Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach
Unlike their canine counterparts, cats will not simply eat anything you put in front of them and they can be the fussiest of eaters. But, it is so important to be able to recognise when a cat simply does not like the food you’re providing it with and when there is another underlying issue, such as your kitty having a sensitive tummy.
Cats just love to change their eating habits and you may think that little Smokey is suddenly sneering at you for giving him what you thought he liked, but in fact he’s trying to tell you that the food he’s pushing away has been making him feel unwell.
- 1 What to Look for When Buying Food for Upset Tummy Kitties
What to Look for When Buying Food for Upset Tummy Kitties
You can notice if your cat has a sensitive stomach by a refusal to eat, vomiting or having diarrhea and you can fix this by a simple change in diet. When altering your kitty’s diet, these are the things you should be watching out for:
- Dairy: You should try to avoid cat food which includes dairy, or high amounts of it, such as cow’s milk and cream; some cats cannot digest lactose.
Additives: Just like they can be bad for us human types, additives can be particularly bad for your cat and cause health issues. You should try to avoid foods containing food dyes, rendered fat, corn and wheat gluten and meat by-products.
Dry Food: Although it is fine in moderation, you should avoid feeding your cat dry food alone, because they cannot draw moisture from it.
Protein: Try to buy cat food which has a named protein source, such as chicken or turkey, and avoid buying food which simply lists its protein as ‘meat’.
Taurine: Taurine is a very complicated protein called an amino acid. Us humans can make it ourselves, but our beloved kitties need a dietary source of it for good health. Meats rich in taurine include chicken livers and hearts and, although you may feel a little woozy at the thought of this, don’t be afraid to feed your cat food, which contains animal organs… they are predators after all!
So, what is the best cat food for sensitive stomachs? Well, that depends on your cat! Kitties are unique little creatures and that uniqueness does not stop when it comes to their diet and having a sensitive tummy. Although deciding which sensitive stomach kitten food to buy can be a difficult decision, fear not, because there are some great foods to test the waters with and get ya’ started!
The geniuses over at BLUE Buffalo offer a great range of food formulas which are great for your kitty’s tummy. One of their best products is the BLUE for Cats Adult Dry Cat Food which is an a-mazing dry formula made with real chicken and grains like brown rice, barley and oatmeal to name a few.
It is specially designed for cats with sensitive stomachs and the all-natural food works absolute wonders – no nasty additives or by-products here, just good old fashioned real food for your sensitive little bundle of joy! It does contain fish oil though, so if your kitty has a sensitivity to fish then this isn’t the best choice. It is low on wheat too, which can be a major stomach churner for some cats.
Cats seem to adore this food and they are always hanging around their bowls meowing for more, and it stays down – no more mess to clean up and no more poorly kitty! A job well done, BLUE Buffalo, as this is without a doubt one of the best cat foods for sensitive stomachs.
A great wet food for your sensitive fur baby is the canned food formula from Holistic Select, with their Grain Free Wet Cat Food.
The paté in this miracle tin is packed full of only the best quality ingredients and proteins such as chicken and lamb. Best of all, it is completely balanced nutritionally which takes care of your cat’s nutritional needs as well as its sensitive stomach. Although it is a wet food, Holistic Select’s formula provides added moisture which is great for overall general health.
There are no artificial flavours, colors or preservatives present, and it is free from wheat and soy corn, which can cause problems in cats with even the hardiest of stomachs.
The Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Formula by Purina Pro Plan is another very good choice of sensitive stomach kitten food, and does not break the bank like many others.
Purina are a well-known manufacturer and are particularly held in high regard for their cat health formulas and focus on animal wellbeing. Their dry Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Formula is a great option due to its well-balanced ratio of minerals and nutrients which help aid your kitty’s digestion.
Additionally, the nutrients and minerals present can relieve an upset stomach and vets highly rate this formula as one of the best cat foods for sensitive stomachs.
What About Human Food?
There are many foods that us humans enjoy which can be equally enjoyable for our feline friends and, if your cat is suffering from problems with a sensitive stomach, human food can be a great way to feed your cat whilst you’re looking for a more kitten-friendly solution. Although it may surprise you, human food can be some of the best cat food for sensitive stomachs.
One thing which many cat owners do not realise is that cats can eat raw meat – they are carnivores – and many prefer it over cooked meat. Beef, chicken and lamb are great meats which you can feed your furry friend with a sensitive tummy, both cooked and uncooked. Cats generally don’t have a preference on whether their steak is rare, medium rare or well done, either, so one less thing to worry about!
Don’t be afraid to mix it up with the likes of fruits and vegetables such as celery, banana, cucumber, blueberries and watermelon. But be careful, not all fruits and vegetables are feline friendly.
Apples, for example, are okay in moderation, as are apricots, pears and cherries, but be very careful when it comes to the seeds, as they contain a harmful substance which can be fatal to cats. You should always avoid fruits where the seeds are not practical to remove, such as grapes.
