It is that sound in the middle of the night. The dreaded one that cues you for a mess to clean up in the morning.The sound of your old cat regurgitating… yet again.
If your cat is throwing up it might be time to change its diet to a more easy to digest food. Two of the best cat food choices for cats that vomit are Grain-Free Sensitive Stomach & Skin Salmon & Yellow Pea Recipe by Hill's Science Diet or Intense Hairball Cat Food by Royal Canin. It is always best to check with your vet if your cat is having frequent vomiting to get a health plan for your cat.
Cat owners know, the older the cats get, the more frequently they tend to get sick. And along with this is their recurrent vomiting. However, this doesn’t always mean there is something seriously wrong with them.
A lot of times, going to the vet when your senior cat throws up is not necessary. You just need to find a way to give them relief on your own. The first step is to find the best cat foods that help or prevent the vomiting and that promote healthy eating.
Why Vomiting Occurs In Older Cats
Along with your cat’s aging comes the development of few or more diseases. Which chronic vomiting can be a sign of a serious disease. There are three common concerns with older cats that vomit: chronic small intestinal disease (caused by inflammatory bowel disease or cancer), hyperthyroidism, and kidney failure. Other concerns are heartworms or parasites which can occur during any time of owning your cat.
So it's best to understand the difference between chronic vomiting and occasional vomiting.
While it is normal for cats to vomit every once in a while, there are situations when their vomiting is but for simple reasons. Some of them you can deal with even without bringing them to the vet.
Occasional or short-term vomiting happens once or twice, or lasting less than 24 hours. Chronic vomiting affects cats' lives and is what you should watch out for. If they throw up frequently and excessively, it could be an indication of a health problem that needs to be addressed by your veterinarian. If you are concerned or worried it's always best to check in with your veterinarian.
Other reasons your older cat can be throwing up is:
- a sensitive stomach
- a food allergy
- eating too much or too much at once
- eating food that has gone bad
- or ingestion of toxins or poisons like antifreeze
Best Cat Food For Older Cats That Vomit
Fortunately, when it comes to older cats that vomit, there are foods specially formulated to keep your cat from constantly throwing up.
This section will review some of them and you may just be able to find what you need in this list.
#1. Best Cat Food for Gastrointestinal Issues High Energy by Royal CaninBuy on Chewy Buy on Amazon
This requires vet authorization to ship online
Effective management of gastrointestinal disorders that can be causing vomiting in cats, both short and long term can be aided by dietary therapy. Felines suffering from gastrointestinal problems need a diet that can be easily digested. This is crucial for their tummy to recover as it reduces irritation within.
Vomiting in cats may look like a simple problem, but it is not. When cats constantly throw up, they lose electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride. Not to mention B vitamins that are also released upon gastric secretions.
These foodstuffs are essential for many developments within the cat’s body. Depletion in these nutrients can result in the progression of complications or slower recovery.
This canned cat food, Gastrointestinal – High Energy by Royal Canin. is specially formulated to promote good digestive health. It uses highly digestible proteins, probiotics, and fiber. Gastrointestinal disorders may also cause intestinal inflammation, therefore Royal Canin made sure to throw in Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA from fish oil to lessen swelling.
Ingredients and Nutrition
- Crude Protein: 8%
- Crude Fat: 5%
- Crude Fiber: 1.5%
- Moisture: 78.5%
- Calorie Content: 1092 kilocalories per kilogram
Feeding Guide for Royal Canin Gastrointestinal
Tendency to become Overweight
3/4 can (111 g)
1 can (148 g)
1 can (145g)
1 1/4 cans (181 g)
1 can (170 g)
1 1/4 cans (213 g)
1 1/4 cans (193 g)
1 1/2 cans (242 g)
1 1/4 cans (216 g)
1 3/4 cans (270 g)
1 1/2 cans (237 g)
1 3/4 cans (297 g)
1 3/4 cans (258 g)
2 cans (323 g)
1 3/4 cans (278 g)
2 1/4 cans (348 g)
- Packed with ingredients that nourish intestinal microflora
- Omega 3 fatty acids for reducing inflammation
- High energy levels for older cats
- Helps to prevent bladder crystals for urinary health.
