Vet’s Choice: Best Cat Foods for Constipation (Wet & Dry) 

Mr Kitty, a senior cat I knew many years ago, suffered from terrible chronic constipation. He ate high-fibre cat food but became so sick that he had to remove his stool every two weeks manually. Most vets then believed high-fibre cat foods were the best option for constipation. We know now that constipated cats require different kinds of food.

The best cat foods for constipation come from one of four categories: low carbohydrate, low fibre, or hypoallergenic. Test out each type to see how your cat responds. It usually takes two weeks to determine if cat food effectively treats constipation.

Best cat foods for constipation: Four categories

If you try it out for a few weeks, you can only know what food will work best for your pet. Some pets thrive on high-fibre foods, while others do well with low-carbohydrate diets.

If your cat is constipated, you should start by feeding it wet food with more fibre than the cat’s usual diet. If your cat does not eat wet food, you can try dry kibble with similar qualities.

After 2-4 weeks of feeding the new food at 100%, if there is still no improvement, switch to a lower-fibre, easier-to-digest food for 2-4 days. You can also try low-carbohydrate food if that doesn’t work. Hypoallergenic prescription food is the last stop.

The best cat food to treat constipation would be moist food that falls into one of these categories.

  1. Higher fibre cat food
  2. Cat food with lower fibre and easy digestion
  3. Low carbohydrate Cat Food
  4. Hypoallergenic cat foods

Each step should be given at least 2-4 weeks before moving on to the next.

Quick Picks 

Find out what to eat when it’s DRY or WET.

Vet-Recommended Cat food for constipation

It is a blessing to be alive in a time when there are so many pet food options. The sheer number of pet food products available can be overwhelming. This article will give you some good ideas of what to try.

Select one food category and feed it to your dog for at least 2-4 weeks. Then, try a new one. Start with high-fibre food, followed by low-fibre, low-carb, and then hypoallergenic foods.

Cats with constipation are highly recommended to eat wet food, but I have also included dry food options in the list below.

High Fiber Cat Food For Constipation

Cat food manufacturers often use buzzwords to indicate that a product contains a lot of fibre.

  • Hairball Control
  • Indoor Cat
  • Weight Control

Foods with higher fibre content often have lower calories than the average cat food. This is great for overweight cats but could be better for normal or underweight cats.

Check the calorie count of your cat and ensure you are feeding enough for it to maintain its weight.

High Fiber WET Cat Food

High Fiber WET Cat Food

Macronutrient Ratio: Protein 39%, Fat 57%, Carb 4%; Fiber 9%


  • Higher in fiber
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Soluble fiber from flaxseed & guar gum
  • Lower cost & available in stores


  • Only 2 flavors: chicken & salmon
  • High in fat
  • Only available in pate form

High Fiber DRY Cat Food

Blue Buffalo

Macronutrient Ratio: Protein 36%, Fat 37%, Carb 27%; Fiber 7%


  • Higher in fiber
  • Low in carbs for kibble
  • Moderate in fat
  • Soluble fiber from peas & flaxseed
  • Grain-free for sensitive cats
  • Low cost & convenience of dry food


  • Calorie dense
  • High in carbs
  • Low in moisture

Low Fiber, Easily Digestible Cat Food

The ingredients of products in this group have been processed, so they are easy to digest and absorb. Low-residue foods are designed to have a low level of fibre.

Some manufacturers of pet foods conduct digestibility tests, particularly for prescription foods with low residues. Most commercial formulas, however, are not evaluated in this manner.

We can only guess based on the ingredients if we don’t test.

For this part of your experiment, I strongly recommend using low-residue prescription food. Here are some key phrases you should look for when buying nonprescription items.

  • Skin/Stomach Sensitive
  • You can also find out more about the following:
  • Gastrointestinal/Digestive
  • Low Residue

Low-carbohydrate cat food for constipation

It’s hard to know which foods are low in carbohydrates and which are not. Dry foods are rarely low-carb. Cans of food may or may be low-carb. It would help if you didn’t think grain-free products are low-carb because they often contain starch to replace the grains.

Dr Pierson’s list of food is available at catinfo.org. Find food that contains less than 15% calories from carbohydrates. There are several options.

She does not list any dry food because it harms your overall health. There are few dry cat food products with low carbohydrate levels. In the chart, I have listed some options you can try if your cat will not eat canned food.

