Best Cat Foods For Diarrhea

Cats Jul 16, 2019
Written by | Updated Jun 7, 2021
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Best Cat Foods For Diarrhea

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If your cat has an acute bout of diarrhea, he needs a bland diet and time to recover. Chronic diarrhea, however, may be a symptom of inflammation or intolerances, indicating that a dietary overhaul may be in order.

The best cat foods for diarrhea have simple, meat-based, anti-inflammatory recipes, ideally including probiotics or other digestive aids.

That’s why I’ve chosen Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels as the best cat food for diarrhea.

These freeze-dried morsels are packed with highly-digestible meat and organs, contain sources of fiber for digestive health, and are fortified with probiotics to support a healthy gut flora population.

At a Glance: Best Cat Foods For Diarrhea To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Cat Foods For Diarrhea

Overall Best
Stella & Chewy's Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

1. Stella & Chewy's Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Runner Up
Smalls Other Fresh Ground Bird

2. Smalls Other Fresh Ground Bird

Most Popular
Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

3. Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Best For Allergic Cats
Hound & Gatos Lamb Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

4. Hound & Gatos Lamb Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Best For Gravy Lovers
Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Chicken Frick 'A Zee Chicken Recipe

5. Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Chicken Frick 'A Zee Chicken Recipe

Best For Senior Cats
Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Grain-Free Duck & Turkey Formula Canned Cat Food

6. Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Grain-Free Duck & Turkey Formula Canned Cat Food

Protein
44% Min
Protein
23.4% Min
Protein
52% Min
Protein
12% Min
Protein
10% Min
Protein
11% Min
Fat
30% Min
Fat
6.6% Min
Fat
15% Min
Fat
8.0% Min
Fat
2.5% Min
Fat
8.0% Min
Fiber
5.0% Max
Fiber
0.3% Max
Fiber
3% Max
Fiber
1.0% Max
Fiber
0.5% Max
Fiber
1.0% Max
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
All Life Stages
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
Adult
Type
Freeze-Dried
Type
Fresh
Type
Dry
Type
Wet
Type
Wet
Type
Wet
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
Thailand
Made In
United States

Our Top Picks For The Best Cat Foods For Diarrhea

Overall Best
1.

Stella & Chewy's Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 44% Min
  • Fat: 30% Min
  • Fiber: 5.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Freeze-Dried
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 44%
Crude Fat: 30%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 46.32%
Fat: 31.58%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 16.84%
Pros
  • Made with a single source of animal protein.
  • Features rabbit, a novel protein appropriate for cats with food intolerances.
  • Contains probiotics for digestive support.
  • The food’s low carbohydrate content may help to reduce inflammation and support long-term health.
Cons
  • Not all cats enjoy the rabbit taste.
  • The food might contain too much bone for some cats.
Several reviewers say that this food helped to clear up their cats’ chronic diarrhea.

It’s primarily made from rabbit, which is considered a novel protein and isn’t likely to cause allergic flareups. In addition to rabbit, the food contains pumpkin seed and probiotics for digestive health support. Each pound has at least 50 million CFUs of probiotic microorganisms.

While the food has a reputation for helping cats with diarrhea, it’s not a great choice for every cat.

Like some other freeze-dried and raw foods, this product is heavy on bone, containing a good bit more bone than your cat’s natural prey. This high bone content means the food might have too much phosphorus for cats with kidney disease. Some say the food’s bone content sent their cats’ digestion in the opposite direction of diarrhea—it made them constipated.
Runner Up
2.

Smalls Other Fresh Ground Bird

Product Info

  • Protein: 23.4% Min
  • Fat: 6.6% Min
  • Fiber: 0.3% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Fresh
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 23.4%
Crude Fat: 6.6%
Crude Fiber: 0.3%
Moisture: 65.4%
Ash: 0.9%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 67.63%
Fat: 19.08%
Fiber: 0.87%
Carbs: 9.83%
Pros
  • Simple, meat-based recipes for cats
  • Fresh food sent right to your door
  • Real turkey as the main ingredient
  • Highly digestible, rich in moisture
Cons
  • Must create account and start subscription to order
  • Meals aren’t portioned by calorie needs (multi-serving packs)
Loading your cat’s diet with fiber isn’t always the best solution for diarrhea – sometimes you just need to simplify. If you’re looking for a simple, meat-based diet for your cat, try Smalls.

Smalls offers fresh, human-grade recipes made with real animal proteins. This Other Fresh Ground Bird features turkey thigh (skin on) with chicken liver as supplemental protein. The only other ingredients are fresh veggies like green beans, peas, and kale with some vegetable oil to balance out the fat content. All in all, it is highly digestible which is great for your cat.

What you’ll really like about Smalls, however, is that they send the cat food to you. Just fill out a quick profile for your cat and they’ll make recommendations and send the exact right amount of food your cat needs.
Most Popular
3.

Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 52% Min
  • Fat: 15% Min
  • Fiber: 3% Max
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Type: Dry
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 52%
Crude Fat: 15%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 8%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 56.52%
Fat: 16.3%
Fiber: 3.26%
Carbs: 23.91%
Pros
  • Contains highly-digestible protein.
  • Made with rabbit, which is rarely allergenic.
  • The food has a simple ingredient list.
  • Added digestive enzymes may support healthy digestion.
Cons
  • The food isn’t very well-known and doesn’t have a lot of customer reviews.
This is a simple, easy-to-digest canned food that features turkey as its main ingredient. If your cat is sensitive to chicken, turkey is a good alternative poultry ingredient.

