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6 Best Cat Food for Constipation Picks (2022)

Posted in: Cat Food - Last Updated: March 7, 2022 - Author: Rebekah Carter
Posted in Cat Food 
Last Updated: March 7, 2022  
Author:  Rebekah Carter

Just like humans, cats can suffer negative side effects from eating the wrong foods, not having enough moisture in their diet, or even becoming afflicted with various ailments. The best cat foods for constipation are foods designed to help keep your cat’s digestive system working correctly when your feline friend is struggling to go to the bathroom.

orange and white cat covered in toilet roll

Cats with poor digestion and constipation often benefit from moisture-rich, soluble fiber food, rich in probiotics and nutrients. This could mean you start giving your kitty a dedicated wet food to help increase the moisture in their meals or choosing different ingredients for their food. 

Today, we’re going to explore the topic of cat foods for constipation, and how you can choose the most effective recipe for your furry friend.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Our choice is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, the best overall Cat Food for a Constipated Cat!

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 12-lb

Best 6 Cat Foods for Constipation Picks

Now that we've looked at some of the symptoms of cat constipation, what you need to look for in the right food, and frequently asked questions, it’s time to explore some of the top cat foods available from today’s manufacturers. We chose these products based on their use of high-quality ingredients, custom-chosen for the purpose of reducing constipation.

two cats eating from two bowls

Our Top 3 Picks:

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free (Best Overall)

Grain-free, high-quality cat foods will always be better for your cat’s digestion system than foods full of “filler”. Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness high-protein cat food is brimming with protein, which is excellent for your cat’s health. The first ingredient is real chicken, and there are no grains that would otherwise make it difficult for your kitty to digest their food. 

This grain-free cat food features a range of healthy carbohydrates, including peas and sweet potatoes to fuel a more active lifestyle. More exercise means your kitty is more likely to go to the bathroom as they should. Blue Buffalo cat food also comes with special blends of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which can keep your cat’s organs working effectively.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 12-lb

Pros:

  • Excellent blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Grain-free to help fuel an active and healthy lifestyle
  • Great value for lots of litter
  • Protein as the number one ingredient
  • Designed for easy digestion

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to find on some websites
  • Only one flavor option

2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber (Best Premium)

Royal Canin is a popular name in the high-quality cat food world. The Royal Canin Veterinary diet collection features a number of meal options specifically chosen for the unique needs of different cats. For instance, the Royal Canin gastrointestinal fiber food supports a naturally balanced digestive system, with special vitamins and minerals. 

This high-protein food provides all the energy and growth support your cat needs, without overloading the bowels with too much bulk. The highly palatable and easy-to-chew food is also fantastic for cats with decreased appetites – a common problem when your feline isn’t feeling their best. There’s even EPA/DHA to help improve the performance of the digestive system over time.

ROYAL CANIN Gastro Intestinal Fiber Response for Feline (8.8 lbs) by Royal Canin USA, Inc. [Pet Supplies]

Pros:

  • Vet-approved formula for gastrointestinal support
  • Excellent blend of nutrients and vitamins
  • Dehydrated poultry meat and high amounts of protein
  • Highly palatable to satisfy fussy eaters
  • Special ingredients support healthy digestion

Cons:

  • Often more expensive than other cat foods
  • Can cause weight gain in some cats

3. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Duck Pate Canned Cat Food (Best Value)

A well-made wet cat food can be an excellent investment for a kitty with digestion issues. This Wellness CORE wet food, available in a range of flavors, is specially designed for easy processing in your cat’s stomach. The pate formula means it’s easy for even the most uncomfortable cat to eat all the food they need and get plenty of crucial moisture. The grain-free recipe is also fortified with additional beneficial ingredients like minerals and vitamins to support inner wellness.

The Wellness CORE collection features lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats for excellent kitty health. There are no colors or preservatives, and the excess moisture in the pate blend makes it easy to get your cat’s digestive system running again. This wet cat food is an excellent solution for digestive and urinary health, lean body mass, and it supports a healthy coat and skin too.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Cat Food, Natural Canned Food for Cats, Made with Real Meat (Turkey & Duck Pate, 3 oz Cans, Pack of 12)

Pros:

  • Wide range of recipes and flavors to choose from
  • High-quality protein as the first ingredient
  • Made with minimal fat and carbohydrates
  • Designed to support healthy digestion and urination
  • Extra nutrients for a healthy coat and skin

Cons:

  • Can be very smelly for some owners
  • It may be expensive to buy in bulk
constipated-Cat-health-food

Some Additional Picks:

4. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management

Specially chosen to help with both digestion and weight management, the Purina Veterinary diet OM mix is ideal for cats who have trouble processing their food. This food is suitable for all breeds of all sizes, with a simple pellet format cats can easily digest. There are fewer calories in this food, so your cat can process the nutrition they need quickly.

