Here we discuss the best cat food for diarrhea. Then we discuss causes and what else you can do to get rid of diarrhea.
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks
- Purina ONE Sensitive Systems
- Royal Canin Response
- Instinct Grain Free
- Nulo Grain Free
- Pet Ultimates Probiotic
- Purina Pro Plan Focus
Overall Best Cat Food For Diarrhea
Purina One is our favorite product for sensitive stomachs. It makes for a diarrhea-free household by helping your kitty digest his or her food. At the price per pound, Purina One is very reasonable.
Purina’s Sensitive Systems food works by being easy to digest for your cat – more so than almost any other product on the market. That makes this food a great pick for cats who are having some diarrhea problems.
This formula focuses on providing your cat with the nutrients he or she needs while staying easy to digest. This sensitive-stomach-helping food has a ton of protein. Since a cat’s number one caloric need is from protein, this is a fit that your cat will appreciate.
High levels of protein will also help your cat maintain strong muscles. Since only a small part of this food has a lot of carbs, this is a great pick for active cats and lazier cats alike. It helps active cats stay active and helps cats on the sleepier side of the spectrum stay trim.
Purina also makes their food great for your kitty’s immune system. This cat food is loaded with antioxidants and omega fatty acids. Omegas aren’t as bad as they sound, so no worries here. Just to ice the cake, Purina made their food so that it eliminates plaque build-up and whitens your kitty’s teeth.
Purina sells their product at a great price per pound, so it is a good pick for budget shoppers.
What We Like
- Prevents vomiting by being easy to digest
- Helps immune system and long life with antioxidants and omega fatty acids
- Great for active cats and less active cats alike due to lots of protein
- Helps clean and white your cat’s teeth
- Great budget buy
What We Don’t Like
- Won’t help with hairballs (for that, read on)
Purina has a great solution for your cat if he or she is struggling with non-hairball vomit. This food helps with digestion, provides a balanced diet, improves immune systems, cleans teeth, and is at a very reasonable price per pound.
Best Cat Food For Extreme Diarrhea
Royal Canin’s cat food is our overall favorite pick if your cat is going through extreme diarrhea. This cat food also works on constipation and provides your cat with the nutrients that he or she will need.
Royal Canin’s cat food helps your cat handle his or her sensitive stomach and diarrhea by using probiotics and special dietary fibers, so it hits stomach problems from both ends. Probiotics make sure that food moves along the digestive track and dietary fibers make sure that the waste is eliminated with ease. Royal Canin also includes proteins that make digestion easier for your kitty.
This cat food will also go a long way towards helping your cat have a health immune system, organ health, skin, and fur. It is loaded with antioxidants, omegas, vitamins, and minerals. This cat food is high in protein so it’s a good fit for overweight and active cats. It packs a lot, but this cat food is pretty pricey per pound.
Since this food includes probiotics, dietary fibers, and lots of proteins, it’s a good pick for cats who have constipation as well. This food helps your cat get to pooping normal and having a healthy gut, whatever his or her extreme may be.
What We Like
- Prevents diarrheaby helping digestion
- Also stops diarrhea by use of powerful probiotics
- Improve your cats digestive health with unique proteins
- Lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids (they are better than they sound)
- Good for overweight or active cats
What We Don’t Like
- Not the most budget loving option
Royal Canin’s food goes a long way towards stopping diarrhea to get your cat’s gut health back to normal. It’s our favorite pick if nothing else has worked or if your cat has some serious problems.
Best Grain Free Cat Food For Diarrhea
Instict produces cat food that’s grain-free and enriched with proteins that’s bound to improve your cat’s overall health. It contains added vitamins, minerals, and all essential ingredients to help in preventing diarrhea and support digestive health.
Another good thing about this product is that the ingredients are all natural and it has no chemicals and artificial colors or flavors. It contains healthy fatty acids that’ll give your cat a shiny and soft coat. With its antioxidants and probiotics, your cat’s immune and digestive system will improve vastly.
Plus, it’s suitable for all ages. The drawback, however, is that Instinct’s cat food is a bit more expensive than the other brands.
Things I Like:
- Rich in protein and fatty acids
- Can prevent diarrhea and vomiting
- Can be fed to cats of all ages
- Well balanced ingredients that are completely natural
Things I Don’t like:
- More on the expensive side
Instinct offers our favorite grain free cat food. Since this cat food comes without grain, it’s super easy for your cat to digest and helps with all digestion health.
Best Cat Food For Active Or Overweight Cats With Diarrhea
Nulo’s grain free cat food is our favorite option to help with diarrhea if you have a cat who is active or on the heavier side.
Nulo works by helping your cat digest his or her food better. This is done by use of a special patented probiotic. This BC30 probiotic gets in your kitty’s gut and helps him or her to process all of the food in there. Nulo’s formula helps a lot with diarrhea, vomiting and a little bit with hairballs too, but it’s best for diarrhea or vomiting.
This is a great pick (and our favorite) if your cat is very active or is a little bit chunkier. Nulo tossed a ton of animal based proteins in their food, which is just what your cat needs. The proteins help your active cats to recover and keep going strong. The lack of carbs in this cat food helps your heavier cats to lose a few pounds since they aren’t getting too many calories.
Nulo is great at giving your cat healthy nutrients and it shows in their formula. Organ health and a shiny coat are included. Health problems such as osteoarthritis are prevented. The same ingredients that help your cat eat a lot of protein provide tons of vitamins, minerals, and omegas that your cat needs.
What We Like
- Prevents diarrhea by being very easy to digest
- Helps active cats stay strong and helps overweight cats shed a few pounds
- Balanced diet loaded with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and omegas
- Promotes a clear coat, organ health, and strong muscles
- Prevents negative health issues
What We Don’t Like
- Helps a little with vomiting and hairballs, but not much
Nulo is our favorite pick if you have an active or overweight cat who struggles with diarrhea.
Best Probiotic For Diarrhea
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a food that your cat could eat as a whole diet plan. This is more of a supplement, but it’s so powerful that we couldn’t leave it out.
The Pet Ultimates probiotics helps with your cat’s sensitive stomach and diarrhea by equipping your cat with what he or she needs to have a healthy digestive system. The colonies in this probiotic make bowel movements easier and more frequent for your kitty. This helps your cat get his or her food out of the digestive track so that it doesn’t get all backed up.
This probiotic isn’t a food and doesn’t include proteins, carbs, or fats. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t help your cat live happier and healthier. In addition to stopping diarrhea and sensitive stomachs, this formula helps cats with vomiting and smelly poop. Your kitty’s overall digestive health will take a big climb after eating this.
The probiotic also assists your cat with healthy skin, a shinier coat, and reduction of allergies. Pet Ultimates protects your cat from inflammations, infections, and helps your kitty’s organs stay healthy.
Pet Ultimates offers a dual guarantee on their product: if you haven’t noticed a positive change in your cat within 14 days, they will give you a full refund and you don’t have to send the product back. They also include a 90 guarantee where you will send back the unused portion. This is a company that’s confident in their product.
What We Like
- Stops constipation by complete digestive system health
- Also works with diarrhea, vomiting, and smelly poop
- Helps your cat have healthy skin and a shinier coat
- Protects against allergies, inflammations, infections, and organ disease
- Double guarantee on their product – if you don’t see a big change in your cat within 14 days, they refund you and you keep the product
What We Don’t Like
- Not an actual cat food – will need to be used in conjunction with another food
Pet Ultimates has created a probiotic that ranks high on our list of favorite products. It will have to be used with another food, but can help with almost any digestive problem your cat will ever face (and a lot of other things as well).
Best Budget Cat Food For Diarrhea
Purina’s Focus brand is our favorite budget pick because it sells at a great price without losing much on the value side. It’s a great pick for budget shoppers.
Purina Focus helps your kitty’s sensitive stomach by giving your cat an extra boost of probiotics. These probiotics help with overall gut health and make sure that your kitty is able to pass his or her poop on a regular basis without any trouble. Purina also includes foods such as rice and oat meal that are easy on your kitty’s digestive system.
A downside here is that due to the rice and oat meal, your kitty will be taking in a lot of carbs. Carbs aren’t great for your kitty’s digestion in general and too many can promote weight gain. That said, there are tons of happy and healthy cats who eat lots of carbs, so it’s not a make or break thing.
In addition to probiotics to help with digestive health, this cat food has a lot of antioxidants to help your kitty’s immune system stay strong. Your kitty will get lots of minerals, vitamins, and omega fatty acids to help with his or her skin, coat, and overall organ health.
One disadvantage to the budget buy is that even though this cat food costs less in absolute terms, the cost per pound is a bit higher than with other foods. If you can afford it, it’s best to go with more pounds in one bag unless you’re trying a new food or just can’t make the ends meet.
This is a good pick if you need to feed your kitty and to save money too.
What We Like
- Great buy for budget shoppers
- Prevents diarrhea by giving probiotics to your kitty
- Easy to digest food makes this a great option for cats who are also vomiting
- Helps your kitties immune system
- Aids in skin, coat, and overall organ health with vitamins and minerals
What We Don’t Like
- High in carbs
- Higher cost per pound than other food
Purina Focus is our favorite option if you have to save the maximum amount of dollars with your cat food for constipation. This cat food doesn’t miss out on too much while coming in at a lower price than competitors.
Things To Know Before You Buy
What Causes Diarrhea?
Diarrhea itself is not an illness. It is rather the symptom of something or anything brewing deep inside. It can either be because of your cat contracting a viral or bacterial infection, having a fever, or your cat eating something bad.
Diarrhea or having the ‘runs’ is not an inherently bad thing. If your cat has a healthy stomach and has rarely had any bad episodes regarding an upset stomach, and gets the runs, chances are, it ate something it shouldn’t have, and the body is just detoxifying itself. This happens in humans too; if you ever have a greasy meal and need to spend some time in the bathroom after, you know what happens to your cat sometimes.
We recommend waiting a full day to make sure that the diarrhea is consistent before growing too worried.
Other causes of diarrhea in cats can be
- Fungal infection
- Feline distemper
The exact cause of diarrhea can only be diagnosed by running a series of tests under the supervision of a medical professional.
Signs And Symptoms of Diarrhea
Diarrhea is not that hard to spot. The physical signs are pretty hard to miss. The first most obvious signs are regarding the feces. They’re
- Watery sometimes
- Odorous (worse than normal)
- Lethargic behavior
- Yellow/pale gums
As for your cat, dehydration is the most immediate risk. Cats are smart and know how to keep their hydration level maintained but do not overestimate their ability to do so. Even two consecutive trips to the litter are enough to set your cat behind the necessary hydration level. Try to keep water close to your cat and offer him or her some wet food if you have it.
The constant uncleanliness may start to bother your kitty. You may find him or her cleaning more often than normal. It may lick its bottom despite it appearing clean. Your cat’s bottom may also be tender or sore.
Your cat may lose its appetite. The dehydration factor will kick in. Weakness, lethargy, and inability to do much will set in. If your cat is active and happy, the change in behavior will be very obvious. Your cat could possibly run a fever. That can usually happen in infections.
Your cat could throw up as well. It occurs more when it consumes a toxic or unagreeable substance. It will have abdominal pain and might even become very withdrawn. As a cat parent, it is our job to be very perceptive about the signs.
If you see any of the symptoms above, it’s best to take a trip to the vet. Your cat has more than an upset stomach and he or she may need medication or hydration from a professional.
When To See A Vet
If your cat’s diarrhea becomes intense and explosive to the point where it’s very watery, you might need to take it to a vet almost immediately. If the frequency increases with time, when you observe no change in the situation within 24 hours of the first episode, its time to consult a vet.
A vet will not only focus on diagnosing the actual cause of diarrhea but prescribe electrolyte replacement and fluid therapy simultaneously. This will help your cat restore all the nutrients lost so that it can fight off whatever ‘bug’ its caught.
Once the diagnosis comes in, they will prescribe and counsel a suitable route of therapy. A bacterial infection or worms or parasites will require antibiotics. A viral infection will require antivirals and incase of gastrointestinal blockage a minor surgery will be advised to remove the digestive pathway.
How To Be There For Your Cat
While you and your cat wait it out, you’ll need to understand that your cat is sick. And like all sick people or animals, your cat needs your undivided attention and love. So here are a few things you can do to make things better for your cat.
Keep her comfortable. Cats are warm-blooded and need constant energy to thermoregulate their bodies. Weakness, dehydration, and loss of nutrients can make it hard for them to do that. So in case of cold weather, make sure your cat has a warm and comfortable place to rest.
Make sure your cat has a nice, cool place to stay if the weather gets hot.
Cats are clean creatures. They prefer things nice and tidy in their own way. So to make things easier for your cat, make sure it has access to a clean litter box. Keep extra kitty litter sand or gravel (whatever the preference) nearby. Clean the box as soon as it becomes slightly more full than usual.
Keep a bowl of freshwater near your cat at all times. Cats often lose their appetites with diarrhea, and some even refuse to eat anything. If your cat is acting hungry, feed him or her a soft diet that’s pretty easy on the stomach. A wet food might be best here.
It is also a good idea to add fiber granules like Metamucil in the food. Fibers add bulk to the stool and help clear away digestive pathways of unwanted substances that might be a causative agent, to begin with. Yogurt is also good for them.
Your cat may not be up for cuddles at that time, but it would still be nice of you to sit by it and pet it, letting it know you’re there for it. Monitor its visit to the litter and the consistency of the deed to know whether things are looking better or not. If not, visit a vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the first symptoms of diarrhea?
Look out for when your cat has or is acting:
- Disinterested in food
- Fatigued or lethargic
Any of these could mean that a diarrhea spell is on the way.
How do I introduce a different diet to my cat?
We recommend starting slow with the new food. Try mixing it with your cat’s old food until he or she has made the switch. Try to mix 10% of the new, 90% of the old for a day or so.
Then do 25% new, 75% old.
Then do 50% of each.
Then 75% of the new.
And then make the complete switch. This process can take a week or two depending on how picky your cat is. Don’t add more of the new food until you’re sure that your cat is used to it.
What else will help my cat’s sensitive stomach?
Apart from the dietary factor, you can make sure that your cat is drinking all its necessary fluids. If it’s having a hard time drinking water, canned foods help cats get more of their daily requirements for water.
Allow your cat to rest, make sure he or she is comfortable and well cared for. If the problems persist, it’s time to visit a veterinarian.
If your cat is struggling with diarrhea, we recommend the Purina sensitive systems food. It helps your cat get rid of diarrhea and sells at a very reasonable price.
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