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5 Best Cat Foods for Older Cats that Vomit (2023 Reviews & Guide)

David Fields
Last Updated on
by David Fields

This is our review of the best cat food for older cats that vomit in 2023

Preventing vomiting in older cats can be challenging, as many senior cats have significant health problems that can contribute to digestive upset.

However, changing your cat’s diet could help prevent post-meal vomiting and keep them hydrated and healthy.

That’s why we researched to find the right food for older cats that vomit. Using this guide, you can quickly and easily select a suitable store-bought food for your senior cat.

Comparison Table For Older Cats that Vomit

Compare Table Best Cat Food for Older Cats That Vomit
Purina Beyond
  • Item form: Wet
  • Ingredients: Catfish
Blue Buffalo Freedom
  • Item form: Wet
  • Ingredients: Chicken, Poultry
Tiki Cat Aloha Friends
  • Item form: Wet
  • Ingredients: Tuna
Hill's Prescription
  • Item form: Wet
  • Ingredients: Chicken & Vegetable
Now Fresh
  • Item form: Dry
  • Ingredients: Turkey, Salmon & Duck

How We Picked Food for Older Cats

To choose the most appropriate cat food for older cats that vomit, we compared all of the top options using a specific set of criteria.

We considered:

  • Ingredients. We searched for cat foods that were free of potentially upsetting ingredients, including grains, dairy, and preservatives.
  • Type. Because dry foods are often harder for older cats to digest, we focused on selecting easy-to-digest wet cat foods.
  • Primary Protein. Cat food that utilizes a single or common source of protein can cause digestive problems, which is why we considered the primary protein of each food, as well as any additional proteins included.
  • Price. We calculated how much each of our potential top picks cost (per lb) to discover how much money pet parents can expect to spend weekly for each cat food.
  • Reviews. To ensure we chose foods that cats actually enjoy, we also took time to read through the customer reviews of each option. Only foods with the best reviews made our list.

To finalize our top picks, we scored each cat food’s performance in each of these categories. We then added each scoring together to come up with an overall score.

This final number allowed us to create a hierarchy of cat foods, with the best for older cats that vomit sitting at the top.

What is the Best Cat Food for Older Cats that Vomit?

  • Purina Beyond Grain-Free Trout & Catfish Pate: Best Overall
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Recipe: Most Affordable
  • Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Tuna with Shrimp & Pumpkin: Best Variety of Ingredients
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew: Veterinarian-Recommended
  • Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe: Best Dry Food Option

Cat Food for Older Cats that Vomit Reviews

1. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Trout & Catfish Pate

Best Overall
Purina Beyond
Purina Beyond Grain-Free Trout & Catfish is an affordable, grain-free, protein-packed wet cat food that may help reduce vomiting in older cats.

After hours of intensive research and comparison, we found that Purina Beyond Grain-Free Trout & Catfish Pate is the best cat food for cats that throw up. This canned wet food offers an excellent variety of wholesome proteins, including chicken, liver, trout, and catfish.

It also contains carrots, inulin (a prebiotic plant-derived source of fiber), and a wealth of vitamins (including eight types of B vitamins). And at only 99kcal per can, this option isn’t likely to cause excessive weight gain.

That said, this canned pate does contain guar gum (a thickener) and salt. Consequently, this option may not be suitable for cats on low-sodium diets or kitties with severe kidney problems.

However, each can of Purina Beyond Grain-Free has a moisture percentage of 78%. As such, it’s far easier to consume than most dry foods.

Another major benefit of choosing this wet food is the cost. While some senior-friendly cat foods can cost upwards of $10 per pound, Purina Beyond Grain-Free only costs about $5.17 per pound.

Overall, this fish-filled pate is wholesome, easy-to-digest, and relatively budget-friendly.

  • Four protein sources, one of which is uncommon (catfish)
  • Fortified with eight B vitamins
  • Contains a gut-friendly form of fiber
  • An affordable grain-free wet food
  • Contains guar gum, a thickener that may be challenging to digest
  • May not be appropriate for all senior cats due to salt content

2. Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Recipe

Most Affordable
Blue Buffalo Freedom
Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature is an incredibly affordable wet food that’s designed to meet the nutritional needs of indoor senior cats.

Though this wet cat food only offers a single source of protein (chicken), it’s made of a blend of vegetables and fruits, including carrots, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and blueberries. It’s also fortified with several vitamins and minerals, so your cat won’t miss out on life-sustaining nutrients.

At just under 170kcal per can, Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature is a relatively calorie-rich wet food. This makes it a poor choice for overweight senior cats, but an excellent pick for kitties that struggle to put on weight.

But if your older cat has kidney problems or struggles to stay hydrated, this food might not be the best choice. That’s because it contains salt and sodium selenite. Both of these can contribute to dehydration and can be challenging for kidneys to process.

