One of the most commonly overlooked nutrients in a cat’s diet is fiber. This is because cats are obligate carnivores and don’t need fiber from plant sources in the wild and therefore, we don’t see why our domestic cats would require a high fiber diet.
Wild cats eat entire animals, including bones and teeth which serve as sources of fiber and encourage healthy digestion.
Domestic cats typically eat wet and dry cat food, which doesn’t contain these kinds of ingredients. Adding a form of plant fiber keeps their digestive tract functioning at its best!
Top Picks For High Fiber Cat Food
Finding the ideal cat food for your budget and your cat’s health needs can be tricky. There are many high-quality high-fiber cat foods out there to choose from.
Below are the top picks for the best high fiber cat food.
Best Overall (Recommended)
Best On A Budget
Best Fiber Supplement
Best Grain Free
Best High Fiber Wet Cat Food
What Is High Fiber Cat Food?
High-fiber cat food is fortified with ingredients that encourage healthy digestion. This can either aid in constipation or help to reduce diarrhea, depending on the ingredients used. Choosing the right cat food will depend on your cat’s lifestyle and dietary needs.
Domestic cats require additional fiber compared to their wild ancestors. They sleep more, exercise less, and groom themselves and each other. This slows down the digestion process and creates problems like bloating, gas, constipation, hairballs, or diarrhea.
The 9 Best High Fiber Cat Foods
You need to find a cat food that balances your budget and your cat’s nutritional needs. A wide range of high-fiber cat foods can be found on the market.
Below are the 9 best high fiber cat foods.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food (Recommended)
Hill’s Science diet uses cellulose as a source of fiber while also utilizing grains like wheat and corn to bulk the dry kibble. This feed is great for digesting hairballs and is highly recommended by veterinarians.
- Prevents hairballs from forming
- Fortified with omega-6, omega-3, and vitamin E to maintain skin and fur health
- Made with natural ingredients
- The first ingredient is an animal-based protein
Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food
Purina ONE diet uses a combination of insoluble fiber sources to keep your cat’s digestive tract functioning normally. This is an ideal diet for cats that experience more diarrhea or urgency to defecate after eating.
- The first ingredient is an animal-based protein leaving each serving at 38% protein
- Uses a combination of cellulose and soybean hulls to add fermentable fiber
- Uses natural ingredients
- Good for weight control
- Fortified with antioxidants for immune health
- Will prevent the formation of hairballs
- Very affordably priced
- It will cause more constipation in a cat that’s already having trouble going to the bathroom.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free
Blue Buffalo uses a combination of peas and cellulose to form a balanced high-fiber diet. This will keep your cat’s bathroom schedule regular while encouraging firmer stool due to the cellulose.
- Ideal for weight management
- Will prevent hairballs from forming
- 30% protein in each serving
- Natural ingredients
- Grain-free, ideal for cats that suffer from allergies
- Slightly higher price point than competitors
Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Stomach
Fortified with omega fatty acids and vitamins, IAMS Proactive food will maintain a soft coat and immune system while encouraging healthy digestion. This formula is made first and foremost with turkey leaving its protein content at 33% per serving.
- High protein
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals for whole health
- Lower price point
- Promotes healthy skin
- Made with corn, so it isn’t ideal for cats prone to obesity or who have allergies when consuming grains.
Raw Paws Pet Organic Pumpkin Powder
This raw pumpkin powder can be mixed with water or simply left as a powder before putting overtop any cat food. It’s made with 100% pumpkin making it a great fermentable fiber that will relieve any gastric issues and promote healthy stool.
- As a supplement, you can use this with any cat food you already own
- Easy to mix with water or put over food as powder
- High in fiber
- If your cat food is upsetting the stomach of your pet, this will alleviate any symptoms but will not get rid of them since you’ll still be combining this with cat food.
- It won’t be as effective as changing out the food for a high fiber meal if your cat has severe diarrhea or constipation problems
Instinct Limited High Fiber Wet Cat Food
Instinct Limited wet food is designed for cats that are prone to allergies. By avoiding common allergens like grains, fish, eggs, dairy, chicken, and beef, this meal is ideal for cats with extremely sensitive stomachs.
- Simple ingredients
- Easy to digest
- Less effective in managing stomach issues due to simple ingredient list
- Low in protein at only 10%
- It doesn’t contain any high fiber ingredients; rather, it’s easy to digest, making it mimic other high fiber diets.
