What Should I Feed My Cat With A Sensitive Stomach?

Here’s how you can keep that tummy happy 😽

sensitive stomach cat food

Throwing up is no fun for anyone, especially your cat.

If your BFF’s got a sensitive stomach, it can be tough to pinpoint what exactly is setting him off — and, more importantly, what you should feed him to keep his tummy settled.

Luckily, The Dodo spoke with Dr. Tom Elston, cat specialist and owner of T.H.E. Cat Hospital in California, to find out why cats’ stomachs can be so sensitive, and what you should feed your cat if he’s got a delicate system.

Signs your cat has a sensitive stomach

A lot of the time, it can be hard to tell if your pet has a sensitive stomach, since vomiting is so common for cats.

“Commonly, when people use [the] term [“sensitive stomach”], it's because their cat has been vomiting,” Dr. Elston told The Dodo. “The challenge arises in that cats can vomit more easily than humans burp. So a cat vomiting may not have anything to do with stomach sensitivity.”

The best way you can tell if your cat actually has a sensitive stomach — and isn’t just puking for more normal reasons, like hairballs — is to contact your veterinarian.

“[Vets] can get a thorough history and potentially conduct dietary trials to determine what is causing the problematic symptoms,” Dr. Elston said.

Causes of sensitive stomach in cats

According to Dr. Elston, allergies and food sensitivities are common causes for sensitive stomachs in cats.

“[Allergies are] a specific biological reaction to proteins in the food,” he explained. “A ‘sensitive stomach’ could be caused by a food hypersensitivity or allergic reaction, but the term is not exclusive for that.”

Some other things that can cause your cat to have a sensitive stomach include:

  • Additives or ingredients in his food
  • Food spoilage
  • Infectious agents (like if he has a stomach bug)
  • Parasites

Cat food variations that can make your pet vomit include:

  • Food consistency (dry food vs. wet food)
  • Food temperature
  • Freshness
  • Preservatives
  • Eating too much

Vet-approved food for cats with sensitive stomachs

There’s already a lot of confusion when it comes to figuring out when your cat has a sensitive system or simply has an upset stomach.

According to Dr. Elston, some food companies will take advantage of the ambiguity.

“This [confusion] is compounded by food companies selling foods they claim are for sensitive stomachs,” he said, even though sensitive stomachs can be caused by a lot of different things.

If your vet does confirm that your cat has a sensitive stomach, rather than allergies or an illness, then it’s worth trying a food specifically designed for sensitive bellies.

Dr. Elston said his patients have had a lot of success with Hill’s formula:

Try this Hill’s dry food from Amazon for $26.99

Or this Hill’s canned food from Amazon for $34.32

He also recommended Royal Canin cat food for pets with sensitive stomachs:

Try this Royal Canin dry food from Amazon for $17.09+

Or this Royal Canin canned food from Amazon for $36.50+

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