  • One of the most affordable wet foods for older cats
  • Consists of a blend of protein, vegetables, and fruits
  • A calorie-rich option for underweight senior cats
  • A grain-free food designed explicitly for indoor cats
  • Only offers a single source of protein (chicken)
  • Contains thickeners and salts

3. Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Tuna with Shrimp & Pumpkin

Easiest to Consume
Tiki Cat Aloha Friends
Tiki Cat Aloha Friends canned cat food is one of the most moisture-rich wet foods available, making it an exceptionally easy-to-eat meal for senior cats.

This unique canned cat food contains up to about 84% moisture, making it one of the most hydrating and easy-to-eat options for senior cats. And because this wet food doesn’t contain grains, peas, or hard-to-digest red meat, it’s easy on an older cat’s stomach as well.

The primary proteins included in this seafood-focused recipe are tuna and shrimp, two ingredients bound to pique the interest of even the pickiest felines. Even better, this wet food contains pumpkin, a vitamin-rich vegetable that’s well-known for its easily digestible plant fibers.

But, of course, Tiki Cat Aloha Friends is also fortified with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, several B vitamins, and vitamin E. Consequently, this wet food can help your senior cat’s bones stay strong, keep their skin and fur healthy, and prevent excessive vomiting.

  • Contains a straightforward set of ingredients
  • Fortified with a diverse range of vitamins and minerals
  • Seafood proteins tend to please most cats’ palates
  • A moisture-rich wet food that goes down easily
  • Doesn’t contain a wide variety of ingredients
  • Tuna-based meals should only be administered occasionally.

4. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew

Hill's Prescription
Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care is one of the best veterinarian-recommended cat foods to help reduce vomiting.

Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care is a pea-free wet food that’s scientifically designed to reduce gastrointestinal upset.

One of the most impressive aspects of Hill’s Prescription Diet is its water content. While most wet foods are about 75% water, it’s this recipe’s primary ingredient. Consequently, this food is incredibly easy for senior cats to lap up, and it can aid in keeping older kitties hydrated.

Still, pet parents will need veterinarian authorization (a pet prescription) to purchase this food. Consequently, cat owners that aren’t willing to schedule a veterinary visit won’t have access to this unique wet food.

  • Doesn’t contain grains, peas, or DL-Methionine
  • Could help keep your cat hydrated
  • Is fortified with a variety of vitamins
  • Highly recommended by veterinarians
  • One of the priciest options
  • Requires a veterinarian prescription

5. Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe

Best Dry Food Option
Now Fresh
Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe is a dry food made of more than a dozen wholesome vegetables and fruits, and it also includes gut-friendly probiotics!

Are you searching for dry cat food for your senior cat that vomits? If so, you’ll want to consider purchasing a bag of Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe.

This dry food sports one of the best mixtures of uncommon proteins, including duck and turkey. And while it does also contain peas and pea fiber, it’s a grain-free type of kibble that’s chock-full of other wholesome ingredients, including gut-friendly probiotics.

Some of the fruits and vegetables included in this recipe include apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, and blueberries.

In total, this dry food is made using more than a dozen natural, healthy ingredients. But, unfortunately, this food does contain DL-Methionine, a type of amino acid that may contribute to vomiting.

Still, the individual kibble pieces are quite small, making them easier to break apart. However, this dry food may not be appropriate for cats that tend to eat quickly. The small pieces can become a choking hazard for kitties that don’t properly chew before swallowing.

That said, it’s easy to turn this dry food into wet food. You’ll only need to add a little water and let the kibble soak it up.

  • Utilizes uncommon proteins like duck and turkey
  • Is full of vegetables and fruits but doesn’t contain grains
  • The kibble pieces can be soaked to make them easier to eat
  • Contains probiotics that encourage healthy digestion
  • Contains DL-Methionine, which may cause vomiting
  • May not be appropriate for fast eaters

How Dry vs Wet Cat Food Differs For Older Cats

Dry cat food is incredibly affordable and accessible, making it a popular choice for first-time cat owners. However, dry food (also called cat kibble) has some notable drawbacks that often make it a poor choice for hungry felines.

Still, because it’s soft and easy to swallow, wet foods are the better choice for kittens and senior cats. That said, not all wet cat food is healthy and safe.

But we’ve only explored a few of the major differences between wet and dry cat food. To help you better understand these products, let’s take a moment to compare the common qualities of both foods.

Dry Cat Food

  • Affordable
  • Hard and brittle consistency
  • Typically full of carbohydrates
  • High in calories
  • Doesn’t contain moisture

Wet Cat Food

  • Can be pricey
  • Soft and malleable consistency
  • Often protein-rich
  • Can be low in calories
  • Full of water

As you can see, wet food may be the more expensive choice, but it’s also easier to digest, full of life-sustaining proteins, low in carbohydrates, and full of water. These qualities make it a great choice for older cats that struggle with staying hydrated or at a proper weight.

Still, it’s worth noting that dry foods can become wet foods with the addition of a little water. If you prefer to purchase dry food for your senior cat, you may want to try letting it soak in a little water before setting it down for your kitty.

old cat eating dry food

Reasons Why Older Cats Vomit

Understanding the precise reason why your senior cat is vomiting can help you select the best possible meals for them. For example, if your older cat is vomiting due to food allergies, you’ll need to identify what’s triggering those allergies and then avoid them when purchasing cat food.