High protein content means your cat will develop lean muscle during their weight loss journey. The Purina Pro Plan veterinary diet has also been specially designed to promote cat satisfaction. The extra high fiber levels will simultaneously keep your kitty feeling full for longer, while also helping to move food through your cat’s system faster.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management Savory Selects With Turkey Feline Formula Wet Cat Food - (24) 5.5 oz. Cans

Pros:

  • High fiber levels to help with processing food
  • Low calories for excellent weight management
  • Specially designed to improve cat satisfaction
  • Excellent high protein content

Cons:

  • It may not be suitable for older cats who need extra calories
  • Can be difficult to measure portions

5. Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate

Pate is one of the best food options for cats with fiber content issues. Instinct’s grain-free cat food pate is perfect for helping all kinds of cats get the protein and moisture they need. Unlike dry cat foods, pate is absolutely brimming with moisture to help your kitty go to the bathroom. It’s also easier to eat if your cat isn’t feeling particularly hungry or well. 

This chicken recipe formula is 95% chicken, turkey, and chicken liver, so you know your kitty is getting the quality protein they need to be as healthy as possible. There are no unnecessary grains or fillers added to the food to create stomach bulk. Additionally, this canned cat food comes with bonus vitamins and minerals, designed to replicate the positive benefits of feeding your cat raw food. As an added benefit, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pate was made in the USA.

Instinct Original Grain Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food, 3 oz. Cans (Case of 24)

Pros:

  • Excellent for ensuring cats get enough moisture in their diets
  • Easy to eat for older or unwell cats
  • A fantastic ratio of protein from high-quality substances
  • No grains or unnecessary fillers are included in the formula
  • Made in the USA to high-quality standards

Cons:

  • Can be very expensive if you need to feed your cat multiple tins a day
  • Can have quite a significant smell

6. Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

Iams ProActive health is a dedicated, budget-friendly food created specifically to address some of the most significant issues affecting cat health. The Indoor weight and hairball blend can help with a number of common problems, including hairballs, which can sometimes create blockages in the gut which worsen constipation. 

This dry cat food is easy to serve, so your cat can graze throughout the day. Chicken is the number one ingredient in the food, formulated to help support strong muscles, and there are special ingredients like L-Carnitine to help support a healthy metabolism. The proprietary fiber blend helps to reduce hairballs before they begin and reduce the risk of constipation caused by blockage. You’ll even get a high-quality protein meal for your kitty with 10% less fat than IAMS original.

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Indoor Weight Control & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food with Chicken & Turkey Cat Kibble, 22 lb. Bag

Pros:

  • Bonus vitamins and minerals like Omega 6, Omega 3 and L-Carnitine
  • Helps to reduce hairballs and minimize blockages
  • Proprietary fiber blend includes high-quality beet pulp
  • Rich in protein with minimal fat content
  • Good for managing weight as well as constipation

Cons:

  • Won’t be appealing to all cats with just 2 flavors
  • May not be as effective as wet food for severe constipation

What is Cat Food for Constipation?

Cat food for constipation is a specific kind of food designed specially to support your cat’s digestive system. Your cat’s bathroom habits might not be the nicest thing to think about, but they’re crucial to the good health of your feline friend. You might need to offer your cat a food specially designed for constipation if you notice:

  • Straining: A well-hydrated cat with good digestion should be able to easily go to the bathroom when visiting their litter tray. If your cat is struggling, yowling, or making unhappy noises when going to the bathroom, there may be a problem.
  • Decreased defecation: Most cats will poop at least once every 24 hours. If you’re clearing the litter tray each day and not noticing any poop, this could be a sign your cat is constipated. Pay attention to how long your cat spends trying to go in the litter tray too.
  • Liquid feces: Though sometimes associated with diarrhea, liquid feces can sometimes be a sign of constipation too. This happens when there’s a blockage in your cat’s intestines, irritating the digestive system.

Cat food for constipation will often be recommended for your cat after you’ve seen a vet to rule out any other issues which might be causing an inability to go to the bathroom. There are a number of products on the market, and they range from biscuits and kibbles to specialist pate.

Best-food-for-constipated-cat

Features to Consider in Cat Food for Constipation

Generally, if you notice signs of constipation in your cat, the first thing you’ll need to do is visit your vet. This will help to rule out any risk of more serious health conditions which might be causing stomach problems for your cat. Your veterinarian may recommend the best food for your furry pal based on their symptoms, or you can look for constipation-busting foods yourself.

