If your cat has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you may be finding it difficult to manage their symptoms.
With no cure and many side effects, you can feel like you are fighting a losing battle. In this article, we have researched the best cat food for IBS.
We have studied the brands and ingredients and will be comparing and contrasting them.
We will provide a useful list of pros and cons for each and at the end of the article, we have included a handy buyer’s guide. We have created a frequently asked questions section to answer any cat IBS related questions you may have.
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The best cat food for IBS we have chosen is "I and love and you" Naked Essentials Dry Cat Food.
I And Love And You is grain-free food that is sensitive to your cat’s stomach. It is high-quality food and does not contain additives. This food includes prebiotics and probiotics that help your cat’s digestion.
I And Love And You comes in a variety of flavors, bag sizes, and wet food too. This food is reasonably priced and contains omega three and six to help with skin. It is worth mentioning that this food contains more than one protein source. It’s also important to remember that you should consult with your vet to ensure that you’re getting the best food for your cat.
Top 5 Best Cat Food For IBS
OUR TOP PICK
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I And Love And You is grain-free and is sensitive for the stomach. It is a high-quality cat food that does not contain any additives and only contains the essential ingredients.
This food comes in four different meat varieties:
- Chicken and duck
- Salmon and trout
- Chicken and pumpkin
- Chicken and turkey
This food contains prebiotics and probiotics that help with digestion and comes with a satisfaction guarantee. I And Love And You is available in three different bag sizes.
This food is very reasonably priced considering how high-quality it is. It contains no fillers such as meat meals and includes omega three and six to help with skin.
There is also the option to buy this in wet food too. It is worth noting that this food is a dual source of protein, not a single source, which could be an issue if your cat is sensitive to particular meat.
- Comes in a range of different meat flavors
- No additives or fillers all great quality ingredients
- High protein percentage
- Two protein sources instead of one
This is a well-known brand that has tailored food for your cat’s needs and is recommended by vets. Hills contains prebiotic fiber to slow down food digestion.
The main ingredients are chicken and rice, which are gentle on the cat’s digestive system. This fiber helps to support your cat’s digestive system and microbiome. There are omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E included to help improve your cat’s skin.
It is made with all-natural ingredients that are approved and are made in the USA. While this is a sensitive food, it does contain eggs and grains and does not state the exact percentage of protein used. It comes in 4 different bag sizes and overall is a great food for IBS.
- Prebiotic fibers
- Veterinary recommended
- Gentle on digestion
- Also available in wet food
- Does not state meat percentage
This food is specifically made for cats with sensitive stomachs. High-quality protein is used and is the first ingredient listed.
It contains FOS probiotics to help with your cat’s digestive system absorb nutrients. Blue Buffalo contains LifeSource Bits that are exclusive to the brand. It is a mixture of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to help the cat’s digestion.
It comes in one flavor, chicken, and brown rice, and two bag sizes. It is more expensive compared to some other the other foods on this list but this is reflected in the quality of the food. Blue Buffalo is the only food on this list that does not have a wet food alternative.
Many users have stated that is has helped prevent their cat from vomiting as regularly. Although it is not grain-free, it contains rice and oats with are softer of the digestive tract.
- LifeSource Bits
- FOS probiotics
- Helps with vomiting
- High-quality protein
- Does not come in a wet food
Royal Canin Digestive Care is formulated specifically for cats with digestive problems and helps to improve your cat’s stool quality by 95%. It contains dietary fiber and prebiotics to help your cat’s digestive system. The ring-shaped kibble and size cause your cat to eat and digest food slower.
Royal Canin is available in wet food and comes in two bag sizes. Overall, the quality of the food is great but the protein content is not stated and the protein does not make up the majority of the food.
This food contains psyllium seed husk which will help if your cat is constipated. 42% less stool production has been proven after only ten days of using this, which is good if your cat suffers from diarrhea.
- Ring-shaped for slower eating
- Improves stool quality by 95%
- Also available in wet food
- 42% less stool production
- Meat is not the first ingredient and the percentage of meat is not stated
Taste of the Wild has a high protein content of 42%. It is the highest on our list and is great if your cat cannot eat food with many other ingredients and fillers.
This food is grain-free and contains all-natural ingredients, so should not disagree with your cat.
It has added vitamins and minerals to support your cat's overall health and contains superfood antioxidants from vegetables and fruits. It is high in nutrients and contains ingredients that all sustainably sourced. This food is made in the USA by a family run business.
Taste of the Wild contains proprietary probiotics that help your cat’s digestive tract. It is worth noting that this food does not contain a single source of protein and contains a variety of meats.
If your cat is sensitive to specific meats you will need to check this before feeding. Overall it is reasonably priced and there is a wet food alternative available.
- Ingredients are all sustainably sourced
- High protein content
- Superfood antioxidants
- Multiple protein sources, not a singular one
Best Cat Food For IBS Buying Guide
Our buyer’s guide contains all the things you may want to consider before you purchase food for your cats IBS.
Before purchasing a new food, try to pinpoint what triggers your cat’s IBS. As every case of IBS is different, what works for one cat, does not for the other. If your cat is sensitive to grains and gluten, it is better to go for a grain-free food, such as Taste of the Wild or I and love and you.
If your cat can only eat a single protein, Taste of the Wild or I and love and you would not be the best option as they both contain multiple protein sources. If your cat needs a lower protein diet, Royal Canin and Hills are great options.
Always study the ingredients before purchasing and check with your veterinarian that the food is okay for your cat to consume.
The brand is important to consider. Often with cat foods, buyers choose brands that are well known.
Always remember that the name of the brand does not always reflect the quality of the food. With some brands, you are paying for the name rather than the food itself. Always look at the quality of the ingredients before purchasing.
The cost of the food is important and you should always choose the best food within your budget. It is worth remembering that the overall price of the food does not reflect its actual cost. With nutritional foods, while they are more expensive than grocery cat food, they cost less to feed the cat per meal. This is because the quality of the ingredients is higher and they do not contain filler or additives that bulk up the food.
As they contain more nutrition, they will fill up your cat for a longer period and you do not need to feed then as much food.All of the foods mentioned in this article are nutritious and reasonably priced. They all come in a variety of different bag sizes, in particular the Hills, and I and Love and You.
Brands usually have smaller bags to trial the food and bigger bulk bags too. If you bulk buy the food it has a lower cost per meal compared to smaller bags.
Quality of the Ingredients
As cats are obligate carnivores, they need to eat meat to live, therefore, a food with a good quality protein is essential. Good quality food should have protein as one of its first ingredients. Anything that contains under 20% of protein is usually full of additives and fillers and will aggravate your cats IBS.
In terms of grains, while they can be helpful for cats that cannot have a particularly high protein diet, they can potentially upset a cat’s stomach. A grain-free food or food containing oats and rice would be the best option for a cat with IBS.
Wet vs Dry Food
Unlike dogs, it is recommended that cats have a mixture of wet and dry food. However, some cats that suffer from IBS cannot eat wet food as it is too soft and rich for them.
If your cat can eat wet food, all of the brands we have included apart from Blue Buffalo have wet food suitable for IBS available.
If you feel like you have tried every food available, and your cat is still displaying signs of IBS, it is time to pop to the veterinarian. Some cats that have particularly bad IBS will need to be put on veterinary specific cat food to help with their symptoms.
While some of the foods we have included such as Hills and Royal Canin are recommended by vets, they are not a prescription food, although these two brands do make prescription food.
We will not be including any recommendations for prescription food in this article because you can only purchase this food after speaking to your veterinarian.
Changing Your Cat’s Diet
When you are changing your cat’s diet, it is important to remember to change them on to the new food gradually unless otherwise recommended by a veterinarian.
Changing a cat over to a new food too quickly can further aggravate their digestive system and can cause diarrhea and vomiting. It is best to change your cat over to their new food gradually over around twelve to fourteen days.
Start with 80% of their old food and 20% of their new food for the first few days, then gradually decrease the old food and increase the new food if it is agreeing with your cat’s digestive system.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is IBS And How Does It Affect Cats?
IBS stands for Irritable Bowel System. It is a long-term condition that affects a cat’s bowel and digestive tract.
It causes significant discomfort in your cat’s digestive system and has a range of side effects. With IBS it is important to remember that the symptoms can vary daily and it affects all cats differently.
Some of the common symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
What Causes IBS?
As IBS is not caused by any specific diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, it can be difficult to determine its cause.
There are several potential causes, however, such as stress, fiber deficiencies, and dietary intolerances.
Can IBS Be Treated?Yes, IBS can be treated. While it cannot be fully cured, it can be managed. The best way to manage your cats IBS is through diet.
This will involve cutting out foods that disagree with your cat’s digestive system and using a food that is soft on the stomach and suitable for IBS.