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9 Best Cat Foods for Constipation in 2023 — Reviews & Top Picks

cat in litter box

It can be challenging to figure out what is wrong with your pets when they begin to feel sick. Animals can struggle with many of the same illnesses that plague us humans, including something as uncomfortable as constipation.

Constipation can be a symptom of other health issues. Getting your cat checked might be necessary if they continue to worsen. However, constipation is typically caused by a minor issue; sometimes it can be a lifestyle or allergy indicator. Feeding them a diet meant to reduce constipation symptoms might be all that you need to do to help them.

We have compiled a list of the top foods that you can give to your cat to help them with their constipation problem. Though it depends on what they like and if they have any allergies, one of these foods is bound to be the perfect match for your kitty and their finicky bowels.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Top Picks in 2023

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Smalls Fresh Cat Food Smalls Fresh Cat Food
  • Feature icon Packed with protein
  • Feature icon Balanced nutrition
  • Feature icon Moisture-rich
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free
  • Feature icon Addition of LifeSource Bits
  • Feature icon Budget-friendly option
  • Feature icon High ratio of protein to carbohydrates
  • Third place
    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry
  • Feature icon High level of protein
  • Feature icon Improves gut bacteria and digestion
  • Feature icon Low level of calories
  • Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie
  • Feature icon Highly palatable
  • Feature icon Control vomiting and diarrhea symptoms
  • Feature icon Veterinary diet item
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management
  • Feature icon Multiple bag sizes
  • Feature icon Formulated for weight management
  • Feature icon High ratio of fiber
  • The 9 Best Cat Foods for Constipation

    1. Smalls Fresh Cat Food — Best Overall for Constipation

    smalls ground bird chicken recipe

    Our overall choice for the best cat food for constipation goes to Smalls for their ability to keep our felines healthy and happy with hearty meals that won’t constipate them or compromise their overall health.

    There are no carbs, grains, or other fillers that can harm your cat in Smalls’ human-grade cat food. Customers have reported less stinky litter boxes, fresher breath, and that their cats sleep better and seem to have more balanced energy levels after only three months of eating this cat food.

    In case you haven’t guessed, Smalls is a subscription pet food service that’s a little expensive for some pet owners’ taste. However, the higher price is worth it when it comes to the health of your feline and preventing constipation.

    Some users have complained that the product uses vegetable oil as an ingredient, but other than that, the food has species-appropriate, balanced nutrition and is full of protein, which cats need to be healthy. Also, this food might not work for cats who have specific health problems, so it’s best to check with your vet before feeding them this blend.

    In our opinion, the high price is worth the peace of mind of knowing you’re doing everything you can to keep your pet healthy, happy, and content for many years to come.

    • Packed with protein
    • Balanced nutrition
    • Moisture-rich
    • Species appropriate
    • Quite expensive
    • Contains vegetable oil
    • May not work for cats with specific health problems
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    2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food — Best Value

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo is known for its healthy contributions to the pet food industry. It models many of its formulas after the diets that a pet’s wild animal ancestors would consume. In this case, it is the lynx. Blue Buffalo calls it “Nature’s Evolutionary Diet.” It creates formulas that supply everything that a cat needs while keeping it cleaner for their system.

    The other significant factor of this food is that it is the best cat food for constipation for the money. It is an excellent budget option if you suspect that your cat suffers from constipation and want to give a specific formula a try.

    The cat food is packed with real chicken. It is meant to help the cat build up lean muscle and maintain it without adding unhealthy weight. Many healthy carbohydrates are easier for a cat’s system to digest, such as sweet potatoes and peas.

    Another aspect of Blue Buffalo’s pet food is their addition of LifeSource Bits. These provide precise amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to support a cat’s diet while on a diet. There are multiple sizes of the bag, but it only goes up to 12 pounds.

    • Addition of LifeSource Bits provides balanced nutrition
    • Budget-friendly option
    • High ratio of protein to carbohydrates
    • Maximum size of 12-pound bags
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    3. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin is a brand that formulates many of the healthiest options available for pets in the industry. They have designed this dry cat food to be especially gentle on a cat’s gastrointestinal system, keeping their tummy healthy and happy.

    This food is formulated to help balance your kitty and help them recover from illnesses that caused symptoms such as vomiting, appetite loss, and diarrhea. There are prebiotics included in the formula to improve gut bacteria for a healthier future. A blend of fibers is an essential ingredient to support intestinal movement and prevent stomach and digestive system upset.

    Omega fatty acids are included in the formula for healthy skin and fur. This is all mixed without adding up to a high amount of calories, helping your cat watch their weight while eating delicious food. The food also allows them to avoid forming urinary crystals in their bladder. Getting food that does all these great things does come at a price, however.

    The crude level protein is high in this formula, a 29% minimum, while the crude fat is a little higher than you might want in a diet food at 13%. It also includes chicken by-product meal, corn, and wheat gluten, three controversial ingredients in pet food.

