A Guide to Treating Cats with Sensitive Stomachs

icon March 15, 2024

Cats usually have sensitive stomachs, hairballs, vomiting, and diarrhea - it's hell for the cat, and hell for the cat's parents, unless you like wiping vomit.
To treat it you must first understand the symptoms of a cat with a sensitive stomach and to prevent it, you must understand the causes of a cat with a sensitive stomach.
This article will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment of sensitive stomachs in cats.

Common Sensitive Stomach Symptoms in Cats

You should know how to spot the signs that your cat may be struggling with an upset stomach.
It usually appears through these symptoms:

  • Vomiting

This is the most common symptom of a sensitive stomach in cats. Cats may vomit frequently or occasionally, and the vomit may contain hairballs or undigested food.

  • Diarrhea

Cats with sensitive stomachs may also experience diarrhea, which can be caused by food intolerances or other digestive issues.

  • Flatulence

Some cats with sensitive stomachs may also have excessive gas, which can be accompanied by foul-smelling stools.

  • Loss of appetite

Cats with sensitive stomachs may lose their appetite or become picky eaters, as certain foods may trigger their digestive issues.

  • Weight loss

If a cat is not eating enough due to digestive issues, it may lose weight over time.

  • Lethargy

Cats with sensitive stomachs may also appear lethargic or have a decrease in energy levels.

What Causes a Sensitive Stomach in Cats?

1. Dietary Intolerances

Food intolerances in cats occur when a cat's digestive system has difficulty digesting certain types of food, resulting in gastrointestinal upset and other symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence.

As we’ve talked about, food intolerances in cats aren’t very common, but they will create gastrointestinal (GI) problems if your cat has them. Feeding your cat a single type of food for a long time or changing their diet and introducing new food can sometimes cause a food intolerance to develop. They may also have a stronger reaction to food if:

  • Fatty Food Intolerance: If your cat's diet is high in fatty foods — like beef, pork, lamb, or dairy — it could cause a sensitive stomach. Opt for lean animal proteins, like fish and poultry, if you suspect fat is problematic for your cat.
  • Your cat’s food has a fiber imbalance: Cats need fiber, but too much or too little can cause digestive upset. In the wild, cats get fiber from eating the whole prey animal, fur, and bones too. Commercial cat foods try to replicate this by adding grains, vegetables, legumes, or other sources. Strike a balance with high-quality cat food that contains enough fiber for your cat’s life stage.

2. Changes in Diet

Abrupt changes in diet can also cause digestive upset in cats. It is important to transition your cat to a new diet slowly over the course of several days to allow its digestive system to adjust.

3. Hairballs

Cats groom themselves frequently, which can lead to the accumulation of hair in their stomachs. This can cause vomiting and other digestive issues.

4. Stress

Cats are sensitive animals, and stress can cause a variety of physical and emotional issues. Stressful situations, such as moving to a new home or the addition of a new pet, can trigger digestive upset in some cats.

5. Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, or infections, can cause digestive issues in cats.

6. Feline Pica

Feline pica is a behavioral disorder in which cats compulsively eat non-food items that are not part of their normal diet. This can include things like plastic, paper, wool, and even dirt. These non-food items can cause gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting in cats.

Stress or nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin or mineral deficiencies, are one of the most common causes of omnivory. Puainta is a vitamin and mineral-rich product that can supplement your cat's nutritional deficiencies and improve omnivory.

  • Correct taste and restore metabolism
  • Nourish skin and improve immunity
  • Supplement the calcium in pets’ need
  • Improve pica


Ferric glycine complex, zinc methionine complex, copper glycine complex, manganese methionine complex, calcium iodate.

7. Parasites and Bacterial Infections

Parasitic infections in cats can also lead to gastrointestinal sensitivity, vomiting, and diarrhea, and if left untreated, a number of other health problems can occur. Common parasitic infections are:

  • Giardia: Giardia is a common parasite that can infect cats and cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive issues. This can result in a sensitive stomach and discomfort for your cat.
  • Roundworms: Roundworms are another common parasite that can infect cats. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues that can lead to a sensitive stomach.

Cats may also contract digestive infections from bacteria such as:

  • Salmonella: Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness in cats, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
  • E. coli: E. coli is another type of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness in cats, leading to a sensitive stomach and other digestive issues.

If you want to know how to get rid of worms effectively, we recommend reading: Flea Tick and Heartworm Prevention for Dogs

How to Find the Best Food for Your Cat’s Sensitive Stomach

Finding the best food for your cat's sensitive stomach can be a bit of trial and error, as every cat is unique and may respond differently to different types of food. 

