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If you have an older cat that routinely vomits, it can be challenging to try and find a food that they like, and that won’t upset them. The right food can help them maintain a healthy weight and get all the nutrients they need each time they eat it. However, it can be difficult to narrow down one food.
With so many different brands and types available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is why we did the research for you and rounded up the top 5 best cat food for older cats that vomit. We encourage you to look at our buyer’s guide and use the criteria to compare the various foods we reviewed to make the best choice for your cat.
In this article, we’re going to review the following food for older cats that throw up:
- Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food
- Halo Natural Dry Cat Food
- Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Cats, Chicken Recipe
- Royal Canin Aging 12+ Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Cat Food
Cat Food for Older Cats That Vomit – Buyer’s Guide
As your cat ages, it’s normal to expect some vomiting. Increased hairballs, food sensitivities, and eating too quickly can bring on a vomiting spell. Yet, vomiting can also be a symptom that something else is going on with your cats like diabetes or organ failure. And this is why it’s important to bring any concerns up to your veterinarian.
Food sensitivities are a big cause of vomiting in older cats. Their system is less able to handle some of the ingredients in their foods. As a result, they get sick soon after they eat. Changing your cat’s food to one specially formulated for older cats with vomiting issues can help.
Common Changes with Older Cats
You do want to take your cat to the veterinarian if they continually vomit because the vet can pinpoint exactly what the issue is. However, there are a few body changes that happen as your cat ages that can trigger vomiting. These body changes include:
- Slower Metabolism – Your cat’s activity levels and their metabolism slows down as they age. This makes your cat prone to weight gain, and this can lead to other problems that cause them to vomit.
- Unable to Break Down Food – An older cat’s digestive system becomes less able to break down the food they eat and extract the fats and other nutrients. This makes them feel more hungry, and they eat faster. Eating too quickly and trigger digestive upset.
- Meat or Grain Sensitivities – Some meats or grains can trigger inflammation in your cat’s digestive tract. If your cat’s food has these ingredients, they can get uncomfortable or sick after they eat as their bodies try to dispel whatever is making them sick.
What Causes Cats to Vomit or Throw Up
There are several reasons why a cat may throw up or vomit after they eat. Your vet will be able to tell you what they think the most likely cause is. A few very common reasons include but are not limited to:
Your cat licks their fur to clean themselves, but this can cause them to ingest a lot of hair. This hair can cause the hair to build up in their digestive tract and upset their stomach. As a result, your cat will throw up quite a bit, especially if they keep ingesting hair.
Urinary Tract Infection
Any infection in your cat’s body can upset their digestive system. Additionally, urinary tract infections are very common in older cats. If your cat has an ongoing or chronic issue, you can find them throwing up more. As the infection gets worse, so can the vomiting.
Ate Something Inedible
Think of everything you have laying around your floor. Pieces of string, plastic, bottle caps, fibers, and more are all things your cat may pick up and eat. When these inedible things get in your cat’s stomach, the body can start to try and dispel it. If this happens, your cat may experience runny stool or vomiting. The object can take between 10 and 24 hours to pass.
Another possible reason your cat is throwing up is diabetes. Diabetes is common in older cats that are overweight. Diabetes can cause excessive thirst. And this means your older cat will drink much quicker over shorter periods. This quick influx of water can lead to vomiting.
Buying Criteria for Food for Older Cats That Vomit
We’ll outline several different things you want to keep in mind if you have an older cat that is struggling with vomiting. You want your cat’s food to have as many of these things as possible to ensure they’re getting everything they need to thrive.
Your cat’s food should have a protein that comes from a real meat source. Whole meats are preferred because they’re healthier for your cat. Whole meats are easier for your cat’s digestive system to break down after they eat it. Meat meals or meat by-products are more difficult, and they can cause your cat to feel sick.
Just like the meat source, the grains in your cat’s food should be whole grains. Whole grains are more nutritionally sound than grain meals. You may find things like brown or white rice, soy, wheat, or corn. Ideally, the food will contain rice because it’s easy for your cat’s digestive system to break down.
If your cat has digestive issues, fiber is key to helping regulate their digestive system. Fiber works to help the body push the food they eat through their digestive tract. It can prevent upset and constipation while giving your cat’s body enough time to extract the vital nutrients it needs from the food.
Antioxidants help support your senior cat’s immune system by repairing any cellular damage that might be there. Green, leafy vegetables, and fruits like blueberries are excellent sources of antioxidants. Some food also has small pieces specially formulated with higher levels of antioxidants in them.
Things to Avoid in Your Cat’s Food
Along with the good, cat food can have ingredients that aren’t so good for your cat to eat. This is especially true if your cat already has sensitivities or digestive issues that cause them to throw up. These ingredients include but are not limited to:
- Overly processed foods
- Feed-grade grains
- Artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Food dyes
- Rendered fats
- Wheat, soy, or corn
- Meat meals
- Processed grains
The 5 Best Cat Foods for Older Cats That Vomit Reviews
This dry cat food comes in several sizes that allow you to tailor your order to your needs. Real turkey is the first ingredient in this food. And your cat will enjoy an easily digestible formula. The formula combines turkey, wholesome grains, fruits, and vegetables. All this provides complete digestive support.
The food nourishes your cat’s skin with fatty acids. It helps repair any damage, reduce inflammation, and strengthen your cat’s coat. The fiber content supports a healthy digestive system. And it’ll help to regulate your cat’s system to prevent vomiting or discomfort.
