Best Types of Food

The 5 Best Cat Foods for Constipation

A gray, tan-ish, and white tabby cat is lying in an enclosed litter box, with its head resting on the edge.

Before having a cat, you probably didn’t realize how much of your time would be centered around their bathroom habits. There’s the daily scooping of the litter box and the occasional accident, but you can also tell a lot about a cat’s health through their feces, or lack thereof.

One of the problems cats can face is constipation, the reduced or difficult passage of feces. Constipation can also indicate that something worse is brewing with your cat’s digestive tract or other systems. It can also be something that plagues some kitties throughout their life. For those cats, finding one of the best cat foods for constipation may help them with this ailment.

1. Best Overall: Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Digestive/Fiber Care

Hill's Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Digestive/Fiber Care Cat Food
Clinically shown to promote regular healthy stool in as little as 24 hours and help reduce risk of recurrence.
Specially formulated by Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians to support your cat’s digestive health.
Unique blend of prebiotic fibers to promote regular bowel movements and help balance digestive function.

If your cat is often constipated, Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome may help to alleviate their problem for good. This prescription cat food is specially formulated for digestive regularity using a prebiotic fiber blend to promote a healthy and normal gut microbiome. Veterinarians and veterinary nutritionists formulated it to help regulate stools in as little as 24 hours.

In addition to high fiber content, Hill’s Gastrointestinal Biome cat food also contains high levels of omega fatty acids to help decrease inflammation and boost skin and haircoat health. This digestive health food can also help reduce the chance of developing urinary tract crystals and stones.

This food from Hill’s is a prescription food which makes it harder to get and harder to find. You will have to see a veterinarian first, which isn’t a bad idea for chronic constipation anyway. Also, it’s a pretty different formula than most cats are used to, so switching over to it should be done gradually to prevent digestive issues going the other way.


  • High fiber
  • High omega fatty acids
  • Veterinary formulated


  • Expensive
  • Requires a prescription
  • May be hard to find

2. Runner Up: Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care

Purina Pro Plan Indoor Dry Cat Food
High protein content with real turkey as the #1 ingredient.
Fortified with live probiotics to support digestive and immune health.
Natural fiber helps to control hairballs.

With real turkey or salmon as the first ingredient, Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care is a good quality food specially formulated for an indoor lifestyle. It is high in protein to fuel your cat without adding unnecessary weight and high in antioxidants for a healthy immune system. There are plenty of omega fatty acids and vitamin A to support vision and healthy skin and haircoat. It is high in fiber to help remove hairballs from the digestive system as well.

The high fiber content also makes it helpful in relieving constipation in cats. On top of that, Purina Pro Plan Indoor formula contains prebiotic fiber and probiotics to feed and replenish the gut’s microbiome for healthy digestion to prevent constipation in the first place.

However, some cats aren’t going to like this food. Fortunately, there are a couple of different flavors to choose from if your kitty turns up their nose at one. Also, there have been some problems with quality depending on the distributor, so always be sure to check the color and odor before feeding it to your cat.


  • High in fiber
  • Contains probiotics
  • Essential nutrition for indoor cats


  • Some cats might not eat it
  • Quality control issues depending on the distributor

3. Best Canned Food: Halo Indoor Wet Cat Food

Halo Wet, Grain-Free, Indoor Cat Food
Uses whole meat without any kind of rendered meat meal.
No factory farming, growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Uses non-GMO fruits and vegetables, and can is BPA free.

Halo canned cat food is a highly digestible product made from whole meats, fruits, and vegetables. It doesn’t use any meat meals, artificial ingredients, or grains. All of this makes it easily digestible so that your cat gets the nutrients they need without unnecessary fillers. This food is meant for indoor cats, so it is low in fat and calories and high in omega fatty acids to fight inflammation and boost skin and haircoat health.

Since most indoor cat food formulas are centered around fiber content to help control weight and promote hairball removal, they can also help with constipation issues. This canned cat food from Halo is no different. On top of high fiber content, Halo Indoor wet cat food also contains plenty of moisture that will also help keep your kitty hydrated to prevent constipation as well.

Canned cat food can be hard to quality control, especially if you’re getting it from an online supplier. That’s because it doesn’t stay fresh for as long as dry kibble. For this reason, you will want to make sure that each can of cat food has the correct color and smell before feeding it to your cat. 


  • High fiber
  • High moisture
  • High digestibility


  • Quality control issues
  • Recipe change
  • Some cats may not like it

4. Canned Food Runner Up: Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly Wet Cat Food

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly Natural Digestive Care Adult Wet Cat Food
Formulas created by PhD animal nutritionists and veterinarians with ingredients clinically proven to support your cat's specific health needs.
Made with high-quality real meat as the first ingredient.
Made with highly digestible ingredients including a prebiotic fiber clinically proven to support digestive health.

Another great canned cat food product to help with constipation is Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly. This food is made with whole ingredients, including meat, fruits, and vegetables. It doesn’t contain artificial ingredients, by-products, or corn, so it is highly digestible and nutritious. High digestibility is important because the more undigestible fillers in a food, the more chance your cat will develop blockages.

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly wet cat food can help prevent and treat constipation and regulate stool quality with high digestibility and fiber. It also contains prebiotics to support a healthy microbiome and is high in moisture, both of which help prevent dehydration and dried out feces and promote regular digestion.

Some kitties aren’t going to like this food and might not eat it. As with any canned cat food, you’ll need to pay close attention to the quality and freshness. Monitor every can for color and smell. 


  • High moisture
  • Contains prebiotic fiber
  • Whole ingredients


  • Quality control issues
  • Some cats aren’t going to like it 

5. Best Budget Option: IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight and Hairball Control

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food
Helps maintain a healthy weight and helps to reduce hairballs.
100% complete and balanced adult nutrition with 0% fillers.
Real chicken is the 1st ingredient.

IAMS Proactive Health is a good quality food overall, especially for the price. It provides real, whole chicken as the first ingredient, zero fillers, and omega fatty acids for a healthy haircoat and skin. This is also an excellent food for indoor cats who tend to get on the pleasantly plump side and suffer from constant hairballs. 

This food is high in fiber to keep your cat feeling full without additional calories and helps clear the digestive system of hairballs. Along with that, high fiber content can help regulate bowel movements by bulking it up to stimulate the intestine. 


  • High fiber content
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Real, whole meat as the first ingredient


  • Possible recipe change
  • Possible mold issues depending on the distributor
  • Best Cat Foods for Constipation Buying Guide

There are many reasons that a cat can become constipated. Anything from eating something they shouldn’t have to the side effects of a medication can leave your kitty a little stopped up. Fortunately, feeding them the right food can help set things right again, but you’ve got to know what makes that food the right one.

Signs of Constipation in Cats

A light tan and brown cat resting its head on a window sill looking sad.

Most kitties keep a fairly regular schedule, even for pooping. So, if you find an empty litter box after a couple of days, your cat may be constipated. However, just because there is feces in the litter box doesn’t mean that your cat is home-free. Small, hard pellets rather than regular, formed, moist stools are also a sign of constipation.

Some cats may show their constipation by their discomfort. Cats that cry or strain when at the litter box may be having some digestive issues. Also, cats that avoid the litter box altogether may be suffering as well. Litter box aside, constipated cats may also not be eating as much, not want to jump or play, may walk stiffly, or may hide.

Why Do Cats Get Constipated?

Causes of constipation in cats can be as simple as dehydration caused by not drinking enough water. Hairballs or ingestion of foreign bodies like string or bone can cause blockages in the intestines. Lack of exercise slows the movement in the digestive tract, and pain in the pelvis or legs from an injury or arthritis can keep a cat from trying to defecate.

More serious causes include kidney disease, nerve dysfunction, megacolon, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, anal gland problems, and some kinds of cancer. These issues can lead to constipation due to decreased movement of the intestines, pain, or dehydration.

What to Look for in Cat Foods for Constipation

A black and pink bowl resting on a gray table top filled with wet pet food. The black bowl has a white paw print design on it, while the pink bowl is a solid pink color with no design.

As long as your cat doesn’t have any underlying health conditions contributing to their difficult bowel movements, giving them the right cat foods can help keep them regular.

