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15 Best Foods For Cats With Ibd In 2024

We all want to give our cats the best diet possible, but when they have irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), choosing the appropriate food can be difficult.

Because simply changing their diet can create a flare-up, you should get them on the appropriate diet the first time. That is why we researched and reviewed the best foods for cats with IBD.

This manner, your cat can get the nourishment they require without experiencing the unpleasant and frequently severe IBD flare-ups.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) also created a detailed buyer's guide that will lead you through everything you need to know to obtain the proper food the first time.

The good news is that you don't have to spend a fortune on a new diet!

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Reviews

Best Value Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

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  • Type of food: dry
  • Primary protein source: salmon
  • 40 percent crude protein
  • 5 or 11 pound size

Not everyone can afford prescription cat food, and not everyone wants to follow a prescription for cat food. That’s where a product like Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe comes in handy.

Salmon is an excellent new protein for IBD, and it may be all your cat requires to get their IBD under control. It does not require a prescription, is reasonably priced, and contains 40% crude protein.

So it not only saves your bank account (and you) money, but it also provides your cat with everything they need to flourish.

So, while Blue Buffalo didn’t design its meal expressly for your cat’s digestive health, it can often help bring it under control for a fraction of the expense of other cat feeds.

It easily wins its place as the greatest value for money diet for cats with IBD.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • There is no prescription required.
  • A good crude protein percentage
  • Salmon is an excellent source of protein for digestive health.

Cons

  • Not designed primarily for gastrointestinal health.

Purina Pro Plan Gastroenteric Formula for Vets

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Feline Formula Dry Cat Food

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  • Type of food: dry
  • Primary protein source: poultry
  • 50 percent crude protein
  • Size: 6 or 10 pounds

Prescription pet food is notoriously pricey. Purina's Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula , on the other hand, defies the trend.

You still get all of the benefits of prescription pet food, but without the prescription pet food expense!

It’s an excellent value in terms of price and nutrition, and it contains at least 50% crude protein, which is excellent for your cat’s health.

Furthermore, it promotes both gastrointestinal and urinary health, which is critical for cats with IBD.

The only drawback is that you will need a prescription, which should be easy to obtain if you contact your veterinarian. With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why it’s the preferred option for cats with IBD.

Pros

  • A fantastic value for money and nutritional value.
  • Excellent protein content
  • There are two sizes available.
  • Gentle on the gastrointestinal system
  • Promotes urinary health

Cons

  • Prescription is required.

CleanProtein Chicken Formula by Dr. Elsey – Best for Kittens

Dr. Elsey's Cleanprotein Chicken Formula Dry Cat Food

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  • Type of food: dry
  • Primary protein source: chicken
  • 59 percent crude protein
  • 2 or 6.6 pounds in size

Even kittens’ tummies can be sensitive. This is where Dr. Elsey's CleanProtein Chicken Formula comes in.

It contains a high protein content that kittens require for growth and development, and it is available without a prescription.

Furthermore, it is a wonderful value for money and is loaded with loads of beneficial nutrients.

While chicken isn’t usually the ideal option for cats with IBD, if it’s not one of your kitten’s trigger foods, this could be just what you’re looking for.

Finally, while this is our best pick for kittens, there’s no reason why you can’t also feed them Dr. Elsey’s CleanProtein Chicken Formula as they get older.

Just make sure they get lots of exercise to burn off all that protein!

Pros

  • Protein content is high.
  • There is no prescription required.
  • A good value for money and nutrition.
  • A plethora of beneficial nutrients

Cons

  • Chicken is not the best protein source for IBD patients.

Selected Protein Royal Canin Veterinary Diet

ROYAL CANIN Feline Selected Protein Adult PR Dry

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  • Type of food: dry
  • Rabbit primary protein
  • 30 percent crude protein
  • 8.8 pound weight

Royal Canin and Hill's Prescription Diet are two of the most well-known brands in the prescription pet food industry, and when we compared them, Royal Canin came out on top.

The 30% crude protein content is sufficient to keep your cat healthy, and the 5.7% fiber content keeps your cat feeling full while aiding digestion.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein is a limited-ingredient diet that is ideal for cats with sensitive stomachs.

It contains loads of beneficial nutrients and is developed to aid with your cat’s gastrointestinal health. Furthermore, the company’s protein source is rabbit, which is an excellent new protein for IBD.

It is a more expensive choice, and you will need a prescription to order it, but if your vet asks whether you want Royal Canin or Hill’s Prescription Diet, we recommend Royal Canin.

