Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach – Buyer’s Guide

Cat with sensitive stomach

7 Cat Food Brands That Will Keep Your Feline Full And Healthy

Over the years, cat food varieties have become so abundant that looking for a new brand is akin to searching for your own groceries. There are lots to choose from, and flavors come in a wide variety. But if you’re having problems getting your feline to adapt to any food, or have suddenly noticed issues like vomiting or watery stool in their litter, chances are high that the source is coming from the meals they consume.

In this case, cat food for sensitive stomachs is the best solution. Taking out the troublesome ingredients while being packed with healthy nutrients, such meals will reduce sickness and even assist in weight loss and hair strength. Below are seven of the best cat food brands for this purpose, formulated to make them active and wholesome again. After the reviews, be sure to check out the Buyer’s Guide for detailed information that will help you shorten the picks for which cat food brand you’ll settle on.

Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach

Hill's Prescription Diet 8.5 lbs
NoDryCheck Price
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet8.8 lbsYesDryCheck Price
Merrick Purrfect Bistro12 lbsYesDryCheck Price
Hill's Prescription Diet (Canned)5.5 oz (24 cans)YesPate (Paste)Check Price
Instinct Ultimate Protein1.8-10 lbsYesDryCheck Price
Blue Buffalo Wilderness12 lbsYesDryCheck Price
Halo Holistic3-11.5 lbsYesDryCheck Price

This comparison chart shows the primary differences in every cat food product reviewed. Pay attention to the Protein and type in particular, as these could determine how your cat will respond to the food once you have prepared it for them.

Hill’s Prescription Diet: Size: 8.5 lbs; Protein: 37.0% Min; Grain-Free: No (Contains Whole Grain Corn); Flavor: Chicken; Type: Dry
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet: Size: 8.8 lbs; Protein: 30% Min; Grain-Free: Yes; Flavor: Pea, Venison; Type: Dry
Merrick Purrfect Bistro: Size: 12 lbs; Protein: 34% Min; Grain-Free: Yes; Flavor: Chicken, Sweet Potato; Type: Dry
Hill’s Prescription Diet (Canned): Size: 5.5 oz (24 cans); Protein: 7.5% Min; Grain-Free: Yes; Flavor: Chicken; Type: Pate (Paste)
Instinct Ultimate Protein: Size: 1.8-10 lbs; Protein: 47% Min; Grain-Free: Yes; Flavor: Chicken; Type: Dry
Blue Buffalo Wilderness: Size: 12 lbs; Protein: 40% Min; Grain-Free: Yes; Flavor: Chicken; Type: Dry
Halo Holistic: Size: 3-11.5 lbs; Protein: 32% Min; Grain-Free: Yes; Flavor: Chicken, Chicken Liver; Type: Dry

Top 7 Cat Food Brands For Sensitive Stomachs

1. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food 8.5 lb — Best Cat Food For Reduced Vomiting (Editor’s Choice)

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Rids Your Cat of stubborn Vomiting Quickly

Hill’s Prescription Diet Brand is one of the choices that people go for when veterinarians recommended a cat food for their pet. It’s filled with high-quality ingredients that will put an end to stubborn vomiting and periods of inactivity. This version is chicken flavored and has high levels of crude protein. Once you’ve trained your cat to consume the food, they may just end up taking a liking that will make you reconsider their other favorite brands. At 8.5 pounds, the bag might not be large enough for you if there’s more than one cat that will consume the product. Still, it should last a while if you’re going to mix it up with something else.

The pellets are small, so some kittens should be okay with consumption. That won’t hinder the larger breeds from enjoying it though. Just measure the amount they consume based on the level of activity that they partake in daily. For outdoor cats, you might need a little bit more than what you would normally give to those that stay indoors. Once poured into a bowl and eaten, the vomiting and bad stools should be reduced. While you shouldn’t expect things to happen lightning fast, their stomachs will settle enough to where the change will be noticed, possibly even on the first meal.