Proper foods include:

  • Fiber:  Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water while insoluble fiber does not. Both promote regular digestion from different angles, so they work together well when combating constipation. Soluble fiber from pumpkin, apples, or psyllium is fermented into volatile fatty acids in the colon, which helps to stimulate intestinal contraction. Insoluble fiber from green beans, nuts, or wheat helps bulk up a bowel movement to stimulate those same contractions. The result is the same, a more motile colon to move feces through and out.
  • Moisture:  One of the colon’s main jobs is to absorb water. This means that the longer a bowel movement sits in the colon, the more water that gets sucked out of it and the harder, drier, and more difficult to pass it becomes. Along with this, dehydration is one of the leading causes of constipation. Increasing the amount of moisture in the food to increase the moisture in your cat’s feces can help overcome this problem.
  • Probiotics: The primary regulator of your cat’s digestive tract is their microbiome. These are the good bacteria that digest food and get the nutrients where they need to go. Any disruption to the microbiome can lead to digestive upset, including constipation. Feeding a cat food rich in probiotics can help repopulate and support those good bacteria for a healthier digestive tract and less constipation.
  • Whole Foods: A cat’s digestive tract is acutely honed to digest prey. That’s their natural diet, and their guts are efficient at digesting it. They’re not meant to eat foods that have been highly processed or are full of artificial ingredients. Choosing a cat food made from whole foods, especially whole lean meats, is an important part of preventing constipation due to the digestibility of the food. Look for products that use whole meats as the first few ingredients and stay away from processed products like meals and flours.

Final Thoughts

Cats are no strangers to constipation, especially if they’re not on the proper diet. Giving your cat the right food for constipation can help put their digestive system on the right track. Any of them will supply the best nutrition with some additional bonuses to help keep their tummies full and their bowels regular. 

The Best Cat Foods For Weight Gain and Guide

Many (around 5) gray cats with black stripes are eating dry cat food off of the ground. More cats can be seen blurred in the background.

In the cat world, a lot of attention is given to overweight and obese kitties. But on the other end of the spectrum, plenty of cats are a little too thin and trim. Thinness in cats can come about due to several things, including medical condition, age, and picky eating. If your kitty could stand to put on a few pounds, one of these cat foods for weight gain might be the way to go.

1.  Best Overall Food for Weight Gain: Nulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Nulo Freestyle Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food
Freeze-dried raw cat food to provide essential nutrients for a complete, balanced meal that is protein rich with balanced fat.
Contains no corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavoring.
Probiotic to support you cat's digestive and immune health.

This food from Nulo packs a nutritional punch. It is loaded with protein (42%) and high in fat (37%). Around 90% of that protein comes from whole animal sources, including turkey, duck, and liver.

This helps make it a highly digestible food and one that will help your kitty gain weight. It is also grain-free, should your kitty have an issue with these ingredients.

Nulo Freestyle is a minimally processed food. Rather than cooking the food down, decreasing digestibility and increasing nutrient loss, Nulo freeze-dries real, raw meat. This creates a high protein, more natural kind of food to help your skinny kitty round out their curves. Also included in this diet are probiotics for healthy digestive and immune systems.

A gradual transition is required with any high-protein cat food to prevent vomiting and diarrhea. Also, whole meat foods, like Nulo, may have a stronger odor than you and your cat are used to. The kibble size isn’t as uniform since this food isn’t processed through a machine like other commercial diets. Some pieces can be almost dog food sized, which can be a problem for picky eaters or cats with dental issues.


  • Very high protein, fat diet for weight gain
  • High-quality protein from whole meats
  • Minimally processed


  • Lack of uniformity of kibble size
  • Strong odor
  • May cause vomiting/diarrhea during transition phase

 2.  Runner Up: Orijen Dry Cat Food

ORIJEN Dry Cat Food
Features whole-prey animal inclusions like meat, organs, cartilage, and bone providing your cat with the most nutrient-dense, succulent parts of the prey.
Up to 90%* premium animal ingredients, providing a strong source of essential protein, vitamins, and minerals.
First 5 ingredients are chicken, turkey, whole mackerel, turkey giblets, and flounder.

If you look at the ingredients list of a bag of Orijen cat food, you might consider eating it yourself. It is packed full of animal proteins in their most wholesome form. That is because Orijen prides itself on creating pet foods that are most like that of a cat’s natural diet. These foods are made from 90% animal protein sources and just 10% fruits and vegetables to provide necessary nutrients.

What these ingredients amount to is 40% protein and 20% fat. This will help your kitty gain the right kind of weight by providing the necessary energy and plenty of lean muscle-building power. This food is also fresh and tasty, with real freeze-dried liver coating every kibble for a flavor that your kitty will love.

With food this powerful, it is natural to have a strong odor. While that odor isn’t necessarily unpleasant, it may be something that surprises you or your cat. This strong odor may carry over to their litter box as well. It is also more expensive than other brands. However, due to its nutrient density, you may end up feeding less of it down the road so that the cost may balance out a bit more.


  • High-protein, moderate fat for healthy weight gain
  • High-quality ingredients from whole protein sources
  • A taste that most kitties love


  • Strong odor
  • More expensive
  • Formulated for all life stages, which makes it challenging to tailor needs for specific cats

 3.  Honorable Mention: Instinct Ultimate Protein

Instinct High Protein Cat Food
Made with raw meat, fruits, vegetables & other wholesome ingredients.
Never cooked and less processed than other pet food—keeping valuable nutrients intact.
Nutrient Dense: Raw, uncooked foods retain natural flavors, antioxidants, amino acids & vitamins and minerals.

Instinct cat foods believe that raw feeding is the ultimate in natural and digestible nutrition. That’s why every dry kibble is coated with raw, freeze-dried meat. This helps improve the taste and increases digestibility by decreasing the amount of processing. Increased digestibility is important so that your cat can easily glean all of the available nutrients from their food without their guts having to work overtime. This is especially important for older kitties or those with digestive issues, and it can come in handy for cats trying to gain weight.

Instinct Ultimate Protein brings 47% protein to your cat’s food bowl, and 95% of that protein comes from real, whole chicken. To go with that, it also has 17% fat so that your cat can put on healthy muscle weight. Instinct Ultimate Protein also contains probiotics for healthy digestion, omega fatty acids for shiny hair and soft skin, and antioxidants to boost the immune system and benefit the aging process.

This cat food from Instinct is a very high protein and nutrient-dense food. That being said, it can pack a more pungent odor than what you and your cat are used to. This goes for the litter box odor as well. It may also lead to some vomiting or diarrhea during the first few days as your cat’s body adjusts to it. This makes it especially important to very gradually transition your kitty to this food from their old food, possibly taking a couple of weeks to do so.


  • High protein, moderate fat
  • Raw, freeze-dried coating on the kibble to increase taste
  • High-quality protein from real meat


  • May have strong odor
  • More expensive
  • May cause some vomiting/diarrhea during transition

 4.  Best Canned Option: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Wellness CORE Grain Free Wet Cat Food
Includes lean meats, healthy fats, fruits and veggies with no wheat, corn or soy, and no added artificial flavors, colors, carrageenan or preservatives.
Recipe is an easy way to increase your cat's moisture intake for urinary tract health.
Created by nutritionists, veterinarians and animal lovers, to provide an ideal balance of nature's finest ingredients.

If your kitty prefers a softer texture or you’re looking for a mix-in for that dry kibble, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Canned cat food may be just what you need. This product is made with whole chicken, turkey, and liver for a high protein product. It is also high in fat to help add a little padding to your skinny kitty. These protein sources are rounded out with kelp, cranberries, and flaxseed to provide fiber, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for overall health and wellness.

The texture of Wellness CORE is a pate, meaning it is uniform in texture with no lumps or chunks to upset picky eaters. It also makes it soft for cats with dental or mouth issues and a great texture for mixing with kibble.

The big disadvantage of canned food over dry kibble is the spoilage factor. Canned food doesn’t keep as long. This means that if you have a picky eater, you may throw away more food than they’re eating. Also, quality control due to shipping can vary greatly. Be sure that any canned food smells and looks okay before feeding it to your cat.


  • High protein and high fat
  • Soft, consistent texture
  • Smells and tastes enticing


  • May end up wasting some
  • Quality control issues due to shipping
  • Expensive

 5.  Best Budget Option: Iams Proactive Health High Protein

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH High Protein Dry Cat Kibble
Real Animal Protein Is the #1 Ingredient: High-quality, natural animal protein is used in IAMS Cat Food formulas.
No artificial preservatives, no synthetic dyes, and no wheat.
Nourished with the optimal Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acid ratio for a soft, and shiny coat.

For a high-protein food without a hefty price tag, check out Iams Proactive Health High Protein cat food. With whole chicken as the main ingredient, this food brings in about 38% protein and 18% fat. Chicken and salmon make up 84% of the total protein sources, creating a more easily digestible diet.

