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The 5 Best Cat Foods for Gassy Cats

April 8, 2020

The 5 Best Cat Foods for Gassy Cats

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The best cat food for gassy cats is clean, efficient, and easy-to-digest.

Because it’s a meaty, low-fiber food that doesn’t contain any of the most common irritating ingredients, we recommend Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties as the best cat food for gassy cats.

With rabbit its main ingredient and not much else in the recipe, this streamlined food is a good solution for cats with digestive issues of almost any variety.

At a Glance: Best Cat Foods for Gassy Cats To Buy

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Rich in ultra-digestible animal protein
  • Minimal ingredient list reduces your cat’s exposure to allergens and irritants
  • Features herring oil as a source of nourishing omega-3 fatty acids
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  • Primarily made from highly-digestible chicken meat
  • Contains tuna oil as a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
  • Doesn’t contain irritating artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
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  • A good alternative to traditional kibble
  • Primarily made from easily-digestible animal ingredients
  • Contains salmon oil, a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
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  • A low-calorie food appropriate for cats who need to lose weight
  • Primarily made from readily-available protein sources
  • A single-protein food with a slim ingredient list
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  • Primarily made from ultra-digestible protein sources
  • Contains multiple sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s
  • Doesn’t contain any commonly irritating ingredients
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Here’s what to look for in the best cat food for gassy cats.

For cats, flatulence—especially the kind that makes enough noise or smell to make you aware of it—stems from a slowdown in the digestive process.

A variety of gases start to bubble up during any period of additional digestive effort. Some types of fiber, for example, may start to ferment in the gut, producing methane gas that eventually makes its way out of your cat’s body.

Other causes of gassiness include eating too quickly, eating irritating foods, food allergies, and other conditions. Most have a dietary link and can be controlled by choosing the right food.

Perhaps most importantly, the best cat food for gassy cats is low in plant matter.

Plant ingredients, especially higher-fiber ingredients and legumes, are some of the biggest dietary culprits behind excessive gas. Compared to meat and other animal-derived ingredients, these are more demanding on the digestive system and get different microbes in on the digestive action, leading to more gas production and, well, more flatulence.

If you want to control your cat’s gassiness, you’ll want to give him a more efficient diet that demands less effort from his digestive system. For an obligate carnivore like your cat, a prey-inspired diet is the most efficient choice.

Look for foods that emphasize meat ingredients over plants. Minimally-processed foods are ideal. Ingredient lists should include clearly-named meats like chicken, lamb, beef, and pork.

Foods that feature beans, peas, or other legumes contain are a no-go for gassy cats, but these classic sources of complex carbohydrates aren’t the only ingredients you should be avoiding. Steer clear of foods that contain corn, wheat, wheat gluten, and other plant ingredients among the first few ingredients.

Limited-ingredient or novel-protein diets can help.

Because food allergies and intolerances are often to blame for a gassy cat, consider limited-ingredient products that feature novel proteins. By slimming down the ingredient list, you get a better picture of what’s going into your cat’s body, increasing your understanding of what is and isn’t a trigger. Feeding novel proteins—protein sources your cat hasn’t eaten before—will also help to reduce your cat’s exposure to irritants.

Choosing this type of diet is your first step in a food trial, which will help you to identify the ingredients to which your cat is sensitive, then eliminate them from his diet.

Click here to learn more about the best limited-ingredient cat food for sensitive cats.

Best Cat Food for Gassy Cats: Our Top 5 Picks

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

Product Info:

  • Protein: 52% Min
  • Fat: 15% Min
  • Fiber: 3.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Freeze-Dried
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Rich in ultra-digestible animal protein
  • Minimal ingredient list reduces your cat’s exposure to allergens and irritants
  • Features herring oil as a source of nourishing omega-3 fatty acids
  • Doesn’t contain any common sources of flatulence

Cons:

  • Some cats dislike the rabbit flavor

This freeze-dried food has a few qualities that make it a good option for cats with a gassiness issue.

With finely ground whole rabbit, rabbit heart, rabbit liver, lungs, kidney, trachea, and blood the first few ingredients, this food clearly emphasizes rabbit above all else. Because rabbit isn’t an extremely common cat food ingredient, this is a novel protein for most cats and can help you to avoid irritants.

Aside from rabbit muscle meat, organs, and bones, there’s not much else in this food. It contains raw goat’s milk, which is not a commonly irritating ingredient, and herring oil, a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.

Overall, this food is a straightforward, fluff-free product that doesn’t contain anything that will bog down your cat’s digestion.

Best Budget: WholeHearted All Life Stages Canned Cat Food - Grain Free Chicken Recipe Flaked in Gravy

Product Info:

  • Protein: 10% Min
  • Fat: 2.0% Min
  • Fiber: 1.0% Max
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Type: Wet/Canned
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Primarily made from highly-digestible chicken meat
  • Contains tuna oil as a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
  • Doesn’t contain irritating artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • One of the lowest-priced foods you can buy

Cons:

  • Contains xanthan gum, which doesn’t agree with some cats

While many of the most affordable cat foods are loaded with plant ingredients and potentially-irritating additives, this food from Petco brand WholeHearted keeps things relatively digestible and species-appropriate.

It’s a flaked food that features chicken as its main ingredient. With chicken its lone protein source, the recipe is relatively lightweight and may be appropriate for cats with food intolerances.

Though it’s a meat-based food, the food contains a few less-than-optimal plant ingredients, with tapioca starch showing up early on the ingredient list and xanthan gum slightly later. Xanthan gum may be irritating for some sensitive or allergic cats.

Best Dry: Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 59% Min
  • Fat: 18% Min
  • Fiber: 4.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Dry
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • A good alternative to traditional kibble
  • Primarily made from easily-digestible animal ingredients
  • Contains salmon oil, a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids

Cons:

  • Contains flaxseed, which is a high-fiber ingredient that may contribute to your cat’s gassiness
  • Not a single-protein food

With standard formulas containing corn, soy, and wheat and grain-free recipes loaded with legumes, dry food is seldom the best choice for gassy cats. But if you’re set on feeding your cat kibble, consider this product from Dr. Elsey’s.

While most dry foods contain gobs of minimally-digestible plant ingredients, this food emphasizes digestibility and bioavailability. It’s primarily made from chicken, dried egg product, and pork protein isolate, all good sources of protein.

Instead of legumes or grains that might slow down your cat’s digestion, the food contains gelatin as its primary binding agent. It contains salmon oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to soothe GI inflammation.

Best for Weight Loss: Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 16% Min
  • Fat: 2.6% Min
  • Fiber: 0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet/Canned
  • Made In: Thailand

Pros:

  • A low-calorie food appropriate for cats who need to lose weight
  • Primarily made from readily-available protein sources
  • A single-protein food with a slim ingredient list
  • Extremely low fiber content may help to relieve gas

Cons:

  • Made with plant oil instead of animal-derived fat sources

If you want to help your cat lose weight while controlling gas, consider this food from Tiki Cat.

It’s a straightforward food featuring shredded chicken in a thin chicken broth. With no gums or thickeners added to the recipe, this food manages to keep its fiber content at 0%, which may help to curb flatulence.

Besides having several features that make it a good fit for gassy cats, the food is extremely moisture-rich, satisfying, and low in fat—all qualities that make it a good fit for cats who need to lose weight.

Best for Senior Cats: Feline Natural Beef Feast Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 7.5% Min
  • Fat: 7.5% Min
  • Fiber: 0.3% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet/Canned
  • Made In: New Zealand

Pros:

  • Primarily made from ultra-digestible protein sources
  • Contains multiple sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s
  • Doesn’t contain any commonly irritating ingredients
  • A single-protein diet with a limited ingredient list

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t receive consistently positive reviews
  • Diet isn’t always the answer.

When your cat enters his teens, his dietary needs change. Protein—especially high-quality protein—becomes even more important. In order to maintain lean muscle mass and overall fitness, seniors need slightly more protein than do middle-aged adults.

With an ingredient list centering around beef, beef tripe, heart, kidney, spleen, liver, and blood, this product knows how to nourish your cat like the carnivore he is.

In addition to this array of beef muscle meat and organs, the food contains New Zealand green mussel and fish oil as sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These ingredients help to ease inflammation throughout the body, including the GI tract and arthritic joints.

The food doesn’t contain any thickening gums or binders that might bog down your cat’s digestion. Instead, it contains flaxseed flakes, but the food’s overall fiber content appears to sit under 2% on a dry matter basis. It’s an efficient, easy-to-digest food that should be a good match for cats of all ages.

Final Thoughts

Diet plays an important role in determining how much gas your cat has, but it’s not the only contributing factor here.

While most cases of gassiness are innocuous and can be resolved through dietary changes, flatulence can also be a symptom of more serious health issues. From IBD to cancer to worms and obstructions, an array of medical issues can cause excessive flatulence. If your cat is exhibiting any signs of illness along with gas, it’s time to see a veterinarian.

Mallory Crusta

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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