This is our review of the best cat food for constipation in 2022.
Constipation can be painful for both humans and our pets. There are all kinds of causes of this condition, such as dehydration, illness, metabolic disorders, inactivity, low fiber intake, and more.
If your cat suffers from constipation, it could be due to her food.
What she needs is fiber, which helps control hairballs and promote good bowel health. A diet rich in soluble and insoluble fibers just may be your solution.
This article lists seven possibilities for the best food for a constipated cat.
Constipation Cat Food Comparison Table
- Food form: Dry
- Flavor: Chicken
- Food form: Dry
- Flavor: All-Natural
- Food form: Dry
- Flavor: Chicken
- Food form: Dry
- Flavor: Chicken
- Food form: Dry
- Flavor: Chicken
- Food form: Wet
- Flavor: Chicken
- Food form: Wet
- Flavor: Turkey & Duck
How We Picked These Cat Foods
The reason we chose these particular cat foods is the existence of nutrients they contain, especially fiber.
Since constipation is the problem we are conquering, fiber is of utmost importance in feline nutrition.
The protein content is also crucial. Like most animals, cats need protein for healthy muscles. As predators, cats need strong muscles to hunt and catch those pesky mice that invade your home. Without protein, your cat could miss out on its sole purpose.
The higher the protein, the better. Protein also aids in digestion because of how it breaks down what the body can’t use. Veterinarians recommend food with prebiotics and little residue so the good gut flora can destroy harmful bacteria.
It is easy for cats to gain too much weight, especially when eating dry food, as they tend to graze all day if you let them. As they age, they become less active. A low-carb diet is a recommendation for obese cats.
An overweight cat can suffer from medical problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and other major health problems. Another recommendation from veterinarians is to avoid serving food containing wheat and chicken by-products.
All those benefits are reasons to try these foods on your cat. If you still are not sure which diet is right for your cat, consult with your vet.
Cat Food for Constipation Reviews
1. Hill’s Science Diet Cat Food for Urinary and Hairball Control
In our opinion, the best overall cat food for constipation is the Science Diet Urinary and Hairball Control Food. This vet-recommended trio formula food is ideal for cats of all breeds and sizes with poor digestion, urinary problems, and hairballs.
How it helps reduce constipation is by including fatty acids and fiber blends that help break down the food and make it easier to digest. The first ingredient on the package is chicken, which includes enough protein content necessary to build up your cat’s muscle strength and keep it that way.
This feline feed is full of natural ingredients, including vegetables, fruits, dried beet pulp, and fiber, that help reduce the formation of hairballs. Dried beet pulp pushes hair through the intestines so that it excretes properly.
Antioxidants, such as Vitamins E and C, work to protect the immune system, so your cat can fight off infections better.
Vitamin E, along with Omega-6, also helps make your cat’s coat shine. Other active ingredients include the amino acids Taurine and L-carnitine for heart health.
The biggest downside is that this food contains whole grain wheat and corn gluten meal, which may be hard on some stomachs. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Not many commercial cat foods protect the urinary system, which is another reason we rated this best overall. Cats contain a mineral known as struvite in their urine. When the acid of the urine elevates, crystals or stones can form.
The S/O (struvite oxidate) Index eliminates any existing stones and prevents re-crystallization (crystal formation) of urine. It helps control the pH of the urine and balances magnesium levels. When magnesium is at the right balance, your cat’s urinary system will be healthy.
The American-made Urinary and Hairball formula comes in three sizes for your convenience. It is best to introduce the kibble gently by adding it to your cat’s existing food over time, gradually increasing its amount and decreasing the old food.
You will find feeding instructions on the bag.
- Magnesium levels balance to provide a healthy urinary tract
- There are no chicken by-products
- It is moderately priced in comparison to similar products
- The food contains fillers, like corn and wheat gluten.
2. Hill’s Prescription Diet Cat Food with Gastrointestinal Biome
A high-fiber food with ActivBiome helps promote the gut’s natural bacteria and reduces repeat episodes of constipation. Only the best dry cat food for constipation can regulate bowels within 24 hours. That is what Hill’s Prescription Diet does.
Your cat must be under a vet’s care, so this food is available as a prescription only. The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) is a private organization that tests pet food to make sure it contains the highest quality of ingredients and nutritional value. Hill’s Prescription Gastrointestinal Biome delivers that.
It also contains a sufficient amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which have many positive effects on the body. For example, they support healthy skin and fur. They also reduce inflammation in the body, which is especially helpful in cats with arthritis.