This food is from Iams is rounded out with prebiotic fiber for optimal gut health, omega fatty acids for your cat’s skin and haircoat, and all other essential nutrients for overall health and weight gain. 

Again, high protein foods can take a bit for your kitty to settle into. This means gradual transitions to help avoid diarrhea or vomiting. Higher protein foods also have a stronger smell which can be off-putting for you and your cats. Since this cat food is lower in fat than others, it may take a little longer to see any changes in weight.


  • High protein and moderate fat
  • Uses whole chicken as the first ingredient
  • Less expensive


  • May have a strong smell
  • May cause vomiting/diarrhea during the transition

Best Cat Food for Weight Gain Buying Guide

A skinny orange-ish and white cat with very long legs is walking down a road or sidewalk.

First thing’s first, if you have a skinny cat, you need to figure out why. Schedule a visit to your veterinarian to have your cat checked out for some of the medical conditions that can cause weight loss in cats. Some of those include:

  • Parasites: Both internal and external parasites can lead to long-term weight loss or failure to gain weight
  • Kidney Disease: Cats with all stages of kidney failure may have a reduced appetite and increased water consumption and urination.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Even with a voracious appetite, cats with hyperthyroidism often continue to lose weight.
  • Bad Teeth: When it hurts to chew, most cats start to forego mealtime.
  • AgeAs cats get older, their digestive efficiency decreases, possibly causing weight loss.
  • Other Chronic Conditions: Digestive issues, diabetes, pain, heart disease, and cancer, to name a few, can lead to weight loss in cats. 

If your kitty gets a clean bill of health from your vet, their skinny figure may simply be due to not eating enough calories. This may be because they don’t like the taste or texture of their food, it’s not calorically dense enough, or they’re just not getting the proper amounts because another furry friend (or even child!) is stealing it.

What to Look for in a Cat Food for Weight Gain

Now it’s time to start looking for the right food to help them put some weight back on. For some cats, you may be able to use their current diet; just increase the amounts that they get. You may need to switch to a higher-powered version for other cats to get them the required calories. When choosing a cat food for weight gain, make sure it meets the following standards:

  • High-Protein: Cats like their meat; in fact, their bodies require it as their main energy source. Look for cat food that contains at least 30% protein from good quality meat sources rather than plant-based. This number can be higher if recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Moderate Fat: While protein may be a cat’s go-to energy source, fat provides a very condensed form. You’ll want food around 20% fat to best provide for some weight gain.
  • Quality Ingredients: Anytime you’re looking at a diet for your cat, your first step should be to find one with whole meats as the first ingredient listed—bonuses for finding one that also includes it as the second or third ingredients. Whole meats provide an easily digestible and complete source of protein. Chicken, turkey, fish, or beef are top choices if your cat isn’t allergic.
  • Your Cat Likes It: Obviously, cats aren’t going to eat food they don’t like. Choose something that your kitty will readily eat and won’t get bored of. This may take some trial and error to find the right flavor and texture. You may also want to go with a line that offers different flavors so that you can change their food to fit their tastes without changing brands.

Other Tips for Helping a Cat Gain Weight

Along with changing to one of these cat foods meant for weight gain, here are some tips you can try to help your feline friend plump up a bit.

  • Feed Smaller Meals: Give your cat the option of free choice feeding, if that’s possible, otherwise offer smaller, more frequent meals. This may help kitties with digestive sensitivities to better regulate and increase the number of calories consumed. 
  • Feed Them Separately: If your house is graced with more than one cat, feeding them separately can help ensure that they get all of the food they require.
  • Change Flavors and Textures: Offer your picky eater different flavors of the same brand. You may also mix in some canned food on occasion to tantalize their taste buds.
  • Keep it Fresh: Cats don’t like yesterday’s leftovers, especially canned food. Make sure their meals are always fresh from the container. You may want to buy smaller bags of dry kibble to ensure freshness.
  • Try Kitten Food: Kitten food is packed with protein and higher in fat to fuel those growing, active bodies. Feeding an underweight adult cat kitten food is a way of increasing calories without decreasing quality. 
  • Soup Up the Supplements: If all else fails, speak to your veterinarian about weight gain supplements and appetite stimulants.

When starting your kitty on a weight gain regime, it’s essential that you choose something that can be decreased over time in case it goes too far in the other direction. If you start free-choice feeding, for example, be sure that you can easily go back to timed meals should your kitty start to get on the thick side. 

Final Thoughts

With all the attention that obesity and weight gain gets in our feline friends, it’s important to remember that there are some kitties in need of a little nutritional boost. Choosing one of these best cat foods for weight gain is a big step in your cat’s weight gain journey. Along with a diet change, a trip to your veterinarian and some of these other helpful weight gain tips may be in order.

The Best Cheap Cat Food: Four Cat Food Picks Under $25

A Gray Scottish Fold cat eating cat food in an orange bowl on a table

We all want our feline friends to be strong, happy, and live long lives. One of the best ways to ensure this is with a high-quality, healthy diet. The problem is that sometimes those high-quality diets carry a price tag that is beyond our means. Fortunately, there are some cheaper cat food options available to us. I’ll cover the best four cat foods under $25 for a 16-pound bag so that you can nourish your cat without deflating your wallet.

1. Best Overall: Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend With Real Chicken or Salmon

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food
Real Salmon/Chicken Is The #1 Ingredient.
Contains no artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers.
100% Complete And Balanced Nutrition For Adult Cats.

This Purina ONE cat food is an excellent choice because the first ingredient is real chicken or salmon and no artificial flavors or preservatives. 

This provides a high-quality source of protein. It contains 34% protein and 13% fat. This will fuel your kitty through any activity, no matter how hyperactive or laid-back they are, without significantly contributing to obesity.

Purina ONE Tender Selects is also a veterinary formulated product that provides all essential nutrients, including omega fatty acids for a healthy haircoat and skin and taurine for heart health. It also features uniquely shaped kibble that promotes healthy, clean teeth and gums. There are also “bonus” pieces, where the name tender selects comes from, that are meatier, softer texture chunks.

As with any cat food, some cats won’t be interested. This could be due to a flavor or texture issue. Unfortunately for some cats, because this product from Purina ONE contains chicken, it can cause issues for cats with food allergies. However, there is also a salmon version flavor if chicken is a problem for your cat.


  • Real chicken/salmon as the first ingredient
  • Added omega fatty acids 
  • High protein content
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives


  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Can affect cats with food allergies related to chicken (for chicken recipe)

2. Runner Up: IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Adult Original With Chicken/Salmon

Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food (Chicken & Salmon Recipes)
100% complete and balanced nutrition with 0% fillers.
Real chicken or salmon is the #1 ingredient.
Maintains healthy digestion with natural fiber and prebiotics.

Another great option for those on a budget is IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Adult cat food made with chicken as the first ingredient. Real chicken, plus chicken by-product meal, contributes to this food’s 32% protein content. It’s a little higher in fat, at 15%, making it more ideal for active or younger kitties than the more sedentary types.

To round it out, IAM Proactive Health Healthy Adult also packs in omega fatty acids for a healthy haircoat and skin, prebiotics and fiber to balance the gut for healthy digestion. Fiber also contributes to a cat’s feeling of fullness after a meal, reducing the amount that they eat (and beg). Other varieties, including urinary tract health and indoor formula, are available if your kitty has other specific needs.

This product does contain chicken and corn, which could create issues for cats with digestive sensitivities or allergies (salmon recipe also is available). Some pet owners also have issues with their cats not liking the taste or texture. Quality control can also be an issue, especially with larger batches and depending on the supplier. Just be sure to always inspect your cat’s food before feeding it to them to make sure there is no mold or bugs.


  • Real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Fiber and prebiotics for healthy digestion
  • Omega fatty acids to improve haircoat and skin


  • Quality issues with some bags containing mold
  • Contains chicken and corn
  • Some cats don’t like it

3. Best for Active Cats: Kirkland Signature Chicken & Rice

Kirkland Signature Chicken and Rice Cat Food
Probiotics & prebiotics help support healthy digestive and immune systems.
Kibble size is optimized for your cat and helps keep their teeth clean.
Made using fresh chicken and is the #1 ingredient.

If your cat doesn’t have an “off” button, Kirkland Signature Chicken & Rice is for them. This less expensive food contains chicken and chicken meal as the first ingredients. It also contains 20% fat, which helps to fuel those “go-at-all-costs” kinds of cats. Along with that high fat, there is also an adequate 30% protein to help maintain muscle mass and tone. This food would also be a good choice for outdoor cats.