1. Eliminating Common Allergy Foods for Cats

Carbohydrates (cereals and starchy vegetables)

  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
  • Maize
  • Rice
  • Beet pulp


  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products

The first step in fighting food allergies may be to switch your pet to a grain-free diet, then try a different protein to see if you can identify the cause.

2. Look for High-Quality Ingredients

Choose a cat food that is made with high-quality, easily digestible proteins and limited carbohydrates. Avoid ingredients that are known to be common allergens or irritants, such as corn, wheat, or soy.

3. Choose a Highly Digestible Formula

Look for cat food that is highly digestible to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal upset. This can be indicated by a high protein and low carbohydrate content, like chicken, turkey, and low-fat fish.

4. Consider Wet Food

Wet food can be easier to digest than dry food, as it contains more moisture and is less likely to cause dehydration.

5. Try Prescription Diets

There are many prescription foods on the market to regulate the gut, but parents of cats should read the recipes and look for foods that do not contain lots of extra fillers, additives, preservatives, and by-products that can help reduce symptoms.

 We recommend Puainta's Cat Stomach Sensitive Food, which contains no preservative additives and is formulated with all-natural ingredients, as well as probiotics and prebiotics to help regulate the gut.

Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach

Puainta® Complete Nutrition All-Stage Cat Food


Chicken meal, potato meal, fresh chicken, chicken oil, egg meal, pet feed compound seasoning, yeast hydrolyzate, Chinese yam powder, fish oil, cellulose powder, chicory root powder; natural steroid saponin (Yucca extract), calcium lactate, oligofructose, mannose-oligosaccharides, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, bacillus coagulans, taurine, L-tryptophan, DL-methionine, potassium chloride, β-carotene, choline chloride, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3, dl-α-Tocopheryl Acetate, vitamin C, vitamin B1, nicotinic acid, D-calcium pantothenate, D-biotin, folic acid, copper protein, ferritin, manganese protein, zinc protein, calcium iodate, Selenium-enriched yeast, rosemary extract.

6. Probiotics and Prebiotics

Consider adding prebiotics and probiotics to your cat's diet to support their intestinal health. For example, you could use our Puainta® Probiotic Supplement or add it to your cat's diet. Discuss with your vet which probiotic is best suited to your cat's health needs.

This probiotic is EU-approved and contains no artificial flavors, colors, or fillers. A great tummy tonic for furry babies!

Puainta™ Probiotic Supplements-(Limited Time Offer)


Can Cats Get Sick From Licking Their Poop?

Yes, cats can get sick from licking their poop. Licking their feces can expose cats to various bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause a range of illnesses. 
Licking poop can also lead to general digestive upset and discomfort for your cat. Therefore, it is important to keep your cat's litter box clean and to practice good hygiene when handling their feces to minimize the risk of illness. In general, there are nutritional supplements that can be used to improve the symptoms of picky eating.

Does Wet Cat Food Cause Diarrhea?

While wet cat food itself is unlikely to cause diarrhea, some cats may have difficulty digesting certain ingredients or may be sensitive to changes in their diet. In these cases, switching to a different brand or type of wet cat food may help alleviate diarrhea symptoms.

It is important to note that if your cat experiences diarrhea, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for evaluation. Your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause of the diarrhea and recommend the appropriate treatment. They may also recommend a specific diet or feeding plan to help manage your cat's digestive health.

How Long Does it Take a Cat to Digest Food?

The length of time it takes a cat to digest food can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of food they eat, their age, and their overall health. Generally, it takes between 12 to 24 hours for a cat to digest its food from the time they eat it until it is eliminated as feces.

The type of food can also affect the rate of digestion. For example, wet food is generally easier to digest and may pass through the digestive tract more quickly than dry food. Similarly, high-fat foods may take longer to digest than lower-fat options.

What to Give Cat for Upset Stomach?

If your cat is experiencing an upset stomach, there are several things you can do to help alleviate their symptoms. Here are some tips on what to give a cat for an upset stomach:


Make sure your cat has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Dehydration can worsen stomach upset and prolong recovery time.

Bland food

Offer your cat a small amount of bland, easily digestible food such as boiled chicken or plain cooked rice. You can also try feeding them a commercial cat food that is specifically formulated for digestive health.


Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help promote a healthy digestive system. You can give your cat a probiotic supplement or offer them foods that contain natural probiotics such as yogurt.


Adding a small amount of canned or cooked pumpkin to your cat's food can help soothe their upset stomach and promote healthy digestion.


In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend medications to help alleviate your cat's symptoms. These may include antacids, anti-diarrheal medications, or anti-nausea medications.


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