Instead of inflammatory carrageenan, the food is thickened with agar-agar, one of the safest binding gums you can use.

Like all Vital Essentials foods, it’s enhanced with a unique blend of digestive enzymes, yeasts, and chelated minerals. These ingredients purportedly help to support healthy digestion. Though there aren’t many reviews on this recipe, people who’ve bought other Pure Vita foods say they’re great for their cats’ digestion.
Best For Allergic Cats
4.

Hound & Gatos Lamb Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 12% Min
  • Fat: 8.0% Min
  • Fiber: 1.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 12%
Crude Fat: 8%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 76.5%
Ash: 2.5%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 51.06%
Fat: 34.04%
Fiber: 4.26%
Pros
  • Includes highly-digestible ingredients.
  • Features a novel protein for cats with allergies.
  • Has a short, simple ingredient list.
  • Contains salmon oil as a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
Cons
  • Expensive.
This canned food from Hound & Gatos features lamb as its primary ingredient. Because it’s a novel protein for most cats, lamb is appropriate for cats with suspected or known food allergies.

The food also contains agar-agar as a non-inflammatory binder and salmon oil as a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

One reviewer calls this product “the only food that doesn’t give my cat diarrhea,” elaborating that “the diarrhea she’s had for the six weeks we’ve had her went away! I no longer have to put a towel in my lap and on the furniture to absorb foul leaks. We have our house back, and the kitty is happy and gaining strength.”

The food is easy to digest, palatable, and can help to reduce inflammation. Its biggest downside is its price. All Hound & Gatos foods are on the expensive side and their lamb recipe is one of their priciest.
Best For Gravy Lovers
5.

Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Chicken Frick 'A Zee Chicken Recipe

Product Info

  • Protein: 10% Min
  • Fat: 2.5% Min
  • Fiber: 0.5% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet
  • Made In: Thailand

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 2.5%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 85%
Ash: 1.5%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 66.67%
Fat: 16.67%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 3.33%
Pros
  • Features a single protein source.
  • Includes highly-digestible ingredients.
  • Includes fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Low carbohydrate content supports general health.
Cons
  • Expensive.
This recipe from Weruva features shredded chicken in a thick broth. Chicken makes up most of the recipe, while sunflower seed oil and fish oil serve as sources of fat. Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation associated with diarrhea.

This recipe contains a few more thickeners than the others on this list, with locust bean gum, xanthan gum, and guar gum working together to stabilize and thicken the food. Though these aren’t species-appropriate inclusions in cat food, they’re not inflammatory like carrageenan and are safe for cats with or without diarrhea.

If your cat doesn’t have any chicken intolerances and prefers shredded foods, this product from Weruva could be a good option.
Best For Senior Cats
6.

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Grain-Free Duck & Turkey Formula Canned Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 11% Min
  • Fat: 8.0% Min
  • Fiber: 1.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 11%
Crude Fat: 8%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 50%
Fat: 36.36%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 9.09%
Pros
  • Made with highly bioavailable protein sources.
  • Low carbohydrate content.
  • Supplemented with New Zealand green mussels.
Cons
  • Very expensive.
Dr. Elsey’s says that duck and turkey are two of the most biologically available protein sources your cat can consume. Muscle meat and organs constitute the bulk of this low-carbohydrate, carnivore-appropriate food.

The food is thickened with agar-agar, a safe and non-inflammatory thickening agent. It’s supplemented with New Zealand green mussels, which may help to reduce inflammation associated with diarrhea.

Overall, this food is gentle on the stomach and, thanks to the inclusion of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, could soothe your cat’s digestion.

How Do You Choose The Right Food For Your Cat With Diarrhea?

Factors influencing which food is right for your cat include whether the diarrhea is chronic or acute, whether or not your cat’s suffering from other conditions, food allergies, and your cat’s taste and texture preferences.

Feeding A Cat With Acute Diarrhea

If your cat suddenly started having loose bowels and this isn’t a recurring event, you’ll first want to give his digestive tract a break. Let him fast for 12 hours. Diarrhea itself impedes nutrient absorption and food will only make the situation worse.

After a 12-hour fast, switch to a bland diet. This is traditionally cooked chicken and rice, but feel free to skip the rice. Cats are obligate carnivores whether their stool is well-formed or not. Instead, consider boiled chicken, pork, turkey, or rabbit in an unseasoned bone broth. This diet isn’t nutritionally complete, so you shouldn’t feed it for more than a couple of days.

After a couple of days, gently switch your cat back to his old diet or, if symptoms haven’t subsided, try a new food that’s gentler on the GI system.

Feeding A Cat With Chronic Diarrhea

Cats with chronic diarrhea have soft or liquid feces for three weeks or more. If your cat has chronic diarrhea, your main focus shouldn’t be on the fact that your cat has loose stool. Instead, that focus should be on the underlying problem that’s causing the symptom. You’re feeding a cat with irritable bowel disease, food intolerances, or another condition affecting the digestive system.

If possible, identify that problem and feed your cat accordingly. A limited-ingredient diet that’s fortified with probiotics and anti-inflammatory fish oil is usually a good option, but you’ll have to fill in the details based on your cat’s unique needs.

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Mallory Crusta is a blogger and adventurecat enthusiast who brings you the facts about cat products, wellness, and care. She's the co-founder of Wildernesscat, a resource for savvy cat guardians who want to give their felines richer, healthier lives. Visit Wildernesscat for product reviews, radically natural nutrition tips, and lifestyle inspiration
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