You always want what’s best for your cat. And all this time, you’ve been feeding her what you thought was the best cat food ever. Well, not all cat meals are created equal. 

And while some formulas—from dry to wet—boast many health benefits, some cats need food that is gentler on their stomachs. Some cats experience digestive issues, causing them to become ill after each feeding. 

So, how can you navigate your cat’s tummy troubles? By choosing cat food for cats with sensitive stomach issues that fit their nutritional needs and lifestyle. Read on for expert advice and product recommendations to help your beloved pet with their delicate gut.

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9 Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Foods

Cat eating from bowl

Once your vet has assessed your cat’s needs and you both have decided on the need for a sensitive stomach cat food, consider the following options:

Best Overall Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach

Our Pick: Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

A trusted brand, Blue Buffalo delivers a sensitive stomach food that packs a healthy punch with mixed grains (like oatmeal and brown rice), vegetables and fruits, and real chicken. Providing a balanced diet, this option offers the right vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will not only aid in digestion, but will help a cat’s immunity. You want your cat to have a calm digestive tract, and this formula may help.


  • Made of real chicken
  • Has prebiotics and probiotics
  • Has Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids 

Things to Consider

  • Bag does not reseal, so you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t go stale by using your own sealed container. 

Best Wet Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Our Pick: Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Digest Sensitive Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat Food

Royal Canin Feline Care Nutrition Digest Sensitive Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat Food

This specifically formulated cat food for digestive issues promotes health through its blend of vitamins and minerals. When my cat was vomiting consistently, our veterinarian recommended this product to us, and it worked really well. 


  • Good for cats of different ages (over 1 year)
  • High in protein

Things to Consider

Best Raw Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Our Pick: Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Duck Cat Food

Smalls FREEZE-DRIED Raw Water Bird

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Though not specifically formulated for cats with digestion issues, this raw option is a great pick for cats who might be sensitive to other protein sources like chicken or beef. Duck is a novel protein that may be easier to digest for some felines. And we love that Smalls removed the mess of serving raw food by freeze drying high-protein morsels. This is a great raw option for cats transitioning from a dry kibble. 


  • All the benefits of a high-protein, raw diet without the mess
  • Has no added antibiotics, steroids or artificial hormones
  • Duck is a novel protein and may benefit cats with food allergies
  • Also available in Chicken and Turkey 

Things to Consider

  • It’s a higher price point than other cat foods on this list.

Best Dry Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach

Our Pick: Merrick Purrfect Bistro Complete Care Grain-Free Sensitive Stomach

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

We love this sensitive cat food dry grain-free option because it lists deboned chicken as the first ingredient. The recipe contains other whole ingredients like easy-to-digest sweet potatoes, as well as both pro- and prebiotics to also assist with digestive health. Added vitamins, minerals, and taurine provide enhanced nutrition, and Omega fatty acids help promote healthy skin and fur.


  • Limited-ingredient, grain-free recipe
  • First ingredient is deboned chicken; other whole ingredients and prebiotics/probiotics help aid in digestive health
  • Contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Uses no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives 

Things to Consider

  • Higher price point

Best Cat Food for Diarrhea

Our Pick: Grandma Lucy’s Anti-Diarrhea Freeze-Dried Cat Meal Replacement

Grandma Lucy's Simple Replacement Anti-Diarrhea Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Meal Replacement

If your cat is experiencing bouts of diarrhea, switching temporarily to a bland diet is useful. But constantly cooking chicken and rice at home can be a bit of a pain. That’s why we love this option from Grandma Lucy’s. It’s freeze-dried, so you can keep it in your cupboard until you need it. All you have to do to prepare this meal is add boiling water. It’s a great short-term meal replacement for cats with diarrhea.


  • Makes serving a bland diet simple
  • Very easy to prepare
  • The only ingredients are freeze-dried chicken and white rice

Things to Consider

  • Not meant as a long-term solution or diet
  • It’s more expensive than making chicken and rice at home

Best Cat Food for Cats That Throw Up

Our Pick: Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Dry Cat Food

Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Digestion & Skin Turkey Dry Cat Food

We love this Iams sensitive tummy cat food option for cats who particularly have vomit issues. It is made up of 33 percent protein and a special blend of fiber and prebiotics to increase good bacteria in the tummy. When it comes to cat foods for sensitive stomachs, this formula is made without soy or wheat. The blend of prebiotics and beet pulp assists with nutrient absorption.


  • Also helps regulate amount of water in intestines 
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will support skin and coat
  • Ideal for all lifestages
  • Not too pricey

Things to Consider

  • Contains several corn ingredients (which digests fine, but cats may still free hungry) 

Best Kitten Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Our Pick: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain Free Natural Kitten Pate Wet Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Indoor Kitten Turkey & Potato Entree Canned Cat Food

Containing limited ingredients, which is a plus if your kitten has a sensitive stomach, this pick also contains omega-3 fats to aid in cat development. Formulated to promote gentle digestion as your furry friend gets used to wet food, this variety doesn’t contain chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, grain, gluten, by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives—some of which are allergy culprits.