Human-grade, cultured probiotics are another key ingredient in this food from Kirkland Signature. Along with prebiotic fiber, probiotics help to create and maintain a healthy microbiome for optimal digestion. Your cat may also benefit from the added omega fatty acids and antioxidants for a healthy haircoat, skin, and immune system.

Switching to new cat foods can cause digestive upset in some cats. This food is no different. Some cats may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and smelly stools when switching to this food. That’s why it’s essential to gradually transition your cat to any new food to allow their digestive system time to acclimate. Also, some cats may just not like this food. Kirkland Signature is only available through Costco, which requires a membership for purchase. You can check out this product on their website here: Kirkland Signature Chicken & Rice


  • High in fat for active or outdoor cats
  • Real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Probiotics and prebiotics for healthy digestion


  • May cause diarrhea and vomiting at first
  • Some cats don’t like it
  • Requires a Costco membership

4. Best Cheap Canned Food: Fancy Feast Creamy Delights

Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food
100% complete and balanced for adult cats.
Easily digestible.
Comes in many recipes and flavors.

For a softer cat food variety to use as a mix-in, Fancy Feast Creamy Delights will give your kitty a protein boost along with a great taste, all at a low cost. This variety pack contains four different flavors to appease even picky tastebuds and to provide much-needed fluids. Meat and liver are the first ingredients to provide a high-protein meal.

There is also a variety of textures in this canned cat food. Some flavors provide a soft pate-style food, while the other is chunks of meat in gravy. All varieties are highly digestible and easily chewed for cats with sensitive stomachs or dental issues.

Since this is a variety pack with different flavors and textures, there is a chance that some cats won’t like all four flavors. However, that can be easily fixed by buying single flavors of Fancy Feast Creamy Delights. This product also contains a small amount of milk, which can be an issue for cats with allergies or lactose intolerance.


  • High protein
  • Easily digestible
  • Contains meat in the first two ingredients


  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Contains milk
  • Won’t help clean teeth like dry kibble

Cheap Cat Food Buying Guide

A woman’s hand can be seen opening up a can of cat food while a grey cat with black stripes looks on.

There is a difference in the quality of cat foods out there on the market. Usually, that difference comes with a price variation, with higher-priced foods generally being considered better. That isn’t always the case, and that doesn’t mean that lower-priced cat foods can’t still work for your cat.

What is the Difference Between Expensive and Cheaper Cat Foods?

The difference in the price tag of cat food is generally based on the quality of the ingredients. Higher quality ingredients come with a higher price tag. Higher quality ingredients include whole meats, usually locally or regionally sourced, whole vegetables, and whole grains. Cheaper cat foods may also contain whole products, but most will also use by-products or meat meals as protein sources. While these ingredients are generally considered to provide inferior nutrition, that’s not always the case.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, is the regulating body for pet foods. They determine if pet food meets the nutritional requirements that animals need to survive. They also define what meat by-products and meat meals used in pet foods are. 

Contrary to popular belief, these are not the bits scraped off the floor at the end of processing. By-products and meals contain tissues other than muscle, such as organ meat and fats, that can provide quite a lot of nutrition. They don’t include hair, hooves, teeth, or feces. 

There is a difference in the quality of by-products and meals, but that doesn’t mean that they should be looked down on from a nutritional standpoint. And, let’s face it, cats in the wild eat these kinds of things all of the time.

Foods that are considered organic or “natural” also are typically higher priced. 

What to Look for in a Cheaper Cat Food

Cheaper cat food can still provide all of the necessary nutrients to help your cat thrive; you just need to know what to look for. With that in mind, compare labels across cat food brands that fit your budget. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Ingredients: The quality of the ingredients has a lot to do with the price of cat food. Look for products that contain whole ingredients, specifically meats and grains. Ingredients on a cat food label are listed by quantity, meaning that a food will contain more of those ingredients listed first, second, and so on. Check for a food containing meat, ideally as the first ingredient in kibble or as the first or second ingredient in canned. There is some controversy on the addition of grains to cat foods since cats are obligate carnivores and need to eat meat instead of carbohydrates. However, even cats in the wild consume some grains that help provide fiber, protein, and other important nutrients. So, if your cat isn’t allergic to grains, it’s okay if their cat food contains a small amount.
  2. AAFCO Approval: Again, AAFCO determines if a food is nutritionally adequate for healthy cats. So, make sure that the food you choose is AAFCO approved. This just helps ensure that a cat food isn’t significantly lacking anything significant.
  3. Guaranteed Analysis: This part of the cat food label breaks down the content of different nutrients into percentages. You’ll want to look for a food around 25-32% protein and anywhere from 8-15% fat depending on your cat’s activity level. Also, finding a cat food that is lower in phosphorus may have some benefit in preventing kidney disease down the road.
  4. Feeding Recommendations: Different cat foods are going to have different feeding recommendations. This means that you will need to feed more of some foods to provide the listed number of calories. This becomes important when comparing prices since some more expensive foods may require smaller amounts, making them last longer than cheaper foods. 
  5. Artificial Ingredients: You may notice that more expensive cat foods tend to be brown, while cheaper foods may come in a rainbow of colors. This is due to artificial colors, flavors, or other additives. 

Your cat doesn’t care what color their cat food is, and some of those artificial additives can be detrimental to your cat. Your best bet is to steer clear of any additional additives that your cat just doesn’t need, including color, flavor, and preservatives.

Even with this information, the process of choosing a less expensive cat food can still boggle the mind. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian. Your vet should be an important member of your cat’s life, including nutritional counseling, and most are more than happy to recommend their top picks for any price range.

Final Thoughts

The importance of nutrition for the health and longevity of cats is a hot and important topic that has fortunately led to the creation of a variety of quality cat foods for any budget. Just because you can’t afford the pricier brands doesn’t mean that your cat’s diet has to suffer. Hopefully, this guide will help you choose a quality cat food that your kitty will enjoy with a price tag that your wallet can handle.

The Best Cat Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth

A older, yellow and white cat sitting on top of an open book with reading glasses on top of the book.

We all want to help our feline friends age gracefully. We’ll go as far as buying them memory foam or heated beds to help ease those senior aches and pains, or even get them a set of stairs to help them climb onto your bed or furniture. 

But one area that we may be neglecting in the kitty aging process is their teeth. 50-90% of cats older than four have some form of dental disease, including gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth resorption. Many people don’t even think about trying to find the best cat food for their older cat with bad teeth. So, how do you choose a cat food that won’t cause further dental concerns?  

Best Overall Choice: Purina Pro Plan Senior Canned Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Senior Canned Wet Cat Food
Specially formulated wet food for older cats (11+) made with real tuna and salmon.
Easier to chew while providing increased hydration to help keeps joints & bones healthy.

If your older kitty already is suffering from some mouth soreness, chances are you’ll be looking for a canned food that is a little gentler on the teeth and gums. When it comes to canned food, it’s hard to beat the quality and affordability of Purina Pro Plan. It’s packed with whole-meat protein, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and all of the vitamins and minerals your kitty needs to stay at the top of their health.

Not only is this canned formula nutritious and easy to chew, but it also comes in a wide variety of flavors so that you can keep even picky senior cats interested in eating. This is something that becomes more and more difficult to do with bad teeth. This isn’t a pate type of food; there is some texture to it so that your cat won’t become bored with a puree either.

Most of Purina Pro Plan Senior canned cat food flavors contain fish, which could be a problem if your cat is allergic or if you don’t like the smell. It can smell up your house if you’re feeding a lot of it.


  • Soft, easy to eat consistency
  • Variety of flavors
  • High in protein and other nutrients


  • Contains fish which some cats can be allergic to
  • Can have a strong smell

Best Kibble Style Food: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Senior Indoor Cat Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Cats
#1 Veterinarian Recommended and made with natural ingredients.
Specially formulated to provide optimal levels of nutrients for eye, heart, kidney & joint health for senior cats.

If your cat’s dental problems are not too bad and can still be saved, considering a dry kibble may actually help treat and prevent these issues from becoming worse. Hill’s Senior Indoor dry kibble cat food is triangular shaped and thicker to mechanically help clean your cat’s teeth while they chew. 

This food contains fiber amounts properly formulated for indoor cats meaning it is highly digestible to create less waste in the litter box. The high fiber also helps to promote digestive regularity and a correct caloric balance to accommodate an indoor lifestyle without leading to weight gain and muscle loss in old age. 

