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3 Best Kitten Food For Diarrhea Choices

Disclaimer

As a Chewy and Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for yourself.

Is your kitten having trouble with diarrhea?

This is an unpleasant problem that many cat owners face from time to time.

Food intolerances may interfere with digestion and cause diarrhea. Wet canned foods are a better choice due to being easier to digest.

Check out our top food choices to help with diarrhea for kittens.

Top 3 Best Kitten Food For Diarrhea Choices

In this article, I’ll review the best kitten food for diarrhea choices on the market. These choices will cover a range of budget needs.

I’ll also give you a buying guide to help you find what you want to look for and answer some frequently asked questions about this type of feeder.

My name is Derrick, and I write for Simply Cat Care. Our goal with this website is to help cat owners find the best products for their cat’s health.

I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet before continuing.

Let’s get into the article.

Product Review: Best Kitten Food For Diarrhea

Best Kitten Food For Diarrhea Overall

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pate Real Turkey

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pate Real Turkey Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food, 5.5-oz, case of 12

Novel protein turkey for fewer allergies

No grains or potato for easy digestion

Also available in rabbit for a variety

Affordable

Contains peas which kittens may not enjoy

Why Do I Recommend This Food?

Instinct is a wet canned food that has limited ingredients and is less likely to irritate your kittens and digestion.

This product uses a single novel protein source (turkey) which helps to reduce the risk of allergy-related diarrhea.  The product also does not contain grain, potato, corn, wheat, and soy which may be irritating to digestion. 

The main downside of this product is the use of peas and carrots. Some kittens may not enjoy the taste of these foods and they don’t benefit digestion.

Ingredients

Rabbit, Water, Pea Protein, Peas, Rabbit Liver, Montmorillonite Clay, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate

CALORIC CONTENT: 1,266 kcal/kg, 197 kcal/5.5 oz can, 108 kcal/3 oz can

Best Kitten Food for Diarrhea Premium

Feline Natural BPA-Free & Gelatin-Free Canned Cat Food Lamb

Limited ingredients to reduce diarrhea risk

Novel protein source to help with food allergies and intolerances

Premium grass-fed meat for top nutrition

No plants or carrageenan for easy digestion

Pricey

Mixed taste reviews

No flavor varieties to choose from

Why Do I Recommend This Food?

Feline Natural Lamb is a good option because it does not contain hard-to-digest ingredients and has a novel protein source to relieve allergies and intolerances.

This product uses lamb and green mussels which are novel protein sources. These foods are suitable for an elimination diet, to help identify irritating foods that may cause diarrhea in kittens and cats.

Feline Natural contains meats, organs, and bones which give a kitten all the nutrients needed for growth. It is free from wheat, rice, soy, gluten, gums, carrageenan, which help reduce the risk of diarrhea for intolerance.

The main downside of this product is the price and mixed taste reviews. Warming up this food may improve the taste.

Ingredients

Lamb, Water sufficient for processing, LambTripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Spleen, Lamb Liver, Lamb Blood, Ground Lamb Bone, New Zealand Green Mussel, Fish Oil, Flaxseed Flakes, Potassium Sulphate, Dried Kelp, Salt, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid

CALORIC CONTENT: 1211 kcal/kg, 103 kcal/3-oz can, 206 kcal/6-oz can

Best Kitten Food For Diarrhea Budget Pick

Fancy Feast Tender Feast Kitten

Fancy Feast Tender Feast Kitten Variety Pack Canned Cat Food, 3-oz, case of 12

Easy-to-chew pate texture

Grain and pea free for easy digestion

High protein for growth and development

Added milk for strong bones

Uses meat-by products

Shipping issues with product quality

Why Do I Recommend This Food?

Fancy Feast is a good budget pick for kittens with easy-to-digest animal protein and a range of nutrients for growth.

There are no added grains in this product which helps with digestibility and reducing diarrhea. The protein content is from meat-based sources which are easier on your kitten’s stomach.

The main downside of this product is the use of meat by-products. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but may lead to product inconsistencies.

This food also doesn’t contain any ‘novel protein’ food sources, which may help in cases where a food allergy is suspected.

Ingredients

Chicken: Chicken, liver, meat by-products, chicken broth, fish, milk, egg product, artificial and natural flavors, added color, guar gum, Minerals[potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide], tricalcium phosphate, salt, taurine, Vitamins[Vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), niacin (Vitamin B-3), calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin (Vitamin B-7), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 supplement]

Calorie Content: Chicken: 1,106 kcal/kg, 94 kcal/can

Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Kitten Food For Diarrhea

Not sure what the best kitten food for diarrhea is?

