Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach (& Preventing Vomiting)
Cats are known to vomit frequently. It’s not always a bad thing – sometimes, cats just need to get rid of an occasional hairball. But if it’s reached a point where your cat seems to vomit more than normal, you might have a sensitive kitty on your hands.
Sensitive stomachs in cats are pretty common, and they can cause quite a bit of vomiting. What’s more, cats that frequently have upset stomachs might not be able to properly manage food that’s not formulated for their unique digestive needs. So, as a pet owner, you need to make sure you’re giving your cat the best cat food for sensitive stomachs.
But with so many different types of cat food on the market, you might find yourself asking – how can you pinpoint the right cat food choices in a sea of options? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Take cues from us on choosing the right food for your sensitive cat with this comprehensive guide.
What are the Causes of Digestive Issues and Sensitive Stomachs in Cats?
Cats spend about half of their waking hours just grooming themselves. So you see how they might ingest enough hair to form a hairball. Truth is, most of the hair they end up swallowing from their constant grooming is flushed out through their digestive system with no problem.
But the hairs that are left in their system can clump together and form what many cat owners’ feet have come to know as hairballs. When the clump becomes large enough to cause irritation, the stomach forces it upwards and out the cat’s mouth in order to clear the system of the accumulated hair.
As a general rule, cats need to be dewormed regularly from the time they’re born. As kittens, they need to be dewormed once every two weeks for 12 weeks. Once they reach 6 months of age, they need to be dewormed monthly. After that, a cat must be dewormed at least once every 3 months for safe measure.
Intestinal worms have been known to cause vomiting in cats, along with a host of other symptoms. If you’ve noticed that your cat has been vomiting more often, even on an empty stomach, and if your cat has started manifesting other signs of illness such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and a runny nose, it might be high time you visit the vet.
Change in Diet
Some cats can have such sensitive stomachs that they end up vomiting even with just a change of food. This signals that their stomach is well adjusted to the previous food they were given, which means they might need some time to become accustomed to the new food.
To prevent vomiting as a result of a change in diet, make sure to transition your cat slowly. Mixing the new food with the old food in small portions working up to a complete change can help them acclimate to the brand new formulation.
Eating Too Fast
Your cat’s anatomy can play a role in the way his system takes down food. Keep in mind that a cat is a four-legged animal, which means their esophagus lies horizontally, as opposed to our vertical anatomy. So when your cat eats too much food too fast, large chunks can stimulate the esophageal sphincter and cause your cat to throw up. Using a slow feeder can usually help with this type of problem.
Some cats naturally have sensitive stomachs, so they won’t take too well to some of the ingredients in most store-bought cat food. Fortunately, there are a lot of manufacturers out there who develop specific cat food formulations that are easier for cats to digest minus the upset stomach.
What are Treatment Options for Cats with Sensitive Stomachs?
What can you do to help keep your cat from wretching all over the kitchen floor? Well, there’s no way to eliminate vomiting completely, but there are things you can do to help minimize the occurrence.
If your cat’s vomit is usually made up of clumps of hair, then it’s probably because they have too much hair fall. Grooming your cat regularly will help clear their fur of any shedding hair, and minimize the amount they ingest when they groom themselves.
Slow Down Feeding
Cats that vomit as a result of eating too much too fast could benefit from slowed down meal times. Special bowls that scatter food between small knobs can make it difficult for cats to eat too fast. You can also try splitting meals down into smaller ones and spreading them out through the day so your cat gets enough without overeating in a single sitting.
Revert to Old Food
If you just made the switch to a new cat food and your feline doesn’t seem to be taking to it too well, you can revert to your old cat food and incorporate the new one in portions. Start off with ¼ new and ¾ old, then work your way to half and half, then ¾ new, until you get a complete bowl of new food over a span of a few days.
Choose the Right Cat Food
Check your options and you’ll find that it isn’t really that hard to find cat food for cats that throw up. These choices are specially formulated to meet your cats specific dietary needs so as to limit the chances of vomiting.
Should You Change Your Cat’s Diet If He Always Vomits?
Some pet owners think that if their cat vomits too much, it’s essential to change the diet. While that might seem like a practical solution, it’s equally important to check all aspects of your cat’s daily life that might be causing the upset.
If there are other factors like an illness, or if your cat simply eats too fast, then you might have to consider other remedies. If you just changed your cat’s diet and it’s caused him to vomit more, then you might have to switch back to the old food.
But if you find that your cat’s vomiting frequently without an apparent cause, then it might be the smart choice to switch him to a specific food that will address his sensitive stomach.
Will Raw and Dehydrated Foods Be Better or Worse?
If your cat’s going through an episode of an upset stomach, you might want to introduce bland food like boiled chicken and fish into their diet. You can also mix these in with rice in order to soothe the upset while still providing your cat the protein and calories he needs in order to overcome the problem.
Generally speaking though, any raw or dehydrated foods might not always be the best cat food for cats with digestive problems. The reason for this is the fact that raw foods can contain certain protozoa or bacteria that can further aggravate an upset stomach.
As a rule of thumb, pet owners should feed cats with upset stomachs food that contains protein from only one source. So if it’s chicken, there shouldn’t be any other meat source thrown in. For food that uses fish, it should only be fish. This helps make the food easier to digest, preventing the possibility of an upset stomach.
The 4 Best Cat Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
Of course, the top pick on our list of the best cat food to prevent vomiting diarrhea comes from Hill’s Science Diet. This adult formulation is developed specifically for easy digestion, making it a solid choice for cats that have a particularly hard time processing complex food formulations. Aside from supporting optimal digestive health, this food also support the skin, keeping it healthy, hydrated, and free from irritation.
To top all of that off, this Hill’s Science Diet formulation also keeps cats safe from artificial flavors, colorings, additives, and preservatives, giving gentle care and nutrition to any cat with a sensitive system. It’s also worth mentioning that if you were looking for the best wet cat food for sensitive stomach, the canned variety of this specific formulation can be a great choice.
The second best cat food on our list comes from Purina. Their ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food makes use of a bland yet appealing recipe that helps make it easier for cats to digest. The protein in this formulation comes from real turkey meat, which also helps care for the skin. Despite having just one protein source though, it does pack a punch with 34 grams of protein per serving, ensuring proper lean muscle health for your cat.
Blue Buffalo is often praised for its all-natural formulations, which shines through with their Sensitive Stomach recipe. Made from natural meat and vegetable sources, this cat food combines chicken and brown rice to soothe an upset stomach. The plain formulation uses few ingredients, making it much easier for your cat’s system to process.
Despite this, it still provides all the right macros and micronutrients to satisfy any cat’s specific dietary and nutritional needs. For that reason, this specific food has also been recognized as a suitable cat food for older cats with sensitive stomachs.
The last choice on our list is the Halo Natural’s. Made from whole meat, these recipes boast an all-natural formulation that works well with even the most sensitive of stomachs. They’re also sourced from organic animals, which means they’re free from preservatives, colors, artificial ingredients, and GMOs.
It’s not easy to care for a cat that’s always throwing up. Fortunately, the answer might just be a change in cat food. Check out our recommendations and find the best cat food for sensitive stomachs. Based on what we’ve learned, it’s not likely to go wrong with the Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Cat Food which is perfectly formulated to soothe and care for an aching feline stomach. So be sure to check that out along with the other choices we vouch for in our list of top picks.