- Highly digestible proteins and prebiotics support digestive health and help your cat have healthy poop.
- Too expensive
- It has to be prescribed by your vet
Dry Cat Food Options for Cats that Vomit
#2. Best Cat Food for Intense Hairball 34 Cat Food by Royal CaninBuy on Chewy Buy on Amazon
With cats spending a huge amount of time grooming themselves, they can potentially, with the helped of their barbed tongues, ingest and swallow a considerable amount of hair. Once ingested, these hairs can become compressed within their digestive tract, resulting in the creation of hairballs.
These hairballs, in turn, are either thrown up or expelled through their feces. To help ease cats’ difficulty in managing hairballs, Royal Canin developed cat food that keeps hairballs in a tolerable situation by moving them through the gastrointestinal tract without any blockage.
All thanks to its ingredients that promote healthy intestinal transit like a specific blend of dietary fibers, psyllium, and insoluble fibers. It also contains a precise amount of nutrients with high protein and fat content to guarantee a healthy level of nutrients.
This adult dry cat food, Intense Hairball 34 Cat Food by Royal Canin, has been proven to reduce twice as much excess hair in the cat’s body in just 14 days of feeding. Its popular ingredients that help achieve these results are chicken meal, brewer’s rice, corn, rice hull, corn gluten meal, pea fiber, wheat gluten, and fish oil.
For best results, pair this dry cat food with Hairball Care Thin Slices in Gravy wet cat food for a treat your cat will love.
Ingredients and Nutrition
- Crude Protein: 34%
- Crude Fat: 15%
- Crude Fiber: 6.9%
- Complete balanced meal for adult cats
- Specially formulated for cats 1 year and older prone to hairballs
Note: not for senior cats
- Composed of a detailed blend to reduce hairballs
- Blend of minerals to maintain urinary tract health
- Amino acids for a stronger heart and brighter eyes
- Contains ingredients that are allergens to cats
- Isn't the best option for senior cats. For senior cats we recommend trying Blue Buffalo indoor hairball control.
#3. Purina One - Sensitive Skin and StomachBuy on Chewy Buy on Amazon
One of the most affordable yet highly effective dry cat food formulas for vomiting cats is the low-budget cat owners is a Sensitive Skin and Sensitive Stomach cat food by Purina One.
This dry cat food is packed with every nutrient needed by senior cats to promote superior well-being. They can achieve 100% complete and balanced nutrition through the taste that they all love.
This kibble has the right amount of protein in every cup and is made with real turkey as the first ingredient. Along with it are excellent ingredients like dried carrots and peas. This blend delivers an antioxidant-rich combination of vitamins to keep your mouser healthy.
It also encourages healthy skin and a lustrous coat with the omega fatty acids it has. While every ingredient might be easy to digest, its shape and texture also promote healthy teeth and gums by eliminating plaques and tartar buildup.
Sensitive Skin and Stomach by Purina One contains ingredients like turkey, brewer’s rice, corn, gluten meal, poultry-by-poultry products, soybean meal, fish meal, dried yeast, and whole-grain corn. The most important thing is, you won’t have to worry since it has zero added fillers.
Ingredients and Nutrition
- Crude Protein: 34%
- Crude Fat: 13%
- Crude Fiber: 4%
- Moisture: 12%
- Calorie Content: 4,040 kcal/kg, 430 kcal/cup
Feeding Guide for Purina One Sensitive Skin
Daily Feeding (Cups)
5 to 9 lbs
1/3 to 2/3 cups
10 to 14 lbs
2/3 to 1 cups
- An easily digestible formulation that is specially prepared for cat companions with sensitive systems
- Made with real turkey as the first ingredient for the superior protein source your cat deserves
- Purina ONE is veterinarian recommended
- manufactured in U.S. facilities, where they check for quality and safety for your cat.
- crunchy texture helps to reduce plaque build-up to promote strong teeth and healthy gums
- Each serving of dry cat food has added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including omega-6 fatty acids to help your cat's sensitive skin and an antioxidant blend to support her healthy immune system
- Contains chicken ingredients that may cause food allergies to cats
- The bags are not resealable
#4. Best Cat Food for Grain-Free Sensitive Stomach & Skin Salmon & Yellow Pea Recipe Diet by Hill's Science DietBuy on Chewy Buy on Amazon
This brand’s reputation goes way back to 1907 when it was founded in a small rendering facility in Topeka, Kansas. And, with a long history like that, you are guaranteed you are getting just the right product for your cat.
