If you have a kitten with diarrhea, it can be a scary experience. Diarrhea can dehydrate your kitten and rob it of important nutrients it needs to grow into a healthy cat. In some cases, you can improve the situation with food, but inexperienced owners might not know which food is best to offer your suffering kitty. We’ve chosen six different brands to review so you can see the difference between them. We’ll give you the pros and cons of each brand and tell you how our cats liked it. We’ll also tell you if it improved their diarrhea to help you make an informed decision.
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.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription||Click to Save 40%|
|Best Value||Nutro Kitten Dry Cat Food||CHECK PRICE|
|Hill’s Science Kitten Dry Cat Food||CHECK PRICE|
|Blue Buffalo Kitten Dry Cat Food||CHECK PRICE|
|Blue Buffalo Healthy Kitten Dry Cat Food||CHECK PRICE|
The 7 Best Kitten Foods for Diarrhea
1. Smalls Human-Grade Cat Food Subscription– Best Overall
|First Ingredient:||Chicken, turkey, or beef|
Smalls is overall the best kitten food for diarrhea. This subscription-based food offers high-quality ingredients in multiple formulas and food textures, made with chicken, turkey, or beef. All ingredients are human-grade and appropriate for the specific needs of cats. Customer reviews indicate that cats have healthier and less smelly stools on Smalls recipes.
To order, you fill out a profile about your cat to create a customized recipe based on its age, weight, breed, and activity level. Once you select your recipe, you can choose your subscription and delivery schedule to have it shipped right to your door. Keep in mind that this food is only available with a subscription, so you have to plan ahead. It also must be refrigerated. The meals are expensive, but you can choose options to suit your budget. Smalls also offers a discount on your trial box, and you get a refund if your cat doesn’t like it.
2. Nutro Chicken & Brown Rice Kitten Dry Cat Food – Best Value
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Kitten Dry Cat Food is our pick as the best kitten food for diarrhea for the money. At 4%, it has the highest fiber content on this list, which will help regulate the moisture in the intestines. It’s also high in protein at 36%, so it will provide your pet with plenty of energy. All ingredients are non-GMO, and it also has omega fats.
We liked Nutro Wholesome Essentials, and the only problem we had with it was that some of our kittens wouldn’t eat it. But as long as your kitty takes a liking to it, we think it’s the best kitten food for diarrhea for the money.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Chicken Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food is our third choice kitten food for diarrhea. It’s high in protein at 33% and contains real fruits and vegetables like apples, broccoli, carrots, cranberries, and green peas. Hill’s also includes a vitamin blend high in antioxidants that will help your kitten stay healthy while it grows. It also contains omega fatty acids and has no artificial colors or preservatives.
We liked Hill’s Science Diet Kitten, and it worked quite well. The only problem we had was that it was expensive, and some of our kittens didn’t like it.
4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
|First Ingredient:||Deboned chicken|
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is another great high-fiber food that also provides your pet with the most protein on this list at 40%. LifeSource Bits provide your cat with vitamin and mineral fortification that will help boost your pet’s immune system. Real fruits and vegetables, like pumpkin, blueberries, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and more, also provide important nutrients. Flaxseed, along with fish oil, is a great source of omega fats.
The downside to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten food is that some kittens don’t like it, similar to many other healthy foods. We also felt that the kibble was a little too large for our small kittens.
5. Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken & Rice Dry Cat Food
|First Ingredient:||Deboned chicken|
Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food features deboned chicken as its first ingredient, and it also contains whole grains like brown rice, barley, and oatmeal. Fresh fruits and vegetables like blueberries and cranberries also provide plenty of important nutrients your kitten requires to stay healthy. LifeSource Bits provide antioxidants, and fish oil provides omega fats.
The downside we experienced while using Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth was that our cats sorted through it to pick out the LifeSource Bits and left the rest. We also had a problem with the packaging, and more than one bag had a hole that resulted in food on our floor and made it challenging to keep fresh.
6. Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Kitten Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Kitten Dry Cat Food is another great kitten food for diarrhea. It provides plenty of fiber to help regulate the digestive system and prevent diarrhea. It contains real fruits and vegetables like peas, apples, cranberries, carrots, and broccoli. It’s also high in protein at 33%, so it will supply your pet with plenty of energy and serve as the building block for strong muscles. Plus, it has omega fats that help with eye and brain development and will also help improve the skin and coat. There are no artificial colors or chemical preservatives that can sometimes lead to an allergic reaction.
