Any cat lover knows the telltale signs of an upset stomach in their feline friend is dry heaving, gagging, and pitiful meows. While throwing up hairballs are a normal part of a healthy cat’s routine, more frequent vomiting can be as troublesome as it is stressful. Among the various reasons for this condition, food and diet are some of the most prominent causes, and also the most easily addressed. With that in mind, picking out the best cat food to prevent vomiting is a matter that every cat lover should consider when dealing with any health conditions that have their furry friends feeling under the weather.
How to Prevent Vomiting
Some of the quickest fixes to tummy troubles are also the simplest. Frequent vomiting can be a sign of dehydration, so make sure your kitty has plenty water to drink at all times of the day. If the problem lies in your cat’s other bowl, finding the right food is crucial. Food for cats with sensitive stomach issues can be found at most major pet stores, and avoiding rich treats and snacks will go a long way towards making sure your cat finds it easy to digest cat food If the problem persists, even after the transition to a sensitive stomach cat food, it may be time to arrange a visit to your veterinarian’s office, but in most cases, simply switching from rich foods and off-the-shelf standard brands to a highly digestible cat food that is designed with your cat’s dietary needs in mind will help eliminate the root of the matter and get your cat feeling better in no time at all.
Buyer’s Guide for cat food to prevent vomiting
When looking for the perfect food for your cat, there are a few key features to keep in mind that will make sure your kitty is getting the care it deserves. Whether you choose wet or dry food depends on your cat’s individual preferences, but a variety of brands keep their sensitive cat food dry, while others promote moist cat food for sensitive stomachs, so you’re sure to have a wide range of choices either way. Overall, the six most important aspects to consider when food shopping are your cat’s nature, hairball routine, food allergies or sensitivities, changes in diet, activity level, and eating habits. With these factors in mind, here are some of our favorite cat foods on the market, specifically chosen to address and treat each separate area of concern.
This is probably the single simplest reason your cat may be vomiting too much – they’ve eaten something they don’t like. Vomiting is a natural way of purging toxins, poisons, or irritants from an animal’s body, and cats are clearly no exception. Take a careful look at the ingredients in your cat’s food, and make sure there’s nothing there that could be hurting them.
Carefully formulated for sensitive stomachs
Limited ingredients – includes chicken and chickpeas for carbohydrates that can be easily broken down and makes for a food that will appeal to picky eaters
“No grain”, doesn’t include any potatoes, corn, or gluten
Simple formula makes this the best cat food for cats that vomit from overly processed food or unnatural ingredients
High-protein formula provides the energy your cat needs to keep moving throughout the day.
Because cats groom themselves all day, it’s only natural they end up swallowing some of the shed hair, and the resulting hairballs are no cause for concern. However, if your cat is vomiting more than usual, or if it seems to be coughing up more hairballs than you’re used to, it may be time to look for a new brand of sensitive stomach cat food.
Lean chicken is the base of this formula making it perfect for sensitive stomachs
Omega-3 and fatty acids help promote healthy skin and fur, which can deter hairball formation and make vomiting less common
Like the previous example, minimalist formula is great for allergies or sensitive diets
Packed with probiotics to aid in digestion and breakdown fibers, minimizing the risk of hairball vomiting at an unusual rate
Just like humans, allergies can be a serious cause of stomach issues in cats. The most common allergens for cats are various meats – including beef, eggs, chicken, and fish. While cats can be allergic to grains, these allergies are rarer, and therefore more likely to go unnoticed until it’s too late.
Grain-free recipe makes sure none of your cat’s potential allergies are acting up
Duck meat is a rarer form of protein, so your cat doesn’t run the risk of overexposure and allergy development to more common chicken or beef.
Also promotes healthy skin and fur, for a sleek, glossy coat and strong skin.
Like most humans, cats aren’t the biggest fans of sudden changes. When switching from regular cat food to a sensitive digestive cat food, it may be best to phase the new food in over a period of time, rather than switching all at once.
Classic dry style allows you to mix old and new food easily for a smooth transition
Vitamins and antioxidants work together to promote a healthy immune system
Made with rice and eggs for a high-protein, easy digestible diet
Just as our own mothers have always seemed to warn us, too much activity after eating can cause an upset stomach for all those energetic cats who seem to always be up for a bit of fun. Encouraging your cat to wait a while before playtime can drastically cut down the amount of unwanted vomiting.
- Wet format keeps cats from eating too quickly, making this a good choice for cats that throw up due to physical activity
- Fiber-high formula gives cats something to digest
- Insoluble fibers help maintain intestinal integrity
Poor Quality Food/Eating Habits
While poor eating habits, usually eating too fast, without pausing to properly break down food can be easily thwarted by using a different bowl, or placing a golf ball in the middle of your kitty’s bowl, pay careful attention to the quality of your cat’s food as poor ingredients can wreak havoc on a sensitive cat stomach.
Made with locally sourced, organically-grown ingredients to make sure your cat’s health is in good hands
Packed with vitamins and minerals with no GMOs or artificial ingredients
Seeing your cat in pain for any reason can be scary, but armed with the proper knowledge – something as simple as a change in diet can go a long way towards stopping a vomiting kitty and keeping your cat healthy and happy!
Here we have compiled the TOP 10 best cat foods to prevent vomiting. There are a lot of considerations when you have a cat with vomiting issues and each of these brands prides itself in helping your cat live to the fullest. Ensuring your furry friend has the correct balance of nutrients to promote their health can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the top 10 to get you started:
Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach – best cat food to prevent vomiting
For adult cats who like hard food, this Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach mix may be the perfect blend. Blue Buffalo prides themselves on serving clean, raw meat products in their cat food and the special ‘LifeSource’ bits of kibble are a positive addition to the food. These pieces contain extra vitamins and nutrients needed for optimal health. They also add variety to the kibble and encourage consumption.
– No corn, wheat, or soy products
– Raw meat (deboned chicken) is the first ingredient
– LifeSource bits provide additional antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for your cat
– LifeSource bits can cause negative reactions in some cats
– Contains chicken as the primary meat source which is not beneficial for some cats
– Can take up to 2 weeks to introduce this to your cat before seeing the benefits
This is an excellent choice for those who have cats that tend to vomit due to diet. The lack of wheat, soy, and corn products makes this a healthier blend of food than most.
2. Halo Holistic – best cat food for older cats that vomit
For more mature felines who need some extra care when it comes to diet, this Halo Holistic cat food comes highly recommended. It is made with real, whole chicken and does not use any ‘meat meal’ in the ingredients. All animal products are derived from non-factory-farmed animals who were not given antibiotics. This ensures a healthy food blend for your aging cat.
– Made with real, whole chicken
– Includes taurine to support healthy eyes and heart
– Company invests in feral cat rescue
– Does not include magnesium which is helpful for cats with UT blockages
– Includes dried egg products and soy protein
– Some comment that the kibble is on the small side
– The overall percentage of protein is lower in this mix compared to other brands
There are a number of little things in this mix that will benefit your older cats and promote digestive health. The lack of magnesium is quite helpful in preventing UT blockages which helps your cat process food naturally and decreases the risk of vomiting.
3. Royal Canin Feline Health – best cat food for cats that vomit
This unique blend of three different kibble shapes makes this blend of hard cat food stand out from competitors. Royal Canin Feline Health works to promote intestinal flora by incorporating fermentable fibers into their recipe. This promotes digestion all around and decrease the risk of vomiting.
– Three shapes of kibble keep your cat engaged and slow down fast eaters
– Recipe promotes intestinal Flora
– Contains high amounts of Vitamin E & B (among others)
– Contains rice and wheat gluten
– Company does not provide a percentage breakdown of ingredients
For non-picky eaters who tend to not have overly sensitive stomachs this is a great blend. It works to prevent soft stools and encourages natural intestinal health.
4. Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food – Best Cat Food for Vomiting
Not only does this hard cat food work to promote intestinal health, it also contains a blend of ingredients that focuses on healthy muscles, skin, and teeth. Purina ONE has a number of blends but this Sensitive Systems works to ensure your cat has healthy digestion. As a bonus, the hard kibble works to reduce plaque buildup and whiten your cats’ teeth.
– Does not include chicken
– Contains 36 grams of protein per serving
– Recipe includes a mix of antioxidants and Omegas
– Artificial ‘caramel color’
– Contains rice, corn gluten meal, and soybean meal among other ingredients
There are some not-so-great ingredients in this particular brand’s recipe that may not be ideal for cats with more critical digestive needs. However, for those who need more general TLC, this really does work to promote overall digestion.
5. Hill’s Science Diet – Best Cat Food for Digestion
When it comes to keeping your active adult cat happy and healthy, this blend by Hills’ Science Diet can be just what you’re looking for. Not only does it help with digestion, it also helps maintain a healthy skin and coat for you cat. While not recommended for kittens or pregnant and/or nursing female cats, this dry food is well received by most.
– Designed for those with a sensitive stomach and skin
– Contains Omega-6 fatty acids that work to nourish your cat’s skin
– Supports the immune system with a variety of antioxidants as well as Vitamin C & E
– Not recommended for kittens or pregnant and/or nursing cats
– Ingredients do not include any real meat
– Main ingredients include: Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, pork fat
Overall this blend is well received by most cats. The team of veterinarians and nutritionists who created this recipe truly focused on infusing the ingredients with the necessary vitamins and fats to promote a healthy blend of digestive health and skin care.
6. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition – best dry cat food for vomiting
If you are looking for a cat food that is multi-purpose, this Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition blend is one of the best. The recipe promotes gastrointestinal health which helps your cat pass hair nicely, rather than having it clog up and come out as hairballs. Additionally, this blend helps reduce inflammation which is great for those with older cats. Lastly, the unique, triangular shape of the kibble helps reduce plaque buildup and whiten teeth.
– Promotes hairball elimination
– Recipe includes fatty acids that help reduce inflammation
– Contains a good amount of fiber for gastrointestinal health benefits
– Kibble has only one shape
– Company has been known to change the recipe without alerting consumers
– Contains gluten
While the ingredients in the recipe may seem off-setting to some, the variety of benefits this blend offers are worth taking into consideration.
7. Instinct Original Grain Free – best dry cat food for cats that throw up
The Instinct brand promotes raw ingredients and this Instinct Original Grain Free cat food is no exception. Comprised of 81% real animal ingredients, this blend is made with cage free chicken while being grain free. Recommended for both kittens and adult cats alike. This cat food comes with a high protein, low carb balance.
– Grain free recipe
– Includes omegas for a healthy skin and coat
– Low carb count
– Contains peas
– Contains chicken, turkey and fish meal
The ingredients in this mix are quite good and the kibble is coated with free dried raw for increased nutritional value. Liked by both cats and cat owners alike.
8. Wellness Signature – good wet cat food for sensitive stomach
This is one of the only wet foods on the top 10 list that is made for cats who have sensitive stomachs. In addition to having nice texture, it comes in six different flavor combinations and is grain free. Wellness Signature wet foods are made for cats over 1 years old. The recipes are made with ingredients that promote digestive health, eyes, and teeth and gum health. The food combinations are also designed to promote water intake and increase overall energy.
– Grain free
– Promotes moisture intake for cats over 1
– 6 flavor combinations
– Contains rice and chicken meal
– Ingredients online are listed in alphabetic order, not order of portion
– Does not contain extra fortification for health or wellness
While it’s hard to know all of the ingredients used in this brand, it is safe to say that it truly is a good mix for your cat. Wellness Signature is a good go-to for soft food that gently works with sensitive stomachs without using too many different ingredients.
9. Blue Buffalo Basics – best cat food for vomiting cats
Blue Buffalo is one of the better brands available for you and your cat; this Basics mix is no different. For cats who are not able to eat much chicken, this is an excellent option as it features turkey as the key meat. Additionally, it contains pumpkin – not often found in cat food – which is a natural ingredient that promotes gentle digestion.
– Real meat (deboned turkey) is the first ingredient
– No poultry by-products, corn, wheat, or soy are included
– Food mix contains pumpkin to promote gentle digestion
– Recipe includes peas
– Higher than average calorie count per serving
By far one of the better options for cats who have stomach and/or vomiting issues. The natural ingredients work best with the feline’s system and promotes healthy living.
10. ROYAL CANIN Feline Gastrointestinal – best cat food for hairballs and vomiting
This is one of only two wet foods that are designed for cats who have digestive challenges. Additionally, this one is extra fortified to prevent hairballs. By fortifying the digestive track, hair is allowed to pass through more efficiently and is less likely to be built up.
– Contains Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids
– Recipe promotes the growth of microflora in the intestines
– Contains a mixture of proteins, prebiotics, EPA and DHA that promote digestive wellness
– First ingredient is water
– Contains corn and rice flour, as well as pork plasma
– Food comes as a pate and is not appealing to some cats
While it’s unfortunate that this is mainly water, it does work well for cats who struggle with digestive issues. The two Omega fatty acids included also work to promote healthy skin and fur for your cat.
ANSWERS YOU NEED WHEN YOUR CAT STARTS TO VOMIT
For even the most seasoned cat owners, it can still be disconcerting when your sweet cat starts to vomit. This can be triggered by a variety of things and if it tends to be a one-off case there is less cause for concern. If it increases in frequency however, there are certain things you can do to help bring your cat back to normal. Here are two of the most common questions and the answers that can best serve you and your cat.
1. Why is my cat throwing up dry food?
There are a number of reasons your cat may not be able to stomach his/her dry food. Three of the most common reasons are:
- The recipe of your go-to cat food has changed
Unfortunately, this happens more often than you would like. To save costs, cat food companies – even the well-known ones – will trade out ingredients. Even a slight change, such as the addition of peas to the recipe, can throw off your cat and cause him/her to vomit.
- Your cat is over-eating
If you have a relatively new cat, or have undergone a change (such as a move or the addition of a new pet), it can cause your cat to gorge themselves. This will generally result in them throwing up the ‘extra’ food later on as they were really not able to process as much as they ate at the time.
- Something is off-balance in their intestines
The third cause of vomiting may be something off in the intestines of your cat. If nothing in your food or environment has changed, consult with your vet to ensure your cat is okay. If there is a virus, or infection your vet can provide additional direction.
2. What To Do When Your Cat is Throwing Up?
If your cat consistently is getting sick it may be time to change their food. It takes about 14 days to adjust to new food. Be patient as you introduce the new food and watch for any positive (or negative changes). You can also try different portion controls if you suspect your cat is over-eating.
If you have ruled out ingredients as a cause of vomit and are sure it isn’t another, more natural cause (e.g. they ingested too much hair that can’t come out), it is worth a consultation with your vet. Often, vomiting can be as sign of something more off-balance inside of your cat. Your veterinarian will be able to help identify why your cat is throwing up. They will also provide insight into the steps you can take and/or the medications you can use to help alleviate this symptom for your cat.
What is the best cat food to prevent vomiting?
By far, the best cat food to prevent vomiting is one with the most natural ingredients. If possible, look for ones that are grain free as well. The Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach is one of the best when it comes to cats with digestive challenges. It’s counterpart, Blue Buffalo Basics is also just as good and it doesn’t contain chicken for those cats who can’t handle chicken protein. These two products are by far the best as they have natural ingredients that benefit your cat(s) the best.
It is worth noting however, that the rest of the cat foods on this top 10 list are equally good in their own ways. These include, Halo Holistic, Royal Canin Feline Health, Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food, Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition, Instinct Original Grain Free, Wellness Signature and Royal Canin Feline Gastrointestinal. For more details check out the other products and make sure to pick the best one for you and your cat!