Vets often recommend cat food that has a high presence of prebiotic fibers for older cats or adult cats who vomit. This is because these fibers help in facilitating proper digestion. It also supports cat grown microbiome. Microbiomes play an important role in the cat’s overall health and disease.
The high-quality cat food for sensitive stomachs has aside from prebiotic fibers, vitamin E, and Omega 6 fatty acids to aid in nourishing especially the senior cats’ skin. Aside from that, it contains antioxidants that help in boosting the immune system of cats. This is great dry cat food for cats that have food sensitivities and it's also grain-free.
This food formula is crafted with premium natural ingredients like chicken, yellow peas, carrots, apples, broccoli, cranberries, and real salmon that give your cat omega fatty acids(grain-free). These ingredients help to provide a calming combination for the cat’s tummy since they are more balanced. The blending allows for settling the stomach that results in less vomiting.
Ingredients and Nutrition
- Crude Protein: 29%
- Crude Fat: 16%
- Crude Fiber: 3%
- Moisture: 10%
- Recommended for adult cats, including those with a sensitive stomach and skin
Feeding Guide for Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
Weight of Cat - lbs (kgs)
Amount per Day - cups (grams)
4 lbs (1.8)
6 lbs (2.7)
8 lbs (3.6)
10 lbs (4.5)
12 lbs (5.4)
14 lbs (6.4)
16 lbs (7.3)
- Contains prebiotic fiber for supporting digestion
- 100% grain-free high-quality adult dry cat food
- Crafted with premium natural ingredients like chicken, yellow peas, carrots, apples, broccoli, cranberries, and real salmon that give your cat omega fatty acids (great for skin and coat health)
- #1 recommended by US veterinarian and made in the US
- Contains some ingredients that cause skin allergies
#5. Adult Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach with LifeSource BitsBuy on Chewy Buy on Amazon
Despite its being a newcomer in the cat food industry, Blue Buffalo sensitive stomach has paved its way to make them a household name. Now America’s leading natural pet food company, they are known for various lines of cat food. Some can be brought to local pet stores, the others only through veterinarians.
One of their formulations is Adult Sensitive Stomach with LifeSource Bits. Food is specially formulated for older cats with sensitive stomach and vomiting problems, it has real chicken meat and brown rice as the first ingredient. This is so felines have the perfect source of protein while allowing them to gain lean and strong muscles.
Aside from chicken and rice, it also includes prebiotics that aid in facilitating appropriate digestion as well as boost nutrient absorption for senior cats. Other ingredients listed are deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, peas, dried egg products, and fat.
Adult Sensitive Stomach with Lifesource Bits by Blue Buffalo has no grains like soy, corn, wheat, and other synthetic additives that may cause food allergies for moggies.
Ingredients and Nutrition
- Crude Protein: 32%
- Crude Fat: 16%
- Crude Fiber: 3.5%
- Moisture: 9%
- Calorie Content: 3,773 Kcals/kg, 422 Kcals/cup
Feeding Guide for LifeSource Bits by Blue Buffalo
Weight of Cat - lbs
Amount per Day - cups
5 to 9 lbs
1/4 to 1/2
10 to 14 lbs
1/2 to 1
- Has premium ingredients like real chicken for high-quality protein
- Supports the immune system and the cat’s overall well-being with high-quality ingredients omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, along with wholesome grains, garden veggies, and fruit. (great for a healthy skin and coat)
- Suitable for sensitive stomach cat
- made without poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
- LifeSource bits include a blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals chosen by vets and animal nutritionists to support your pet's immune health
- Some cats are having difficulty chewing small-sized kibbles
8 Other Reasons Why Cats Throw Up
- Change in Diet
The majority of cats live and breathe by routine. This means even with a small diet change, it can likely cause cats upset stomachs and cause them to throw up. With that said, if you are thinking of changing from one food to another, high quality or not, do so gradually to lessen the chances of vomiting for cats with sensitive bellies.
