How To Choose The Best Cat Food For Diarrhea
Many cats suffer from a variety of digestion problems, such as IBS, IBD, diarrhea and other stomach issues. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable and painful for your cat, it can be extremely displeasing for you, the cat owner.
Cleaning up their mess every day isn’t the most fun, and if you’ve come home after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is find one of your cat’s ‘presents’ on the floor. Luckily, there is a solution – specialized cat food. Here’s how you can choose the best cat food for diarrhea.
**Below, you'll find more detailed review, but you can also click links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
What Are Feline IBS And IBD?
It’s important to note that cats (and dogs) can get the same sort of illnesses that humans can. Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Disorder both affect the intestinal tract. It is believed that IBS is a pre-cursor for IBD, as the latter is much more serious.
Symptoms include weight loss, regular bouts of diarrhea, vomiting and blood in the stool. If you notice that your cat is coughing up more hairballs than usual (more than once a month,) this could also be a sign of IBS or IBD, and you should schedule an appointment with your vet right away.
Although these illnesses are normally associated with older cats, they can happen in younger ones as well, particularly if your cat goes outdoors a lot.
Giving your cat specialized cat food can help lessen the symptoms and/or make them occur less frequently. It will give your cat some much-needed relief and will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re doing the best you can for your beloved pet.
Other Causes Of Diarrhea In Cats
While IBS and IBD are the most serious causes of diarrhea, they are not the only causes. There are several other things that could cause this symptom. This could last anywhere from a day to a couple of months depending on the severity of the cause.
- A change in diet
- Eating too much human food (whether given by you or stolen off of the counter)
- Eating grass or bugs outside
- Eating dairy
- Eating chocolate (please note, chocolate can be fatal for cats!)
- Internal parasites such as roundworm or ringworm
- Allergic reaction
- Bacterial infection
You may not be able to control everything your cat ingests or even know in advance that they’re going to have a reaction to medication, but at the first sign of trouble you can change their food accordingly to help relieve their symptoms.
Get Professional Advice
While giving them better food choices is always an ideal option, don’t forget about your veterinarian. If your cat is showing symptoms of being ill, take them immediately to your veterinarian for professional advice. Your vet can tell a lot just from a physical examination; however, they may order x-rays and blood tests as well if they deem it necessary.
Never try to self-diagnose, no matter how likely you think you are to be right, or how long you’ve owned cats. Chances are you know your cat better than anyone else, but to protect their health for as long as possible, regular visits to the vet are imperative to your cat’s well-being; and that means taking care of them in emergency situations as well.
What To Look For In Cat Food
While it’s important to buy quality cat food for all cats, if yours has digestion problems, there are certain things you should look for in the ingredients. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Go organic
Many cat food brands are manufactured in a factory with ingredients that are less than natural (in fact, the same could be said about our human food!) Foods known as GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) can wreak havoc on our bodies, and cats are no different.
These ingredients are foreign to the digestive system, and as such, don’t get digested properly. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient it’s probably best left on the shelf. Always buy organic cat food whenever possible.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – cats aren’t meant to eat grains! They are predators and they eat meat! Meat should always be the first ingredient that is listed on the label, not grains. Whether it’s chicken, beef or fish, make sure the protein is listed first; this means that meat makes up most of the contents of the formula and the food will be high in protein, which is what you want.
3. Plenty of vitamins and EFA’s
Protein may be the most important ingredient, but it’s not the only one they need. Vitamins like A, C and E will ensure they stay as healthy as possible. And Essential Fatty Acids will keep their coats full, shiny and healthy looking.
4. Look for foods without a lot of ingredients
When reading the ingredient list, you shouldn’t feel as though you’re reading a novel. The best food lists only a handful of wholesome ingredients. That’s all that’s needed to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Does all of this sound familiar? The recommended diet for cats is also very close to our own diet recommendations from health experts.
With all of these considerations in mind, I’ve come up with a list of my favorites, with pros and cons for each
5 Best Cat Foods for Diarrhea
These come in 5.5 oz. serving sizes, and you can buy in cases of 12, making it more convenient; buying in bulk is an ideal option for almost anything that has a long expiration date, or even better, no expiration date at all. There are six flavor choices, including chicken, turkey, lamb, and salmon. You’re sure to find a flavor that your cat loves, although you may have to experiment to find their favorite one.
The Instinct brand is the official partner of Best Friends Animal Society. As an official pet food partner, they provide more than one million meals of Instinct to adoption centers across the country. This alone is a great reason to purchase this cat food – you’ll not only be helping your own feline, you’ll be helping others while they try to find permanent homes.
