The Best Cat Foods For Sensitive Stomachs For 2022

Written by Katie Melynn
Updated: August 2, 2022
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Whether your pet cat has a known sensitivity or just tends to get hairballs easily, trying cat food for sensitive stomachs may be the answer that you need. These foods are formulated with sensitive kitties in mind. From keeping the ingredients list short to using all-natural sources of protein and nutrients, these foods are as tasty as they are healthy.

There is no shortage of cat food and helpful products on the market for cats with sensitive stomachs. We’ve researched the top foods that cat owners love to help you find one that works for your kitty, your budget, and your needs. Fewer hairballs and coughing up episodes mean less cleaning up for you, not to mention a more comfortable cat who is getting the nutrients that they need.

  1. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Cat Food
  2. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Cat Food
    • Made from high-quality ingredients
    • Reduces vomiting and sensitivity issues
    • Formulated with chicken, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits
    • Also includes prebiotics and omega fatty acids for digestive and skin health
    • Includes Blue Buffalo's proprietary LifeBits, featuring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote overall health
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  4. Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach
    • Budget-friendly
    • This protein-rich recipe is made with real turkey
    • Includes antioxidants and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and digestion
    • Easy to digest formula
    • Cats love it for its flavor and crunchy texture
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Digestion
  6. Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Digestion
    • High-quality salmon is the first ingredient
    • Include prebiotics for a healthy microbiome
    • Pumpkin and oats aid digestion
    • The manufacturer advertises a "perfect poop" in one week
    • Great for cats with vomiting issues
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  8. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
    • Has a high protein content for overall health
    • Meat is the first ingredient
    • Available in multiple flavors
    • Includes prebiotic fiber
    • Also includes vitamins, minerals, and taurine for healthy eyes
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Iams ProActive Health Kitten
  10. Iams ProActive Health Kitten
    • Formulated for kittens' special developmental needs
    • Easy to chew and digest
    • High in quality protein
    • Smaller kibble is "just right" for kittens' smaller mouth and teeth
    • Also available in a wet formula for variety or a treat
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  11. Freely Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  12. Freely Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
    • Single-protein formula consists of rabbit and rabbit meal
    • Gluten-free
    • Filler-free
    • Sweet potatoes and peas add texture
    • Salmon oil benefits your cat's skin
    • Includes essential vitamins and minerals
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

#1 Overall Best Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs: Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

In our review, the best cat food for sensitive stomachs is Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural adult dry cat food. While not the cheapest option out there, it is made with high-quality ingredients, a fantastic value for its formula and performance, and helps reduce throwing up and sensitivity issues. This cat food is made with chicken for protein; brown rice, oatmeal, and barley for whole grains; peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, cranberries, and blueberries for veggies and fruits. It also includes prebiotics and omega fatty acids to help with digestion and skin health.

All Blue Buffalo dry cat foods include LifeBits, a specialized piece that includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to promote your cat’s overall health. There are plenty of Blue Buffalo formulas, making it easy to transition from kitten food to sensitive stomach adult food, and eventually senior food. You can also move to other specialized formulas as needed without a long transition time.

One cat owner had tried other foods and treatments, including costly vet visits and antibiotics, to help her cat who threw up so much that she had trouble maintaining a healthy weight. “I started Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach and she immediately improved,” the reviewer wrote. “She has gained her weight back and very rarely throws up.”

Overall Best
Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Cat Food
  • Made from high-quality ingredients
  • Reduces vomiting and sensitivity issues
  • Formulated with chicken, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits
  • Also includes prebiotics and omega fatty acids for digestive and skin health
  • Includes Blue Buffalo's proprietary LifeBits, featuring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote overall health
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best Budget Choice: Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food

One of the most budget-friendly cat foods for sensitive stomachs is also one of the most budget-friendly. The Purina ONE Sensitive Skin and Stomach dry cat food is made with real turkey, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and digestion. This is a protein-rich food with 34% of the content coming from protein sources. This helps cats’ muscles stay lean and strong. The formula is easy for cats to digest. Many cat owners who tried other strategies to get their cat from throwing up finally found something that works for their budgets and homes with Purina ONE’s formula.

This food is also a cat favorite for its taste and crunchy texture, even for cats who don’t have sensitivity issues. “Since we can’t easily separate our cats at feeding time, all three get the same food – and they all really like the flavor,” said one reviewer with a cat who suffers from pancreatitis. “Rarely if ever is there a morsel left at the end of the day, and I haven’t been able to get anywhere near that kind of results or feline cooperation with either prescription foods or other over-the-counter products.”

Best Budget Choice
Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • Budget-friendly
  • This protein-rich recipe is made with real turkey
  • Includes antioxidants and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and digestion
  • Easy to digest formula
  • Cats love it for its flavor and crunchy texture
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Premium Food: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dry Cat Food Perfect Digestion

While expensive, the Hill’s Science Diet Adult dry cat food in the Perfect Digestion formula is great for sensitive stomachs and through the rest of the digestive tract. It includes prebiotics to encourage a healthy microbiome. Pumpkin and oats also help move things along in your cat’s system. Hill’s Science Diet advertises a “perfect poop” in one week, something that many reviewers found worked for their cat. “Sure is expensive, but no more explosive poo,” said one reviewer.

Because it promotes a healthy microbiome, it is also great for cats with vomit issues. “My one cat has issues with digestive problems,” wrote one reviewer. “I have bought so many other products from Hill’s Science Diet. All good brands but this easy digestion product seem to have done the trick.” The taste was also very popular with cats, a good feature considering it is so expensive.