Pros

  • Rabbit is an excellent new protein.
  • 5.7% fiber content is adequate.
  • Designed for cats who have digestive issues.
  • A plethora of beneficial nutrients
  • Formula with few ingredients

Cons

  • Prescription is required.
  • Reduce your protein intake.
  • Expensive

Turkey Recipe from The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Turkey Cat Food

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  • Type of food: dehydrated
  • Primary protein: turkey
  • 38.5 percent crude protein
  • 2 or 4 pound size

If you’re not concerned about the price of your new cat food, Honest Kitchen's Turkey Recipe is just what you’re searching for. There is no need for a prescription, and the food is all of the highest quality.

It’s a freeze-dried food, thus it’s of much higher quality than regular dry food. However, it is also significantly more expensive.

The crude protein content is somewhat less than 40%, but it is still higher than the 30% required by your cat.

Overall, it’s a really high-quality cat food, but it must be affordable for you to feed it to your cat meal after meal.

However, with basic ingredients, it is sometimes just what your cat requires to bring their IBD under control.

Pros

  • There is no prescription required.
  • Food of high quality
  • A good crude protein percentage
  • There are numerous nutritional advantages.

Cons

  • Pricey per meal

Prescription Diet by Hill’s

Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food

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  • Type of food: dry
  • Primary protein source: chicken liver
  • Protein crude percentage: 29
  • 4 or 8.5 pounds in size

We don’t believe there is a more recognizable brand in the prescription pet food industry than Hill’s.

While it is a reliable brand, it is important to remember that bigger isn’t necessarily better. To begin, you must obtain a prescription for the Hill's Prescription Diet .

While this provides you a food that is specifically designed for gastrointestinal health, it also raises the price significantly. However, the tradeoff comes in the form of high-quality nutrients that are beneficial to your cat’s health.

Although the crude protein content is low, chicken liver is considerably better for your cat’s IBD than ordinary chicken. Furthermore, there are numerous antioxidants, and the fiber content is sufficient to aid your cat’s digestion.

While it is incredibly expensive, there is a good probability that it will control your cat’s IBD.

Pros

  • Designed for cats who have digestive issues.
  • 4.5% fiber content is adequate.
  • Chicken liver is easier to digest than ordinary chicken.
  • Antioxidants in abundance for improved health

Cons

  • Low protein content
  • Expensive
  • Prescription is required.

Merrick’s Low-Ingredient Diet

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Turkey Recipe Cat

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  • Type of food: Wet
  • Primary protein: turkey
  • 9 percent crude protein
  • Size: 24 5-ounce cases

Some cats simply prefer moist cat food. Fortunately, Merrick's Limited Ingredient Diet  is a fantastic wet cat food option for cats with IBD. It’s a simple recipe with few ingredients that can aid your cat’s IBD diet.

It employs a potato-free recipe with turkey as its unique protein, which most cats prefer over chicken. Merrick’s uses a single source of protein in its cat food, which further simplifies things for your cat’s digestive tract.

The meal is high in antioxidants and is beneficial to your cat’s coat. However, maintaining your cat on a wet food diet can be costly. Most cats require numerous cans per day, raising the price of this already pricey food.

Pros

  • Recipe without potatoes
  • A plethora of antioxidants
  • Protein-only cat food
  • Excellent for your cat’s coat

Cons

  • The majority of cats require many cans per day.
  • Expensive

Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels by Stella & Chewy

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Dinner Morsels – Grain Free, Protein Rich Cat & Kitten Food

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  • Type of food: freeze-dried
  • Rabbit primary protein
  • Proportion of crude protein: 44
  • Size: 3.5, 8, or 18 oz.

One of the finest things you can do to treat your cat’s IBD is to switch them to a simpler diet. That’s exactly what Stella & Chewy's Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels  allow you to accomplish.

Every serving of this freeze-dried food contains at least 44% protein! It’s a simple-ingredient recipe that’s wonderful for your cat, and it comes in a variety of sizes.

However, while it performs an excellent job of controlling your cat’s IBD, it is also one of the most expensive solutions for feeding your cat.

That being said, they’ll enjoy every bite, and you’ll be feeding them food that looks like food.

Pros

  • Rabbit is an excellent new protein.
  • High protein content
  • Various sizes are available.
  • Recipe with few ingredients

Cons

  • Expensive

Rabbit Dinner Patties are a must-have

Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Cat Food

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  • Type of food: freeze-dried
  • Rabbit primary protein
  • 60 percent crude protein
  • Weight: 8 oz.