Low Fiber WET Cat Food

IAMS Perfect Portions Healthy Grain Free Wet Cat Food

Macronutrient Ratio: Protein 39%, Fat 49%, Carb 12%; Fiber 5%


  • Moderate fiber level
  • Low carb
  • Grain-free for sensitive cats
  • Simple ingredients
  • Wet food


  • High in fat
  • Higher cost for an OTC product
  • Not a good option for cats sensitive to chicken

Hypoallergenic Cat Food to Treat Constipation

Avoid using nonprescription foods for cats that need to undergo a food allergy test. These OTC food products are often contaminated by traces of animal protein not listed on their labels. These foods are not pure enough for a test to determine if they cause food allergies.

It is worth the cost to buy prescription hypoallergenic cat food. You should do a proper food trial the first time if you will spend several months doing it.

If you want to change protein sources quickly, you can use a product without requiring a prescription with limited ingredients. Novel protein sources for cats include rabbit, duck and pheasant.

Low Fiber DRY Cat Food

Low Fiber DRY Cat Food

Purina ONE Sensitive Stomach, Sensitive Skin

Macronutrient Ratio: Protein 34%, Fat 15%, Carb 34%; Fiber 2%


  • Low fiber
  • Moderate fat
  • Low cost
  • Convenience of kibble


  • Highly processed
  • Contains grains
  • High carbohydrate content
  • Low moisture

Megacolon Cat Food: Best Cat Food

Megacolon occurs when the colon of a cat is stretched and not functioning properly. This condition is usually the result of chronic, severe constipation.

Megacolons are not usually best-fed cat food high in fibre. The fibre can worsen the situation, as a megacolon cannot contract normally. Megacolon cats tend to be better off with diets that are low in fibre and highly digestible.

Consult your veterinarian before choosing the right food for Megacolon.

Weruva Classic Cat Food

Weruva Classic Cat Food, Variety Pack, Paw Lickin’ Pals Wet Cat Food, 3oz Cans

Macronutrient Ratio: Protein 65%, Fat 32%, Carb 3%; Fiber 3%


  • Lower fiber
  • Low carbohydrate level
  • High in protein
  • Moderate in fat
  • Grain-free for sensitive cats
  • Very high moisture content


  • Costly for non-prescription food
  • May be difficult to find

Can Change Cat Food Cause Constipation?

Changes in food can cause your cat to lose its beneficial bacteria. With sudden food changes, you may see constipation worsening or even diarrhoea.

Always change your cat’s diet slowly for 7 to 10 consecutive days. This will allow the GI microbiome of your cat to adjust.

After feeding the new food to your cat for two weeks, you can judge the improvement or decline of the litter box problem.

Vet’s tips for choosing the best cat food for constipation

Finding the right food for your cat may take some trial and error. I tested dozens of cat food products, both prescription and nonprescription, to find the best ones to recommend to clients and readers.

Here are some criteria that I use when evaluating cat food for constipation.

  • Moisture Content
  • Carbohydrate Content
  • Fibre content
  • Digestibility
  • Palatability
  • Prices and availability

Moisture Content

If your cat is constipated, you should feed it moist cat food with at least 70% moisture. You can use canned food, raw food frozen in a bag or a homemade recipe.

Cats who eat low-moisture food do not drink more water to compensate for the lack of moisture. Instead, they don’t feel thirsty. Because the moisture is mixed in, cats that eat canned food get much more water than those that eat dried cat food.

Carbohydrate content

Many veterinarians find that a low-carb diet is beneficial for many health conditions, including feline constipation. It would help if you looked for products with carbohydrates that are 15% or less. Cat food that contains less than 10% calories from carbohydrates is best for some animals.

Labels can be difficult to read. I refer my clients to Dr Lisa Pierson has compiled a list of cat foods at catinfo.org.

Fibre in Cat Food

Some cats with sluggish digestion do better on a diet high in fibre, while others are better off with a low-fibre diet.

The fibre content of cats’ diets is not required. A small amount of fibre (5 % of dry matter) can benefit a cat’s health.

Insoluble and soluble fibres are the two major types of dietary fibre.

A cat food that claims to have “high fibre” usually has a high amount of soluble fibre (1). Check the ingredients and make an educated guess about the amount of soluble fibre in the product.

Insoluble fibre does not dissolve when mixed with water. It is found in whole grains, wheat germ and vegetables.