Best Premium Food
Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Digestion
  • High-quality salmon is the first ingredient
  • Include prebiotics for a healthy microbiome
  • Pumpkin and oats aid digestion
  • The manufacturer advertises a "perfect poop" in one week
  • Great for cats with vomiting issues
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Wet Food: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Wet Cat Food

There are a lot of things to like about the Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach wet cat food. First, it is made for sensitive stomachs and includes a high protein content for overall health. Second, it comes in multiple flavors. For picky cats, this variety and choice can make a big difference. Finally, it has prebiotic fiber, meat as the first ingredient, added vitamins and minerals, and taurine for vision health. It includes all of the ingredients in a healthy diet and comes in tasty flavors. Win-win!

Wet food in general can be easier for some cats to digest. If your cat has trouble chewing or swallowing their food, which can often lead to vomiting or coughing up undigested food, switching to wet food may just be the perfect solution. There are also dry food options from Purina that complement this food and are also easy to digest. Adding wet food on top for added nutrition or as a treat is a great way to give your cat a delicious meal. You can’t use this food with an automatic cat food dispenser, however.

Best Wet Food
Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • Has a high protein content for overall health
  • Meat is the first ingredient
  • Available in multiple flavors
  • Includes prebiotic fiber
  • Also includes vitamins, minerals, and taurine for healthy eyes
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best for Kittens: IAMS ProActive Health Kitten Dry Food

Kittens often need specialized nutrition and many adult cat foods, even those for sensitive stomachs, aren’t the best choice for kittens. IAMS ProActive Healthy kitten food is made for this time of rapid development while still being easy to chew and digest. The first ingredient in this food is real chicken. Kittens need high-protein diets to help them develop and grow into healthy cats. Feeding them a dry cat food that is high in quality protein is one of the most important things kitten owners can do.

This food also includes all of the healthy nutrients that we like to see in adult cat food for sensitive stomachs: omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and prebiotics, just to name a few. The kibble is smaller in size, perfect for kitten’s smaller teeth and mouths. The dry kibble is the most cost-effective option, but IAMS ProActive Health also makes wet food for kittens that can be a fun and tasty addition on top of their food or as an occasional treat.

Best for Kittens
Iams ProActive Health Kitten
  • Formulated for kittens' special developmental needs
  • Easy to chew and digest
  • High in quality protein
  • Smaller kibble is "just right" for kittens' smaller mouth and teeth
  • Also available in a wet formula for variety or a treat
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing The Best: What To Look For

When deciding on the best cat food for your kitty with a sensitive stomach, look for food that has purposeful and healthy ingredients, prebiotics included in the food, and cat-approved taste.

Ingredients

Cat food for sensitive stomachs should include ingredients that are healthy for cats. These include high-quality protein sources (chicken and fish are popular choices), vitamins and minerals from vegetables and fruits (sweet potatoes, cranberries, and blueberries), and prebiotics to support digestive health. Grain can be a trigger for pets with sensitivities, so you will usually not see them in cat food formulated for sensitive stomachs.

Prebiotics

If there’s one ingredient to look for in cat food for sensitive stomachs, it is prebiotics. These have to be added to the main ingredients, such as chicken or fish. Prebiotics help create a healthy microbiome in your cat’s gut that digests their food properly. Some cats and other pets can maintain this delicate balance without added prebiotics in their diet but most (especially those with sensitive stomachs) need some extra help.

Taste

Even the best food for your cat’s health won’t do any good if they won’t eat it. Cat-approved tastes, such as savory chicken or fresh fish, are great. We also recommend considering foods that come in multiple flavors. Some cats really like variety in their food. Others just want options to pick their favorite one. Having multiple flavors within the same brand and formula also reduces the amount of time that it takes to transition from one option to another.

The Different Types Of Cat Food For Sensitive Stomaches: Pros And Cons Compared

There are two main types of cat foods: wet and dry. Both of these options are available for cats with sensitive stomachs and there are pros and cons to each choice.

Wet Cat Food for Sensitive Stomaches

ProsCons
Great for sensitive mouths and stomachsMore expensive
Can be richer in tasteCan create a bigger mess
Many cats love it

Dry Cat Food for Sensitive Stomaches

ProsCons
Stays fresh longer when in a dishCats with chewing problems have trouble
More options availableSome cats lose interest
More affordable

Verified Review: User Experience

Blue Buffalo dry cat foods get rave reviews and the Sensitive Stomach formula has been called a “lifesaver” by many reviewers. “I have a 3-cat household and one is underweight because of a sensitive stomach. In her 7 years with me, I don’t think more than a day or 2 has gone by without her vomiting. I’ve tried other sensitive stomach or grain-free formulas and she either wouldn’t eat them, they’d be way too expensive to feed three the same diet or they didn’t work. I left out both the old and new food for them and after the first week they preferred the blue buffalo and I haven’t stepped in puke since! She’s also starting to gain some healthy weight. 100% recommend.”

Our budget-friendly recommendation, Purine ONE Sensitive Skin and Stomach dry cat food often had immediate results for cats and their owners. “If she ate too much she would throw up. If she went too many hours without eating then she would throw up when she did finally eat. I had to clean throw up like twice a day. Every. Day. Then I bought this food…. If only I had tried it sooner,” said one reviewer whose cat had thrown up frequently for their entire 8-year life. “Better late than never. She can eat to her heart’s content and I don’t have to clean up any more puke. Thank you, Purina! This is a good one!!!”

We are also big fans of Hill’s Science Diet foods for cats and the Perfect Digestion formula helps your cat’s entire digestive system, not just their stomach. It is also one of the foods often recommended by vets for cats with stomach and bathroom problems. “Science diet was recommended by my vet,” said one reviewer. “My cat likes it so I can’t complain. A little seems to go a long way as it is very nutritious. Cat is happy so I’m happy.”

About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie is a Teaching Artist with The APEX Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland and was awarded an Author Fellowship to Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. She also enjoys spending time with her three kids and cat.

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