Nutritional Information

While this cat food is ranked among the best, it’s not perfect (like all things). Cats with moderate to severe vomiting may not see their ailment go away altogether with the dry food. The chances of this occurring a slim to none, so if you don’t get the results you expect, be sure to follow up with your vet whenever you can. And it’s not entirely grain free either. The nutritional label lists whole grain corn as the only grain source, and nothing else. And while there are other flavors to pick from, they are few and not very easy to find.

Overall, the Hill’s Prescription Diet Chicken Flavor has all the bells and whistles that one needs in a cat food formulated to boost a weak stomach. It’s recommended for cats that won’t won’t react badly to the grain ingredient or others that simply need more healthy nutrients in their diet. Hair and skin will also improve, and your home won’t be covered in shedding fur for the entirety of the product’s duration!

  • Pellets are sized well enough for both large and small cats to enjoy
  • Chances of vomiting will decrease significantly, noticeable on the first week of administering to cats
  • Flavor is formulated to taste the same as ordinary cat food, to the point where cats with no stomach sensitivity will eat without issue
    • Although vomiting will be reduced, will not completely stop the incident from occurring
    • The bag, although resealable, tears easily along the sides
    • Alternative flavors and difficult to find

2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hypoallergenic Selected Protein Adult Pea & Venison Dry Cat Food 8.8-lb bag — Best Cat Food For Severe Stomach Problems (People’s Choice)

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Flavorful and Healthy for your Cat

The Royal Canin Veterinary Food is Pea and Venison flavored, and sold in an 8.8-pound bag. It’s another dry meal, coming in a medium-sized bag with labels that indicate it’s not your average cat food from the store. This is the real deal, and stomach relief will come on quickly and without other negative side effects. If your cat has had watery bowls in their litter, the enzyme-containing formula will get their digestive system back on track in no time. It also eliminates stomach irritation and scabs that other cat food brand may have caused, cleaning out the lining while promoting energy and activity levels with its high protein ingredients.

Blending it with Other Foods

Like that last product shown, this brand has very few setbacks but doesn’t include many flavors for consumers to pick. The Pea and Venison combination does work well on cats that have trouble getting used to other stomach relief food for them, however. But you should still mix with other foods if possible, at least until they start to eat with before adding anything else into the bowl with the pellets. Regardless, Royal Canin’s formula has become popular for pet owners and looking at the components that make up with nutritional value, it’s easy to see why.

  • Prevents stomach and skin irritations caused by scabs
  • Content is high in protein, keeping cats active during the day with lots of energy
  • Goes through the digestive tract well without causing runny soils
    • No variety of flavors
    • TSome cats may not eat the pellet unless mixed with small amounts of other food

3. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food, 12 LB. Bag. Grain Free Cat Food — Best Gluten-Free Cat Food For Sensitive Stomachs

Makes Stomach Problems a Thing of the Past

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Sold in a pink bag, the Merrick Purrfect Bistro continues with the trend of dry cat foods, and this one makes the list based on not having any traces of gluten. Have you ever heard of probiotics? They are organic compounds that help the stomach and intestines remain stable, even when sick or having consumed lower quality cat foods on the same day. When you cat finishes their bowl, the digestive system will become less unpredictable and better, taking away bouts of regurgitation. This will also help encourage them to become more active during the day, since the food mostly absorbs into their body, resulting in smaller amounts of poop to pick up from their litter box.

