(Last Updated On: August 13, 2019)

I always get so worried when I set out the cat food and my kitty just won’t eat. If your cat has done this: you’re not alone. Many cat owners worry that their cats aren’t getting the right nutrients, can’t keep food down, or aren’t eating enough. You have a lot of options to help your cat though, including the transition to a cat food specifically for sensitive stomachs.

One of the best cat foods for sensitive stomachs can make a huge difference for your cat’s quality of life. It can reduce your anxiety when you finally see your cat eat too.

Usually, foods that work for sensitive stomachs have less of the nutrients that are hard to digest. They still vary though. And your cat might prefer certain flavors over others. If your cat likes gravy though, mine gobbled up the Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Gravy option really well. This is one of the best cat foods for sensitive stomachs.

Before you buy any random food though, remember that your cat’s sensitivity could be caused by any ingredient. It’s possible that they’re sensitive to grains or even taurine, which cats do need in their diet. It’s a good thing that there are so many options for sensitive stomach cat food then.

Check out my top picks below, with the calorie counts and protein listed for each. As you check out these foods, plan to talk to your vet about your cat’s sensitivity as well. Your vet can help you figure out your cat’s eating habits while searching for the reason for your cat’s sensitivity in the first place.

Your vet will help you figure out the cause of your cat’s sensitive stomach. If you don’t know the cause just now though, that’s no problem. I’ll discuss here some of the common causes of sensitive stomachs, along with some of the top options for you to try.

You’ve seen my top five options already, but let’s get a little more in depth. From ingredients to nutrient content, pick out the top option from these five best cat foods for sensitive stomachs.  Remember: flavor is important too!

Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken

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Okay, first off: this is a dry food. If your cat prefers wet food, you’ll want to pick another option. You also won’t want to pick BLUE if you already know that grains are the problem.

BLUE contains grains, which isn’t a bad thing, but grains can be bad for certain sensitivity problems. You don’t want to waste your time and money buying a food that includes grains only to see your cat get ill.

There’s no need to worry if your cat doesn’t have any problem with grains. BLUE remains a great dry cat food for sensitive stomachs. It doesn’t have any by-product meals, providing you with high-quality meat proteins, a bunch of minerals, and antioxidants that all support your cat’s immune system.

Your cat will love the chicken, without having to eat corn, wheat, or soy products that may upset their stomach. For those of you who prefer to feed your cat dry food, this is a great option. Remember to provide your cat lots of water to help this food go down easy.

Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Gravy

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Within the cat and dog world, Royal Canin is well-known. Experts and professionals love their nutritional formulas, which are made with high-quality ingredients. If you’re looking for wholesome nutrition, Royal Canin is the way to go.

This gravy formula is designed for cats with sensitive digestive systems while still making a complete nutritional diet. You can check right on the chart above to see the protein content, which is easily the highest out of any of our options. No other manufacturer comes close to having this type of nutritional content.

You’ll also notice that Royal Canin has the perfect macro-nutrient profile. This basically means that all the fats, proteins, and carbs are balanced right for your cat’s stomach. Of course, the food will still be delicious too, all while reducing stool odors and supporting a good weight at the same time.

My cat personally loves this wet food’s flavor, while I love the quality of the food itself. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you’ve been watching your cat vomit after they eat recently. All of that should certainly stop on Royal Canin.

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Purina One Sensitive Systems

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Purina is an extremely popular pet food brand that is known for its variety, greta taste, and affordable price. In addition to its other great speciality foods, Purina has come up with a cat food for sensitive digestive systems.

Appropriately named “Sensitive Systems”, this dry kitty kibble is composed of a variety of beneficial ingredients including vitamins A and E, omega-6 fatty acids, and tons of real turkey. These healthy ingredients work to support and improve your cat’s digestive system and its functions, resulting in whole body health.

Each cup of boasts 36 grams of protein and plenty of vegetables, as well as a great flavor that has cats looking forward to meal time. With a crunchy texture, this food not only promotes internal health but dental health as well. It cuts down on plaque and tartar build up, keeping your cat’s teeth strong and pearly white.  

Many cat owners have claimed that this particular adult cat food has helped their cat to stop vomiting – a factor that we give the food credit for thanks to its natural ingredients and filler-free makeup.

Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Loaf

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Yes, another Royal Canin wet food. Royal Canin is one of the best brands out there after all. This specific recipe is a variant of the chicken recipe above, and is perfect for cat who usually become ill after eating too quickly.

This is because the texture of the loaf will stop your cat from eating too fast. The texture will also keep your cat guessing a little, preventing them from getting so bored with their food that they simply stop eating it. You can throw in a can of the Sensitive Loaf food every now and again, or you can make it the sole food of your cat’s diet.

It helps that this food is made with a relatively low-calorie count, helping your cat maintain a healthy weight. In the end, your cat will be able to improve their eating habits like this without sacrificing their nutrition or protein levels.

This wet food is certainly high-quality, but when feeding it to your cat, don’t just set out the can and tell your cat to eat. Try mixing it in with your cat’s current food, since the change in texture can throw your cat off if you switch foods without any transition.

Hills Science Diet Sensitive

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Another incredibly popular pet food brand, Hills has been raved about for its all-natural pet foods. Made of wholesome ingredients such as real chicken, rice, and eggs, this brand is both tasty and nutritious. Due to its great ingredients, this cat food blend is packed full of healthy fats and vitamins. They encourage a healthy coat as well as a fully-functioning digestive system.

This tasty food is vet approved and meets the United States ethical and nutritional standards for pet food, ensuring that every bowl of food is nothing less than safe and beneficial. As their brand name suggests, the food produced by Hills is science backed and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Will sensitive stomach cat food actually help my cat?

Foods for cats with digestive issues or sensitive stomachs are specially formulated to reduce the frequency of vomiting and upset stomach. Cats who suffer from these ailments tend to shy away from foods that contain by-product meat meal and an abundance of artificial ingredients. This being said, these by-products aren’t necessarily bad, however, generally the cheaper the food is the more questionable the meat sources of the by-product meat is, which can lead to a flare up of vomiting and sickness.

Staying loyal to a well-known brand that offers sensitive stomach food is a good way to ensure the integrity of the ingredient sources. Most foods for sensitive stomachs are also free of grains and corn. Again, neither of these are outright bad; but they can be hard on a sensitive tummy.

What should I avoid for cats with sensitive stomachs?

Just because two cats both have sensitive stomachs doesn’t mean that they’re sensitive to the same foods. For example, your neighbor’s cat may have a hard time with dairy while your cat may flat out reject grain consumption. It may even complete the meal by vomiting all over the living room floor.

Some cats are even sensitive to popular additives found in cat foods Certain food colorings and dyes used in foods can cause unpleasant reactions, too. So, to answer this question a bit more directly, I’d advise you to avoid any foods that would not be found in their natural diets.

This means limit or completely avoid grains, low grade by-product meal, corn, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives. Although cats in the wild do not usually eat vegetables, giving your cat food with veggies like carrots and peas won’t be harmful. In fact, their high vitamin and fibre content is beneficial for your cat’s health.

Preventing my cat from vomiting after eating

Many cats who have sensitive stomachs are also prone to overeating, which can increase the likelihood of your cat being sick. The easiest way to remedy overeating is by monitoring the eating habits of your cat. Keep an eye on how much he or she eats and how fast; eating too fast, not chewing enough, or simply eating too much are also actors that play a part in vomiting.

When making the switch to stomach friendly cat food, be sure to continue to monitor eating habits. Also, consider reducing your cat’s portion sizes. To ensure that you give the right portions, check the food manufacturer’s website; there is usually portion size recommendations on the website. Sometimes these recommendations can be found on the bag of food, as well.

If you’re worried about giving the right portions, invest in an automatic cat feeder. Much like a soap dispenser, the food dispenser will dispense only one portion of food which is enough for a single cat.

On the flip side, if your cat is also prone to hairballs, part of the problem is probably the hairballs causing nausea. In this case, your cat might be better suited to be on a special food designed for the treatment of hairballs.

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Regardless of which food you’re switching your cat to, make sure you don’t blind side the animal with the switch. In other words, switch them gradually or they may stop eating altogether and/or develop other unhealthy eating habits. Not to mention, this sudden switch can further upset their already sickness prone stomachs.

Start by mixing 20% new food with 80% of their normal food and slowly increase the portion of new food while decreasing the amount of old food offered. Eventually, you;ll get your cat down to eating just the new food.