In this buying guide, I’ll share some tips about what to look for including what ingredients to look for, whether you should feed your kitten dry or wet food, and what to avoid.

Keep in mind that diarrhea may be caused by a parasitic infection or other problem unrelated to diet.

If the diet does not resolve the problem then your vet will need to perform a workup that may involve a fecal sample.

This information will help you make an informed choice on what to get for your kitten.

Should I Give My Kitten Wet or Dry Food For Diarrhea?

Wet food is a better choice for kittens with diarrhea.

This is because the added moisture helps to make up for losses in the feces.

In addition, the digestibility of wet food is generally better than dry food.

Meat is easier to digest than plant protein and is higher in wet foods.

Some cats may be sensitive to wheat, barley, and gluten flour.

Wet canned foods seem to reduce the risk of food intolerance and improve outcomes in cats with diarrhea, possibly due to not having much of these ingredients.

Bottom Line: Wet food is a better choice for kittens with diarrhea due to having a higher moisture content and easier-to-digest food sources

What Ingredients Should I Look For?

Let’s go through some ingredients that you want to get in your kitten food.

Moisture

A high moisture content helps to hydrate your kitten if they have a diarrhea episode.

This seems logical, but it is important to note because cats don’t tend to drink enough water outside of their food intake.

A healthy cat or kitten needs at least 30mls of water per pound of body weight.

If your kitten isn’t drinking enough water from the bowl, consider a higher moisture content food.

Most wet canned foods range from 75-85% moisture content.

Bottom Line: Choose a food high in moisture to hydrate your kitten. Wet canned cat foods are much higher in moisture than dry cat foods and are a better choice

A kitten eating food.

Novel Protein Food Sources

Novel protein food sources may resolve food allergies.

These foods are called novel as they aren’t in the usual diet of a cat or kitten.

Common food sources such as beef, chicken, and fish may result in food intolerances.

Novel protein food sources include:

  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Venison
  • Duck

Keep in mind that novel protein food sources are location dependant.

A kitten raised in New Zealand on a diet of lamb won’t be able to use lamb as a novel protein as this is common to their diet.

Novel protein foods are used as part of an elimination diet, which involves the following steps:

  1. Restrict your kittens diet to a novel protein wet canned food
  2. Note down changes and see if the food resolves the digestive problems
  3. Re-introduce (food challenge) common protein sources individually (i.e. give your kitten a small amount of chicken to see if the food doesn’t cause any digestive issues)
  4. Find out the range of foods that work for your kitten and stick to of wet canned foods that are limited to these ingredients your kitten tolerates and digests well

Generally, this process is facilitated by a vet after other possible causes of diarrhea are ruled out and food intolerance is suspected.

Is their any research on food intolerance in cats?

Yes.

Let’s look at what research has to say about food intolerance in cats.

In one study, 128 cats presented to a clinic with diarrhea, vomiting, and skin conditions. Researchers examined the cause of the problems.

If fleas weren’t diagnosed, the cats started an elimination diet challenge which involved the following steps:

  1. Cats ate a commercial canned diet with venison and rice or chicken and rice (the latter is chicken not in the diet for 6 months).
  2. Cats trialed the elimination diet for four weeks
  3. Cats transitioned to their original diet if symptoms resolved
  4. If the cat’s symptoms came back on the original diet, the cats went on an elimination diet again for 2-4 weeks
  5. If the diet resolved symptoms the cat’s symptoms again, the cat has a food intolerance
  6. If the cat didn’t improve on their original diet the cat got an oral challenge test to identify the single cause/s of the problem

17% of cats (about 10% with digestive symptoms) had a diagnosis of food sensitivity after this study.

The majority of food sensitivities occurred with dry food (24%) followed by beef protein (20%). Beef is a common protein, so this may have led to an allergic response.

Other sources of food sensitivity included canned foods (16%), lamb (12%), organ meats (8%).

Chicken, gluten, lamb, fish, milk, and additives all had a 4% chance of food sensitivity response.

Most of the protein sources leading to food sensitivity were ‘common’ sources. The elimination diet used venison which is a novel protein.

Although the study didn’t try other novel proteins (e.g. duck, turkey) the results support the concept of using novel proteins.

