Food & Nutrition

Can Cats Eat Raspberries? How Safe Are They?

A square, white bowl filled with raspberries and a mint leaf on the top. There are 3 raspberries on the table next to the bowl

Raspberries are a delicious and nutritious food that we can enjoy anytime. While you indulge in this simple treat, you might wonder if your feline friend can share this snack with you. The short answer is yes. Cats can eat raspberries…

However, it isn’t as easy or as straightforward as a simple yes. There are some things you should take into consideration for your cat’s best interest.

Are Raspberries Healthy for Cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they are true carnivores, requiring meat to live. Their digestive tracts are specifically made for digesting meat. They don’t absorb nutrients from carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, and other foods like other mammals. This doesn’t mean a cat can’t digest other types of nutrients; they are simply naturally programmed for a specific diet.

That being said, the majority of a cat’s diet should be a high-quality protein. Cats can enjoy other foods in moderation. The best way to think about it is that any other foods should be considered a snack.

Non-high-quality protein foods should be considered a special treat for your cat.

This includes raspberries. If your cat is curious about your raspberries, don’t worry, they can have a little nibble. Make sure to keep it in small amounts, such as one or two on occasion.

Most cats won’t give raspberries a second thought as they aren’t necessarily the first thing their taste buds crave. As most cat owners know, cats are curious about everything, and some have quirky habits or get into things more than others.

Since cats are obligate carnivores, they don’t require any specific nutrients from fruits, including raspberries. Feeding them raspberries won’t give your cat any additional health benefits.

 

Are Raspberries Safe for Cats?

Cats can safely snack on raspberries in small amounts. Think one or two berries at a time and given infrequently. If your cat likes these sweet and tart treats, it is important that you don’t leave a large amount out in an area where your kitty can eat too many. Keep them stored in the refrigerator or a locked container out of reach.

Raspberries, as well as some other fruits, contain a natural sweetener called xylitol. This study suggests that raspberries have the highest amount of xylitol compared to other fruits. There are approximately 400 micrograms of xylitol per raspberry.

 

Why Is This a Problem for Your Pet?The word "Xylitol" and its chemical formula written over a blue background with someone's hand holding a white pen.

Xylitol is known to be a major toxin in pets, especially in dogs. It is a dose-dependent toxin, so the more xylitol consumed per pound of body weight, the more toxic it is in the body, and the more severe problems it can cause.

The main issues with xylitol in dogs are low blood sugar, liver failure, and even death at high doses. We already know that cat’s process foods differently than other animals, and xylitol is no different.

While more research needs to be done on a broader sample of cats, this 2018 study shows that xylitol poses minimal to no negative side effects in cats.

So, you can rest easy knowing that feeding your cat a raspberry or two shouldn’t cause any toxic issues. However, you don’t want to purposely feed your cat food or candy that contains high amounts of xylitol due to the unknown effects.

Since raspberries are small berries, you will want to make sure to offer it in bite-size amounts, so your cat won’t choke on it. Most cats will be more cautious about eating a new treat and will only eat small bites at a time, but if your cat loves berries, she may try to eat the berry quickly or all at once, which could pose a choking hazard.

When offering any new food or treat, make sure to closely monitor your cat when they first try a raspberry. Some cats are sensitive to certain foods, especially those with other health issues or digestive abnormalities. Watch their behavior after eating the berry. Watch for vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas, lethargy, inappetence (lack of appetite), or any other signs of illness. If you are concerned about your cat after eating raspberries, contact your veterinarian right away.

 

How Many Raspberries Can a Cat Eat?

Cats can safely eat 1-2 raspberries at a time.

 

How to Feed Raspberries to Your Cat

It is best to feed fresh raspberries to your cat without additional preservatives, added sugars, or other ingredients. If your cat likes frozen treats, then frozen raspberries, raspberries frozen in plain yogurt, chicken broth, or ice, are OK to offer your cat.

Make sure to slowly introduce raspberries (or any new food or treat) into your cat’s treat rotation. Offer them only on occasion and only small amounts.

 

What Other Fruits Can Cats Eat?A watermelon pizza: A circle made from watermelon slices, with banana slices, blueberries, possibly cottage cheese bits, and mint leaves on top.

If you’re looking to add some variety to your cat’s diet and treats, then fruit might be a good option if your kitty. Make sure to consult your veterinarian if there is any question about whether a particular fruit is safe for your cat to eat. Always do your research to determine if a particular fruit is safe before offering it to your cat. Some fruits you think are safe may actually be dangerous for your cat to consume.

While humans find fruits to be nutritious and delicious, as we already mentioned, cats are designed to only eat meat. They don’t require any particular nutrients from fruits. Adding antioxidants and vitamins found in fruits is safe and beneficial in small amounts, even if not required in their diet.

Some Fruits That Are Safe for Cats Include:

  • Apples (without the seeds since the seeds are toxic)
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon (seedless)
  • Strawberries

 

What Fruits Should Cats Avoid?Green grapes with green leaves in the background. I silver metal scoop of raisins in the center of the photo

Just as there are fruits safe for cats, there are several fruits that you should avoid access to as they are toxic to cats.

  • Cherries – the pits contain cyanide.
  • Citrus – citric acid can cause digestive upset.
  • Grapes and raisins – can cause kidney failure.

 

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%

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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%

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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%

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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%

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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%

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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%

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

 

Calories

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.

 

Palatability

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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • Highly digestible
  • Minimal ingredients
  • Minimal processing

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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

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

 

Conclusion

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.