Indoor or Outdoor? No Problem

No matter if you’re cat resides indoors or stays outside, this food will be beneficial for them. Most heavy ingredients, such as calories, can be kept low and won’t fatten them up or cause their blood sugar to shoot up. It’s also grain-free, which lowers the chances of thyroid problems when taken consistently over the span on several months. While the flavor is chicken, it does contain poultry and fish, something that’s not at all a negative, but isn’t listed by quantity on the label. Recommended for pet owners that wish to stay away from gluten at all costs.
  • Contains no gluten in its ingredient
  • Probiotics work to help give cats better immune system function when eaten regularly
  • Suitable for cat that live indoors or outdoors
  • 100 percent grain free
    • Exact fish and poultry contents are not specified

4. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care with Chicken Canned Cat Food 24/5.5 oz — Best Pate Cat Food For Sensitive Stomachs

Canned Nutrition done Right

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Sometimes, dry cat food simply won’t take your pet’s interest. If your cat doesn’t like the consistency of hard meals, then the Hill’s Prescription Diet Canned alternative will help them maintain a balanced intake of nutritional benefits, all while appearing like the pate they could be more adjusted to when eating. The look is pasty and dark-colored, sold in 5.5-ounce cans that number 24 in total. Just one purchase will get you enough to last for at least a month. Knowing this, your supply should last for as long as any bagged dry food would. And if you’re going to blend it with other food when it’s dinnertime for your feline, you could get it to last even longer.

Helpful After Surgery

If your cat has ever gone under the knife before, you know how worrying it can be during the entire surgical process. There are likely foods that your vet will scratch off the list for them to consume until they begin to heal. The Digestive Care brand would usually be an exception to their more strict dietary requirements after the doctor’s visit. That means your cat will stay full and heal up quicker, especially if their hair has been cut off. They will grow new fur quickly, and nothing will shed. Severe stomach issues will go away and leave them with energy that ordinary brands at the grocery store simply cannot do, at least without making them sicker.

  • Sold in a set of 24 can (5.5 ounces), ensuring a large supply that won’t run out quickly
  • Contains real chicken bits (pate consistency)
  • Recommended for cats that have severe stomach problems or have just completed surgery
    • Cats that are accustomed to eating canned food provided in chunks may have trouble adjusting to the pate

5. Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food by Nature’s Variety — Best Cat Food For Diarrhea

No more Messy Litter

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Just from the look of the label, you can tell that Instinct Ultimate is a serious cat food for stomach improvement and energy growth. There is no grain shown in the ingredients, and the meat is made from cage-free chicken that’s produced in the U.S. One notable advantage this has over time of the products that have been reviewed thus far is the size choices. You can buy in either a one, four, or ten-pound bag. But since you probably don’t want to deviate too much with different food over a short timeframe, consider the heaviest bag if possible.

The Perfect Balance of Nutrition

Diarrhea is an irritating thing to deal with, especially when it comes to cats. Nothing comes out solid, and their residue could potentially get on your carpets when they’re finished in the litter box. Furthermore, vomiting is a known secondary sickness that coincides with poor stool. The end result is a cat that’s could be mild to severely dehydrated and lacking the important nutrients they need to go about their day. The mixture of vegetables, omega 3’s, and antioxidants help them recuperate quickly under this spell, and won’t have them feeble when moving about your home. As for outdoor cats, the food could greatly improve how they play and move around. The sugar in their blood will be reduced, which means that unwanted weight gains won’t happen over the course that this meal is eaten.

You’ll have to do some with blending up your meals though, particularly if your cat doesn’t respond too well to dry food. In this instance, pour something (food that won’t cause their diarrhea to flare up again) palatable but not necessarily bad on their digestive lining, and go from there. Allow up to three or four days for the meal to become familiar, and they will eventually adapt. The kibbles, while not too big, could also be tough on some cat’s teeth, and be difficult for them to break down fast. If you’re thinking of getting the Instinct Ultimate, be sure that your cat can do this so that you’re not stuck with a bag that won’t be consumed.