    • High level of protein
    • Improves gut bacteria and digestion
    • Low level of calories for weight management
    • Includes chicken by-product meal, corn, and wheat gluten
    • Premium price
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    4. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie Canned Cat Food

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie Canned Cat Food

    Dry food is not the only option when you are looking for ways to calm down your cat’s stomach. Royal Canin has formulated a gastrointestinal wet cat food with a moderate amount of calories to get your cat what they need, focusing on a different texture. There are 24 cans of the food in each box that you order.

    This vet recommended wet cat food is a veterinary diet item, meaning not only has it been approved by vets for cats that have weight management issues, but it is also prescribed. It is a premium option that is more expensive than some other similar products. However, the results that you see for your pet often make this investment worth it.

    This high fibre wet cat food is cut into thin slices and paired with a highly palatable gravy for even pickier kitties. It gives them the nutrition that they need, even when recovering from difficult symptoms such as vomiting, appetite loss, and diarrhea. This food includes prebiotics that supports a healthy gut and dietary fibers to keep the intestines healthy.

    Much like dry food, this wet food includes ingredients like meat by-products and cornflour. The amount of crude protein is a 6.5% minimum, and the level of crude fat balances to a 1.6% minimum.

    To conclude, in our opinion, the Royal Canin Gastrointestinal recipe is the best canned cat food for constipation available today.

    • Highly palatable with a gravy texture
    • Helps to control symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea
    • Veterinary diet item
    • Premium price
    • Includes meat by-products and cornflour
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    5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management gives you an excellent option for managing a cat’s sensitive digestive system. It stocks its formula with ingredients that help cats manage their weight, particularly those animals that are overweight. Carrying extra pounds is one reason that your animal could experience signs of constipation and discomfort.

    This is a great cat food for constipation because it has been crafted with the help of researchers, veterinarians, and nutritionists to give your cat what they need. It is also the perfect accompaniment to a diet and is formulated for adult cats.

    The protein-to-calorie ratio is high, meant for building muscle without adding excess weight. There is a low level of fat, and the entire mix is packed with natural fibers to keep your cat’s system moving along smoothly.

    These bags come in two sizes, 6 pounds and 16 pounds. These are more costly than some other foods, but it’s worth it to get your cat on a healthier track.

    • Multiple bag sizes
    • Formulated specifically for weight management
    • High ratio of fiber to keep the digestive system moving
    • More expensive than similar products
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    6. Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Weruva is a relatively unknown brand that prides itself on creating cat food with a home-cooked flavor that your cat will love. This formula is meant to provide them with all the nutrition that they need while giving them a taste for something slightly different. It is called Kitchen Funk In The Trunk Chicken in Pumpkin Consommé.

    The formula is entirely grain-free, meaning it is free from difficult-to-digest ingredients like wheat, corn, and rice. It is made with a lean chicken breast and has wholesome pumpkin added as a primary ingredient. Each bite gives your cat high protein levels from the chicken and healthy sources of fiber from the pumpkin.

    The formula is meant to be perfectly balanced to give your kitty a healthy blend of vitamins and minerals. It also includes taurine, which should be an essential ingredient in cat food to keep their heart healthy. It can be served as a whole meal itself or added as a tasty topper on kibble. There are zero starches in it, nor GMOs or ingredients with MSG.

    • Contains no grains, GMOs, MSG, or starches
    • Home-flavored formula
    • High level of protein and fibers
    • Wet food tends to be more expensive than dry
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    7. Nulo Freestyle Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Nulo Freestyle Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Nulo’s Freestyle Recipe canned cat food is packed with premium ingredients so you can trust giving it to your precious cat. The formula is made with real turkey, which is also the first ingredient. The next is chicken, followed by turkey liver, turkey broth, and then tuna.

    Beyond the highly beneficial ingredients that take up the list’s primary positions, others include fiber-filled pumpkin and additional sources of vitamins, like tomato and dried kelp. It also has taurine in it to help keep your cat’s heart healthy.

    The can is simple to open with an easy-pull tab and is highly palatable. It is grain-free to make it easier to digest, although beyond that, it does not include many specialized ingredients for gut health. This high fibre canned cat food is made in the U.S.A. and comes conveniently portioned.

    • Packed with premium primary ingredients
    • Contains zero grains or meat by-products
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Not specifically for gastrointestinal health
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    8. Purina Pro Plan Vet Diet Overweight Management Canned Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management Formula Canned Cat Food

    Purina has developed a wet food to go along with its dry food options. The Pro Plan wet cat food belongs to a veterinary diet list supported by research and doctors. It helps your cats manage their weight while still getting all the nutrition that they need to have a healthy digestive system.

    One of the downsides of this food is the price of a case of 24 5.5-ounce cans. While the Pro Plan includes primary ingredients like turkey, it also includes controversial ingredients, like wheat gluten, unspecified meat by-products, and powdered cellulose.

