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10 Best Cat Foods for Smelly Poop in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

The smell of cat poop is no one’s favorite, but if your cat uses the litter box and you start gagging, there may be a solution. Your cat’s food could be to blame for their malodorous stool, especially if it has a lot of fillers and preservatives. Some cats have sensitive digestive systems that need higher-quality cat food or food that’s specially formulated to combat smelly poop. Fortunately, plenty of cat food on the market can address this issue. Check out the 10 best dry and wet cat foods for smelly poop in 2021.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Well-rounded nutrition
  • Real duck as the first ingredient
  • Made in the USA
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food
  • 100% balanced nutrition
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Meat is the first ingredient
  • Grain-free
  • Packed with nutritious morsels
  • Best for Kittens
    Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Kitten Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Kitten Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Formulated for sensitive kittens
  • Chicken and turkey as first ingredients
  • Well-rounded nutrition
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • The 10 Best Cat Foods for Smelly Poop – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food – Best Overall

    American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 5 pounds, 12 pounds
    Lifestage: Adult

    American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is the best overall cat food for smelly poop. This high-quality, grain-free food is designed for active cats. The top ingredient is deboned duck, followed by whole fruits and vegetables for optimal nutrition. The food is free from poultry by-products, wheat, corn, soy, and preservatives. In addition to 40% protein, this cat food includes many nutrients to support health, such as taurine for eye and heart health, omega fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin, and antioxidants to support the immune system. Best of all, the food is manufactured in the USA with ingredients from trusted sources.

    Pros
    • Well-rounded nutrition
    • Real duck as the first ingredient
    • Made in the USA

    Cons

    • Only available in dry formula


    2. Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food – Best Value

    Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 5 pounds, 7 pounds, 16 pounds, 22 pounds
    Lifestage: Adult

    Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food is the best cat food for smelly poop for the money. The combination of crunchy bits and tender morsels is a delight for cats, while the lean protein and nutrients give you peace of mind about your cat’s nutrition. Real chicken is the first ingredient to support your cat’s muscle and skeletal health. The cat food also contains all the nutrition your cat needs with vitamins and minerals like taurine for eye health and omega fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin. The mix of textures provides variety for your cat, but the hard kibble helps to scrub your cat’s teeth and keep them clean. Purina ONE food is made in the USA with no fillers or preservatives. Purina ONE is lower in protein than competitors, but that makes it a more affordable option for a high-quality food.

    Pros
    • 100% balanced nutrition
    • Veterinarian recommended
    • Real chicken as the first ingredient

    Cons

    • Made with grains
    • Lower protein than competitors


    3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food – Premium Choice

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 5 pounds, 6 pounds, 9.5 pounds, 12 pounds
    Lifestage: Adult

    Inspired by your domestic cat’s wild lynx counterpart, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a high-protein food designed for your cat’s nutritional needs. Real chicken is the first ingredient for muscle and bone health, while grain-free carbohydrate sources like peas and sweet potatoes support energy needs. Some other desirable ingredients include spinach, apples, pumpkin, and blueberries. This formula also contains LifeSource Bits, small morsels packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for optimal nutrition throughout your cat’s life. Every ingredient is purposeful, so you won’t find poultry by-products, wheat, corn, soy, preservatives, or artificial flavors. This food is for adult cats, but you can get the same formula for kittens and mature adults.

    Pros
    • Meat is the first ingredient
    • Grain-free
    • Packed with nutritious morsels

    Cons

    • Costly


    4. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Kitten Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food — Best for Kittens

    Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Kitten Recipe cat food

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 3 pounds, 6 pounds
    Lifestage: Kitten

    Kittens need different nutrition than adult or mature cats, so you won’t find as many limited-ingredient or specialty foods on the market. If you’re concerned about your kitten’s digestion and smelly poop, however, Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Kitten Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a good choice. Like the adult version, this grain-free food has chicken and turkey as the first ingredients for a lot of protein. It also has freeze-dried raw meat bites that your kitten is sure to love. Along with protein, this food offers vitamins and minerals, taurine, omegas, and probiotics to promote overall health and wellness. You won’t find any by-products, gluten, additives, or artificial preservatives that are known to upset cats’ digestion. The food is manufactured in the USA in small batches.