Some vegetables and herbs such as onion and garlic are very harmful for cats due to the presence of sulfur compounds and should be avoided at all costs, along with avocados, which contain a Persin, a toxin which is very dangerous when ingested.
You should always do your research when feeding your cat an unfamiliar food and, although it is a treat for us, sharing chocolate with your cat will never go down well, ever.
Why do Cats Vomit When Eating?
It’s happened to all of us cat owners – we have come home from a hard day at work or have woken up one morning to be greeted by a pile of thrown up food on the floor.
A cat throwing up digested food a short time after eating can be a sign of a serious underlying problem, but this is not always the case. Cats are notorious for eating stuff they shouldn’t – grass, plastic, string, hair – and this can get stuck in their tummies or windpipes, which causes vomiting when they then eat real kitty food.
It is not a pleasant thought, but consider inspecting your kitty’s vomit for traces of stuff which shouldn’t be there and then try and take measures to prevent further gorging on artificial delights.
Cats can also throw up after eating too much food, or eating too quickly.
So, when do you know if there is a more serious problem? It can be hard to figure that out. There are some measures you can take to rule out non-medical issues –
- Try to manage hairballs, as these can cause vomiting. Your vet is the person best placed to advise you on hairball management.
- Feed your cat smaller meals, but more frequently, to prevent over-eating or eating too quickly. An automatic cat feeder could be a great solution to help you manage this.
- If your cat is vomiting after eating, you may be looking at changing diets. But, if you do this, do not do it abruptly; a sudden and unexpected change in a cat’s diet can wreak havoc for the tummy and digestive tract and could worsen the vomiting temporarily.
Cats can also have food allergies and intolerances, just like humans do, and tend to develop allergies and intolerances to foods which they are most frequently fed, but this is rare and are more likely to be intolerances than allergies.
In cats, the most common types of food intolerances are also the most common ingredients in cat food: seafood, dairy products, wheat gluten, soy and corn to name a few. However, cat food allergies usually cause hair loss, excessive scratching and itchy skin as opposed to vomiting, which is generally caused by an intolerance.
If you find your fur baby vomiting, the best thing you can do is not put anymore food or water down for at least two hours. Then, introduce water and some plain foods such as raw chicken, potatoes or rice. Begin to wean the cat back onto cat food, starting with something relatively plain, and trial food stuffs by elimination until you find which type of food is causing the issues. It may be worth trying out some of the sensitive stomach kitten food which we outlined above.
You may find that despite your best efforts, you struggle to control the kitty’s vomiting. In this situation, you should go see a vet as it may be a sign of a more serious condition.
How to Settle a Cat’s Stomach & Aid Recovery
Knowing your kitty has an upset stomach may distress you, and you want to do all you can to help him or her feel better. There are many things you can do to help relieve your cat of his funny tummy and relieve the symptoms, and we have broken them down into some simple steps.
- Remove Food & Water: As we highlighted earlier, you should remove all access to food and water. Nothing helps to mend an upset stomach better than giving it a rest. Food and water left out may be too enticing for your feline friend to resist, and he or she may eat it despite being unwell. Simply pick it up, and move it out of the way for a few hours.
- Fluids, Fluids, Fluids: Cats depend on water just as much as we do. If your kitty seems dehydrated, it may be tempting to encourage him or her to drink, but this can further upset the stomach. Keep a careful eye and monitor your cat’s condition, and intervene with small amounts of fluid where necessary. Allowing your cat to lick an ice cube can be a great way to administer fluid without overworking the system.
- Re-introduce a Bland Diet: After the temporary break from solid food, cats with upset tummies should be placed on a bland diet for a few days.
- Encourage the Cat to Eat: A poorly kitty may be disinterested in eating, and this can cause complications. You can entice your cat to eat by cooking some chicken or fish, as the aroma will make your cat hungry. You can also slightly heat the cat’s food, too. It is important for the cat to eat something, even if this means force feeding, as cats can develop serious conditions after as little as two days without food.
- Provide your Cat with an Energy Boost: There are lots of ways to do this, and an energy boost is a great way to get your beloved kitty on the mend. You could purchase some kitten milk, a great source of carbohydrates, or even rub a little corn syrup on the gums to increase the blood sugar levels.
- Reintroduce a Regular Diet: When your kitty is no longer vomiting and appears to be on the mend, slowly reintroduce a regular diet. Be careful, though, as doing this abruptly could take you right back to square one. It is at this point you should keep an eye on the ingredients in your cat’s food and see what, if anything, causes further cases of vomiting in the future.
There are many steps you can take to have your cat’s situation improve, including dietary changes, which can improve your cat’s stomach and general wellbeing for the better.
If you decide to invest in a good quality food designed for cats with stomach sensitivity, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and don’t switch between food too much, because this can cause problems for an already sensitive stomach. Although it may be tempting to quickly try and find the best cat food for sensitive stomachs, it is not the quickest of processes. Portion control and preventing your cat from eating too quickly can also work wonders, and there are many brilliant products out there which can take the burden of controlling this away from you.