Bottom Line: A novel protein wet canned food may help resolve food allergies or intolerances to help with digestive issues such as diarrhea

A kitten eating food.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a condition where more water is in the feces

This results in either a liquid or partial liquid consistency in the litter tray.

Other additional signs of diarrhea include:

  • Lack of straining
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Increased use of the litter tray

Bottom Line: Diarrhea is a softer and watery feces that results from digestive problems

What Causes Diarrhea in Kittens?

Diarrhea may be caused by:

  • Diet
  • Infectious and non-infectious diseases
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Environment

As you can see, it is hard to pinpoint the exact problem.

This is why it’s important to go to your vet for a workup and fecal examination if changing the environment and diet aren’t helping to resolve the issue.

Kittens raised in multi-cat pens are at a higher risk of diarrhea either due to stress or an infection passing through cats.

Infections include T. Foetus which is a single-celled protozoan that causes foul-smelling diarrhea.

There are other issues such as hookworms, I. Felis, Giardia spp. which may be causes of diarrhea. These problems require a workup and fecal exam to identify and treat.

The prevalence of food intolerances in cats is between 1-11%.

Diarrhea with pruritis (itchy skin) is a sign of food intolerance. Causes are vague but may include wheat, gluten, and barley.

A diet of commercial wet canned food usually resolves loose stools due to being easier to digest.

Bottom Line: Diarrhea in kittens has many possible causes which include diet, infection and/or non-infectious diseases, dehydration, stress, and environment

A kitten playing.

How Do I Fix My Kitten’s Digestive Issues?

You need to know what causes the problem to fix it.

If the problem is related to an infection, then your kitten needs a prescription treatment to treat it.

If the problem is related to stress, you may need to adjust the living space to separate the kitten from other animals and people.

If the problem is dietarily related then you’ll need to take a systematic approach to find out the proper foods that your kitten is able to digest and eat without intolerance.

This involves going on an elimination diet, which involves the following steps:

  1. Restrict your kittens diet to a novel protein wet canned food
  2. Note down changes and see if the food resolves the digestive problems
  3. Re-introduce (food challenge) common protein sources individually (i.e. give your kitten a small amount of chicken to see if the food doesn’t cause any digestive issues)
  4. Find out the range of foods that work for your kitten and stick to of wet canned foods that are limited to these ingredients your kitten tolerates and digests well

To read more about food treatments for diarrhea in adult cats, check out this article.

Bottom Line: An elimination diet of novel protein wet canned foods may help with diarrhea if the problem is related to food allergies or intolerances. Speak with a vet for more information

A kitten eating food.

How Can I Tell if The Problem is Solved?

You can see if your kitten is improving by checking their stool and monitoring their body condition.

Here is a link to a useful stool chart that you can check.

The guide will also help you find out whether you need to take action by seeing a vet.

If you notice weight loss then see a vet.

Bottom Line: Check a stool chart to find out whether you need to take your kitten to a vet

A vet inspecting kittens.

Does Pumpkin Help With Diarrhea?

No.

Pumpkin doesn’t help with diarrhea and doesn’t benefit a kitten.

Bottom Line: Pumpkin doesn’t help with diarrhea

When should I call a vet?

If you notice a change the following you should call a vet:

  • Color
  • Blood in the stool
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Watery stool (beyond just being softer)

Bottom Line: If you notice a change in color, blood, mucus, and watery stool call a vet

Conclusion

In this article, I’ve talked about the best kitten food for diarrhea choices.

Diarrhea is a problem involving soft and watery feces.

The problem may be caused by infections or toxic substances. Stress and living around multiple cats may lead to diarrhea.

A wet canned food with easy-to-digest animal-based ingredients may help resolve diarrhea. Some kittens may have food allergies or intolerances which affect digestion.

In some cases, an elimination diet of novel protein food sources helps to identify food sources of allergies.

If the problem persists or you notice concerning changes in your kitten’s feces (e.g. blood, mucus, change in color, watery diarrhea) speak with a vet for help.

A kitten relaxing.

Our Top Pick: Best Kitten Food For Diarrhea Overall

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pate Real Turkey

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pate Real Turkey Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food, 5.5-oz, case of 12

Novel protein turkey for fewer allergies

No grains or potato for easy digestion

Also available in rabbit for a variety

Affordable

Contains peas which kittens may not enjoy

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