    Pros
    • Formulated for sensitive kittens
    • Chicken and turkey as first ingredients
    • Well-rounded nutrition

    Cons

    • Expensive


    5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

    Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 3 pounds, 6 pounds, 14 pounds
    Lifestage: Adult

    Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food is a newer brand on the market, but it’s quickly gaining popularity with pet parents. The food is formulated with farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient, which is surprising for the lower price, but the ingredients are lower quality after that. Still, this food has plenty of nutrients, such as biotin, B vitamins, and zinc from yeast and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. Though brown rice, brewer’s rice, and corn gluten meal are included, the food doesn’t contain soy, wheat, corn, poultry by-product meal, and artificial flavors. This should help cats with sensitive digestive systems. Keep in mind, however, that this food isn’t grain-free and may upset cats with food sensitivities.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • No corn, wheat, or soy

    Cons

    • Some low-quality ingredients
    • Not grain-free


    6. Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (2)

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 5 pounds, 14 pounds
    Lifestage: Adult

    Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a great choice for sensitive cats. Unlike many foods with duck or chicken, this cat food features trout and ocean fish as the first few ingredients. The food is high in protein, but some of that comes from peas instead of animal sources. You’ll also find vitamins and antioxidants for immune health and skin and coat health. Like other foods on the list, this cat food has no grain, corn, wheat, fillers, colors, preservatives, or artificial flavors. It’s gentle on cats’ stomachs and easy to digest, which may help with the smelly poop issues. Despite fish being the first ingredient, however, some picky cats refuse to eat it.

    Pros
    • Trout and ocean fish as first ingredients
    • Balanced nutrition
    • No grain, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, colors, fillers, or preservatives

    Cons

    • Pea protein
    • Not for picky eaters


    7. Merrick Backcountry Raw Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Merrick Backcountry Raw Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 3 pounds, 6 pounds, 10 pounds
    Lifestage: Adult

    Merrick Backcountry Raw Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a solid choice for a grain-free cat food that supports healthy digestion. Though a bit expensive, the food uses chicken as the first ingredient and contains a high amount of protein. Chicken meal is the second ingredient, but you’ll also find chicken liver, duck, and quail in the ingredient list for variety. In addition to diverse protein sources, this food offers plenty of omega fatty acids and probiotics for healthy digestion, skin, and coat. The food is manufactured in the USA in small batches, free from grains, wheat, gluten, by-products, corn, or artificial flavors. If your cat has known chicken sensitivities, this may not be the best choice, as it contains a lot of chicken and chicken meal.

    Pros
    • Variety of animal protein
    • High-quality ingredients
    • No wheat, corn, or soy

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • No suitable for chicken sensitivities


    8. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pate Real Turkey Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

    Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pate Real Turkey Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

    Formula: Wet
    Size Options: 3-oz 24-pack, 5.5-oz 12-pack
    Lifestage: Adult

    Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pate Real Turkey Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food is a solid choice for a wet food. The savory pate has animal protein from cage-free turkey and one vegetable, providing well-rounded nutrition. The food contains no chicken, beef, fish, dairy, eggs, grain, potato, corn, wheat, or soy, which cover most of the common food sensitivities for cats. Plenty of pet parents remarked on how this food helped with their cats’ digestive issues, though some cats are too picky to eat it. Instinct also has a dry version of the limited-ingredient food if you want to combine wet and dry for your cat’s diet.