Hill’s Senior Indoor cat food also contains proper amounts of antioxidants and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and hair, to help decrease inflammation, and boost the immune system.

With dry kibble that is thick and triangular, senior kitties with painful mouths will have trouble eating it. This food would be better suited for cats with dental disease that are still able to chew their food. 


  • Kibble shape helps remove plaque and tartar
  • Decreased litter box waste
  • Proper nutrition for older cats


  • May be difficult to chew for some cats
  • Some cats may not like it

Best Grain Free Option: Instinct Grain-Free Wet Cat Food Pate

Instinct Grain Free Wet Cat Food Pate
Made with 95% animal protein (cage free chicken, cage free duck, or wild caught salmon) and 5% vegetables, fruits and other wholesome ingredients.
Made without grain, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.

If your cat would rather not eat grains, Instinct Wet Cat food is the way to go. This food is designed for all life stages, including older kitties. The pate texture makes it a great no-chew type food for those cats with sore mouths that may turn up their noses at other foods. 

The standout of Instinct cat food is the protein. It boasts that 95% of this food is made from whole meat, making it a highly digestible protein source to promote muscle maintenance in old age. It is then balanced with fruits and vegetables to complete the nutrient profile. It also comes in many different flavors, including duck, chicken, and salmon, to keep your senior cat’s tastebuds on their toes and keep them interested in what’s in their food bowl.

However, you may need to check your sources if you order this product online. Some people have had this product arrive spoiled even before the expiration date. While this is more likely due to the distributor than the manufacturer, you’ll still want to be careful and check out every can before giving it to your cat.


  • Highly digestible protein
  • Lots of flavors
  • Pate texture is easy on teeth
  • Grain-free


  • Possible spoilage problems

Most Variety: Purina Fancy Feast

Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food
100% complete and balanced nutrition, special formulas for older cats.
Purina offers a lot of product options and flavors for your cat.

With older kitties, the severity of their dental issues can vary by the day. Because of this, somedays your cat may feel like eating kibble, and some days they may need something softer, like canned food. This is where Purina Fancy Feast has you covered. They offer a wide range of senior cat foods from dry kibbles, to pates, to minced or shredded meat. Along with the variety in textures, this food comes a variety in flavors, such as chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, liver, and trout-just, to name a few.

The different textures of Purina Fancy Feast allow you to mix and match foods depending on how your cat’s mouth is feeling and is also packed with protein, antioxidants, and the proper balance of vitamins and minerals to keep senior cats’ bodies healthy. It’s grain-free as well, should your cat need that option.

There have been some quality control issues with Fancy Feast as well, especially the canned formulas. This is more than likely on the distributor than the manufacturer, but you never can be too careful what you are feeding your cat. As with any brand of food, always inspect each can and bag before feeding.


  • Variety of textures to suit any dental condition
  • Variety of flavors to entice picky eaters
  • Grain-free


  • Cans have been known to arrive spoiled before the expiration date

Best Treats: Delectables Lickable Wet Cat Treats:

Hartz Lickable Wet Cat Treats
Small wet flakes that are easy for senior cats to enjoy, with added Vitamin E and B vitamins to supports the health of older cats.
Also provides hydration, and is free of grain, fillers, preservatives, and by-products.

If you like to give your furry baby snacks or rewards, the DelectablesLickable Wet Cat Treats are easy to chew for sore mouths and provide the necessary moisture that most older cats crave. There’s also a variety of textures so that your cat can choose which they are comfortable chewing without sacrificing any nutrition.

This treat isn’t just empty calories. Other than water, it can provide protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without fillers, preservatives, or by-products. The variety of flavors compliment the variety of textures, giving your cat exactly what they are craving when they are craving it. Another plus is that they come in a squeezable pouch, making it easy for you to bond with your cat while giving them a treat.

This wet cat treat comes in many textures and consistencies, and some cat parents didn’t like the look of the creamier types. The meat pieces are blended in with the gravy, making more of a puree, which is great for cats with bad teeth but not so great to look at. Some people also don’t like the smell of them.


  • Easy to eat treat
  • Variety of textures and flavors
  • Allows for interaction while feeding your cat


  • The smell can bother some people
  • Some people may find the look of it unappetizing

Buying Guide for Cat Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth

A grey and black cat eating soft cat food from a plate on the ground. Next to it is another plate with dry cat food on it.

When your older kitty suffers from dental disease or bad teeth, the food you choose has to solve multiple problems. It needs to meet an older cat’s nutrition requirements and be safe and gentle on the teeth. Bonus points are given if the food can help improve dental health. So, see how you can find the right multimodal cuisine for your cat.  

Senior Cat Nutrition

A cat face shaped bowl that has cat food in it (3 different colors: orange, yellow, and brown).

Before we get into which foods are best for our senior kitties with bad teeth, let’s do a quick overview of senior cat nutrition. Our older kitties require some special treatment when it comes to their diet, including:

  1. Digestible Protein: Cats need protein, even more so in older kitties. Diets high in protein help maintain muscle mass and provide energy but with less chance of becoming overweight. Older kitties need a highly digestible protein due to their decreased digestive efficiency. Highly digestible proteins come from ingredients like real, whole meats rather than plant-based protein sources.
  2. Antioxidants: Ingredients like vitamin E help reduce and repair oxidative damage to cells, a process that occurs with age in all animals. Antioxidants can be used to prolong cognitive dysfunction, or dementia, in kitties as well.
  3. Healthy Fats: Rather than cutting fats out of an older cat’s diet, you need to be sure to provide healthy fats that contain proper amounts of omega fatty acids. These fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin and coat.
  4. Moisture: Older kitties need more moisture in their food to help combat lower kidney function and prevent dehydration.

Dental Care for Cats

A grey, white cat with black stripes is holding a toothbrush in its paw and is brushing its on teeth.

We all understand that it is much easier to prevent an illness or health issue than treat one. Dental disease is no different. While most of us already find ourselves in the treatment stage, it’s essential to understand how to prevent dental disease.

First and foremost, get your veterinarian involved. Annual or bi-annual exams are a great time to get your vet’s eyes on your cat’s teeth. They will be able to spot the early stages of dental disease, as well as recommend a cleaning routine that will be manageable for both you and your cat.

It’s recommended to brush your cat’s teeth daily or at least three times a week. If this sounds crazy and unattainable to you, remember that every little bit helps. If once a week fits your schedule better, then once a week it is. 

Brushing helps remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup, leading to bad breath and inflammation of the gums and connective tissues surrounding the teeth. It can also prevent tooth loss and give you a chance to catch the little things before they turn into more serious issues.

The next step is a professional cleaning. Even with regular brushing, there may be buildup that is unreachable by a toothbrush. Professional cleanings require sedation or anesthesia and will give vets a chance to get a good look at your cat’s dental health, remove any problem teeth, and treat any lingering gum issues.

Cat Food For Cats With Bad Teeth

A black, white, and orange-brownish cat looking at the food in a bowl being held by a man sitting down.

Finally, the food that your older kitty eats can have a significant impact on their oral health. Let’s look at that in detail.

  1. Texture: Most of the time, it’s recommended to feed your kitty hard kibble as the manual crunching helps to naturally clean teeth and prevent tartar buildup. However, in cats with severe forms of dental disease, hard kibble might be too painful to eat, causing them not to eat their food. For these kitties, soft or canned food may be more comfortable and enticing.
  2. Shape and Size: Generally, larger kibble means more chewing, which leads to cleaner teeth. Most dental diets for cats will feature larger or more triangular-shaped kibble to encourage chewing to get as much tartar and plaque off as possible.
  3. On the flip side, if your kitty has a sore mouth, smaller sized kibble may work better for less painful chewing.
  4. Additives: Some dental diets will use special ingredients to help reduce tartar, plaque, and bad breath-causing bacteria buildup while promoting dental health. Some of those include sodium tripolyphosphate, zinc, and green tea.

Final Thoughts

Bad teeth, or dental disease, is a common ailment of older kitties. Finding the best food for your older cat with bad teeth can be challenging, depending on their stage of dental disease. Some food will work better to prevent dental issues, while some are better suited for those that already have pain and discomfort. Always look to your veterinarian to guide you through the best nutrition for your older cat with bad teeth.

The Best 5 Senior Cat Foods

Older black cat with white patches lying down on the floor looking off to the side


What Kind of Food Should Older Cats Eat?