  • Made with cage free chicken meat from the United States
  • Three sizes of bags are sold (1.5, 4, and 10 lbs)
  • Helps to reduce stubborn diarrhea brought about by heavier cat foods
  • Lowers high blood-glucose levels
    • May require extensive mixing and testing before cats begin to eat as normal
    • The kibbles could be irritating for smaller cats to chew, making teeth more difficult to become clean

6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken — Best Cat Food For Underweight Cats

No By-Products equals a Better Stomach

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The Blue Buffalo Wilderness has packaging that looks like something you would only give to an outdoor cat, but that’s not the case at all. You can feed it to your pet if they’re indoors, and you’ll be happy that you did once they begin to visibly show how the nutrients aid in their diet. It’s produced with only real meat and stays far away from by-products that are found in store-bought brands. This in itself can take rid them from upset stomachs, but that’s not the only attribute that makes the food work buying.

Getting the Pounds Up

For underweight cats, they will be in for gaining some extra pounds. Most food that does that is suggested for outdoor cats, but as long as your indoor feline isn’t severely overweight, no issues should arise. Skin and hair improvements will develop too, generating fur that stays on and doesn’t end up being swallowed. Use the Blue Buffalo Wilderness when your cat needs a stronger gut and a few more pounds to go with it.

  • Only real meat is used in the ingredients
  • Apart from being light on a cat’s digestive system, promotes hair and skin rejuvenation
  • Nutrients encourage pound increases in cats that are underweight
    • Pieces are very hard and result in unpredictability to whether or not some cats will like, particularly those living outdoors
    • The bag is not resealable

7. Halo Holistic Grain Free Natural Dry Cat Food For Indoor Adult Cats — Best Cat Food For Short-Term Upset Stomach

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The last product is Halo Holistic Grain Free, a chicken and liver flavor with loads of nutrients and protein. Even with these additives, it remains low in fat and can even shave off a few pounds as they become used to the meal. Out of all the products shown in the list, this might be the one that requires the least amount of mixing with other foods during mealtime. But be away that soy protein is listed as an ingredient, so if your cat won’t be affected by this, you shouldn’t have any adverse reactions. It will lower their chances of vomiting and is advised for cats that get the occasional upset stomach, but nothing that requires a huge dietary overhaul.
  • The lowfat formula helps to reduce weight in obese cats
  • Poop is compact and does not become runny
  • Chicken, Salmon, and Bird Medley flavors to choose from
  • Ingredients contain concentrated soy protein, potentially leading to high blood sugar in cats
  • Salmon oil is minimal

Buyer’s Guide

Your cat isn’t the only one with a sensitive stomach. It’s a pretty common problem that isn’t always very easy to overcome. Some pet owners will be lured back to unhealthy brands that are more convenient to find, as those formulated to go easy on their digestive tract may not be sold in your local stores. But whether or not you’re searching online or not, use these tips before you settle on one brand. Doing so could save you lots of trouble from ending up with food that your cat won’t find palatable.

Early Signs

Concerning cats with sensitive digestive tracts, do you know the warning signs to look for? Sometimes, they aren’t easy to detect. The most obvious alert could come by your cat refusing to eat certain foods that they may have tried once or twice before. Another indication is their waste (poop, to be frank). If you notice watery or bloody discharge when they defecate, it’s a red flag that either something is wrong with what they are eating or drinking. It could be a sign of other problems too, so don’t rule anything out. As for cat food, the abnormal waste would usually occur shortly after they have consumed the fare that’s in question. Vomiting, unusual exhaustion, and weight loss are other symptoms that may signal a change in your cat’s dietary intake.

Try Something Similar to what your Cat Knows

One big mistake that pet owners make when getting nutritional cat food is straying too far from what their feline knows. For example, if you know that your cat likes salmon or chicken flavored brands, look for something that has poultry as the primary ingredient. Know the item’s consistency. Kibbles is hard, but can often be mixed with water. And then there’s pate, which has the look of potted meat and is enjoyed by some cats but turned down by others. If you’re not sure, it might be best to choose what you think smells the same as the food they love. In any case, start with a test bag or can first, then get more it that goes quickly.