  • Less ingredients than most cat food
  • Contains single animal protein (real turkey)
  • Includes vitamins and minerals, like DHA (which promotes brain development)

Things to Consider

  • Comes in only a pate version, so hopefully your kitten likes the texture

Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs of Seniors

Our Pick: Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food

Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food

Developed by nutritionists and veterinarians, this prescription diet cat food supports the digestive health of senior cats in a great way. This product also aims to improve stool quality with its specific formula of nutrients, protein, fat, and fiber. This gentle stomach cat food helps assimilate nutrients and repair tissues.


  • Also helps reduce the risk of urinary issues 
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Can also control cell oxidation with its antioxidants

Things to Consider

  • Buying this product requires veterinary authorization 

Best Duck Formula Sensitive Stomach Cat Food

Our Pick: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Duck & Green Pea Recipe Dry Cat Food

Natural Balance duck and green pea

This complete and balanced dry sensitive stomach cat food from Natural Balance offers one single animal protein – duck. Green peas are added for fiber and to support digestive health. Because this recipe is free of soy, wheat, and grain, it is easily digestible. This food is formulated for cats with sensitivities and is made for all life stages.


  •  Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.
  • Contains zero grains nor anything artificial
  • Ideal for immune system, heart, bones and teeth, digestion, skin, and coat
  • This easily digestible cat food supports lean muscle mass
  • Every batch is tested for quality and safety

Things to Consider

  • Designed for adult cats only

Best Cat Food Sensitive Stomach Budget Formula

Our Pick: Purina ONE Natural Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food

For the best value, Purina ONE Natural Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula Dry Cat Food aims to nourish adult cats with its high-protein formula made of turkey and other quality ingredients. This easily digestible cat food is veterinarian recommended and made with prebiotic fiber.


  • Each one cup serving has 36 grams of protein
  • Includes antioxidants and omega fatty acids
  • Crunchy kibble will also help prevent plaque buildup, keeping teeth and gums clean

Things to Consider

  • This formula was recently changed and some long-time buyers claim their cats are not fans

Does Your Cat Need Sensitive Stomach Cat Food?

Cat looking to camera in kitchen

While it’s common for cats to cough up hairballs, if your fur baby is vomiting after meals or suffers from diarrhea consistently, you may want to try switching up her cat food to see if things improve. Your cat may have a sensitive digestion system and require a special diet. 

“Signs that your cat may need a sensitive stomach diet, for the most part, may begin to manifest as inappetence (or lack of appetite), regurgitation, vomit, diarrhea, constipation or hair balls,” says Dr. Brian Bourquin, founder and chief medical officer of Boston Veterinary Clinic.

Bourquin also notes that cats with consistent hairball issues usually have underlying gastrointestinal issues or food allergies. Dry food for cats with sensitive stomachs usually has fewer ingredients to minimize triggering any sensitivities.

“Any repeatable issues can be concerning, and you should seek your veterinarian’s opinion immediately,” he says. “They can then best assess and help you decide a remedy for your cat such as a different over-the-counter food, or a restricted diet, or if your feline needs further testing.”

Reasons To Consider Cat Food for Cats with Digestive Problems

Cat rolled onto belly

There are many different reasons to consider cat food for cats with digestive problems or sensitive stomachs.

These include:

  • Allergies 
  • Parasites or a bacterial infection
  • Stress (you may consider sensitive stomach cat food if your cat is under stress or exposed to stress)
  • Low-quality food with artificial additives, fillers and preservatives (which cause gastrointestinal problems)
  • A sudden change in food (if you swap formulas, do it gradually)
  • An unbalanced diet (too much or too little of nutrients)

“A cat may require sensitive tummy cat food, or a restricted diet, if they are experiencing food allergies, specific food sensitivities, or other issues due to underlying gastrointestinal (GI) issues,” says Bourquin. “These can first manifest as hairballs, vomit, or loose stool.”

If your cat ingests foreign matter or a foreign object, they may develop digestive problems. Follow your cat closely to determine if they have been chewing or biting on something new. Anything from thread to string or chewing on kids’ toys can cause tummy upset.

Sensitive Stomach Cat Food: Key Benefits

Kitten sitting in owner lap

According to Bourquin, when choosing cat food sensitive stomach meals, you should look for ones with easily digestible ingredients, probiotics, or other digestive enhancers. But he cautions against making a switch without talking to your veterinarian.

“Before putting your cat on any type of restrictive diet or giving them any sensitive stomach food, you should always seek your veterinarian’s opinion on the matter.”

Sensitive tummy cat food provides the following benefits:

  • Made with easily digestible cat food ingredients
  • May help maintain a cat’s weight
  • Provides balanced nutrition
  • Reduces stool odors 
  • Minimizes or prevents vomiting and diarrhea 
  •  Acts as a great source of protein

Sensitive Cat Food FAQs

What ingredients should I avoid in sensitive stomach food for cats

Avoid dairy products, filler and by-products, grains, soy, artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors.

Can I give treats to my cat with a sensitive stomach?

Speak with your veterinarian before giving your cat treats. You should seek out treats with limited ingredients and introduce them slowly. Be sure to monitor for any digestive reactions.

Can cat food for cats with sensitive stomachs also help with hairballs?

Many sensitive cat food formulas include fiber, which may help any hair to pass through the digestive system. Some brands make hairball control and sensitive formula cat food.