    Pros
    • Limited ingredient
    • Cage-free turkey as first ingredient
    • No grain, soy, or wheat

    Cons

    • Not for picky eaters


    9. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Duck & Potato Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Duck & Potato Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 5 pounds, 11 pounds
    Lifestage: Adult

    Limited ingredient cat food is a good choice for cats with sensitive digestion. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Duck & Potato Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food helps cats with food sensitivities that may contribute to digestive upset. The formula uses real duck as the first ingredient, followed by easy-to-digest carbohydrates like pumpkin. Despite a simpler combination of ingredients, this food contains 100% balanced nutrition with a variety of vitamins and minerals to support healthy muscles, bones, skin, and eyes. Like other Blue Buffalo foods, this formula has LifeSource Bits that contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help support the immune system. The food is made in the USA with no grains, poultry by-products, wheat, corn, or soy, making it ideal for cats with allergies, food sensitivities, or sensitive digestive systems. It’s also free from other common sources of food sensitivities, such as beef, chicken, dairy, and eggs.

    Pros
    • Limited ingredient for food sensitivities
    • Complete, balanced nutrition
    • High protein

    Cons

    • Some cats don’t like the flavor


    10. Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food

    Formula: Dry
    Size Options: 3 pounds, 6 pounds
    Lifestage: Adult

    If your cat has severe digestive issues, Royal Canin Digestive Care Dry Cat Food is a specialty food that’s designed specifically for sensitive stomachs, smelly stool, and frequent vomiting. The food contains prebiotics and fiber to support the digestive tract and promote better nutrient absorption. The kibble is also ring-shaped to encourage slower eating and aid digestion. Royal Canin Digestive Care Dry Cat Food is also free from peas, which are a common source of digestive upset for some cats. Many pet parents noted a difference in frequent diarrhea and vomiting after switching cats to this food, though some cats are picky and won’t eat it.

    Pros
    • Specially formulated for sensitive digestion
    • Ring-shaped kibble for slow eating

    Cons

    • Not good for picky eaters

    Related Read: 10 Best Cat Foods for Diarrhea — Reviews & Top Picks


    Buyer’s Guide

    Cats with digestive problems require more research and selection when choosing the appropriate food. While many cats are hardy, these cats can’t be at their best on just any available food – they need the right ingredients to maintain optimal nutrition and care for their specific digestive needs. In many cases, cats with digestive concerns struggle with specific ingredients, such as grains, chicken, or peas. The best way to determine the cause of your cat’s digestive issues is by speaking to your vet. Once the cause is determined, you can try different foods to see what works best. It’s recommended to keep your cat on one food for a period of 3 months unless it experiences severe symptoms like worsening diarrhea or vomiting. If the food isn’t improving symptoms or making them worse, you can switch to another food. Avoid switching foods too often, however, since that can worsen digestive issues. Here are some things to look for in dry and wet cat foods for smelly poop:

    Ingredients

    Ingredients are the most important part of choosing the right food for your sensitive cat. Ideally, your cat food should have high-quality animal products as the first ingredients. That said, some cats are sensitive to chicken and may need a different animal protein. Other common sources of food sensitivities include grains, wheat, corn, and soy. Your cat may have a sensitivity to one or all of these ingredients. Fortunately, many grain-free foods are made without low-quality grains like these. Vegetables are an excellent choice of nutrition, but some vegetables have a high protein content that is substituted for animal protein. If a food contains potatoes or peas, they may contribute to a large portion of the protein content. Be sure to check labels to make sure you’re feeding high-quality animal protein as much as possible.

    Nutrients

    Nutrients refer to the protein, fat, and carbohydrate content in food. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a diet high in animal protein and fat. When choosing a food, look for formulas that contain mostly animal protein and fat sources. Carbohydrates are fine but shouldn’t make up most of the food’s nutritional content.

    Related Read: Do Cats Fart? (Everything There Is to Know About Feline Flatulence)
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    Conclusion

    Plenty of dry and wet cat foods are available for cats with sensitive stomachs and smelly poop. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is the best overall, due to its high-quality proteins and grain-free formula. For a value-packed option, choose Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food, which is an inexpensive choice that contains chicken as the first ingredient. For a premium option, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a high-quality, grain-free food with deboned chicken as the first ingredient and a variety of nutrients.


    Featured Image Credit: Laura Chouette, Unsplash