It might be surprising to know that cats can live to be well into their twenties. This is likely due to readily available advanced medical knowledge, early detection of disease, progressive therapies for diagnosed conditions, and readily available high-quality food that we can offer our feline friends. While age isn’t a disease, an older cat is more prone to illnesses and infections. By providing them with a nutritious diet and supporting them in their senior years, we can make those years happy and healthy.

In this article, we will focus on nutrition for the senior cat. A cat is considered a senior from 11 years of age until about 14 years old. They are considered geriatric after that. Many changes come with age for a senior or geriatric cat. We will get into all those important details, but first, let’s look at some veterinarian-recommended diets for aging cats.

1.  Best Overall Senior Cat Food:  BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Indoor Mature Cat

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free, Natural Indoor Mature Dry Cat Food
An excellent choice for senior cats with food sensitivities (grain free and no artificial flavors or preservatives.

BLUE indoor mature offers a great balance of macronutrients with a moderate amount of protein, low fat, and high fiber. This is a limited ingredient food, which makes it easy on the stomach, especially in cats with food sensitivities. While the Basics brand doesn’t have any senior-specific canned food, BLUE carries several other lines of canned food for mature cats.

Macronutrients for This Diet:

  • Crude Protein Min: 28%
  • Crude Fat Min: 12%
  • Crude Fiber Max: 7%


  • Limited ingredient diet, which is excellent for cats with sensitive stomachs.
  • Deboned turkey is the first ingredient and a healthy protein source.
  • Fish oil for added omega fatty acids to support the skin, hair coat, heart, and joints.
  • Added amino acids taurine and L-Carnitine can support heart health.
  • Moderately priced


  • Only 28% crude protein, which is the lowest compared to the other brands on this list.
  • No wet food option and the other BLUE brand wet foods all contain chicken so limited protein variety.


2.  Best Senior Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs:  Purina Pro Plan PRIME PLUS 7+

Purina Pro Plan PRIME PLUS Adult 7+ Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food
This proprietary blend helps to support a strong immune system, maintain lean body mass, and is proven to improve & extend the life of cats age 7 years and older.

Backed by 9 years of research.

Purina is a well-known brand of cat food and a leader in its field. Purina has a staff of veterinarians and nutritionists who dedicate their efforts to conduct research and studies to produce high-quality foods. This food has two protein varieties, one with salmon as the primary protein source, which makes it ideal for cats who have food sensitivities. The other type is with chicken. This senior diet also includes several different varieties of delicious canned food.

Macronutrients for This Diet:

  • Crude Protein Min: 38%
  • Crude Fat Min: 17%
  • Crude Fiber Max: 2.5%


  • Reliable company
  • Salmon is the first ingredient
  • Added taurine for heart health
  • Includes omega fatty acids to support the skin, hair coat, heart, and joints
  • Beta carotene and vitamin E are included as antioxidants
  • High protein diet


  • Low fiber content


3.  Best Senior Cat Food on a Budget:  IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Senior

IAMS™ Proactive Health Healthy Senior
For those on a budget but still want a quality food from a trusted brand.

100% complete & balanced adult nutrition with 0% fillers.

IAMS is another reliable company that produces good quality diets. Their senior cat diet has added antioxidants, taurine, and omega fatty acids. Its affordable price makes it a great option if you are feeding a senior cat but need to stick to a budget. They don’t compromise quality for the price.

Macronutrients for This Diet:

Crude Protein Min: 34%

Crude Fat Min: 17%

Crude Fiber Max: 3%


  • High-quality diet at an affordable price
  • Chicken is the number one ingredient
  • Added Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate to support healthy joints


  • Low fiber content
  • Only one wet food flavor
  • Both the wet food and dry food come in only one flavor, chicken. There are no other protein options


4.  Best Senior Cat Food for Indoor Cats:  Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Indoor

Hill's Science Diet Adult 11+ Indoor cat food
An excellent option for indoor cats over 11 years or older.

Natural high quality, easy-to-digest ingredients and natural fiber to support digestive health.

Hill’s Science Diet brings us an additional trusted pet food brand where the “science” in the name rings true with backed science and research in every diet. Science Diet breaks down their cat’s life stages into kitten, adult 1+, adult 7+, and adult 11+, giving specific age groups the appropriate nutrition. This diet has a higher amount of fiber to help the digestive system. There is a higher fat content in this food, so watch your overweight kitties. There is a canned wet food option (tuna & carrot) for the adult 11+ product. The Science Diet Youthful Vitality line has two varieties in chicken and salmon in both pate and stew forms.

Macronutrients for This Diet:

  • Crude Protein Min: 34.7%
  • Crude Fat Min: 20.9%
  • Crude Fiber Max: 8.5%


  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • High protein content
  • High fiber to support the gastrointestinal tract and healthy stool
  • Added vitamin C and E
  • Includes Omega fatty acids and amino acids


  • Contains a high-fat content, which is not ideal for cats prone to weight gain.
  • Added grain and corn gluten as the second and third ingredients.


Great Basic Senior Cat Food  Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Cat Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor and Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food
A simple and basic choice that is a good value for the price.

No corn, wheat, soy protein, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Nutro provides a well-balanced senior cat food with only the chicken and rice flavor. This is an excellent option for an affordable, basic senior cat food. The chicken provides a high-quality protein source, and there are added fish oils, vitamin E, and taurine.

Macronutrients for This Diet:

  • Crude Protein Min: 36%
  • Crude Fat Min: 17%
  • Crude Fiber Max: 6%


  • The first ingredient is chicken, followed by chicken meal
  • Added fish oil for omega fatty acids
  • Includes taurine, an essential amino acid
  • Affordable option


  • No canned food option specifically for senior cats
  • Only one main protein variety (chicken)


Runner Up Senior Cat Food:  Wild Frontier Senior Ancestral Diet

No products found.

The Nutro brand has a new line called Wild Frontier Senior Ancestral Diet. This is a grain-free, limited ingredient, quality cat food containing chicken, salmon, and Menhaden fish. It has a high protein content at 42% and includes added taurine, omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and DHA. This is a newer brand, so it has limited research, but the brand does pay attention to renewable energy and zero waste, which is an added benefit. They have several wet food varieties, but not specific for senior cats.

Macronutrients for This Diet:

  • Crude Protein Min: 42%
  • Crude Fat Min: 18%
  • Crude Fiber Max: 4%


  • Incredibly high protein for a dry cat food
  • Chicken is the first ingredient followed by chicken meal
  • Limited ingredients that are beneficial to senior cats


  • This is a newer brand, so research is limited


Best Food For Senior Cats:  Essential Information and GuideA big, fluffy, yellow cat eating from a white bowl with spiral designs on the floor with an open door in the background

Cats have specific and targeted dietary needs as they reach their senior golden years. Choosing the right food to meet these nutritional requirements can be an overwhelming and daunting process with many different options on the pet store shelf.

Here are some things to consider when selecting a quality, balanced, senior cat food:


Wet Food Versus Dry FoodA un-canned portion of wet cat food on top a pile of dry cat food with a white background

While dry food provides a nice crunch, a senior cat should also be offered wet food to increase calories and hydration.

Cats have specific hydration needs, and seniors can suffer from dehydration. This is especially true if they suffer from kidney disease. As such, additional moisture is beneficial in any way we can provide it to them. Wet, or canned food, is a great option for senior cats. It has a higher moisture content to battle dehydration. It is highly palatable, so older cats losing their sense of smell or taste will find it more attractive. It is also soft, making it easy on sensitive old-cat teeth.

Some cats will prefer one versus the other but ideally offer both.


High Protein

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they rely on nutrients in animal products, including high amounts of protein. Cats have a higher protein requirement than other mammals, up to five times higher than dogs!

As cats age, they are prone to muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia or muscle atrophy. Choosing a diet with a high protein content is essential.


Low Carbohydrate

Look for a food that is low in carbohydrates. Cats don’t digest carbs as easily as dogs and humans. Again, this goes back to cats being obligate carnivores.


Decreased Phosphorus

This is most important in cats with kidney disease. When the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, phosphorus builds up in the blood. For these cats, choose a diet that contains lower phosphorus levels.


Decreased Sodium

Low salt content is most important for cats who have been diagnosed with or are prone to kidney disease, heart disease, and hypertension.


Increased Antioxidants

Antioxidants are beneficial to fight inflammation and support the immune system. Examples include vitamin E and beta-carotene.


High Fiber Content

Increased fiber in a diet helps cats prone to constipation and diarrhea, both common gastrointestinal conditions in senior cats.