Obsessed with cleanliness, cats are known to groom themselves by licking their body (that is covered in fur). When they do that, they end up swallowing their hair that in turn becomes undigested. To expel these hairballs, cats tend to vomit. Hairballs can cause stomach issues and to prevent vomiting it's best to switch to cat food that specializes in hairball control.
- Overfeeding or Eating Too Fast
Cats are known to be unable to control eating especially when prepared with their favorite food. They may end up getting overfed and may trigger throwing up. Ingesting food too fast may also cause vomiting. You can prevent vomiting by placing their food on a paper plate or a flat surface so they get less food with each bite.
- Cat Allergies
A lot of cats are picky eaters. This is because the majority of them are prone to food allergies. Cats’ allergies develop from their reaction to certain components in cat food.
Low-quality fillers, fish, eggs, artificial flavors, and preservatives are but a few of the common ingredients that cats may be allergic to or they may have food sensitivities. Changing to high-quality cat food with high-quality ingredients may prevent vomiting.
Parasitic infestations can also cause your cat to vomit. Cats are highly susceptible to hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and whipworms. These types of parasites all have the reputation of firing up the urge to throw up.
Cat parents who let them outside are more prone to parasites. Parasites can also come from fleas or ticks. Your cat can get some relief from medicine from the vet, while extra cleaning to remove the parasites may be needed.
- Certain Diseases
The serious underlying condition may also be another cause of cat vomiting. Frequent and excessive throwing up could be an indication of diabetes, kidney failure, liver diseases, gastritis, cancer, or irritable bowel movement.
- Food Poisoning
The digestive system of a cat has a strong immune system. When they ingest anything that is toxic, their body can kick it out through vomiting. Some of the most common items that can be toxic to felines are human food, some plants, insecticides, and other chemicals. Make sure any toxic items are in an area not accessible to your feline.
- Non-Food Items
That phrase that says, “curiosity killed the cat” is true. Their curiosity will let them explore and discover a lot of things and along the way, they may even end up eating the things that they lay their curiosity upon.
Indigestible items like houseplants, grass, small toys, toilet paper, and string are just a few that may trigger their vomiting.
Buying Guide: Cat Food For Older Cats Who Vomit
Extra care should be given to older cats especially when it comes to their diet. Bump it up with the proper nutrition they need and it will surely add extra years to their lives.
Speaking of proper nutrition, there are numerous cat foods that promise to be the best when it comes to managing vomiting issues with cats.
Buying Guide For Cat Foods for Older Cats
Low-grade food usually comprises of low-grade ingredients, too. They may have fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives which in the long run will ruin the welfare of your cat. Always go for cat foods that have superior nutritional ingredients.
2. Type of Cat Food
Cats may find either dry or wet cat food palatable in most cases. However, cats can be picky sometimes. Especially when they feel they are having a hard time digesting or chewing the food. They’d rather go with the foods that will not make it hard for them to eat.
3. Food Safety
Always check on the labels of the cat food to confirm if the brand you are getting is tested and approved by the FDA and other relevant agencies. This is especially true when you want to avoid food poisoning in cats.
Vomiting in cats is always dreadful, but as long as you know why they are experiencing that, the easier you will be able to treat them. Sometimes, all it takes is just a switch in their diet.
While all the cat foods we reviewed are highly recommended, we are putting more emphasis on the top pick which is… Tadaaa! Sensitive Stomach and Skin by Hill’s Science Diet. This is one brand that is the best cat food for older cats that vomit.
This formulation is designed to offer your cat a more balanced diet. The blended ingredients provide them with what they need to get balanced digestion. It doesn’t just cater to a cat’s vomiting issue, but it also helps them get better skin and coat.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why does my older cat throw up after eating?
Cats are fast eaters and most of the time, they do not chew what they eat. This leads to the stomach walls expanding too quickly. When that happens, a signal is sent to the brain to instigate regurgitation.
Why is my cat throwing up her wet food?
Cats eating fast tend to be the ones who vomit after eating either wet or dry food. Both types of food, if eaten quickly may not be digested well, thus vomiting. Also, rough plays or sudden movements after eating may spur vomiting.