Just like some old people, some older cats have a sensitive stomach too. If your cat is experiencing regurgitating, vomiting or diarrhea it’s time for you to consider getting the best cat food for older cats with sensitive stomachs.
Although this is hardly a life or death issue, older cats with sensitive stomachs often struggle to digest their food. This may result in a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms.
These foods are made of easily digestible ingredients that are gentle enough for your cat’s stomach. Furthermore, they also provide a complete and balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients the senior cat needs.
Stomach sensitivities can be caused by many things. Also, not all older cats will experience the same symptoms. Some cats may be sensitive to grains, meat by-products or additives in food.
The best cat food for one cat, might not be so best for the other cat. The wrong type of food can cause more problems for older cats with sensitive stomachs.
Therefore, you might need to try out a few before you find the best cat food for your older cat with a sensitive stomach.
Finding Out if the Cat Has a Sensitive Stomach
The term ‘sensitive stomach’ is used to describe a stomach that gets easily upset. At some point, every cat experiences an upset stomach. If your cat is regularly experiencing digestive discomfort, she probably has a sensitive stomach. However, the symptoms can occur anywhere along the cat’s digestive system.
For example, vomiting is one of the most common signs of a sensitive stomach. This happens when the food is forcefully ejected from the stomach via the mouth.
So how can you tell for sure that your senior cat has a sensitive stomach? If you notice any change in your cat’s eating habits, she might have some form of stomach sensitivity.
The most common signs of a sensitive stomach in older cats are:
- changes in appetite,
- increased or decreased thirst and
Other health problems cause similar symptoms. So it is a good idea to have your senior cat checked by a vet first. If food is found to be the problem, then you can try any cat food from the list of best cat food for older cats with sensitive stomachs below.
Causes of Sensitive Stomach in Older Cats
There are many reasons why a cat can experience digestive problems. Usually, the main problem is the sensitive stomach. But the causes can something different.
Following are the main causes of stomach sensitivity in older cats.
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Some cats have a dysfunctional immune system that identifies normal food molecules as allergens. Meats like chicken, beef and pork are one of the most common causes of allergies in cats.
An older cat with food allergies will experience symptoms of sensitive stomach, combined with symptoms of allergies. These cats usually have itchy skin, frequent loose stools and will vomit after eating.
Intolerance towards food should not be confused with food allergies. With food allergies, stomach sensitivity is caused by the immune system’s response to an allergen from food.
With food intolerance, the food isn’t properly digested. So nutrients aren’t properly absorbed into the bloodstream. This means that the food will pass through the stomach and out through the stool in an almost unchanged state.
Diseases and Intestinal Parasites
Diseases of the pancreas, liver or gallbladder can lead to improper digestion and cause a sensitive stomach.
Intestinal parasites prevent proper nutrient and water absorption. This results in an upset stomach. Intestinal parasites also cause frequent watery stools.
Cats are meticulous groomers. But if your cat also sheds a lot, then the risk of developing hairballs increases.
Hairballs can affect the way stomach digests food. To re-establish functionality, the stomach will try to pass the hairball through the gut or through the mouth. In most cases, regurgitation is an easier option.
While some cats are fussy eaters, others will eat everything that moves.
Eating mice and other rodents that roam outdoors can cause stomach sensitivity. These animals are also exposed to possible contaminant or diseases and are certainly not the best food for older cats with sensitive stomachs.
Change in Diet
A sudden change in brand or type of cat food can cause stomach sensitivity. When you replace your cat’s food with a new one overnight, you shock the whole digestive system.
Changing your cat’s food from time to time isn’t a bad thing. However, start slowly and give your cat at least a one week adjustment period.
Stop Feeding Inappropriate Food
Generally, this depends on the individual sensitivities of each cat. To start with, you should avoid unnecessary foods like cat treats in your cat’s diet. This will help narrow down the list of foods that might be causing your cat’s sensitivities.
The most common problem causing foods for older cats with a sensitive stomach are:
- Dairy Products: The lactose found in dairy products like cow’s milk and cheese can’t be properly digested by cats. Try lactose free milk.
- Beef: It’s still unclear why some cats have trouble digesting beef. Besides being one of the more common food allergens, beef also causes diarrhea in many older cats.
- Fat Trimmings: Due to the large amounts of bile necessary to break down fats, too much of it in the cat’s diet is bad. If there isn’t enough bile, the undigested fat will be passed as diarrhea. In some cases, the undigested fat will be vomited out.
- Grains: Cats are natural born carnivores. Thus, their digestive systems aren’t built to digest and absorb grains. You should avoid foods, especially ones that contain soy, corn or wheat.
- Additives: Some commercially made foods contain many additives. Hence, it becomes impossible to pinpoint the one that is causing your cat’s sensitive stomach. Try to pick a food that doesn’t contain additives, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Sensitive Stomachs
Finding the best cat food for an older cat that vomits and has a sensitive stomach doesn’t have to be hard. Furthermore, you break the bank on prescription diets when there are easily digestible commercial foods already available.
The foods listed below are complete, balanced and suitable for older cats with food sensitivities. Our picks feature easily digestible proteins and are fortified with vitamins and minerals to support your senior cat’s overall health.
Most of these formulas are grain free. Plus they are made to fulfill the nutritional needs of older cats without causing an upset stomach. This isn’t a comprehensive list. But you will surely get a better idea of what the best cat food for older cats with sensitive stomachs should comprise of.
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet by Nature’s Variety
The Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet is a canned cat food specially designed for cats with sensitive stomachs. This food contains zero grains, no beef, wheat, soy, corn, artificial colors, or preservatives.
This formula features only one animal protein, turkey. Cage free turkey is easy to digest and a lean source of protein.
High quality, limited ingredients are specially picked for cats that suffer from stomach sensitivities. The same formula is available as kibble if your cat prefers a crunchy texture.
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Real Turkey Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food by Nature's Variety, 3 oz. Cans (Case of 24)
We recommend this food because it is exclusively made for the needs of older cats with sensitive stomachs. All the necessary vitamins and minerals are included to support your cat’s health and her immune system.
Cat parents affirm that this food put a stop to constant vomiting and that their cats’ symptoms subsided on this diet. However, some owners stated that they had to remove peas from the food for their picky cat.
Blue Basic Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food
The Blue Basic Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food is made for cats that suffer from food sensitivities. Featuring no poultry, grains, additives, or artificial colors this is an option for the best cat food for older cats that vomit.
The main ingredient, whitefish, is a tasty high quality ingredient that isn’t commonly used. Easily digestible peas and potatoes ensure that your cat has energy without compromising her digestive health.
High quality ingredients are beneficial for older cats with sensitive stomachs. This food is also a tasty alternative if your cat is sensitive to poultry.
We recommend this formula because it has pumpkin which promotes gentle digestion. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids support healthy skin and a good coat
According to reviews, this food is a real hit among fussy eaters that are hard to please. On the other hand, some owners found pieces of bones in the food and suggest checking the food for expiry date before serving it to your cat.
If you notice changes in your cats eating habits combined with frequent vomiting and diarrhea, chances are that she has a sensitive stomach.
Although this isn’t a life threatening condition, it is fairly unpleasant for both you and your cat. Once you are sure that food sensitivities are the cause of your cat’s troubles you need to consider a change in diet.
Feeding your senior kitty the best cat food for older cats with sensitive stomachs can put an end to her digestive troubles.