The symptoms for pets with digestion issues can vary greatly, but if you have a fur baby that experiences vomiting, diarrhea, gas, skin allergies, itchiness, or constipation, then they could be having a reaction to their food. As a pet parent, it can be frustrating when this occurs, because often times that means a long trial and error type of game where you have to try to eliminate products which your pet may be sensitive too. Don’t worry though, because in today’s article we’re going to help remove some of this work for you by providing the best foods for pets with digestive issues.
What causes digestion problems in pets?
While there are some pets that may have a medical condition which leads to their gastrointestinal issues, for most animals this will likely lead back to sensitivity to certain food items. However, dehydration can also be a problem. If you have been feeding your cat an exclusively dry food diet, then you may want to consider adding more moisture to their diet for their health. In addition to giving them problems with digestion, dehydration can also lead to urine crystals. Once enough of these crystals are present they can cause blockages that can be fatal to cats if not treated immediately.
Unfortunately, the hardest part about sorting out your pet’s issues will be finding out exactly what they have a problem digesting. Some animals have issues with grains, others have problems with certain protein items, and the only way to actually figure this out is by trial and error.
The good news is that there is a good way to narrow down the list. By purchasing a limited ingredient diet for your pet you’ll have much better odds of purchasing something that they can digest. A limited ingredient food uses a very small selection of ingredients, typically focusing on one protein item. Diets constructed in this way are typically the easiest for sensitive animals to digest.
Our top picks for easy to digest cat food
Now that we know what we’re looking for it’s time to jump into our list of the most highly digestible cat foods. We’ve compiled this list using only brands that offer limited ingredient diets that are especially easy on your cat’s stomach. We’ve also noted exactly what’s great about each item in the list to help you narrow down your choices and to make your decision easier. If you do know what ingredients your cat can not eat, then keep in mind that most of these options have multiple recipes to choose from, and there’s likely a flavor that will be acceptable to them in your chosen brand.
If you’re looking for a truly exceptional limited ingredient cat food, then this is the cream of the crop. NomNomNow is a pet food deliver service. They create custom tailored meals for your pets, and then they deliver them straight to your door. All of their recipes use only human grade ingredients, and the recipes are super limited. Below you can see the ingredients for their fish recipe. There are only five components, and all of them are fresh food items. There’s no worries about whether your fur baby will be ingesting any unsavory by-products or heavily processed food items.
This diet is not only great for pets with sensitive tummies, but also for allergies or cats which may be at risk for struvite crystals. A fresh diet will provide your cat with adequate moisture which they do not typically get on their own since most cats aren’t big on drinking water, instead preferring to get most of their liquids through eating. You can learn more about NomNomNow at their website if you’re interested in offering your cat the very best diet available. It’s certainly one of the pricier options out there, but they simply can not be beat when it comes to quality.
#2 – Halo Cat Food
If you can’t really afford to offer your cat a prime diet like NomNomNow, then Halo makes a good alternative that’s more affordable. This brand makes both dry and canned foods, and they still offer your cat excellent nutrition without compromising on the ingredients. Halo uses only human grade whole meat products, choosing to avoid any by-products or heavily processed meat meals.
This brand has actually done tests to prove that their food has superior digestibility to other brands, and you’ll likely see a huge difference in your cat after making the switch. They don’t use anything GMO, anything artificial and they make grain free varieties. It should be noted that not every Halo cat food is grain free. If you’d like a grain free product (which we recommend) then make sure it is labeled as such on the packaging before purchasing.
If you don’t want to feed your cat an entirely wet food diet for cost reasons, then it would be a good idea to at least offer them a partial wet food diet for health reasons. For example, you could feed them a partial can in the morning, and then make up the rest of their calories using the corresponding dry food option in the evening. This allows you to make sure your cat is getting more liquids without breaking the bank if cost is a concern for you.
#3 – Stella and Chewy
This low carbohydrate diet for cats is made of freeze dried meats and choice veggies. Most of the common allergy vectors are not present here, and it focuses on a single protein source. The manufacturer has also added pumpkin which is a great food item to settle sensitive stomachs. That makes this an excellent addition to our list and a solid choice if you’re looking for a highly digestible food.
As this is a freeze dried item, you’ll want to add water to it to make it into a sort of wet food for your cat. This gives it a better moisture content than feeding a dry food, and freeze dried meats are often very palatable to cats if your kitty is a picky eater. All of Stella and Chewy’s recipes are 98% meat, and they have added probiotics, the good gut bacteria needed for digestion health.
While these are our top picks, you should keep in mind that your animal is an individual. Tending to their digestive woes might not be a quick fix, and you may need to try more than one food before you find a brand that works well for them. Once you start using a limited diet like the ones above though it becomes much easier to begin weeding out bad ingredients and getting to the root of the problem.
Tips for transitioning your pet to their new food
While some animals may be able to take right to a new food, in other cases this may be very difficult. Unfortunately, this is probably most likely to happen in animals with sensitive digestive tracks. You may find that you need to ease your pet into the new food either to get them to eat it or to keep them from being ill. If you’re having trouble with the transition then try doing it slowly.
Mix the new food in with their old food, or perhaps put a little of the new food on top so that the dish is not entirely unfamiliar to them. You can then gradually increase the amount until they are only eating the new food and your transition has been made successfully.