But if your senior cat continues to vomit, even after switching their food to a safer and healthier alternative, it could be a sign of an obstruction in the intestines, kidney disease, or parasites.

Some of the most common causes of vomiting in older cats are:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Hairballs
  • Food allergies
  • Cancer

If your cat is vomiting excessively and cannot keep down food or water, it may have consumed something poisonous. In this case, it’s essential to seek immediate veterinary care.

Consulting with a veterinarian is also an excellent idea for non-emergency vomiting. After all, a veterinarian can help you determine the precise cause of your cat’s vomiting.

So, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before switching to a new food. Doing so can help you avoid purchasing food that may exacerbate your older cat’s vomiting.

Common Cat Food Ingredients To Avoid

Cats can have trouble digesting some types of foods, including grains and dairy. When researching to find the best cat food for vomiting, we discovered several common ingredients that pet parents may want to avoid.

For example, those looking to reduce vomiting in their older cats may want to avoid purchasing cat foods that contain:

  • Grains
  • Soy
  • Peas
  • Xanthan gum
  • Carrageenan
  • DL-Methionine

Foods that contain excessive amounts of protein can also cause vomiting. Feeding your senior cat too much of any one type of meat may contribute to excessive protein intake.

DL-Methionine is a type of amino acid that can cause vomiting in cats, especially in high doses. Because a senior cat’s digestion may be slower than a younger cat’s, this substance can quickly build up. For that reason, it’s best to choose foods that don’t contain it.

Dry foods are often highly processed and may contain many of the above ingredients. Some wet foods also contain grains, thickeners (like xanthan gum), and preservatives. Pet parents should also take care to avoid these products.

Additional Ways to Prevent Vomiting

Altering your cat’s diet isn’t the only way to prevent vomiting. After all, diet isn’t always the primary culprit behind vomiting in older cats.

Overeating, eating too quickly, or eating too low to the ground can also contribute to digestive upset and vomiting. Hairballs are another common cause.

Consequently, pet parents may want to consider:

  • Using raised dishes that are level with their cat’s chest
  • Serving smaller portions of food more frequently throughout the day
  • Brushing their senior cat every day to reduce hairballs

These simple changes can bolster the effectiveness of a diet change, especially in terms of reducing vomiting and gastrointestinal upset.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a few lingering questions regarding cat foods for older cats that vomit?

If so, be sure to peruse the frequently asked questions located below. You may find the answer you’re looking for.

How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Throwing Up After Eating?

Pet parents can implement quite a few tricks to keep their cat from vomiting after eating. One of the first solutions to try is using a food puzzle or slow feeder.

These make it more challenging for cats to eat too quickly, reducing the likelihood of post-meal vomiting.

Another thing that cat owners can try is switching their cat’s food to a grain-free, soy-free, low-sodium option. Opting for wet foods instead of dry foods may also ease your cat’s digestion, helping them keep their meals down and preventing excessive vomiting.

Of course, it’s crucial to also consider hairballs. These clumps of fur can build up in your cat’s esophagus, causing them to vomit after eating. While overloading your cat’s diet with fiber can cause digestive problems, a little fiber goes a long way in preventing hairballs.

Why Does My Cat Keep Puking up Her Food?

There are several reasons why a cat might vomit after eating. Eating too quickly is a common cause, but food allergies can also contribute to post-meal vomiting.

Other health issues, such as dehydration, can also lead to vomiting.

Excessive vomiting may be a sign of an underlying health condition. If your older cat cannot keep their food down, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

What Food Do Vets Recommend for Senior Cats?

Veterinarians tend to consider a cat’s entire health history before recommending a specific type of food. That said, senior cats often have a similar range of nutritional needs and physical conditions, making it easier for veterinarians to recommend specific foods and treats.

But the best foods for older cats tend to be fresh, homemade wet foods. Pet parents that are able to create homemade dishes for their senior cats should consider doing so, as homemade meals are bound to be easier to digest and free of worrisome ingredients.

Still, creating homemade wet food isn’t always possible. Cat owners that would prefer to use store-bought food should consider choosing one of the many Hill’s Science Diet wet foods. These are some of the most common veterinarian-recommended foods for senior cats.

Is Wet Food Better for Older Cats?

Generally, wet food is the better choice for older cats. That’s because wet food is often easier to consume and digest than dry food.

Many older cats may also suffer from poor dental health, making it challenging for them to chew hard foods like kibble.

Another benefit of using wet food for older cats is increased hydration. Senior kitties with kidney problems may need an extra source of water, and wet food is an excellent choice. That said, it’s crucial to choose wet foods that are grain-free, dairy-free, and low in nitrates or salts.

About David Fields
David Fields
David Fields is a long-time animal lover and has been blessed to share his life with many companions. A short list includes ragdoll cats, siberian husky and greyhound dogs, an African Grey parrot, many fish of all sorts, and a pandemonium of parakeet. He writes most of the articles on iPetCompanion and is regularly featured on other popular websites on the Internet.
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