Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food and Settling an Upset Tummy

The information in this article was reviewed and approved by registered veterinary nurse, Beth Walker

Animed Veterinary Nurse, Beth Walker

Most cats will experience an upset tummy at some point, especially if they have access to the outdoors. Curious cats will often eat things they come across, which may not agree with them. If you suspect that your cat may have ingested something toxic, then always see a vet straight away. Otherwise, isolated incidents of tummy trouble are usually not too much cause for concern. They will often get better on their own in a couple of days. If your cat regularly has an upset tummy, they may benefit from a sensitive stomach cat food. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best sensitive stomach cat foods available, and offer advice on how to settle your cat’s tummy.

How Do I Know if My Cat Has a Sensitive Stomach?

Aside from the obvious diarrhoea and vomiting, other signs that would suggest your cat has a sensitive stomach include:

  • Constipation
  • Passing excessive amounts of faeces
  • Excessive passing of wind
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive drooling
  • Changes to coat

Cats who suffer from these symptoms for more than a few days should see a vet to check that there are no underlying health problems or allergies causing them. Otherwise, your vet might recommend trying a sensitive stomach cat food.

Best Food for Cats with a Sensitive Stomach

While it’s important not to change your cat’s diet during an episode of stomach upset, once it’s settled, moving them onto a diet designed specifically for cats with sensitive stomachs can help reduce future stomach upset.

The best food for cats with a sensitive stomach will contain easily digestible ingredients, plenty of fibre, and a healthy balance of prebiotics. Let’s explore some of the sensitive stomach cat food available.

Royal Canin Digestive Care Cat Food

Ideal for cats with a sensitive stomach, Royal Canin Digestive Care cat food contains lots of highly digestible, high quality protein. This makes it easier for your cat to digest their food, getting all the nutrients they need from it. It also helps to keep them more regular.

Royal Canin Digestive Care cat food also supports balanced levels of flora in the intestines with a blend of prebiotics and fibres such as psyllium. An internal Royal Canin study found that cats who were fed Royal Canin Digestive Care cat food had 95% healthy stool quality in just 10 days.

Royal Canin Digestive Care cat food is available as dry ring-shaped kibble. This naturally slows your cat’s eating to minimise the risk of indigestion. It’s also available as a wet food in gravy, so there’s a format to suit every cat’s tastes.

Hill’s Digestive Care Cat Food

Containing a unique blend of probiotics, Hill’s Digestive Care cat food promotes a nourished and balanced microbiome. This supports your cat’s overall digestive well-being and encourages regular, healthy stools.

Hill’s Digestive Care cat food is recommended for adult cats over the age of 1. It contains oats, barley, fish oil and other healthy ingredients to ensure optimally balanced nutrition for your cat.

Hill’s also have a Sensitive Stomach and Skin range, which is perfect for cats who struggle with poor coat health as well as digestive trouble. With vitamin E and Omega-6s, this diet nourishes skin and promotes beautiful fur, while also supporting a balanced microbiome with plenty of probiotic fibre.

Purina Pro Plan Delicate Digestion

Perfect for cats with fussy appetites, Purina Pro Plan Delicate Digestion is made with delicious turkey, along with other high quality, easily digestible ingredients. This balanced diet contains the perfect blend of essential nutrients, and is free from wheat to support food tolerance.

As well as supporting digestive health, it also contains antioxidants, arginine and omega-3 fatty acids to promote healthy kidneys. Purina Pro Plan Delicate Digestion is available as both a dry and wet food.

It’s always best to check with your vet before making a change to your cat’s diet. If your cat continues to struggle with stomach upset, or your vet diagnoses your cat with a health condition, they might direct you to a prescription (or veterinary) sensitive stomach cat food, such as Royal Canin Gastrointestinal or Hill’s i/d Digestive Care Dry Cat Food. These diets are intended to support cats whose stomach sensitivities are a result of diagnosed health conditions.

Best Kitten Food for Sensitive Stomachs

If you have a kitten who is struggling with a sensitive stomach, Royal Canin and Hill’s also have options for younger tummies needing digestive support. Again, always check with your vet first.

What Can You Give a Cat to Settle Their Stomach?

Often an upset stomach isn’t too much cause for concern, and it will usually settle on its own. However, there are a few things you can do to help.

If Your Cat Has Diarrhoea

Loose stools once in a while is usually nothing to worry about. It could simply be caused by something your cat ate and will often be a one-off, or get better by itself within a few days.

During this time, you can help to settle your cat’s stomach by:

  • Keeping your cat hydrated by offering plenty of fresh water
  • Continue to feed their normal food. While some cats may benefit from a bland diet of chicken or white fish when they have stomach upset, for many, abrupt changes to their usual meals can exacerbate symptoms, and won’t provide the balanced nutrition they need
  • Not giving any treats
  • Making sure they have a quiet place to rest where they won’t be disturbed
  • Trying a fibre supplement or probiotic

It’s best to check with your vet before giving your cat a new food or supplement.

Diarrhoea is considered chronic if the cat has been suffering from it for two weeks or more. In these cases, it’s vital that you see your vet to find out what the underlying cause of the stomach problems is. Common causes of chronic diarrhoea in cats includes:

  • Bacterial, viral or parasitic infections
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Intestinal cancer
  • A systemic disease (one that affects the whole body)
  • Stress

If Your Cat is Vomiting

One of the main things to be aware of if your cat has been vomiting is that they can quickly become dehydrated. Cats are prone to dehydration anyway, so losing fluids through vomiting puts them even more at risk.

Make sure that there is plenty of fresh water available to your cat. You could also consider giving them a rehydration fluid like Oralade. This will rapidly replace lost fluids, simple sugars and electrolytes.

It’s also a good idea to take pictures of your cat’s vomit and note down information like:

  • The frequency of their vomiting
  • How long they have been vomiting for
  • Approximately how much vomit your cat is producing
  • Whether they are retching or heaving
  • Whether they might have ingested anything they shouldn’t have

Don’t wait any longer than 24 hours to see a vet if your cat is still being sick.

Wrapping Up

Generally speaking, a small bout of digestive trouble is nothing to worry about. However, if your cat regularly suffers from vomiting and diarrhoea or shows other signs of having a sensitive stomach, they might benefit from a sensitive stomach cat food. Always check with your vet before making changes to your cat’s diet. If your cat has been vomiting for more than 24 hours, or has had diarrhoea for more than 3 days, see your vet. Sometimes tummy trouble is caused by underlying health conditions. Depending on the cause of your cat’s sensitive stomach, your vet will be able to recommend a specialist prescription diet or medical treatment that could help.