One of the most distressing things for a cat owner is a sick cat, especially if it’s vomiting. Cats have extremely sensitive stomachs, and it can be challenging to find a brand that doesn’t cause sensitive cats to have loose stools, diarrhea, and vomiting. We’ve chosen ten brands to review for you with a special formula that shouldn’t upset your cats’ stomach. We’d give you the pros and cons of each one and tell you if it helped our cats. Keep reading while we look at protein, grains, moisture, probiotics, and more to help you make an informed decision.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2022 Update)
The 9 Best Cat Foods to Prevent Vomiting
1. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food – Best Overall
|First Ingredient:||Deboned Chicken|
Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food is our pick as the best overall cat food to prevent throwing up. It’s a high-protein food that contains deboned chicken as the first ingredient. There are no artificial colors or chemical preservatives that can make some cats sick, and it has plenty of real fruits and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables will provide important vitamins and minerals, and fiber that can help balance your cat’s digestive system. It even has LifeSource Bits that provide your cat with important antioxidants and omega fats that will help reduce swelling and produce a healthy and shiny coat.
We love Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach and give it to our cats regularly. The only downside we experienced with this brand is that it can be difficult to get some cats to eat it, especially if they are used to a diet high in corn.
2. Iams ProactiveHealth Digestion & Skin Dry Cat Food – Best Value
Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Turkey Dry Cat Food is our pick for the best cat food to prevent vomiting for the money. At 33%, it has even more protein than our top choice to help your cat build strong muscle and have plenty of energy. It also contains a special proprietary blend of fiber and prebiotics to help increase the number of good bacteria while regulating the amount of water in the intestines helping to soothe the stomach and prevent diarrhea.
The only thing we didn’t like about Iams Proactive Health was that it contains several corn ingredients. Corn digests quickly and could leave your cat feeling hungry before it should, contributing to weight gain.
3. Royal Canin Vet Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber Dry Cat Food – Premium Choice
|First Ingredient:||Brewers Rice|
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry Cat Food is our premium cat food to prevent vomiting. This brand uses a special blend of soluble and insoluble fibers that help soothe the stomach and prevent the intestines from containing too much or too little water, which can lead to diarrhea and constipation. It also has special ingredients that work to block the formation of stones in the kidney and bladder.
We found that Royal Canin Veterinary works well to prevent vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. The cats seem to eat it without getting too fussy, but there is no real meat, so you can’t use it as a long-term food for most cats. It also requires a prescription and is extremely expensive, so it’s hard to get.
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4. Blue Buffalo Basics LID Turkey & Potato Canned Cat Food – Best for Kittens
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Indoor Kitten Turkey & Potato Entree Canned Cat Food is our choice for the best kitten food to prevent vomiting. This wet food features a smooth texture that many cats prefer. Its limited ingredients contain turkey and several real fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, cranberry, blueberries, and potatoes to provide your kitten with the nutrients and fiber your cat needs to settle its stomach. It also contains omega fats, and there are no artificial colors or preservatives.
The biggest problem we had with Blue Buffalo Basics was that some of our kittens wouldn’t eat it and would hold out until we gave them something else. Like most wet food, the high moisture content can cause loose stools and even diarrhea, and it doesn’t help keep your cat’s teeth clean like dry kibble.
5. The Honest Kitchen Chicken Dehydrated Cat Food
|First Ingredient:||Dehydrated chicken|
The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Cat Food is our pick as the best cat food for cats that throw up. It features dehydrated chicken as its first ingredient, which allows it to have a high protein level of 39%. It also includes real fruits and vegetables that provide essential vitamins and minerals and add fiber to your cat’s diet, which can help soothe the stomach. Like most of the other brands on this list, there are no artificial colors or harmful chemical preservatives.
The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe is fantastic food, and we can’t find any faults with it. However, the percentage of our cats that wouldn’t eat it is pretty high, and it took us several weeks to get them adjusted.
6. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Rice Recipe is a high-quality food that provides your cat with 29% protein derived mostly from chicken. It also contains prebiotics which will help strengthen and encourage the growth of new probiotics, the guts goo bacteria that help break down food, remove toxins, and strengthen the immune system. It’s a highly digestible formula that shouldn’t upset your cat’s stomach.
We found that Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive works well to stop our cats from vomiting, but it contains a lot of corn which left them hungry and could lead to weight gain. We also prefer brands that contain helpful omega-3 fatty acids, and this brand only contains omega-6.
7. Feline Natural Lamb & Salmon Freeze-Dried Cat Food
|First Ingredient:||Lamb’s heart|
Feline Natural Lamb & King Salmon Feast Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food features freeze-dried lamb’s heart as the first ingredient to provide your pet with 44% protein. There are no grains like corn or soy that can cause digestive problems and lead to weight gain, and it allows your cat to live on a diet closer to what it might get in the wild. Despite its limited ingredients, it provides your cat with a complete and balanced meal without artificial colors or chemical preservatives.
The downside we experienced while reviewing Feline Natural was that it caused our cats to have smelly poops, and many of our cats would eat a few pieces and walk away, refusing to eat more until at least the next day when the same thing would happen.
8. Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Stomach Dry Cat Food
Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food features fish as its first ingredient, so you can be sure your cat is getting plenty of omega fats. These omega fats, especially omega-3 fats, help reduce swelling due to injury or arthritis, and they will help improve the health of your ats skin and coat. Halo sustainably sources the fish, and there are no genetically modified ingredients like corn or soy.
We liked giving our cats Halo, and it helped stop them from vomiting and made a noticeable improvement in their coat. However, it doesn’t smell good when you open the bag, and it can also make the cat’s poop stink. The kibble is tiny, and the cats tended to get it on the floor, and some cats didn’t like eating this brand.
9. Cat Chow Sensitive Stomach Gentle Dry Cat Food
|First Ingredient:||Turkey by-product|
Cat Chow Sensitive Stomach Gentle Dry Cat Food is a low-cost food that even beats our pick for the best value. It features 25 essential vitamins and minerals to help ensure your pet gets the nutrients it requires to stay healthy and happy. It uses all responsibly sourced ingredients that are easy to digest and unlikely to upset your cat’s sensitive stomach, and our cats loved it.
The downside to Cat Chow Sensitive Stomach is that all of the protein comes from dried and ground meat-byproduct. Meat by-product packs a lot of protein, but it’s not fresh and might be many types of meat. It also features corn high on the ingredients list, which can lead to weight gain, and there are no omega-3 fatty acids.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Cat Food That Prevents Vomiting
Why Do Cats Vomit?
Your cat can vomit for several reasons. It might feel sick from a serious health problem or have a sensitive stomach, but it’s much more common for a cat to vomit because of hairballs. Cats continuously groom themselves, and even shorthair cats can ingest quite a bit of hair, especially during the shedding season of spring and fall. The hair can sit in the cat’s stomach, forming a large ball that the cat will have no choice but to eliminate it through vomiting. It’s gross, but easy to tell when a hairball is to blame because you will see hair in the vomit.
Hairballs are extremely common and are not dangerous to your cat. You can help reduce their frequency by staying vigilant about grooming your cat to remove loose fur, especially in the spring and fall. If your cat suffers from frequent hairballs, there are foods you can try that might help eliminate them, and we’ve had good luck with a gel medication that you can give them.
Cats have sensitive digestive systems that are easy to throw off balance. In our experience, the most common reason besides hairballs a cat might vomit is food-related. If you had just started giving your cat a new food or treat before it began to vomit, then there must be something in the food upsetting the cat’s digestive issues. Many wet foods are too rich for cats and can cause vomiting as well as diarrhea. Some cats also have difficulty digesting non-meat ingredients found in many foods as they are strictly carnivorous in the wild.
The foods on our list use a special formula designed for cats with sensitive stomachs. Many feature limited ingredients, so it’s easier to track down any problems, while others use ingredients that rarely cause problems for other cats, so there is a good chance they won’t bother your either. Brands high in fiber can help regulate the fluid in the intestines and slow digestion, so there is less risk of vomiting, and some brands even fortify their food with prebiotics and probiotics, which help grow and strengthen the good bacteria in the gut. The good bacteria break down food faster and make it less likely that your cat will react negatively.
For some reason, some cats like to eat things they shouldn’t. Cats will eat plants, carpet pieces, string, hair ties, litter, and much more. We’ve even had one cat swallow a sewing needle creating a $2,000 medical emergency. Any of these things can cause your cat to vomit. In most cases, you will be able to see what the cat is eating and get rid of it, but sometimes it can be more difficult, like when the cat drinks something.
Unfortunately, several health issues can cause your cat to vomit, and if you can’t determine the cause and our food recommendations aren’t helping, we suggest taking your cat to the vet to get it looked over so you can take the proper steps to help your pet. If your cat eats the same food every day without change but has started vomiting frequently, it can be a sign of a health problem.
Another option available to cats with sensitive stomachs is to eat more fresh cooked chicken. We recommend boiling a chicken breast, pulling it apart to resemble pulled pork, and feeding it to your cat warm or cold. The chicken will last three or four days in the fridge and makes a great snack that will provide plenty of protein without upsetting their delicate digestive system. Cooked chicken is part of your cat’s natural diet, and there is no danger of harmful ingredients. However, chicken does not have all of the nutrients a cat needs, so it’s only a treat and supplement. You will still need to feed your cat high-quality cat food for dinner.
When choosing cat food to prevent vomiting, we highly recommend our pick for the best overall. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food is easy to find in most grocery stores, and it provides your cat with a high-protein meal that won’t upset its stomach. It also has omega-3 fatty acids, real fruits and vegetables, and Lifesource Bits that will help boost the immune system. Another smart choice Is our best value. Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Turkey Dry Cat Food is inexpensive and found everywhere. It provides your cat with a high-protein turkey dinner complete with probiotics and omega fats to help it stay healthy while not upsetting its stomach.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and found a few brands you would like to try out. If we have helped reduce the number of times your cat vomits, please share this guide to the best cat foods to prevent vomiting on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Patrick Foto, Shutterstock