When attempting to regulate your cat’s IBD, you should simplify their diet. Nothing beats a freeze-dried rabbit recipe. You won’t find a dish with less ingredients than Vital Essentials Rabbit Dinner Patties , which includes 60% protein.

Because rabbit is a new protein, it is usually a suitable choice for cats suffering from IBD. Vital Essentials exclusively employs the greatest ingredients in this cat food, which benefits both you and your cat.

However, it is also prohibitively pricey for many owners. When you combine that with the low fiber content of 3%, it’s easy to see why such a healthful and simple ingredient option isn’t often used.

Pros

  • Rabbit is an excellent new protein.
  • A lot of protein
  • Recipe with few ingredients
  • Only high-quality ingredients are used.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A low fiber content of 3%

98% Turkey & Liver Formula by Hound & Gatos

Hound & Gatos Wet Cat Food

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  • Type of food: Wet
  • Primary protein: turkey
  • 10 percent crude protein
  • Size: 24 5.5-ounce cases

The Hound & Gatos 98% Turkey & Liver Formula is a wet cat food that can help control your cat’s IBD. It’s a simple recipe that’s packed with all the nutrients your cat needs to flourish.

It is not only beneficial to their IBD, but it is also beneficial to their coat. Cats enjoy the food, which makes mealtime a snap.

However, most cats would require numerous cans per day, and the product is already pricey. This means that if you want to transfer your cat to a wet-food diet, you should expect to spend more money in the long run.

Pros

  • Excellent for your cat’s coat
  • Recipe with few ingredients
  • A plethora of beneficial nutrients
  • Cats adore it.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The majority of cats require many cans per day.
  • This is not the greatest protein for IBD.

Buyer's Guide: Choosing the Best Food for IBD Cats

With so many wonderful cat food options available, it might be difficult to select the ideal option for your cat. That’s why we put together this detailed buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know.

Choosing a Protein

While we’d love to recommend a specific protein to give your cat to aid with IBD, the truth is that each cat will react differently to different protein sources.

Because you’ve already noticed symptoms, it’s a good idea to switch your cat to a novel protein, such as duck or rabbit.

Following that, make sure you’re eating a single-source protein. This allows you to narrow down the cause of a flare-up if it occurs.

However, keep in mind that, while protein is frequently a main cause of the flare-up, another item in the food may also be triggering the reaction.

To help narrow out potential problem foods, stick to foods with a small number of ingredients.

Changing Your Cat’s Food

You can expect your cat’s stomach to respond if they change foods. This does not imply that the new food is the source of the problem, but it can be aggravating for both you and your cat.

This is why you should always introduce new foods gradually and give them time to acclimate before jumping to conclusions.

The last thing you want to do is go from one cuisine to another when the only issue is that their stomach hasn’t had time to acclimate to their new diet!

How Much Protein Should Your Cat Eat?

It depends on your cat’s age, but ideally, your cat’s food should include between 28% and 45% crude protein. While older cats can get by with less, 30% is the suggested minimum for all cats.

Furthermore, kittens should consume at least 40% crude protein.

They’re developing and require more protein to do so! You can feed your adult cat more than 45% crude protein, but you must guarantee that your cat works it off.

Protein that your cat isn’t using converts to fat, and you don’t want an overweight kitty just because you’re feeding them the wrong diet!

Finally, keep in mind that moist meals act differently than dry foods. Because it’s primarily liquid, cats can take more of it, so if the diet has 7.5% to 12.5% protein, you’re in excellent condition.

Prescription Food Ordering

There are a few cat meals that require a prescription. While this may appear to be a big task, it is actually pretty straightforward once you’ve discussed it with your veterinarian.

You only need to offer your vet’s contact information to a site like Chewy. Chewy’s support team will contact you and handle the rest!

You can expedite the procedure by uploading a copy of your prescription to the website. You will not need to do anything else to order it again as long as the prescription is active!

So, getting prescription cat food is simpler than you might think, and you can acquire a specially made meal that will keep your cat healthy.

Conclusion

Don’t overthink it if you’re still unsure about what cat food to buy to help your cat’s IBD after reading these reviews of the best foods for cats with IBD.

Hill's Prescription Diet is BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.org) top pick for a reason. It is made from a single protein and contains only natural components and vitamins.

If you don’t have access to a veterinarian, you can always try Blue Buffalo's Wilderness Salmon Recipe .

There is no need for a prescription, it is relatively inexpensive, and it is a simple-ingredient choice with an easy-to-digest protein.

But don’t wait and hope for the best; purchase your cat a food that can help control their IBD!

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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