Hill’s Prescription Diet provides the purr-fect balance of soluble and insoluble fiber that bulks up the stool and makes it easier to pass. To avoid complications, veterinarians recommend gradually introducing your cat to this food for the first seven days.
This food is available in 4-pound and 8.5-pound packages, and each one contains a scale of portion size by your cat’s weight.
- It is fast-acting, working within 24 hours
- It promotes the cat’s gut flora to regulate bowels.
- It reduces the risk of urine crystallization.
- It is available by prescription only
3. Royal Canin Digestive Care
For cats that are at least a year old and seem to have digestive issues or urinary disorders, this Royal Canin Digestive Care food is great at checking all the major boxes.
This cat food steers clear of proteins and artificial flavors that may negatively affect your feline’s digestive system more, but it doubles down on highly-digestive proteins like brewers rice and wheat.
While you may not notice an effect immediately, this brand boasts results within as little as ten days.
Besides being great for overall digestion health, this food is also an excellent pick for fast eaters that scarf down their food too quickly and then end up regurgitating it later on your floor.
This dry cat food uses ring-shaped kibble, which encourages your feline to chew more slowly – so they’ll spend more time eating the kibble and less time throwing it back up on your carpet.
As an added benefit, the shape and texture of the kibble can create a “brushing” effect when your cat chews, and over time, this can discourage the buildup of tartar and plaque formation in your feline’s mouth.
- Uses highly-digestible proteins for sensitive digestive tracts
- Discourages regurgitation
- Takes as little as ten days before owners may begin seeing results
- Uses a blend of dietary fibers and prebiotics
- Not an ideal choice for kittens or cats younger than a year old
- Usually needs to be paired with wet food as well
4. Blue Buffalo All-Natural Digestive Care Veterinary Diet
If your cat has a sensitive stomach, you may want to consider All Natural Digestive Care by Blue Buffalo. It contains easily digestible natural ingredients, including protein, roughly 36%, for muscle health, carbs and fats to help burn energy, and fiber to allow for better absorption.
In this veterinary diet are Vitamins C and E, minerals, and antioxidants in the form of kelp, cranberries, and blueberries, for the immune system. The first four ingredients on the label are boneless chicken, chicken meal, tapioca starch, and peas.
Chicken provides good sources of protein for the building of strong muscles.
Artificial ingredients can cause stomach upset with vomiting and diarrhea. Digestive Care does not have corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors, or preservatives.
What else does this formula offer? A prebiotic fiber blend of pumpkin, chicory root, and apple pomace to promote a healthy digestive tract. Prebiotics, also known as probiotics, activate good gut bacteria and eliminate harmful toxins.
All-Natural Digestive Care comes in two other flavors: duck and salmon. There are five sizes from which to choose. Because of the nature of this food, you must receive a prescription from your vet before purchase, as your cat needs supervision while on this diet.
As with any veterinary diet, there should be a transition period of 14 days, where each day, you gradually add more kibble to the existing food until it completely takes over.
On the back of the package is a feeding chart based on the cat’s weight.
- It has a higher protein content than most cat food
- It contains only natural ingredients
- It is moderately priced
- It contains gluten-free grains
- It is only available as prescription
- It has a higher fat content than similar products
5. Wellness Complete Healthy Weight Grain-Free Cat Food
While finding the right weight management food is hard enough, it’s even trickier if you’ve also got a feline with a sensitive stomach – but fortunately, that’s where a product like Wellness Complete Healthy Weight Grain-Free Cat Food can come into play.
While the recipe uses delicious and fiber-rich proteins like deboned chicken and ground potatoes to support a healthier weight, it’s also free of grains and other ingredients that may upset your cat’s sensitive stomach.
Besides those benefits, you’ll also find this recipe is rich in things like glucosamine and chondroitin, which support healthy joints, and may encourage your overweight furry friend to spend a little more time on their feet.
- Supports healthy joints, shinier skin and coats, and better eye health
- Includes a feeding chart for easy weight management
- Great for sedentary indoor cats
- Manufactured in a facility that also processes grains
6. ZIWI Peak Wet Cat Food for Constipation
If you want to feed your cat something that does not contain any fillers or artificial ingredients, this is one of the best wet cat foods for constipation. All of its ingredients are natural, from animals of range-free and cage-free farms in New Zealand.
You will find no hormones or antibiotics on the label. The amino acid Taurine and omega fatty acids help keep your cat’s coat soft and lustrous.
In this wet food, a wild-catch seafood blend contains chondroitin and glucosamine, which decrease inflammation and prevent further damage to the joints. One main ingredient, tripe (stomach lining of wild animals), contains probiotics, which help promote good bacteria growth and regular bowels.
