IBD in Cats Best Food and Nutrition Guide

If your cat has been diagnosed with IBD or you suspect they may be having issues with it, then there are likely some difficult times for you and your cat in your future. The good news is that in most cases you can treat this condition by offering your cat a better food option. In this article, we’re going to go over common causes of this condition and what you can do to help. We’ll make a few recommendations for foods, and even some supplements which may aid your cat in digestion to help them keep food down and absorb nutrients.
This post contains affiliate links and Beanietoes.com may earn a commission on any purchases you make through those links.

If your cat has been diagnosed with IBD or you suspect they may be having issues with it, then there are likely some difficult times for you and your cat in your future. The good news is that in most cases you can treat this condition by offering your cat a better food option.

In this article, we’re going to go over common causes of this condition and what you can do to help. We’ll make a few recommendations for foods, and even some supplements which may aid your cat in digestion to help them keep food down and absorb nutrients.

What causes IBD in cats?

The cause of this illness is still not totally known by vets. However, it’s a condition that causes your cat’s intestinal tract to become inflamed. This inflammation causes constant irritation, disrupting their ability to digest food and absorb its nutrients. This can quickly become a dangerous problem for many cats as their owners struggle to keep weight on a feline who either can’t keep food down at all or is constantly sick all the time.

While this condition can occur in cats of any age, it is more common in older felines. However, you should ask yourself if you are totally sure that your cat has IBD. Many times this condition is not formally diagnosed, and it’s possible that your cat just has severe food allergies. Fortunately, the information in this article should also help them since the symptoms and causes of these ailments are closely linked. Many experts believe that Hypersensitivity to food allergies plays a large role in feline inflammatory bowel disease, but genetics can also play a part. For example, Siamese cats seem to have a larger change of having this condition for whatever reason.

Inflammatory bowel disease in cats natural treatment

In many cases, diet may be a sufficient treatment for IBD in cats. If you have recieved a vet diagnosis for your pet, then he or she likely recommended feeding them a “novel protein”. This is simply a protein which your cat does not regularly eat. Believe it or not, many pets are actually sensitive to chicken and switching them to another protein may actually be very beneficial for them.

When searching for a new food for your cat you should focus on limited ingredient diets. Since your cats IBD is likely irritated due to allergies, the key is finding a food with easy to digest ingredients that will not trigger this reaction. Avoid products that use a large number of different proteins, grains, starches or other items which could trigger them. Look for products which feature whole food ingredients and not heavily processed meat meals or other items which may be hard on your cat.

There are of course some items which may be beneficial to your cat’s digestion such as pumpkin which helps them to maintain regularity. Fish oil or sweet potatoes may also be beneficial since they are anti-inflammatory foods. However, in some cases your cat may have many allergies, and these items might need to be avoided as well. Unfortunately, there is no one size treatment for this, and you’ll need to do some experimenting to figure out exactly what is triggering your cat’s problems.

If you have tried many diet options and it does not seem to be helping, or if you see that your cat is getting dangerously underweight, you may need to go to the vet. While many animals can have their condition controlled with diet and natural supplements, in extreme cases they may need veterinary assistance and prescription medications.

IBD in Cats Best Food

Now that we’ve gone over the basic issues which your cat is facing, now we can recommend a few foods which they can try. All of these choices use whole meat ingredients and easy to digest formulas which are great for your cat. All of our picks feature limited ingredient diets which make it easy to weed out problem items for sensitive kitties. We’ve also only included wet food diets in our picks, because they are simply better for your cat’s health. Dry foods will not be as easy to digest, and they can cause other potentially fatal issues such as struvite crystals due to lack of fluids. These blockages can prevent your cat from urinating, and it can be fatal if not treated immediately.

While all of these producers make great foods, you may need to do some detective work to find out exactly what works for your cat’s food sensitivities. Using limited ingredient diets is not only a great way to not trigger any allergies, but it’s also a great way to make it easier to discover problem ingredients. Here’s our IBD in cats best food choices.

#1- NomNomNow

best cat food

This excellent pet food company creates the freshest meals for pets using only human grade, whole food ingredients. They actually cook all of their recipes fresh and deliver them to your door every week. Fresh foods are much easier on digestion than heavily processed ones, and they even have a nutrition specialist who will work with you to make sure your cat gets the diet that is right for them! In this case, we are recommending their Flavorful Fish Feast recipe. As you can see from the image below, this recipe has only five main ingredients.

Limited ingredient diets like this one are excellent for cats with digestive issues and allergies. Fewer ingredients means fewer potential triggers, and limited protein profiles make for easier digestion. This recipe also include lots of healthy fish fats and oils which is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Fish is also often very palatable and tempting for kitties, enticing them to eat more. This makes it a great choice if you have a cat who is hesitant to eat and is losing weight because of it. If you’re looking to feed your cat the absolute best food available, this is it. NomNomNow is matched by no one in quality. If you’d like to learn more about feeding your cat this excellent diet, you can do so here.

#2 – Wyson Archetype

digestible cat food

Some cats may benefit from a raw food diet, but creating a diet like this yourself can be a challenge when trying to make sure your cat gets adequate nutrition. Wysong does however make a very good raw food diet called Archetype. This is a limited ingredient, dehydrated product which focuses on one key protein. This diet features a “whole prey” approach like the one your cat would get in the wild. This means that it not only contains whole meat items but also organs and bones which give your cat added nutrition. Here’s the ingredient list for quail flavor. Much like the Epigen formula, this product comes in multiple protein varieties, making it easy to choose something for your cat that will agree with their condition.

Quail, Natural Flavor, Taurine, Organic Blueberry, Organic Barley Grass, Chia Seeds, Broccoli Sprouts, Carrots, Plums, Whey, Sea Salt, Dried Kelp, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Yeast Culture, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus lactis Fermentation Product.

This is a dehydrated food. While some cats may be happy to just eat this food dry, it’s a better idea to reconstitute it with water. This will give your cat much needed liquids, and it will likely make it better tasting for them and easier to digest. You can learn more about Wysong’s excellent products here.

#3 – Halo Cat Food

Halo offers a canned food with superior digestibility. They have even done test to prove it. Their recipes are typically very limited in ingredients, and they also offer grain free varities. Halo uses only whole meat products when making their recipes, and they add healthier carbohydrates like sweet potatoes which are a great anti-inflammatory and easier for cats to digest than grains.

While Halo does offer very digestible and high quality products, all of their recipes seem to include chicken in some form. Unfortunately, there are many cats who are sensitive to chicken, and if you believe your cat may have issues with it then this is not a good choice for them.

This food does however work very well on cats who have had troubles with diarreah and vomiting if they do not have any aversions to chicken. They do however have a couple of turkey recipes that seem to be without it if your cat can eat those though. Turkey is sometimes a little easier on their digestive track and worth a shot if they favor poultry foods over other flavors. Read reviews from other pet parents and see the full ingredients list for this food here.

Aiding your cat’s digestion with supplements

Some cats may benefit from a digestive supplement. Since their condition is caused by inflammation, you may consider an anti-inflammatory or even some type of probiotic which can aid their digestion. We do have a few picks for you that you may want to try.

Wysong Pet Innoculant

This product is essentially a probiotic for pets which also gives them a large does of essential fatty assets which can aid their over all health. You can use this supplement as a means to help balance out the naturally occurring gut bacteria in your cat which may be giving your cat trouble. You can learn more about this product here.


While this product is typically marketed as to help pets with arthritis or pain, it’s because these ailments are also triggered by inflammation. This product helps to alleviate that inflammation and helps them to relieve pain. However, this product also contains digestive enzymes and bromelain which helps your cat’s digestive tract. Since many cats suffering from IBD are also older, the other ingredients will likely also be very beneficial for them. Buying FlexPet from the company’s website is the best way to buy it since they give you the best price there.

How to transition your cat to a new diet

Cats with IBD are likely very sensitive to sudden changes in their diet. You may find that you’ll need to transition them slowly to new food sources. Sudden changes can even cause additional digestion problems or they may simply refuse to eat.

If this is the case, then you can try introducing the food to them a little bit at a time. Start by sprinkling the new food on top of the old food or mixing a small amount into their bowl. Once they have accepted this successfully you can slowly increase the amount until they are only eating the new food. Keep in mind that some cats could take up to two weeks to fully acclimate to a new diet. If it has been longer than that and they are still having issues, then it’s likely you’ll need to go back to the drawing board to find something that agrees with them better.

My cat has not responded to his diet

If after some time your cat is not responding to his diet, or if your cat has lost a significant amount of weight, then you should take them to the vet. While diet is a great way to help treat IBD, some cases can be very severe. If your cat has stopped eating or is too sick to keep food down, it’s time to go to the vet for a proper medical diagnosis. The vet may be able to prescribe something that can help, and a cat who is not eating can quickly be in danger of death.

Michelle Rei
Michelle Rei
Michelle is a pet parent turned amateur pet product researcher. After adopting a fur baby with digestive issues caused by bad pet food, she's poured hundreds of hours into research to find the best of the best to help him and other pets live happier and healthier lives.
Share this post
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on print
Share on pocket

More From The Beanietoe's Blog


Beanietoes.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon or other affiliate networks. If you purchase a product through a link on our site, you’re helping to support our writers and website.