- High in protein
- Made with all natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals
- Contains Omega and Essential fatty acids to keep their coats healthy and shiny
- Comes in a variety of flavors, so you’re sure to find one your cat likes, no matter how discerning their tastes are
- Easy for sensitive tummies to digest
- The ingredients are formulated for indoor cats only, it may not be as suitable for outdoor cats.
What makes this cat food unique is that it is advertised as ‘human grade’ meaning that it is safe for human consumption. Whether you’d actually want to eat it is a whole other story, which won’t be discussed here! This is one of the most ‘natural’ cat foods on the market today and comes in a variety of flavors like chicken, tuna, sardines and even lobster!
Another feature of this brand is that you can actually see the shreds of meat and fish in the can, which is definitely a rarity with pet foods.
- Chemical and additive free
- There are no fillers in this food, including grains, corn, gluten or fruits or vegetables
- Contains only the protein and broth (for example, chicken and chicken broth) and the necessary vitamins, EFA’s and minerals to keep their bodies healthy and lean.
- Does not contain carbs, which is an important consideration if your cat is overweight
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor cats
- Can be difficult to find in stores if you’re not located in North America; however, it is readily available online.
- This is canned food, not dry; so if you use an automatic feeder, keep in mind that most feeders only keep canned food fresh for a few hours.
This is another brand made by Instinct, but a dry food variety. Again, they are an official partner of the Best Friends Animal Society and provide more than one million meals to adoption centres across the country.
The other unique feature of this cat food is that it is formulated to suit cats of all ages, from kittens to seniors. It comes in a variety of flavors including turkey, duck and of course, chicken.
- High in protein
- Comes in kibble form, plus added freeze dried pieces; this provides a wholesome and nutrient-rich diet is ideal for digestive health
- Contains all natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals
- No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
- No fillers
- No wheat, soy, corn, potatoes, grains or gluten
- Suitable for cats of all ages, including kittens, adult cats and seniors
- Contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to keep their coat healthy and shiny
- Contains probiotics to promote healthy digestion
- Contains antioxidants for maximum immune health
- Can be an ideal solution for cats with severe digestive problems like IBS, IBD and diarrhea
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor cats
- Contains tapioca, which is high in sugar, which may contribute to diabetes later in life.
This cat-food brand has been around for a decade, but uses a nutritional formulation that’s modeled after how cats have eaten in the wild for millennia. Domesticated house cats, like their desert-roaming predecessors, have a weak thirst. That’s why this brand of canned food contains added moisture content, which helps support digestion and healthy urinary functions.
Cats in the wild get most of their water needs from their prey, so water is not a huge concern. Domesticated cats, however, don’t get their nutritional needs satisfied from wild animals, and as such, need extra moisture content.
- Each serving contains added vitamins and minerals for maximum health support
- Contains enough water content to support your cat’s urinary tract and digestive system
- Comes in a variety of flavors including chicken, shrimp and turkey
- Comes in several different formulas to support each stage, including kittens, adults and seniors
- It is only available in wet food varieties, which could be a challenge if you have an automatic feeder.
This famous chef has come up with a cat food formula that cats are sure to love. This brand contains all-natural ingredients, with meat being #1, makes this a healthy choice for felines who have digestive issues.
What sets it apart from others is that the proceeds go to “Rachael’s Rescue” a foundation that sends food, medical supplies and treatment to animals in need.
- Contains essential fatty acids for a shiny and healthy coat
- High in protein
- No fillers or preservatives
- Made with organic ingredients
- Great for outdoor and indoor cats of all ages
- It does contain vegetables and brown rice, something not all vets agree with, your cat will have to choose if it’s right for her.
So, who is the clear winner here? For me and my cat, who is a strictly indoor cat, and suffers from IBS, I like the Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. I have an automatic feeder and this is very easy to fill, without worrying about wet food going bad (I’m away for 12 hours a day, sometimes more).
I love that it’s made with wholesome ingredients and my cat’s IBS symptoms are less severe than they were before. It took a few weeks to notice a difference in her digestive system, but she seems to be doing quite well. She is a finicky eater, and she loves the chicken flavor.
All of the above foods are made with only the finest ingredients and can help with digestion. They make a great alternative to general store-bought brands that are made with GMO or other ingredients that are considered unhealthy.
Which one will your cat love best? That’s impossible to say – you may have to try a couple of different brands before you find the one that your cat loves best. Your cat will tell you which brand she likes best!
What has been your experience with these brands? Is there a brand that your cat loves best? How do you deal with your cat’s digestive issues?