Merrick Grain Free Adult Wet Cat Food
Merrick Grain Free is made with extremely clean and natural ingredients. With the first three ingredients being animal-based protein, your cat will benefit from a high dose of quality protein.
- High protein
- Fortified with peas for fermentable fiber
- Easy to digest
- Free of most common allergens
- High price point, especially for wet food
- Will not fight hairball buildup as well as competitors
Natural Balance Original Ultra
Natural Balance cat food is packed with antioxidants and fiber to maintain good digestion, coat health, skin health, and immune function.
- High protein at 34% per serving
- Developed by veterinarians
- First ingredient high-quality animal products
- Higher price point
- It contains grains making it less effective for cats with allergies or weight problems.
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken
Wellness CORE cat kibble is free of meat by-products, fillers like grains, and any artificial flavors making it extremely clean. With the addition of peas to the diet, your cat will get a healthy dose of fermentable fiber in each meal. This will keep their coat and skin health optimal while also maintaining healthy digestion.
- Clean ingredients, free of fillers
- High protein
- This food recently changed its formula, and many consumers are reporting less satisfaction with the new formula
- Consumers reporting: urinary crystals forming, pellets being messy, cats being less interested in the taste of the food, and the bag no longer sealing
Types Of High Fiber Cat Food
Before investing in new cat food, you need to be aware of the different kinds of fiber to feed your cat for optimal health. If you aren’t clear on exactly which type of food is suitable for your cat, the underlying issue they’re having may be exacerbated by the new food.
Once you’re clear on exactly which fiber is fitting for your cat, you’ll see considerable improvements in their health.
This is the kind of fiber you’ll want to add to your cat’s diet if they’re experiencing any constipation. Soluble fiber works by drawing water out of the bloodstream to digest the food once it reaches the large intestine. This aids the colon in fermenting the food, and since there’s an increased amount of water in the digestion process, it loosens the stool.
Keep in mind this kind of food will also move through the body much faster, so after you feed soluble fiber to your cat, you should expect to see them using the bathroom much quicker than they have with foods with low insoluble fiber. This is natural and means the food is working; however, if you find that your cat’s stool is becoming too liquid and turning into diarrhea, you’ll want to cut back on soluble fiber intake.
Insoluble fiber will help your cat if they have diarrhea. The primary sources of insoluble fiber in cat food are peanut hulls or cellulose. The purpose is to add mass to the food. Since it’s bulkier, it’s also slower to move through the body, slowing down the frequency at which your cat feels they need to go to the bathroom.
The bulkiness of the food will also do a good job of binding their intestinal matter more tightly, firming stool. This is the reason why you should never feed insoluble fiber to cats that suffer from constipation.
Fermentable fiber foods are a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber. These foods are optimal for cats that aren’t currently experiencing any issues with their digestion, as this will maintain their natural bathroom routine.
This type of fiber in food will be the most ideal for most cats as it doesn’t alter the consistency or urgency of their defecation and instead will simply encourage proper digestion. By combining the two sources of fiber, you may find that your cat has less bloat and overall gas since their digestive tract will stay cleaner.
Common ingredients that serve as fermentable fiber include:
- Oat Bran
- Beet Pulp
Should You Buy High Fiber Cat Food?
While high fiber foods are ideal for cats that need an extra push of digestive power, it isn’t necessary for all cats. Therefore, just because a high fiber diet can be helpful for some cats doesn’t mean you should feel that you have to supply it to yours.
Always take a look first at your cat’s overall health to determine if they could benefit from additional fiber, or if it’s an unnecessary dietary change,
Benefits Of High Fiber Cat Food
The number one benefit to dietary fiber is the ease in digestion that it brings. For animals that struggle with poor digestion resulting in uncomfortable constipation or urgent diarrhea, fiber may be the answer!
If your cat is prone to hairballs, introducing more fiber into the diet can minimize their gagging and vomiting as well. By digesting hairballs more effectively, you won’t see your cat lose interest in food due to the lethargy that comes with hairballs being lodged in the digestive tract.
For breeds more prone to obesity, high fiber diets encourage complete digestion and absorption of nutrients, making it harder to put on extra weight. This can keep your cat in better shape and improve their overall energy levels.
Problems With High Fiber Cat Food
High-quality protein can be sacrificed when adding more fiber into a formula which is a major downfall to a diet since protein is the most important nutrient for felines. However, since fiber sources are plant-based, they’re generally cheaper than meat-based proteins, which causes cat food companies to cut corners.