    The crude protein level is 9% minimum, and the crude fat is low at only 1.75%, which is helpful for cats that need a dietary option. The food is palatable for cats and helps them control their weight, while still providing enough fiber to keep their intestines working properly. It also helps them to support their urinary health.

    • Highly palatable formula
    • High protein-to-fat ratio
    • High price for each case
    • Includes controversial ingredients, like meat by-products
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    9. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Support Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Support Dry Cat Food

    Beyond Blue Buffalo’s primary formula for weight management, there is another option for dietary and gastrointestinal support. This food frequently finds its way on veterinary item lists. It is a healthy option to keep your cat in top shape, although it does have a high price to go with it.

    The food is made with only the best natural ingredients that Blue Buffalo sources. It is made specifically to support gastrointestinal health and contains all easily digestible ingredients. The first ingredients include deboned chicken, chicken meal, tapioca starch, and peas. These are all examples of healthy sources of protein and carbohydrates.

    The crude protein level in this diet is high compared to some other foods, being a 36% minimum. The crude fat is higher than some owners would like for weight management diets, at 14%.

    A 5% level of fiber keeps your cat’s digestive systems moving more smoothly than they typically would otherwise. It is somewhat challenging to get the food, though, since it is part of a prescription-only diet.

    • High level of protein and fiber
    • Natural ingredients sourced from Blue Buffalo
    • High level of fat
    • Prescription-only diet

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cat Food for Constipation

    When it comes to your cat’s health, giving them the right food can balance their systems and have them feeling better than ever. Diet is particularly important when it comes to gastrointestinal health. At times, it may get to the point where your vet will need to recommend or prescribe food. To avoid that, consider these aspects of the food that you buy for your furry friend.

    Protein-to-Fat Ratio

    The ratio of protein to fat is of significant importance for felines that struggle with carrying excessive weight. A cat’s body is not meant to carry extra weight, and they will quickly suffer health consequences if they continue to eat the same way that got them to that point.

    When looking for cat food that can help them slim down or control their digestive health, you should check if the protein is dramatically higher in content level than the fat. Even if the fat level is more than you would like, a high protein level can help balance it out.

    Ingredients to Avoid

    Avoid ingredients that might be difficult to digest, such as grains. Most food formulated for a cat’s gastrointestinal health doesn’t include grains because they have a hard time breaking them down. It can take excessive time for a meal to digest, which can turn more into fat than it should.

    Other ingredients to watch out for are meat by-products. Although it might seem like a good source of protein, terming it this way gives companies a means to be vague about what part of the animal they include in their recipes.


    The quantity inside each bag can make the price more or less worth the investment. If the bags only come in small sizes, you will have to order more frequently, and the price per ounce is more expensive.

    Consider if you want to change your cat’s diet to this food for the long term. If so, then you may need a larger bag to accommodate. If not, then having smaller bag portions means less food waste in the end.

    Gastrointestinal Extras

    Certain ingredients play a larger role in controlling the gastrointestinal health of your cat. If that is the goal with the change in diet, then look for food that includes prebiotics in its formula. They help reinvigorate the health of the animal’s gut, so the animal can digest food more efficiently. You may also decide to look into a low residue cat food.

    cat looking up from food dish
    Image Credit: fantom_rd, Shutterstock

    Calorie Count

    Many times, a lower calorie count can mean a better application as food for weight management. Like how counting calories and being aware of the impact of the food that we eat can help humans lose weight or maintain a healthier physique, the same goes for your cat. Don’t only pay attention to the fat content, but also to what all the ingredients add up to in the end.

    Dry Cat Food vs Wet Cat Food

    There are two options when it comes to cat food. You can feed them dry kibble or a variety of wet foods. Some people choose to combine the two. Whatever you decide, don’t negate the impact of either one on their health. Give them food that supports a healthy system, and they will appreciate it in the long run.

    Nom Nom Cat Eating Grey Bowl

    Regardless of whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you need a bowl that is sure to keep the mess contained—you can do just that with the Hepper NomNom Bowl.

    This is designed with your cat’s comfort in mind. The whisker-friendly bowls are low and wide to prevent whisker fatigue, and the wide catch tray ensures that all food stays exactly where it should—inside the bowl.

    At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    Want to see more cat food reviews? Check out our review page here!

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    Conclusion: What is the Best Cat Food for Constipation?

    If you are looking for safe cat food to help manage a constipated and overweight cat, then Smalls gives you what you need. With a high ratio of protein to fat and a focus on using beneficial ingredients, the food has managed to get to the top of our list for best overall.

    Looking for a long-term solution that won’t break the bank? Avoid cost-heavy foods and still feed your cat quality kibble with the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food.

    If you suspect your fuzzy feline suffers from symptoms of constipation, you can help them out with a healthier diet. Supporting their gastrointestinal health is one of the best ways to help them stay generally healthy for as long as possible.

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    Featured Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock