If your cat has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)1, you know how critical their diet is. It usually involves avoiding certain ingredients that can be triggers for food intolerances and allergies. Finding a cat food that won’t trigger your cat’s IBD but is also palatable is vital, though this typically involves a great deal of searching.
So, we researched and listed reviews of 10 of the best foods for cats diagnosed with IBD that are available to Canadians. We hope that this saves you time and that you find the right food for both you and your cat.
A Quick Glance at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach||
|Best Value||Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach||
|Premium Choice||Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome||
|Best for Kittens||Purina Pro Plan Dry Kitten Food||
|Vet’s Choice||Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Digestion||
The 10 Best Cat Foods for IBD in Canada
1. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food — Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice|
The best overall cat food for IBD in Canada is Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Dry Food. The first and main ingredient is deboned chicken, which is a high-quality protein that helps maintain healthy muscles. This food has been formulated especially for cats with sensitive stomachs and issues with digestion with the addition of FOS prebiotics. The prebiotics feed the good bacteria in the gut and aid with the absorption of nutrients, which helps with digestion. It also contains omega-3 and -6, which will give your cat a healthy coat and skin, in addition to antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients, soy, wheat, corn, or by-products.
However, some cats might experience stomach upset with this food, and it’s quite high in calories. So, if your cat has weight issues or isn’t that active, it might cause weight gain.
2. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food — Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Turkey, chicken meal, pea protein|
The best cat food for IBD in Canada for the money is Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food. It contains antioxidants and guaranteed live probiotics, which help support the immune and digestive systems. The ingredients also include oatmeal and rice, which are easy to digest, and real turkey is the main ingredient for high-quality protein. It also has added vitamin A and omega-6 to nourish your cat’s coat and skin, as well as natural prebiotic fibre that aids in digestive health. It does not contain chicken, wheat, soy, corn, or artificial ingredients.
The flaws with this food are that picky cats might not like it, and it’s high in calories. So, if your cat is prone to gaining weight, you might need to find another food.
3. Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Dry Cat Food — Premium Choice
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, brewers rice, corn gluten meal|
Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Dry Cat Food is our premium choice pick. It was formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists specifically for your cat’s digestive health. It’s made with Hill’s exclusive ActiveBiome+, which is designed to activate the good bacteria in the gut and contribute to a healthy gastrointestinal microbiome balance. There’s also a blend of prebiotic fibres that aid digestion and promote regular bowel movements. In trials, it was shown that after cats eat this food, it helps produce healthy feces within about 24 hours and keeps it that way.
However, while this food is quite effective, it is very pricey!
4. Purina Pro Plan Dry Kitten Food — Best for Kittens
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, rice, corn gluten meal|
Purina Pro Plan Dry Kitten Food is our favourite choice for kittens. It has the right balance of proteins, fats, and calories to sustain a growing kitten and includes live probiotics for your kitten’s immune and digestive systems. It’s high in protein, with whole chicken as the primary ingredient. It also contains antioxidants for the immune system and omega-3 DHA for brain and vision development.
However, it is expensive, and some kittens might still experience stomach upset after eating this food.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Digestion Dry Cat Food — Vet’s Choice
|Main ingredients:||Salmon, brown rice, corn gluten meal|
Our vet’s choice goes to Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Digestion Dry Cat Food, which has been designed using the ActivBiome+ Technology. This includes a blend of prebiotics with pumpkin and whole-grain oats, all of which aid in digestion. This contributes to a healthy microbiome, and cats should have healthier and more regular bowel movements within a week. The first and main ingredient is whole salmon for high-quality protein, and there is taurine for heart health and balanced nutrition for overall wellness.
The only problem is that this food does contain chicken even though it’s listed as salmon, oats, and rice flavour. If your cat has a food allergy to chicken, you’ll want to look for something else.
6. Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Turkey, chicken by-product meal, rice flour|
Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Dry Cat Food has real turkey as the main ingredient and is quite affordable. It is formulated to support a cat with a sensitive digestive system with prebiotic fibre and has four antioxidant sources to support the immune system. If your cat also happens to have skin issues, it has the omega fatty acids to give your cat a healthier coat and skin.
The cons of this food are that some cats have experienced gastrointestinal issues and that some cats might reject it.
7. Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Turkey, chicken by-product meal, ground whole-grain corn|
Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Dry Cat Food has beet pulp and prebiotics for nutrient absorption and easier digestion. Turkey is the main ingredient to support your cat’s muscles, and antioxidants support the immune system. Omega-3 and -6 give your cat a lustrous coat and healthy skin.