If you’re turning to a high-fiber diet as a potential solution to digestive problems in your cat, bear in mind that this can make it worse. If the underlying problem is allergies, the foods used to increase fiber will greatly worsen allergies.
By failing to properly research which high-fiber food is best, it’s also possible to give the wrong kind of fiber to your cat. This can also make their problems worse and put them in greater discomfort.
When you intend to change the diet of your cat, you should first and foremost consult your veterinarian and animal nutritionist. If you want to make sure your cat’s needs are being communicated clearly to a specialist, you should pay attention to its behavior, as this will determine what kind of food might be best for your feline.
Your Cat’s Health
By taking a holistic look at your cat’s health, you’ll best be able to determine if a high fiber diet is best and what source of fiber they’re most in need of.
The ideal way to go about this is to consult with your veterinarian. Ensure that your cat doesn’t have any preexisting conditions making it dangerous to consumer higher fiber diets.
All cats groom themselves; however, some cats lick themselves a lot more frequently than others.
If your cat is constantly grooming or has long hair, they may need a boost in their digestive tract to help them break down the hair they’re accumulating in their gut.
If your cat isn’t a fan of exercise, you’ll want to ensure they’re getting a healthy dose of fiber in their food to keep their digestive systems moving.
If your cat is very active, they likely won’t need as much fiber in their diet as their organs will have an easier time waking up and moving food through.
Consider your cat’s energy levels to determine better if they need fiber and how much is ideal for their diet.
While many pet owners avoid taking a deep look at their pet’s urine or feces, it’s important to take note of any changes in their bathroom habits to catch any potential changes in health.
If you notice that your cat has diarrhea, you’ll want to consider which type of fiber is best for reducing this symptom.
Alternatively, if your cat is experiencing constipation, you’ll want to give them different food. Only by noticing how your cat’s feces are changing can you properly evaluate what kind of high fiber food they need.
Since the dietary fiber source differs depending on the food you decide on, it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of each fiber source.
Keep in mind that it’s natural for your cat’s fiber needs to change throughout its life. While one fiber source may be ideal at a younger age, another may need to be introduced as health requirements vary.
Therefore, rather than considering one fiber source as “better” or “worse” than another, simply stay aware of what each one can offer your cat so that you’re able to switch to a different food based on what you see from your cat.
Grains aren’t a necessary part of a healthy diet and can be problematic for many cats that struggle with allergies or weight gain.
Many of the high fiber diet foods could contain more grains than you would expect. Since many grains, like corn and wheat, are prevalent allergens, these diets may cause more health issues.
In addition, these kinds of additives add weight to your cat without adding much nutritional benefit.
Before switching to any new diet, consult with your veterinarian to ensure it has the healthiest balance of ingredients possible.
Always allergy test your cat to stay up to date on their food intolerances. Since allergies can develop and change throughout your cat’s life, be sure to test them when they are kittens and adults.
How Does Fiber Help Your Cat?
The body of your cat is designed to run as efficiently as possible; therefore, by improving your cat’s health they will also be able to enjoy better coat health, dental health, and a stronger immune system.
If your cat is consuming a healthy diet with fiber, they will have a more regular bathroom schedule with firm and healthy feces. This is vital in reducing stress on the body and increasing nutrient absorption.
This will make a considerable difference in cats that are prone to digestive health problems.
Reduced Bloat And Gas
With healthier stool also comes healthier digestion. Once your cat’s body is able to digest without inflammation and backup, they’ll experience much less bloat and gas.
This can make them considerably more comfortable and make your living space more livable for the humans around!
You can continue cutting down on bloat and gas by avoiding grains in the diet and by checking your cat for allergies!
One of the biggest energy sinks is unhealthy digestion. If your cat’s body is putting a ton of energy into digesting each meal, they won’t have any energy to play or engage with you.
When more fiber is introduced to bring about easier digestion, the energy input will be much lower, which will lead to a more playful cat!
Best High Fiber Cat Food
Conclusion On High Fiber Cat Food
While high fiber food has its benefits for cats that need extra immune or digestive support, it’s by no means necessary for all cats.
If you don’t see any problems in the consistency or frequency of your cat’s defecation, you may be better off sticking to your usual cat food.
Last update on 2023-04-01 at 13:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API