Insoluble fibre retains water but makes faeces bulkier.

Fibre dissolving in water is good for cats with difficult bowel movements.

Fibre soluble increases water content but decreases bulk. It is also prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in your cat’s digestive tract.

It would help to feed your cat a balanced diet containing soluble and non-soluble fibre.

Too much fibre in cat food can cause side effects.

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Gas excessive
  • Poor nutrient absorption

Increase the fibre in your cat’s food slowly over several weeks.


The processing of ingredients and their combination can also influence digestibility. Cats indeed absorb more nutrients from cooked than raw food. Low-fibre food is easier to digest than high-fibre foods(1).

In general, veterinarians recommend low-carbohydrate meals based on animal proteins. Check ingredient lists to ensure only a few starches and plant-based items, such as peas and potatoes. It may also state that the food is good for cats with sensitive stomachs.

Tastes good

If your cat is addicted to dry food, getting them to try wet food may be difficult. Purina FortiFlora (r) is a great way to add flavouring to canned food that cats will love.

Try Dr Pierson’s tips for getting dry food addicts switched to wet foods. It is possible to make your pet more stubborn without making her starve.

Price and Availability

Cat food is available at a wide range of prices. Your vet may recommend prescription food if your cat suffers from severe constipation. Prescription food is more expensive, but it could save you money on vet visits to treat constipation in your cat.

You can find nonprescription cat foods for constipation in pet stores, grocery stores, and online retailers.

Treats for constipated cats

If your vet does not prescribe a strict elimination/food-allergy diet, you can give your cat a few treats daily. Choose high-protein, natural treats over treats high in carbohydrates.

Some call them “kitty crack” because cats go nuts for them. They are just dehydrated fish flakes. These are small and low in calories.

Dehydrated duck or chicken treats are an excellent alternative for cats that don’t eat fish or cannot tolerate it.

If your cat is on hypoallergenic food, you can give them kibble as a treat. You can also find hypoallergenic treats, but you should consult your veterinarian before using them.

Tips for constipated cats

Consider the current diet when choosing a new food to improve your cat’s digestive system. Consider the amount of crude fibre, the source of protein, and the moisture level.

You should do a feeding test for two weeks with any new diet.

Feeding Small Frequent Meals

It would help if you also considered the frequency of feeding your cat. More frequent, smaller meals can increase the contractions of the lower digestive system.

Be realistic when thinking about how much you feed them. Use a treat that matches their food if you feed them more than two or three small treats per day.

Litter Box Strategies

Cats are naturally meticulous animals. They prefer a litterbox that is quiet, clean, convenient and private.

If your cat is older, consider a box with rounded edges. Consider placing a box at each level of your home.

Two cats should have at least three litter boxes. At least two cats need three litter boxes.

Dump all the boxes weekly and wash them with soap and warm water. It would help to be cautious about moving litter boxes or changing the type because some cats can be very particular.

Daily Exercise Increased

Exercise after eating can increase intestinal motility and help form normal faeces. If your cat is used to lying around in a food coma after eating, get the toys out and make him move for at least 15-30 minutes.

Weight Management

Have you got an overweight cat? Constipation in cats is often caused by obesity. Use a weight-loss diet and only feed the amount specified on the label. It is a good idea to weigh each meal using a kitchen scale. A few extra grams can make a huge difference for an animal that weighs only 10 pounds.

Home remedies for constipation in cats

Many supplements are available for any cat condition you can imagine. Many supplements are not harmful but can be expensive and cause tension between you and your pet if your cat doesn’t take them.


Probiotics are supplements worth trying. Probiotics are added to some foods, but it is worth adding to your cat’s food.

I recommend Proviable DC, which has no flavour or Purina Fortiflora, which most cats find delicious. You should use the supplement for a minimum of a month to determine if it is helping.

Canned Pumpkin

Some people find adding natural fibre-based food to wet cat foods beneficial. Canned Pumpkin contains 28% crude fibre based on dry matter (1). Most cats can only tolerate a tablespoon or two of Pumpkin daily before refusing to eat it.

Psyllium Husk

Psyllium Husk (also known as Metamucil) is a fibre supplement for humans that contains both soluble and insoluble fibre. Metamucil is a fibre supplement that contains both insoluble and soluble fibre. Add 1/4 teaspoon of Metamucil to your meals one to three times daily. They are not recommended to be used long-term as they may interfere with mineral absorption.

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