The Best 5 Cat Foods for Older Cats That Vomit

For pretty much every cat parent, vomiting is a common occurrence. The occasional episode is usually nothing to worry about, but as our cats age, this behavior can become more concerning.

Best cat food for older cats that vomit

You will notice that most food aimed at older cats tends to be wet food (canned or pouches) and patés. This is because cat food companies recognize that older cats tend to suffer from dental issues such as tooth loss. Wet food also provides added moisture which is especially good for older cats with diseases like diabetes.

1. Royal Canin Aging 12+

Royal Canin is one of the most trusted cat food brands due to their industry-leading research into feline nutrition. They are constantly updating their recipes based on the most recent scientific data. Their senior food contains ingredients that support joint and kidney health as well as providing extra protein and natural fats for healthy muscles and maintaining weight.

2. Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Dry Senior Food

With a protein content of 32% from boneless chicken and a fat content of 15%, this brand is perfect for maintaining the health of elderly cats. Their senior recipe also contains up to 5% fiber to aid healthy digestion.

3. Blue Freedom™ Wet Senior Cat Food Grain-Free

If your elderly cat eats wet food, then Blue Buffalo has you covered too. They have a canned food for mature indoor cats. This grain-free recipe also has chicken as the primary ingredient, supplemented with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and coat. Their canned food also contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and taurine to maintain a healthy weight.

4. Now Fresh Grain-Free Senio Weight Management

This dry food is perfect for older cats as it is made with high-quality meat and contains no animal by-products. The recipe is also grain-free, which is great for cats with sensitive stomachs. Enriched with prebiotics and probiotics, this food is perfect for older cats who suffer from digestive complaints.

5. Nutro Senior Minced Cod & Tuna

This paté style food is great for older cats as it is grain-free so won’t irritate their stomach. They use high-quality protein sources and the recipe is fortified with essential vitamins, minerals and taurine. The only downside to this food is a low fiber content so it should be fed alongside a high fiber food.

See: What is the best cat food recommended by vets?

Why does my older cat vomit after eating?

There are many reasons that your elderly cat may vomit after eating. Firstly, we must be able to distinguish between regurgitation and vomiting. These two bodily actions are quite different!

Regurgitation is the process of food moving back from the esophagus to the mouth. The ingested material does not make it as far as the stomach and will usually be long and tube-shaped, consisting of undigested food, hair and saliva. Regurgitation happens quickly and with very little noise.

Vomiting is the expulsion of the stomach contents and is a noisy affair. Owners know the tell-tale mournful meow their cat will emit right before vomiting. It will be followed by retching, stomach contractions and extension of the neck. Vomiting normally includes bile or phlegm as well as the ingested food.

Let’s take a look at the most common causes of vomiting.

1. Overeating

This happens when your cat continues to eat even though its stomach is full. Since there is nowhere for the food to go, the cat is forced to vomit. By feeding small meals throughout the day, you can prevent overeating and reduce the episodes of vomiting.

2. Gastrointestinal disease

Cats suffering from this digestive condition will often vomit undigested food hours after eating. Sometimes they will simply vomit bile.

3. Pancreatitis

This condition is quite common in cats and is caused by the inflammation of the pancreas, a small organ that aids digestion. Pancreatitis reduces the digestive system’s efficiency, leading to vomit after eating.

How do you stop an older cat from vomiting?

The simplest way to prevent your cat from regurgitating his food is to feed smaller meals more often. The stomach is not able to expand quickly enough to accommodate the food so it is regurgitated. By feeding smaller portions, your cat is not overeating and the stomach can expand as normal.

Another option is to use a feeding toy. Food balls are great for dry kibble. Your cat has to play with the toy to get the food to fall out of the small holes. This means they eat slowly but also get mental and physical stimulation.

For cats fed on wet food or patés, try spreading the food on a baking tray or purchase a licky mat. This is a feeding mat with ridges and bumps designed to slow feeding.

We all want to support our cats in their final years and providing them a healthy diet is the key to keeping them fit and healthy. If your older cat is vomiting regularly, you should seek veterinary advice to rule out a medical condition as the cause.

Older cats are more likely to suffer from ill health but treatment often alleviates symptoms like vomiting, which will help to make them more comfortable. The less a cat vomits after eating, the more nutrients they are able to absorb.

Every cat is different and so one senior cat food will not suit all cats. Each cat food brand offers different benefits. Royal Canin Aging is perfect for cats with dental issues as wet food is easy to eat.

Blue Buffalo Freedom is best for older cats who are otherwise healthy but just need food to support their health and weight.

Remember that cats are fussy eaters, so if you are changing their diet or reducing their portions, this should be done slowly or you may end up with a kitty protest!


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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