How to Help a Cat with Sensitive Stomach

Caring for a cat with a sensitive stomach can be overwhelming – between cleaning up after them and ensuring they eat the right food, believe me, I get it. If you work carefully with your veterinarian, you can take steps to care for tummy issues between meals.

Aside from meal times, you may be wondering what else you are able to do to help your kitty. Follow these tips to help ease the discomfort your cat may be feeling.

Rule Out Other Health Concerns

Along with having your vet on board with all of the options you are going to take to help a stomach issue, you need to make sure that other health concerns are ruled out. Some serious health problems can lead to vomiting and other stomach issues in cats. Bacterial, parasitic, or viral infections might be the culprit. However, metabolic system (including the thyroid and renal system) and inflammation disorders will need to be ruled out as well.

Once more serious concerns are eliminated, you and your vet can discuss an appropriate diet that is highly digestible.

Meal Suggestions and Food Measurement

If you were not previously feeding your cat on a schedule, you may want to consider starting this now. More than likely, a vet will recommend this, especially for those on restricted diets. Mealtimes create a routine for your kitty that will grow accustomed to and you can learn to tell time by when they start meowing for their meals. It is really quite cute.

Mealtimes will also allow you to properly proportion out how much food they are getting. There are some helpful measuring cups made for measuring pet food that you can find, and some cute, snazzy ones you can find online. I found one that has cat ears and a little painted cat face a few years ago. There is no reason why you can’t make this a fun experience for yourself.

Hydration

I know it can be hard to monitor your cat’s water intake, but this step is so important. Always keep fresh, clean water out for your cats. Clean the bowl and replace the water at least once a day, if using a normal bowl. Cats who do not drink much or like running water will benefit from a water fountain. These are usually filtered and the trickling sound of water attracts cats. The cat water fountains need cleaned once a week.

If your cat ‘s diet primarily consists of wet food, they are probably getting enough water. However, it is always recommended that they have access to water.

Be Watchful

Make sure that your cat is following the planned diet. I know that it can be hard to avoid sneaking those big, begging eyes table scraps, but it is in their best interest to only eat what the vet prescribes.

Less Treats

Cat Treats are often filled with ingredients that are rich and flavorful – this often means that they are not the gentlest on a sensitive stomach. Avoid treats in general, or stick to maybe one or two treats a day. Make sure that the type of treat you choose is approved by your vet for your cat’s finicky stomach.

Remember the general rule is that treats should never account for more than 10% of a cat’s daily caloric intake.

Avoid Dairy

I know, we all know the association of adorable kitties lapping up milk from a small dish. As cute as it is, and as happy as your cat might be to have milk, it is best to be avoided since most cats do not have the ability to digest diary. This alone can lead to an upset stomach, even for a cat with a seemingly iron-lined tummy.

Milk, cheese, and other products containing dairy should be excluded from your pet’s diet.

Also read my review on Soulistic.

Reduce Stress

This is a huge one. A cat may appear to be calm and cool on the outside, but they have evolved to hide stress and pain. Because of this, steps to keep your kitty happy and stress free should be ongoing and always a consideration when new things happen in the home.

A cat who feels uneasy or unsafe might not feel comfortable eating, especially if her food dish is near whatever is making her feel that way. A stressed kitty may also end up eating too fast. Make sure the food dish is in a calm, quiet area where she feels safe and secure.

When I brought new cats into my home, my first kitty would not eat unless I sat by her. I would pat her and talk to her during mealtimes to help her feel safe and calm.

There are sprays and medications that you can purchase to help reduce anxiety in your pet. Talk to your vet and see what they suggest.

See this 4Health article

Make Sure Kitty Eats Slowly

A cat that eats too fast often ends up swallowing a lot of excess air. This can lead to an upset stomach and vomiting. In order to slow kitty down, you need to make sure that your cat is not stressed. To help them learn to slow it down, you can start feeding them several small meals spread throughout the day. There are also special bowls with divots and enrichment balls and toys that will slow down your cat’s eating.  

Consistency Matters

Keep everything as consistent as possible in your cat’s life. Abruptly changing anything for a kitty can lead to stomach or behavioral/stress issues, but that is especially true with food. When changing foods, do it gradually. If you need to move feeding locations, do that gradually as well.

Keeping your kitty as stress free during changes will help keep her and her sensitive stomach happy. See my article on Freeze-Dried Cat Food

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