High fiber content may not be right if your cat is prone to weight loss or needs to gain weight since higher fiber diets typically have fewer calories. A high fiber diet is good for your cat if she needs to lose weight for this reason.


Highly Digestible

A senior cat’s diet needs to be highly digestible. This is because their gastrointestinal tract is more sensitive, and with age, they have more trouble digesting fat and protein. This makes a cat’s energy requirements increase compared to a younger cat.



A lower calorie food is ideal for an overweight senior cat. Obesity is a negative prognostic indicator in seniors due to the increased risk of diabetes and arthritis.

Choose a higher calorie diet if your cat is prone to weight loss, has trouble keeping on weight, or is too skinny overall.

Make sure to measure your cat’s food, whether they are overweight or underweight. This will let you know exactly how much you are offering them and how much they eat, which gives you numeric information to keep track of.

Use the feeding guideline written on your cat’s bag of food as a loose guide or a place to start. This may need adjusting based on your goals for your cat’s weight.



Senior cats often lose their sense of smell and taste. Choose a highly palatable and tasty (sometimes smelly) food to encourage them to eat.

It can sometimes help to let wet food warm up to room temperature if kept in the fridge.


Common Medical Conditions in Senior CatsFemale veterinarian using a stethoscope on a brown and black Siamese cat lying down on a metal examination table in a vet office

As previously mentioned, older cats are more prone to various diseases. It is extremely important that you take your cat in for routine veterinary checkups. For a senior cat, this should include a yearly physical examination and yearly routine laboratory work such as a fecal test, urinalysis, complete blood count (CBC), serum chemistry, and thyroid screening. Regular dental cleanings are also crucial to their overall health. Your veterinarian can detect early diseases with physical exams and tests and will be a great asset to you in your effort to keep your cat living a long and happy life. If you are ever concerned about the health of your cat, take her to see your veterinarian.

Here are some common clinical signs and conditions to look out for in your senior cat:

  • Weight gain/obesity
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle loss/atrophy/sarcopenia
  • Dental disease
    • Commonly seen as tartar buildup, gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue), difficulty chewing or eating, grinding the teeth, spitting out hard food.
  • Chronic kidney disease
    • Owners will often notice signs such as weight loss, loss of appetite, drinking more water than normal, urinating more than normal, clear or dilute urine, or vomiting.
  • Hyperthyroidism
    • Common signs include increased vocalization (more meowing than normal), weight loss despite a great or even ravenous appetite, and vomiting.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases such as cancer or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
    • Clinical presentation is often seen as problems with digestion, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, or inappetence.
  • Diabetes
    • Owners will note weight loss or weight gain, drinking more water than normal, urinating large amounts and frequently, or sticky urine.
  • Arthritis
    • Owners might notice difficulty jumping up or down, lameness, or soreness.
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease


Commonly Asked QuestionsPeople of different backgrounds raising their hands (only their arms are visible) with different colored questions marks above them

1.  Why buy a senior food and what is different about it compared to adult cat food?

  • Senior cat food includes a high protein, high fiber, and low-fat diet. It contains added amino acids, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and joint support for a senior cat’s specific nutrition requirements. They are highly digestible and palatable foods.

2.  Does my senior cat need vitamins?

  • A senior cat should not require added vitamins if feeding a nutritionally balanced diet.
  • Added vitamins or minerals may help older cats if they have a particular disease requiring such supplementation. Make sure to consult your veterinarian about this.

3.  What other supplements will benefit my senior cat?

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin
    • These supplements support the joints and provide cartilage health benefits.
    • This is a great supplement to help a cat suffering from arthritis.
  • Laxatone
    • This is a molasses-like supplement that helps move hairballs through the gastrointestinal tract. This helps in reducing the frequency of vomiting hairballs.
  • Fish oil
    • Fish oil provides a great source of omega fatty acids to support the skin, hair coat, heart, brain, and joints.

4. How can I provide my cat with more water and better hydration?

  • Canned or wet diets
    • These diets have higher moisture and water content.
  • Fountains
    • Some cats prefer soft running water and will drink more from a fountain
  • Water bowls
    • Provide several fresh and clean water bowls throughout the house.
  • Drinking from the faucet
    • Cats that prefer drinking running water may enjoy drinking out of a faucet.
  • Make sure to provide options!
    • Always have at least one fresh water bowl, if not several, and provide other sources of fresh water.


Foods to Avoid for Senior CatsGrey cat with black stripes and white patches drinking milk from a small saucer on the floor

  • Canned fish
    • Many sources of canned fish have high mercury content and can lead to neurologic diseases. Avoid canned fish in oil and choose the fish in water instead.
  • Raw diet
    • Raw or homemade diets are many times deficient in essential nutrients a senior cat requires.
    • The risk of a poorly balanced diet is significantly increased.
    • There is a higher risk of infectious diseases to your cat, such as toxoplasmosis.
    • Preparing a raw diet presents the increased risk for foodborne illness for pet owners.
  • Milk
    • Despite the common myth that cats should drink milk, cats are actually lactose intolerant and drinking milk often causes a cat to get an upset stomach, and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, or bad gas.

As always, consult your veterinarian if you have any specific concerns about your senior cat’s health. They can also guide you with selecting the most appropriate diet. No matter what, enjoy those golden cat years and cherish every minute with your beloved feline friend!

The Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Owner holding bowl of cat food with black cat waiting in the background


What Food Should I Give My Cat With a Sensitive Stomach?

Voracious Vomiter, Constant Constipator, or Diligent Diarrhea are all nicknames that could describe kitties with sensitive stomachs. Add to that a decreased appetite, and you have the full gamut of sensitive stomach symptoms. For kitties that chronically experience any digestive symptoms, switching to a cat food for sensitive stomachs can help relieve some of the G.I. discomfort.

Here are 5 excellent sensitive stomach cat foods to choose from.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach – The Overall Best

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach Formula Wet Cat Food
Great overall product that is easy to digest and can help decrease inflammation.

Purina Pro Plan (say that 5 times fast!) makes a cat food for sensitive skin that is high in protein, yet easy for your kitty to digest. This cat food comes in a variety of flavors (wet and dry). Both of these novel proteins are a great choice for cats suffering from digestive upset related to food or protein allergies. Novel proteins are sourced from animals or plants that are not commonly found in most other pet foods. This can reduce the chance of your cat suffering an allergic reaction due to the overexposure of a particular food.

Purina Pro Plan also contains omega fatty acids to decrease inflammation in the digestive system and to keep their skin and coat healthy and shiny. There is also plenty of prebiotic fiber to promote digestive motility. It can also be a good choice for any kitties with digestive inflammation or motility issues as the omega fatty acids and fiber will help decrease both of those issues.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach is very high in protein, which is what most cats crave. However, it can also cause a stinky litter box and weight gain in more sedentary cats. You may also need to adjust the amount you food you give your cat to keep them at a healthy weight.


  • Novel protein 
  • Omega fatty acids
  • High digestible
  • Two flavors to choose from


  • Stinky poop
  • Weight gain if not careful with portions


Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Turkey and Potato – A Good Grain-Free Option

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free, Natural Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food
A solid grain-free option with antioxidant-rich ingredients to support gentle digestion

This limited ingredient diet from Blue Buffalo uses a single protein source, either turkey or duck (in the Duck and Potato recipe). It is also grain-free, with potato being the primary carbohydrate source. This recipe also includes peas and pumpkin for added fiber. Blue Buffalo also loads its foods with LifeSource Bits, which are little nuggets packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to promote overall health. There are additional omega fatty acids in there as well to help decrease gut inflammation.

BLUE Basics Grain Free would be an excellent choice for cats with food allergies. It uses a single source, novel protein, and no grains to eliminate most food allergens. The readily available fiber from peas and pumpkin will help keep your kitty regular, and the LifeSource Bits will cover the rest of your cat’s nutritional needs.

Some of those pickier eaters might turn up their nose at this food. This could partially be due to the limited ingredients, which impacts its flavor. Or it could be that the LifeSource Bits may add a little too much variation in texture that finicky cats don’t prefer.


  • Novel protein
  • No grain
  • Easily utilizable fiber
  • Omega fatty acids and antioxidants


  • Limited ingredient diets may lack flavor
  • Some cats won’t eat it


Instinct Limited Ingredient Cat Food-Good for Food Allergies

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe Natural Cat Food
A good choice that contains no dairy, grains, potatoes, eggs, or soy products. Contains only 1 animal protein (cage-free turkey) and 1 vegetable.