The only downside we experienced while using Hill’s Science Diet Indoor is that it’s high in calories and can easily lead to weight gain if you don’t carefully watch your portioning.
7. Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Dry Cat Food
Instinct Original Kitten Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food is the last brand of kitten food for diarrhea on our list, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. It contains plenty of protein at more than 40% and also features real fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and cranberries to help provide your pet with the nutrients it requires. Fish meal provides omega fatty acids, and natural probiotics help strengthen the good bacteria in your pet’s gut.
The primary downside we experienced while reviewing Instinct Original was that it had a bad smell that could affect the breath of your kittens and make the litter box a bit smellier. It’s also high in calories, so you will need to watch your portion sizes carefully, or your cat can gain weight. Of all the brands on this list, this one was the one we had the most trouble getting the kittens to eat.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Kitten Food for Diarrhea
Keep these aspects in mind when you’re narrowing in on food for your sick kitty.
When choosing a kitten food for diarrhea, one of the first things we recommend looking for is a brand high in fiber. Fiber can help regulate the water in the intestines preventing both diarrhea and constipation from occurring. It’s also great for colon health because it allows the kitten to expel waste faster. We tried to list the fiber content of the brands on our list.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria in your kitten’s gut, and supplementing them with commercial food will help them grow to develop a stronger digestive tract. A stronger digestive tract can also help boost the immune system, as some studies show that a stronger gut promotes a stronger defense against bacteria.
Prebiotics are the food that probiotics eat. These nutrients can help the bacteria grow and multiply much faster than they normally would. In some cases, prebiotics can be as effective as probiotics but usually take a little longer before they become effective.
Dry Food Versus Wet Food
We recommend feeding your kitten dry kibble, especially if it suffers from frequent diarrhea. Wet food has too much moisture that frequently causes diarrhea, and there is a good chance you will notice a big change in your cat after switching to dry food. Dry kitten food will also help clean the teeth as your kitten chews by scraping away tartar. It may not seem important at this early stage of your pet’s life, but some experts suggest that more than half the cats over three in the United States have some form of dental disease, so it makes sense to start keeping the teeth clean immediately.
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 Excited Cats, 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!
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 Excited Cats, 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!
What Causes Diarrhea?
Several things can cause diarrhea, including poor health, so it is important to visit a vet if the problem doesn’t clear up in a few days after changing foods. In our experience, many people give their kittens wet food because they fear kibble is too hard to chew, but canned food is very rich and contains a lot of moisture which can cause a lot of cats to have loose stools, gas, and diarrhea.
Inexperienced parents also like to give the kittens milk, but after your kitten switches to regular food, it becomes lactose intolerant, and dairy milk will easily cause diarrhea. Finally, many budget brands contain artificial dyes, preservatives, and other low-quality ingredients that can throw your kitten’s digestive tract off track. We recommend choosing your kitten food like human food by looking at the ingredients and avoiding brands with long lists of hard-to-pronounce items.
When choosing a food to help your kitten with diarrhea, we highly recommend our choice for the best overall. Smalls Cat Food is high in protein and contains human-grade ingredients that provide plenty of fiber and other nutrients, which shouldn’t bother your pet’s stomach. Another smart choice is our best value pick. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Kitten Dry Cat Food is high in protein and fiber to balance your pet’s digestive system while providing the building blocks it needs to grow strong and healthy.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this list and found it helpful in answering your questions. If we have helped your kitten return to normal, please share this guide to the best kitten foods for diarrhea on Facebook and Twitter.
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Featured Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
- 2 The 7 Best Kitten Foods for Diarrhea
- 2.1 1. Smalls Human-Grade Cat Food Subscription– Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Nutro Chicken & Brown Rice Kitten Dry Cat Food – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Chicken Dry Cat Food
- 2.4 4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
- 2.5 5. Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken & Rice Dry Cat Food
- 2.6 6. Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Kitten Dry Cat Food
- 2.7 7. Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Dry Cat Food
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Kitten Food for Diarrhea
- 5 Conclusion