Unfortunately, this food has been known to cause gastrointestinal upset in some cats, and picky cats might not want to eat it.
8. Beyond Grain Free Natural Wet Cat Food Variety Pack
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, turkey and chicken broth, duck|
|Protein content:||10% and 9%|
|Fat content:||5% and 2%|
|Calories:||69 and 102 kcal/can|
Beyond Grain Free Natural Wet Cat Food Variety Pack has three different recipes in two different textures. There’s chicken and sweet potato and Canadian duck and sweet potato in pâté and turkey and sweet potato in chunks in gravy. It includes natural prebiotic fibre, and each recipe starts with a real animal protein source, either chicken, duck, or turkey. Beyond uses ethical sources, such as cage-free chicken, and the food is free of artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, or soy.
However, a variety pack can mean that your cat may not like one (or maybe all) of the flavours. Also, each recipe includes chicken.
9. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken broth, chicken, turkey|
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Cat Food includes easy-to-digest nutritional ingredients. This wet cat food contains natural fibres for digestion and regulates bowel movements. It’s also formulated for cats with skin issues, so it includes vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids for healthier skin and coat. It also has the right ingredients to support heart health.
It is expensive, though, and the texture isn’t consistent. It can be dry in some cans, and some cats might not like it.
10. Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Cat Food Slices in Gravy Canned Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Water, chicken by-product, pork by-products|
Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Cat Food Slices in Gravy Canned Cat Food gives you thin slices of a pork, salmon, and chicken mixture in gravy. One definite bonus of this food is that it’s formulated to reduce the odour of your cat’s poop. It supports cats with sensitive digestion and can help keep your cat at a healthy weight. The proteins, fats, and carbs are nutritionally balanced and highly palatable for most cats.
The biggest issue, particularly for Canadians, is that it is expensive! Additionally, picky cats don’t seem to love it and end up just licking up the gravy and not eating the actual meat. So, if your cat prefers pâté, you’ll need to find another food. Lastly, some cats have experienced stomach upset with this food.
Buyer’s Guide — Choosing the Best Cat Foods for IBD in Canada
When your cat has any health issues, like IBD, that are affected by their diet, you must become familiar with all the ingredients in your cat’s food. We go over a few points in this buyer’s guide that can help you figure out what food will work best for your cat.
Dry or Wet Food
If your cat prefers canned food, you should find the best wet food to help your cat’s IBD symptoms. Always stick with what your cat likes. In general, canned food is a fine option for cats with IBD, as long as the food that you opt for is formulated for cats with digestion issues.
This is the most important factor when shopping for food for your cat with IBD. Vets typically start by placing cats on a diet with a different kind of protein that isn’t common, such as duck, rabbit, or venison. Most food sensitivities and allergies are triggered by proteins, particularly chicken and beef.
Typically, food that is high in fibre and low in fat is recommended for IBD. Look for terms on the packaging like, “sensitive digestion,” “sensitive stomach,” “gastrointestinal,” or just about anything else that tells you that it’s meant for cats with digestion problems.
Transitioning Your Cat
Any cat given a new food needs to be introduced to it gradually, but this is even more important for cats with digestion issues. Most pet food manufacturers offer guidelines on how to accomplish this. You should keep in mind that it can take up to a month to notice any improvement in your cat’s symptoms after you’ve switched them to the new food.
So, if your cat seems to still have issues after a few weeks, give it more time to work, and speak to your vet if you’re concerned. During the transition period, you should avoid giving your cat any other kinds of food, such as table scraps or treats.
Speak to Your Vet
Before purchasing a new food for your cat, you should have a discussion with your vet. They can advise you on the best food options, and it’s possible that they might need to prescribe food for your cat, particularly if their IBD symptoms are severe.
Our favourite cat food for IBD in Canada is Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food for its use of FOS prebiotics. It aids with the absorption of nutrients and feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Purina Pro Plan’s Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food contains guaranteed live probiotics and natural prebiotic fibre, which help the digestive system. It’s also affordable!
Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Dry Cat Food is our premium choice pick. It’s made with Hill’s exclusive ActiveBiome+ Technology, which activates the good bacteria in the gut and contributes to a healthy microbiome balance.
Purina Pro Plan Dry Kitten Food is our favourite for kittens due to its live probiotics for the immune and digestive systems. Our vet’s choice is Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Digestion Dry Cat Food, which has a blend of prebiotics with pumpkin and whole-grain oats, all of which aid digestion.
We hope that these reviews have helped you give your cat the right food that is not only tasty but will also make them feel more comfortable.