A very simple food recipe to promote healthy digestion is Instinct Limited Ingredient cat food. They use only a single source of meat and vegetable to cover your cat’s protein and carbohydrate needs without a lot of ingredients that can be potential allergens or contribute to their inflammation. Instinct cat food also touts itself as a minimally processed food, giving your cat more whole foods that their wild relatives thrive on. The kibble is coated with freeze-dried bits of raw meat to add a nutritional boost without the processing that can make it less nutritious. Flavors range from rabbit and turkey to duck.

Instinct Limited Ingredient can work well for cats with food allergies or cats with inflammatory diseases. It is highly digestible and has a few simple ingredients to promote digestibility and decrease inflammation and allergens.

Possibly because this food has some raw components or because it’s very high in protein, it can create a stinker litter box. It may also color the feces a little darker, which can be worrisome at first. While enticing to some kitties, the smell of the food may be overly aromatic for those in charge of feeding it.


  • Highly digestible
  • Minimal ingredients
  • Minimal processing


  • Stinky, dark-colored poop
  • Strong smell


Royal Canin Sensitive Digestion – Good for Picky Eaters

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Sensitive Digestion Dry Adult Cat Food
Formulated for adult cats with sensitive digestive systems. The unique kibble shapes can work well for cats who are picky eaters.

Royal Canin is a highly researched brand. They put a lot of attention to every detail of their pet food products. One example of this is the use of L.I.P. (low indigestible proteins) in their sensitive digestion formulation. In order to be considered an L.I.P., products need to be over 90% digestible This food is also highly energy-dense, meaning you can feed less to your kitty, decreasing the workload on their digestive tract.

Royal Canin also pays attention to what revs a cat’s appetite and loaded this food with three different kibble shapes to give those picky eaters with texture issues something to choose from. Royal Canin Sensitive Digestion is made with chicken and grain products and includes prebiotics and probiotics to support the microbiome.

With easily digestible protein sources like L.I.P., Royal Canin Sensitive Digestion is a great choice for cats with inflammatory bowel disease or other digestive absorption issues. It allows them to get the nutrition they crave without making their gut work overtime. However, the use of chicken and grains, two common food allergens, in the recipe makes it a less likely choice for cats with food allergies.


  • Highly digestible
  • Variety of kibble shapes
  • Energy-dense
  • Contains pre and probiotics


  • Contains chicken
  • Contains grain
  • Picky eaters might not like the taste


Wellness Natural Grain-Free Salmon & Turkey-A Canned Formulation

Wellness Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food Sliced Turkey & Salmon
Uses real turkey and salmon in their grain-free formula. The gravy can also and additional healthy source of hydration.

For a canned variety of sensitive stomach cat food, look into Wellness Natural Grain Free Salmon and Turkey. It doesn’t contain grains and uses turkey and salmon as the sources of proteins. It also provides omega fatty acids and antioxidants in a canned formulation that is lower in carbs, easily digestible, and loaded with flavor.

Canned food tends to be more digestible than dry kibble as it typically contains less fillers that are necessary to give dry kibble its shape. Canned food also provides more moisture, which is important for sensitive stomach issues as a cat may not be drinking enough fluids due to discomfort. Due to its high digestibility, Wellness Natural would be a good choice for cats with any digestive issues. The limited ingredients are especially great for those cats suffering from food allergies.

This canned food from Wellness comes in meat chunks with gravy, causing some cats to eat the gravy and leave the meat bits. The sauce may be tasty, but it doesn’t contain the necessary nutrients that a cat needs, which could be a problem for picky eaters. Keep in mind that with canned foods, you face issues like earlier spoilage and the inability to leave food out all day.


  • Grain-free
  • Novel protein
  • More moisture
  • Lower carbohydrates


  • Meaty chunks may not be appetizing for some cats
  • Shorter duration of freshness


Sensitive Stomach Cat Food GuideGrey cat with yellowish eyes looking at a can cat food cautiously

A sensitive stomach in cats is more than just a little indigestion. It’s a chronic condition that can lead to frequent vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, not to mention weight loss and malnutrition. A sensitive stomach can be caused by food allergies, the inability to digest certain nutrients, or inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease. All of these issues result in inflammation in the gut. This inflammation can block nutrient absorption and cause the above symptoms as well as pain and discomfort.

Cat foods formulated for sensitive stomachs work to improve your cat’s digestive system by decreasing that inflammation and promoting digestibility. This can be done either by the avoidance of certain ingredients or through the supplementation of things like natural anti-inflammatories. With the right diet, many feline digestive issues can be reversed without medications that may have harmful side effects. Or they can be used in conjunction with medications like steroids to get a complete resolution of symptoms.


What to Look For In Sensitive Stomach Cat FoodsYellow bowl full of pet food with extra scattered outside of the bowl (on the right side)

Here are important things to consider for when choosing a sensitive stomach cat food for your fur baby.


High Digestibility

Most importantly, sensitive stomach cat foods need to be highly digestible. This means that a cat’s digestive system can easily extract nutrients without a lot of work to break down tough ingredients. Cats are carnivores and require a diet that’s very high in protein. Because of this, a feline digestive system has evolved to be very efficient at digesting protein from animal sources rather than plant sources. For cat food to be highly digestible, it needs to contain high-quality meat sources rather than plant ingredients. Whole meats are typically more easily digestible than meat by-products, so make sure the food you choose lists whole meat as at least the first ingredient.


Reduces Inflammation

Omega fatty acids are highly regarded as supplements that increase the shine and softness of your cat’s hair coat. They also help to reduce inflammation. Diets high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can help reduce the inflammation found in your cat’s digestive tract, among other places. The addition of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, can also help reduce inflammation and prevent further problems in your cat’s gut.



Fiber is important in the regulation of your cat’s bowel. This magical substance helps to bulk up waste, helping to relieve both constipation and diarrhea. Fiber is often found in those lower digestibility foods like grains and plants. However, healthy fiber can also be found in potatoes, rice, pumpkin, and green beans.


Food Allergies

Contrary to popular belief, kitties most often suffer allergies to the protein source in their diet rather than to grains or dairy. While there are some cats with grain allergies, the majority are allergic to commonly used protein sources like chicken or beef. The answer to this is a novel protein diet. This just means a new protein, something your kitty’s tummy hasn’t tasted before. Fortunately, cat food manufacturers have answered this need and produce many varieties of cat food using buffalo, venison, fish, turkey, wild game, duck, rabbit, kangaroo, and more, with great success.

The trick is to find a cat food formulation that doesn’t contain any chicken or beef products, including meals and by-products, so read your food labels carefully.


Personal Preference

Once you’ve found some sensitive stomach cat foods that seem to cover all of the criteria listed above, the next thing to consider is your cat’s personal preferences. Maybe they don’t like fish or duck, and you’ve chosen a food that only comes in those flavors. Or perhaps the kibble shape isn’t easily accessible, or the smell isn’t appetizing. Maybe it’s too expensive or hard to find, or it comes in a bag that’s so big you’ll never use it all before it goes bad. All of these are essential factors when considering a new cat food brand.

On this same note, cats may prefer table food, but that should be a big no-no for any kitty, sensitive stomach, or otherwise. Table food can be very high in fat, something that can increase inflammation in the gut. If you want to feed your cat human food, stick with cooked lean meats or whole vegetables like green beans.


What Foods Are Good or Bad for Cats with Sensitive Stomachs?Big white and grey cat in a refrigerator eating a string of sausages

Most of these are mentioned above, but let’s look at a concise recap of good and bad foods for cats with sensitive stomachs.

Good Foods

  • Whole meats, preferably a novel protein like duck, salmon, or venison
  • Fiber sources other than grains like potato, pumpkin, or beans
  • Omega fatty acids and antioxidants


Bad Foods – Avoid

  • Anything that they’re knowingly allergic to like chicken, wheat, or eggs
  • Grains that are difficult to digest like wheat, corn, or barley
  • Fatty human foods like meat scraps, hot dogs, ice cream, or cheese



Finding the perfect sensitive stomach cat food for your feline companion can sometimes feel like constant trial and error. Getting to the root of your cat’s digestive problems should be the first step in this journey. Knowing what issue you are dealing with will help you select the best food for your cat. After that, it may take a bit more trial to find a cat food that both you and your cat can agree on. Be sure to incorporate your veterinarian in this process as, after you and your family, they are the one who knows your cat the best and will be able to feed their needs with the right sensitive stomach cat food.