ZIWI Peak is purr-fect for both indoor and outdoor cats of all breeds and ages. You feed your cat according to the age scale on the label. As with all other special foods, a gradual transition is the best way to avoid intolerance.
- It contains all-natural ingredients from farms that are cage-free and range-free
- It consists of nutrients that benefit all body systems
- It comes in a variety of flavors and sizes
- It is expensive
- It contains tetrasodium pyrophosphate, which may irritate the stomach.
7. Wellness Core Pate Low Residue Wet Food
Low residue food is one of the best wet cat foods for constipation because natural ingredients are what it is all about. The three main ones are turkey, broth, and port liver.
The turkey broth provides 78% of the moisture in the food so that it is not too dry for your fur baby and enhances the taste.
This pate supplies essential digestive compounds, such as flaxseed for softer bowels, chicory root extract, and alfalfa meal for bowel regularity, and kelp, to aid in the absorption of essential minerals and other nutrients.
The presence of probiotics supports the growth of healthy intestinal flora to produce good bowel movements.
When your cat has constipation, he becomes more prone to illness. Harmful bacteria take over and expose the intestinal tract to conditions that can lead to infection. Feeding your cat food containing high-fiber content and natural ingredients decreases that risk.
Antioxidants, such as cranberries, help boost the immune system. Wellness Core makes sure your feline friend is healthy. What’s more, are the other great things this formula does for your cat’s body. For example, the addition of cranberries protects your cat’s urinary tract.
Since cats need good eyesight to adjust to their surroundings, the food they eat must contain Taurine. It is an amino acid in animal proteins that contributes to healthy eyes, the heart, and other important bodily functions.
The last component I will introduce is the high protein content it offers. The turkey makes up 12% of the protein intake, which is imperative for muscle health.
- There are no fillers, grains, or artificial ingredients
- It has a high protein content
- It is available in three multi-can sized packages
- It comes in a variety of textures
- There is a potential for bone fragments in the food.
How Dry Vs Wet Cat Food Differs For Constipation
What is the difference between dry food and wet food? They can both contain nutrients and natural ingredients, but which is better? I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other. Either one is fine and has its purpose. Some vets recommend blending them to give your cat a variety of textures and tastes and prevent boredom.
Dry food is cheaper than wet food. It is also easy to use. It contains about 10% of water. You can store dry kibble in its original package or containers since it does not have to go into the refrigerator.
Since there is a bigger portion, it can last longer and feed more pets. The crunchiness of the kibble is good for cats’ teeth as it helps prevent tartar.
Unlike dry kibble, wet food is approximately 70% water, making it easier for cats with sensitive teeth to eat. The moisture of canned food softens the bowel and makes it easier to pass.
Wet cat food is typically more expensive than dry food and comes in smaller portions at a time. Being wet food, it does not last as long and can spoil. You must refrigerate it after use to prevent bacteria growth.
Here are questions that consumers have asked regarding the best cat food for constipation.
Wet food has more water in it, which is what the body needs for better bowel movements. Either food will work fine as long as you pick one with high fiber content.
Yes. It is healthier for your cat to mix the two. Kibble is good for the teeth, while the moisture in the wet food hydrates and promotes peristalsis.
Combining wet and dry cat food creates a variety of flavors and textures. It can also save money because your cat probably won’t eat as much.
Several things can cause constipation. Dehydration is a major contributor. When the body does not get enough water, the stool can become too hard. Food can also cause problems with digestion. A lack of fiber is another big culprit. Fiber is necessary for good intestinal health.
With a veterinary diet, a vet customizes a nutritional plan based on a pet’s specific needs. Each diet varies due to a problem, such as constipation, obesity, diabetes, or other medical ailments. When a pet is on this diet, a veterinarian must supervise to make sure there are no adverse reactions.
Animal by-products are the leftovers of a dead animal that you and I probably would not eat, such as organ meats, gristle, or bones. Wild animals usually eat those parts. Some pet foods include by-products.
Fillers substitute an ingredient of higher value. Packers add fillers to food to meet a percentage of ingredients according to label standards. Fillers are typically corn or other carbohydrates that have a smaller nutritional value.
Since cats are mostly meat-eaters, fillers can negatively affect your cat’s health.
Most wet cat foods contain fish and healthier meats, which typically cost more. The fresher the ingredients, the more you pay. Organic foods are even more expensive because of the harvesting and preparation of the meats.
Not necessarily. It is a commonly less-expensive carb that many cat foods contain. It has some nutritional value, but excessive amounts can cause allergies.