Some of the points you’ll need to consider include:

  • Dry/Wet food: Wet food is often a better bet for cats who have constipation. While dry food keeps for longer and costs less, it lacks the moisture kitties need. Make sure your cat has access to plenty of water alongside their food. Pate foods can be particularly useful for dealing with constipation because they’re easy to eat and digest.
  • Fiber: Fiber is extremely important for softening stools, minimizing their size, and making them easier to pass. Look for beneficial types of fiber sources like rice bran and beet pulp to give your kitty the extra boost they need. Make sure a higher amount of fiber in your cat food doesn’t come at the expense of the right amount of protein. It’s worth noting that fiber comes in different forms such as wheat bran, oat fiber, cellulose, various vegetables, etc.). These all help to bulk the stool and speed the bowel movement process.
  • Moisture: Dehydration is definitely one of the biggest causes of constipation, and if your cat is one of the many that doesn’t like drinking from a water bowl, wet food might be the only solution, due to its high moisture content. As mentioned above, pate has some of the best moisture content in wet cat foods.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics help to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, which stimulate the production of feces. Foods that contain ingredients like pork liver and brewer’s yeast are extremely useful. Consider speaking to your vet about the extra probiotics, vitamins, and nutrients that might be helpful to your cat.
  • Allergens: If your cat has intolerances to certain ingredients, this can make it more difficult for their digestive system to work properly. Look for foods with minimal allergens to keep your kitty healthy.
  • Protein and calories: Though your cat food for constipation should be high in certain nutrients and fibers, it still needs a decent amount of protein and low-fat levels to ensure your cat’s good health. Don’t overlook the standard ingredients of healthy cat food.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Our choice is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, the best overall Cat Food for a Constipated Cat!

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 12-lb

Frequently Asked Questions

Does raw food cause constipation?

Raw feeding won’t necessarily cause constipation or any digestive problems in your cat. Often, raw feeding does give your kitty access to more moisture, but it can also reduce the number of times your cat has to go to the bathroom, due to a higher concentration of nutritional ingredients.

How long can a cat go without pooping?

This depends on several factors, but most pet experts will recommend speaking to a vet if your cat hasn’t defecated in longer than 48 hours. The main signs and symptoms to look out for include anything that indicates your cat is in distress, such as yowling sounds coming from the litter tray. You can also watch for lethargy, vomiting, or lack of appetite.

How serious is constipation?

In cats, when constipation is left untreated, it can eventually lead to obstipation, which causes a blockage throughout the entire digestive tract. This causes a significant strain on the internal organs of your cat, especially if they’re eating as normal. This is why it’s so important to see a vet as soon as symptoms begin to appear. Acting fast could save your cat’s life.

What are the dietary requirements of constipated cats?

The exact dietary requirements of your cat will differ depending on the cause of the constipation. However, in most cases, the best foods for constipation include low-residue cat food that tends to be a lot higher in protein, as well as high-fiber cat food. You can also consider looking into cat supplements that ease constipation, like multivitamins and pumpkin. Vets can sometimes prescribe medications for severely constipated cats.

What causes constipation in cats?

There are a number of issues that may cause constipation in cats, starting with blockages from hairballs and other foreign materials. Reluctance to use the litter box because it’s too dirty can also prompt your cat to “hold” going to the bathroom. 

Sometimes, constipation is caused by a lack of exercise – more common in older and overweight cats. Additionally, dehydration and lack of access to freshwater is a common problem. Other potential causes of constipation can include nerve damage, arthritis, and problems with the colon. Certain medications can influence cat bathroom habits too.

The Best Cat Food for Constipation: The Verdict

The ideal cat food for your cat will depend on a lot of factors, including what’s causing their initial bouts of constipation. If your cat seems to struggle with stomach problems and digestion issues regularly, a food like Blue Buffalo Wilderness grain-free could be perfect for getting things back on track. This dry food can be left out throughout the day, so it’s perfect for pet owners who don’t have the option to time wet feedings perfectly. 

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness cat food also contains a huge amount of protein and minimal calories to keep your kitty as healthy as possible. There are even added vitamins and minerals to ensure the longevity of your cat, and improve the health of their skin and fur. 

Remember, if you try a high-fiber cat food for constipation and give your cat plenty of water to drink, and they’re still showing symptoms, it’s important to speak to your vet as quickly as possible. Some cats will need additional medication and support aside from a change in diet.

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About the author

Rebekah Carter is a dedicated animal lover. Her Savannah cat, Roscoe, has a lot of attitude, while her Maine Coon, Dukino, is full of love. When not writing, she’s looking after her cats and researching ways to help them live their best possible life. Her passion for animals and natural skill for writing led her to pursue pet blogging.

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