Lentils
  3. Sunflower Oil
  4. Natural Flavor
  5. Salmon Oil

The formula uses turkey and lentils which are gentle on the stomach. The recipe is also grain-free, and has no meal, by-product, or heavy proteins. THere are just 3 key ingredients in this recipe, and no unhealthy fillers. There are a nice array of fatty acids and probiotics in this Taste of the Wild recipe to aid digestion and avoid sensitivities.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 33.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 15.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 3.0%
  • Moisture (max): 10.0%

Best kitten for sensitive stomachs (wet)

With its first 6 ingredients being animal-based, Wellness Core Natural stands out as one of the most meat-rich recipes on this list.

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Key features:

  • First 6 ingredients meat based
  • High protein, high fat
  • Grain free
  • No carrageenan, artificial colors, flavors, or meat byproducts

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Turkey
  2. Chicken Liver
  3. Turkey Broth
  4. Chicken
  5. Chicken Meal

Nutritional Profile

What the owners are saying?

“This food is a noticeable step up: my kittens devour their food, it smells delicious, and their coats are silky soft.”

“I think he really likes how soft and juicy it is. Unfortunately, it is not in my budget to continue feeding.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 12.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 7.5%
  • Crude fiber (max): 1.0%
  • Moisture (max): 78.0%

Best for seniors

Does your senior cat have a sensitive stomach? Then you must try this Paleolithic recipe that’s mostly pure meat with no added carbs, grains, corn, soy, plant fillers, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Hound & Gatos 98% Rabbit Grain-Free Canned Cat Food, 5.5-oz, case of 24
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First ingredients:

  1. Brown Rice,
  2. Corn Gluten Meal,
  3. Pork Fat,
  4. Ocean Fish,
  5. Cracked Pearled Barley.

This can contains 98% of its protein from real rabbit meat – which has a gentle flavour and lean texture that entices picky cats. The fact that wild cats do hunt rabbits makes this can a healthy choice that fits the natural feline diet plan. This meal is fortified with vitamins and minerals for a robust immune system.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 11.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 7.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 1.0%
  • Moisture (max): 78.0%

Best Raw Food

Instinct Grain Free Dry Cat Food, Original Raw Coated Natural High Protein Cat Food

Instinct is a quality brand that has a strong interest in feeding cats a raw diet. Raw diets are typically closer to what cats ate/eat in the wild.

Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food
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Key features:

  • Cage-free chicken first ingredient
  • High protein (41%)
  • No gain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product, artificial colors or preservatives
  • Probiotics
  • Made in the USA

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Turkey Meal
  4. Menhaden Fish Meal
  5. Peas

Cats have been introduced to fillers and unnatural ingredients because of humans, so being able to give your cat raw food, closer to their ancestral diet can relieve some cats’ food sensitivities.

Made using real chicken, vegetables, probiotics, omegas, and antioxidants this recipe features 81% animal ingredients and quality oils. This is a quality raw food to feed cats with sensitive stomachs.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 41.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 21.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 3.0%
  • Moisture (max): 9.0%

Why does your cat have a sensitive stomach?

Nutritional breakdown

The best diet for cats with general stomach sensitivity aids digestion without skimping on essential nutrients and food groups. Ideally, food should contain no significant carbohydrates, low levels of fat, and protein from clearly identifiable sources (to aid owner diet planning).

Here’s what cats with sensitive stomachs should be looking to retain in their diet: