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9 Best Cat Foods for Constipation in 2024 — Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat in litter box

9 Best Cat Foods for Constipation in 2024 — Reviews & Top Picks

cat in litter box

It can be challenging to figure out what is wrong with your pets when they feel sick. Animals can struggle with many illnesses that plague humans, including something as uncomfortable as constipation.

Constipation can be a sign of other health issues. Getting your cat checked might be necessary if their condition worsens. However, constipation is typically caused by a minor issuer. Feeding them a diet to reduce constipation might be all you need to do to help them.

We compiled a list of the top foods with reviews to help your cat with constipation. Though it depends on what they like and if they have any allergies, one of these brands is bound to be the perfect match for your kitty.

Disclaimer: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Fresh Cat Food Smalls Fresh Cat Food
  • Packed with protein
  • Balanced nutrition
  • Moisture-rich
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free
  • Addition of LifeSource Bits
  • Budget-friendly option
  • High ratio of protein to carbohydrates
  • Third place
    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry
  • High level of protein
  • Improves gut bacteria and digestion
  • Low level of calories
  • Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie
  • Highly palatable
  • Control vomiting and diarrhea symptoms
  • Veterinary diet item
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management
  • Multiple bag sizes
  • Formulated for weight management
  • High ratio of fiber
  • The 9 Best Cat Foods for Constipation

    1. Smalls Fresh Cat Food — Best Overall for Constipation

    smalls ground bird chicken recipe

    Our overall choice for the best cat food for constipation goes to Smalls for their ability to keep felines healthy and happy with hearty meals that won’t constipate them or compromise their overall health.

    No carbs, grains, or other fillers can harm your cat in Smalls’ human-grade cat food. Customers have reported fewer litter box odors, fresher breath, and that their cats sleep better and seem to have more balanced energy levels after only 3 months of eating Smalls cat food.

    In case you haven’t guessed, Smalls is a subscription pet food service that’s a little expensive for some pet owners’ taste. However, the higher price is worth it when it comes to the health of your feline and preventing constipation.

    Some users have complained that Smalls uses vegetable oil as an ingredient, but other than that, the recipe has species-appropriate, balanced nutrition and is full of protein, which cats need to be healthy. Also, Smalls might not work for cats with health problems, so it’s best to check with your vet before feeding them this blend.

    In our opinion, the high price is worth the peace of mind of knowing you’re doing everything you can to keep your pet healthy, happy, and content for many years to come.

    Pros
    • Packed with protein
    • Balanced nutrition
    • Moisture-rich
    • Species appropriate
    Cons
    • Quite expensive
    • Contains vegetable oil
    • May not work for cats with specific health problems

    2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food — Best Value

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo is known for its healthy contributions to the pet food industry. It models many of its formulas after the diets that a pet’s wild ancestors would consume. In this case, it is the lynx. Blue Buffalo calls it “Nature’s Evolutionary Diet,” and we think it’s the best cat food for constipation for the money.

    Blue Buffalo’s recipe is packed with real chicken. It is meant to help the cat build lean muscle and maintain it without adding unhealthy weight. Many healthy carbohydrates are easier for a cat’s system to digest, such as sweet potatoes and peas.

    Another aspect of Blue Buffalo’s pet food is their addition of LifeSource Bits. They provide precise amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. The bag has multiple sizes, but it only goes up to 12 pounds.

    Pros
    •  LifeSource Bits provides balanced nutrition
    • Budget-friendly option
    • High ratio of protein to carbohydrates
    Cons
    • Maximum size of 12-pound bags

    3. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin designed this dry cat food to be especially gentle on a cat’s gastrointestinal system, keeping their tummy healthy and happy. It is formulated to help them recover from illnesses that cause vomiting, appetite loss, and diarrhea. Prebiotics are included in the formula to improve gut bacteria for a healthier future. A blend of fibers supports intestinal movement and prevents stomach and digestive system upset.

    Omega fatty acids are included in the formula for healthy skin and fur, and it’s low in calories, helping your cat watch their weight while eating delicious food. The recipe also prevents urinary crystals in their bladder. Getting food that does all these great things comes at a high price, however.

    The crude protein is high in this formula, a 29% minimum, while the crude fat is a little higher than you might want in a diet food at 13%. It also includes chicken by-product meal, corn, and wheat gluten.

    Pros
    • High level of protein
    • Improves gut bacteria and digestion
    • Low level of calories for weight management
    Cons
    • Includes chicken by-product meal, corn, and wheat gluten
    • Premium price

    4. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie Canned Cat Food

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie Canned Cat Food

    Dry food is not the only option when looking for ways to calm your cat’s stomach. Royal Canin produces this gastrointestinal wet cat food with a moderate amount of calories. There are 24 cans of the food in each box that you order.

    This vet-recommended wet cat food was formulated by veterinarians and requires a prescription.  It is a premium option that is more expensive than similar products. However, the results you see for your pet often make the investment worth it.

    The high-fiber wet cat food is cut into thin slices and paired with a highly palatable gravy for even pickier kitties. It gives them the nutrition they need, even when recovering from vomiting, appetite loss, and diarrhea. Royal Canin’s formula includes prebiotics that support a healthy gut and dietary fibers to keep the intestines healthy.

    Much like dry food,it includes ingredients like meat by-products and cornflour. The amount of crude protein is a 6.5% minimum and the level of crude fat balances to a 1.6% minimum.

    To conclude, in our opinion, the Royal Canin Gastrointestinal recipe is the best wet food for constipation.

    Pros
    • Highly palatable with a gravy texture
    • Helps to control symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea
    • Veterinary diet item
    Cons
    • Premium price
    • Includes meat by-products and cornflour

    5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management is an excellent option for managing a cat’s sensitive digestive system. It stocks its formula with ingredients that help cats manage their weight, particularly overweight felines. Carrying extra pounds is one reason your pet could experience signs of constipation and discomfort.

    Pro Plan is a great cat food for constipation because it has been crafted with the help of researchers, veterinarians, and nutritionists to give your cat what they need. It is also the perfect accompaniment to a diet and is formulated for adult cats.

    The protein-to-calorie ratio is high for building muscle without adding excess weight. It is a low-fat blend, and the entire mix is packed with natural fiber to keep your cat’s system moving smoothly.

    The bags come in two sizes, 6 pounds and 16 pounds. Royal Canin is more expensive than other brands, but it’s worth it to get your cat on a healthier track.

    Pros
    • Multiple bag sizes
    • Formulated specifically for weight management
    • A high ratio of fiber keeps the digestive system moving
    Cons
    • More expensive than similar products

    6. Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Weruva is a relatively unknown brand that prides itself on creating cat food with a home-cooked flavor that your cat will love. Its Kitchen Funk In The Trunk Chicken in Pumpkin Consommé is grain-free and free from difficult-to-digest ingredients like wheat, corn, and rice.

    It is made with a lean chicken breast with wholesome pumpkin added as a primary ingredient. Each bite gives your cat high protein levels from the chicken and healthy sources of fiber from the pumpkin.

    The formula is designed to be perfectly balanced to give your kitty a healthy blend of vitamins and minerals. It also includes taurine, which should be an essential ingredient in cat food to keep their heart healthy. It can be served as a whole meal or a tasty topper on kibble. There are zero starches in it, nor GMOs or ingredients with MSG.

    Pros
    • Contains no grains, GMOs, MSG, or starches
    • Home-flavored formula
    • High level of protein and fibers
    Cons
    • Wet food tends to be more expensive than dry

    7. Nulo Freestyle Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Nulo Freestyle Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Nulo’s Freestyle Recipe canned cat food is packed with premium ingredients, and you can trust giving it to your precious cat. The formula is made with real turkey, which is also the first ingredient. The next is chicken, followed by turkey liver, turkey broth, and tuna.

    Beyond the beneficial ingredients that take up the list’s primary positions, others include fiber-filled pumpkin and additional sources of vitamins, like tomato and dried kelp. It also has taurine to keep your cat’s heart healthy.

    The can is simple to open with an easy-pull tab and is highly palatable. It is grain-free to make it easier to digest, but beyond that, it does not include many specialized ingredients for gut health. This high-fiber canned cat food is made in the U.S.A. and comes conveniently portioned.

    Pros
    • Packed with premium primary ingredients
    • Contains zero grains or meat by-products
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Not specifically for gastrointestinal health

    8. Purina Pro Plan Vet Diet Overweight Management Canned Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management Formula Canned Cat Food

    Purina has developed a wet food to go along with its dry food options. The Pro Plan wet food is a veterinary diet list supported by research and doctors. It helps your cats manage their weight while providing all the nutrition they need to have a healthy digestive system.

    One of the downsides of this food is the price of a case of 24 5.5-ounce cans. While the Pro Plan includes primary ingredients like turkey, it also includes controversial ingredients, like wheat gluten, unspecified meat by-products, and powdered cellulose.

    The crude protein level is 9% minimum, and the crude fat is low at only 1.75%, which is helpful for cats that need a dietary option. The food is palatable for cats and helps them control their weight while providing enough fiber to keep their intestines working properly. It also helps support their urinary health.

    Pros
    • Highly palatable formula
    • High protein-to-fat ratio
    Cons
    • High price for each case
    • Includes controversial ingredients, like meat by-products

    9. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Support Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Support Dry Cat Food

    Beyond Blue Buffalo’s primary formula for weight management, there is another formula for dietary and gastrointestinal support. It frequently finds its way on veterinary item lists. It is a healthy option to keep your cat in top shape, but it has a high price to go with it.

    It is made with only the best natural ingredients that Blue Buffalo sources. The Natural Veterinary Diet is made to support gastrointestinal health and contains easily digestible ingredients. The first ingredients include deboned chicken, chicken meal, tapioca starch, and peas. They are all examples of healthy sources of protein and carbohydrates.

    The crude protein level (36%) is high compared to several brands, but the crude fat is higher than some owners would like for weight management diets, at 14%.

    A 5% level of fiber keeps your cat’s digestive systems moving more smoothly than they typically would otherwise. It is somewhat challenging to get the food since it is part of a prescription-only diet.

    Pros
    • High level of protein and fiber
    • Natural ingredients sourced from Blue Buffalo
    Cons
    • High level of fat
    • Prescription-only diet

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cat Food for Constipation

    Serving your cat the right food can balance their systems and make them feel better. Their diet is particularly important when it comes to gastrointestinal health. Sometimes, it may get to the point where your vet must recommend or prescribe food. To avoid that, consider these aspects of the food that you buy for your furry friend.

    Protein-to-Fat Ratio

    The ratio of protein to fat is of significant importance for felines who struggle with excessive weight. A cat’s body is not meant to carry extra weight, and they will quickly suffer health consequences if they continue to eat the same way.

    When looking for cat food to help them slim down or control their digestive health, you should check if the protein is dramatically higher than the fat. Even if the fat level is more than you would like, a high protein level can help balance it out.

    Ingredients to Avoid

    Avoid ingredients that might be difficult to digest, such as grains. Most recipes formulated for gastrointestinal health don’t include grains because cats have difficulty breaking them down. Other ingredients to watch out for are meat by-products.

    Although it might seem like a good source of protein, some companies are vague about which part of the animal they include in their recipes.

    Quantity

    The quantity inside each bag can make the price more or less worth the investment. If the bags only come in small sizes, you must order more frequently, and the price per ounce is more expensive.

    Gastrointestinal Extras

    Some ingredients play a larger role in controlling the gastrointestinal health of your cat. If that is the goal of the change in diet, then it should be for food that includes prebiotics in its formula. They help reinvigorate the health of the animal’s gut, and they can digest food more efficiently. You may also decide to look into low-residue cat food.

    cat looking up from food dish
    Image by: fantom_rd, Shutterstock

    Calorie Count

    A lower calorie count is ideal for weight management. Don’t only pay attention to the fat content but also to what all the ingredients add up to in the end.

    Dry Cat Food vs Wet Cat Food

    Some owners only feed wet or dry food, and others combine the two. Whatever you decide, don’t negate the impact of either one on their health. Give them food that supports a healthy system, and they’ll be healthy and happy.

    Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
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    • WHISKER FRIENDLY - Shallow and wide metal containers with flat bottoms ensure your kitty can enjoy...
    • CHEW-SAFE MATERIALS - Kittens and cats love chewing on silicone and soft rubber - but it's a choking...

    If it’s kibble, wet, or a combination of both that your cat enjoys, choosing the right cat bowl to serve it in goes far beyond presentation. Your cat's comfort is at the forefront with the Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl! The unique design benefits cats in many ways - dual stainless steel bowls are shallow and wide to aid with whisker fatigue and slight elevation for proper posture. The wide catch tray ensures that all food (and water!) stays exactly where you’d expect it to be - inside of the bowl! Click here to learn more.

    At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    Want to see more cat food reviews? Check out our review page here!

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    Conclusion: What is the Best Cat Food for Constipation?

    If you are looking for cat food to help manage a constipated and overweight cat, Smalls gives you what you need. With a high ratio of protein to fat and a focus on beneficial ingredients, it’s our pick for the best overall cat food for constipation.

    Are you looking for a long-term solution that won’t break the bank? You can avoid expensive brands and feed your cat quality kibble with the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food.

    If you suspect your feline suffers from constipation, you can help them out with a healthier diet. Supporting their gastrointestinal health is one of the best ways to help them stay healthy.


    Featured Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

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