Mixing and Patience

Nutritional cat food may sometimes taste different from anything your cat may have tried before. It’s different than store-bought brands and could be missing some ingredients that may taste familiar. But when getting new food, there’s a pretty good chance that your cat could turn it’s nose up and walk away from the meal. To avoid that happening, start off by mixing the new food with the old, and gradually working your way up until they consume nothing but the dish that you’re switching to. This is something that could take a couple days or even weeks, so try to be patient with them. It’s difficult to say how long, as the length of time for finalizing the switch varies depending on the breed and individual tastes of the cat.

Don’t always expect Fast Results

As noted in the previous tip above, taking your time is essential to using nutritious foods for your cat successfully. If you rush too quickly in your attempt to change their eating habits, you could waste a lot of funds from moving to different brands over a short period of time. If everything goes well, you could be transferred over to the new cat food in just a few days. But if not, don’t panic. But don’t force them to eat something if they incessantly won’t try the things you put in their bowl. Doing so could result in them losing weight from not getting the amount of nutrition that they need every day.

Stock Up If you Can

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should buy a large quantity of the same cat food on your first try with the products reviewed above. This is assuming that your cat has begun to eat the food you give them. The reason you’ll want to buy the food in bulk is simple. Brands may change their ingredients at a moment’s notice, and something that was once very healthy for your feline friend cut quickly become inundated with ingredients that you wish not to feed them. Soy is a perfect example. It can potentially give cats a quick rise in blood sugar, due to the number of carbohydrates it possesses. If you know that your cat cannot have such things as soy in their food, you’ll want to check the ingredients on new food you get them, even if it’s from the same manufacturer and brand.

Check for Ingredients

Collectively, cats foods that are formulated for stomach sensitivity will usually contain similar ingredients, although there could be some differences that range from subtle to very noticeable. Still, the foods rely heavily on protein-rich meats such as veal, turkey, and salmon. And since most cats that need such meals possess an intolerance to grains, you won’t find too much of such items listed on the nutritional labels. Glutton is usually left out, along with some by-product meats. They key is to have your cat reduce the number of times they regurgitate, so the ingredients are often kept much smaller than what you may see on an ordinary cat food.

Indoor and Outdoor Cats

It doesn’t always make a huge difference in whether or not your cat is getting indoor or outdoor formulated food. Brands that do distinguish the two and sell them separately can be found, but it’s usually not something you’ll see on foods that specialize in reducing vomiting. In any case, choose by how active your cat is, and the number of calories added to the meal. Indoor brands tend to have the least since they’re more sedentary and don’t take part in activities to the same degree as outdoor cats. For those chosen in the reviews, most of them don’t differentiate between whether the cat lives inside or outside since the food tends to be lower in calories. Those high in fiber could help indoor cats more, however. The fiber will strengthen their hair and reduce persistent shedding when grooming.

When in Doubt, Check with Your Veterinarian

So far in this guide, the tips have touched on what you should do prior and after you have bought your cat food. But the most important thing of all is to check with your veterinarian whenever you notice vomiting or other effects whenever your cat is done with their bowl. While things could be the food itself, it’s a smart idea to ensure that the source of the problem is coming from what they are eating. Additionally, your vet could give you more suggestions on what cat food is best for your pet; recommendations that consider their needs on an individual basis. You could also check with the products shown here, and go over the ingredients, asking how they will help rid your feline of recurring digestive problems.


By now you should have an idea for what cat food you wish to try from the list. But if not, don’t worry, as there are two that manage to stand out above the others. The Hill’s Prescription Diet and Royal Canin (numbers one and two) have the perfect balance of protein, are easy for chew, and can lower instances of vomiting very quickly. This isn’t to say that the other brands are lacking though, and they are very healthy and formulated to handle more specific problems, such as weight reduction. Whatever your choice narrows down to, feel confident in knowing that you’ll be receiving the best meals for your cat’s stomach sensitivity. Improvements on what a cat eats can not only elevate their health but increase life expectancy as a whole.

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