The minerals, vitamins, and antioxidant content support your cat internally and externally. The protein content helps your cat form lean muscles while keeping their weight at a healthy level. Turkey is a protein source that few cats have allergies to, so it reduces the chances of your cat having a reaction.
There are no fillers or artificial ingredients in this food to make it healthier for your cat. The kibble is the perfect size for your cat to pick up and eat without any difficulty.
- Uses whole grains and turkey with fruits and vegetables
- No fillers or artificial ingredients
- Has a well sized kibble
- Can have a long transition period
- May cause mild gas
- Kibble can crumble
Your cat will get whole fish with this food, and this is generally a healthier option. The bioavailable nutrients in this food’s formula are easier on your cat’s digestive system. And they reduce the risk that your cat will get sick after eating them.
Each serving will have salmon, grains, whole meat, and non-GMO vegetables. The whole grains are refined to make them easier for your cat’s digestive system to break down.
The fish comes from wild-caught farms to make it healthier. And Halo only uses ingredients from farmers that practice responsible planting and animal husbandry.
The smaller kibble fits your cat’s mouth to make it easy for them to eat and break into smaller pieces. It does have a slightly harder form. But it’s not hard enough that it’ll cause a problem. The food is also suitable for cats of all ages.
Halo attaches a money-back guarantee to their food as well. If your cat doesn’t like it or can’t tolerate it after two weeks, contact them. They’ll refund your money, and you can try different food.
- Packed with whole meat, healthy grains, and vegetables
- Works well for cats in all life stages
- Has a money-back guarantee attached
- Kibble has a slightly greasy texture
- Only has small sizes available
- May have a stronger smell
Blue Buffalo has real meat listed on the package as its first ingredient. And the protein source in this food comes from real chicken. There are garden vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to round out the formula with vitamins and minerals.
The sensitive stomach formula has FOS prebiotics to help support your cat’s digestive system and reduce vomiting. These prebiotics also promote healthy nutrient absorption. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. And they can also help heal existing damage.
Each package comes with several LifeSource Bits mixed in. These LifeSource Bits contain a mix of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. This helps to balance your cat’s system while providing immune support. Holistic veterinarians formulate these LifeSource Bits to ensure they meet your cat’s life stage requirements.
There are no by-product meals, artificial flavors, soy, wheat, corn, or artificial preservatives that could upset your cat’s stomach. Additionally, your cat will get hints of healthy blueberries, sweet potatoes, cranberries, flax, peas, carrots, and brown rice each time they eat it.
- The formula comes loaded with healthy ingredients
- FOS prebiotics support your cat’s digestive system
- Cold-formed to retain potency
- LifeSource Bits may be too hard for some cats
- May cause loose stools
- Contains fish and fish oil
This senior cat food suits cats aged 11 and up. And contains a blend of taurine to support their heart health. Balanced mineral content works to promote kidney and bladder health to prevent painful stones.
The formula has fatty acids and vitamin E to support skin and coat health. The natural fiber content supports your older cat’s sensitive immune system while providing excellent nutrient support. The tuna and carrot medley comes with a mix of natural ingredients that are less likely to upset your cat’s stomach as well.
Each ingredient comes from a trusted source around the United States. And this helps to reassure you that they are very high quality. There are no artificial ingredients or preservatives in this formula. And this makes it healthier for your cat to eat.
The kibble has a very small and rounded shape that is easier for senior cats to eat. The kibble also has a softer texture that crumbles when your cat bites into it. The smaller pieces break down much better in your cat’s digestive system to prevent stomach upset.
- Supports heart, kidney, and bladder health
- Ingredients sourced from the United States
- Kibble is smaller and easier to break down
- Can cause gas
- Has a slightly longer transition period
- May be too bland for some cats
This wet cat food comes in three different case sizes. This lets you buy a few to test it out on your cat before you buy a large case. The formula works well for cats aged 12 and up.
The thin slices and gravy are easy for your senior cat to eat and break down. There is a healthy blend of fatty acids that helps maintain your cat’s skin and coat health. But they also work to maintain your cat’s joint health to keep them lubricated.
There are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in this food that make it tempting for your cat to eat. The controlled phosphorus levels promote kidney health in older cats and help prevent complications. You can feed this food to your cat by itself to get all the nutrients they need. Or you can pair it with dry food.
The unique kibble shape is easy for your older cat to eat. Additionally, the kibble tends to crumble when your cat bites down on it. When it crumbles, your cat’s digestive system will start breaking it down to extract the nutrients.
- Has thin slices and gravy
- Available in a few case sizes
- Fatty acids promote joint health
- Can have a strong smell
- Meat chunks may be too large
- Dries out quickly after opening
Our pick for the best cat food for older cats that vomit is the Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food. It has a real meat source as the first ingredient on the label. And this helps ensure that there is high protein content.
We liked the fruit and vegetable content. And we liked that the food contained fiber to improve digestive health. We invite you to compare our five picks and use our buyer’s guide to find your cat’s new diet. Choosing one can help reduce the chances that your cat vomits or has a digestive upset. And this can result in a happier cat.
Brian is a proud cat parent and animal enthusiast who lives in the Northwestern United States with two cats. In his spare time, Brian likes traveling around with his pets, exploring new places, and writing. Sharing what he learned over the years of cat ownership brings him joy, and the cats teach him something new every day.