Best High Fiber Cat Food for Constipation and Diarrhea – Reviews of the Top Wet and Dry Brands

Many cats on a commercial diet don’t get enough fiber…or, in some cases, the right kind of fiber.

Fiber is a bit of a messy subject and can be hard to understand.

But we’ve done the research and have put together a list of the best high fiber cat foods to help aid your cat if she’s constipated or suffering from diarrhea.

First, it’s important that you don’t just run out and buy any old cat food that is high in fiber, because:

  • a) It might be the wrong type of fiber
  • b) It might not be the fiber that’s the problem, but a low quality cat food

I know it’s easy to just skip to the review section, but I really urge you to read the following information before making a decision on which food is best for your kitty.

Quick-Find Best High Fiber Cat Food Table

ImageProduct
  • Excellent macronutrient profile
  • No fillers
  • Best for diarrhea
  • Excellent macronutrient profile
  • No fillers
  • Best for diarrhea
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  • 5/5 star rating
  • No carbs or fillers
  • Very natural ingredients
  • 5/5 star rating
  • No carbs or fillers
  • Very natural ingredients
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  • Good mix of both types of fiber
  • Full of organ meat
  • Decent macronutrient profile
  • Good mix of both types of fiber
  • Full of organ meat
  • Decent macronutrient profile
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  • Huge fiber content
  • Meat first 3 ingredients
  • Fairly low carb for kibble
  • Huge fiber content
  • Meat first 3 ingredients
  • Fairly low carb for kibble
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  • Very low carb
  • Very high protein
  • Grain Free
  • Very low carb
  • Very high protein
  • Grain Free
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  • All Natural Recipe
  • May help both diarrhea and constipation
  • Packed with animal proteins
  • All Natural Recipe
  • May help both diarrhea and constipation
  • Packed with animal proteins
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Why Feed A High Fiber Diet To Your Cat?

Most people looking to serve a high fiber cat food are doing it because their cat has some sort of gastrointestinal issue. Most commonly constipation or diarrhea.

Both issues may be solved with the addition of more fiber in the diet.

But it’s important to learn about the different kind of fibers, because if you choose a cat food with the wrong type, you may actually make the constipation or diarrhea worse!

The Different Types of Fiber

In our reviews below, we’ll mention what type of fiber is present in the food, and for which stomach issue it’s best suited.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is more digestible. That means it helps food pass smoothly through the GI tract.

This type of fiber might be better suited to cats with diarrhea.

Some examples of soluble fiber are:

  • Some legumes
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Some fruits and vegetables
  • Root tubers
  • Root vegetables
  • Psyllium husk
  • Flaxseeds
  • Nuts

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, and acts as a sort of lubricant in the gut.

This type of fiber might be better suited to cats with constipation.

Some examples of insoluble fiber are:

  • Whole grain foods
  • Wheat and corn bran
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Some nuts and seeds
  • The skin of potatoes, lignans, green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, avocado, kiwi, and tomatoes

Warnings Before Feeding A High Fiber Food To Your Cat

Most cats don’t need a high fiber cat food.

If your cat’s stools are fairly small, and only happen 1-3 times per day, you probably don’t need to be searching for more fiber.

In fact, adding more fiber can actually be detrimental to your cat’s health.

You see, if you add too much fiber, it can actually disrupt the normal digestion process, and in some cases stop more important nutrients from being digested and absorbed in her belly…including the all-important protein.

Many people who think their cat needs a higher fiber food actually just need to pick a better cat food.

Take a look at your cat food ingredient list.

If meat is not the first ingredient, or if there’s a little meat, but lots of corn, oats, or other grains, the problems with your furry friend’s digestion are likely just caused by a poor quality cat food.

So, take a second to go look at the ingredient label.

Below, we talk about the ideal diet for an adult cat, so if you see that you’re feeding your cat a food that is full of poor quality ingredients, please, PLEASE take a look at our list of the top rated cat foods here. You want him not only to have a healthier gut, but also have a healthy weight and live a long time, right?

If budget is a concern, check out our list of the best cheap cat foods here, or if you just want to switch to a grain-free food, we provide the best here.

Another point to consider, is that before choosing a whole new food and potentially causing distress to your cat (most hate change!), you might try adding some additional fiber to her current food.

You can do this by adding a bit of ground up, leafy green veg, or by sprinkling psyllium husk fiber, or coconut fiber on her current food. Another option is pure pumpkin puree, which is actually sold as a cat-specific food by Nummy Tum-Tum here.

Dr. Karen Becker, who we greatly respect here at Catological, has this to say about fiber in pet food:

When pets consume unnecessary fillers, like wads of fiber, it inhibits digestion and absorption of many vital nutrients. A small amount of fiber is very important, but a diet loaded with fiber is very detrimental, unless, of course, you’re feeding a horse or cow. (source)

How We Chose The Best High Fiber Cat Foods

We have a huge database of over 2000+ cat foods. We rate foods based on a five point system, which we’ll talk about below.

We sorted them by fiber content to see what the best foods for cats were that had a high fiber rating.

Unfortunately, anything with over 8% fiber (on a guaranteed analysis basis) in it proved to be a very low quality food. Most of them were 1 or 2 stars out of 5 in our rating system.

As such, what you’ll find below in our ratings, are foods with between 5% and 8% fiber.

It’s still high, but we prioritized good quality cat foods over insanely high fiber content, because bad food will do much worse things to your cat than adding a couple extra grams of fiber.

The average amount of fiber in cat foods across the entire database is 2.3%. So, by showing those with 5-8%, we’re still giving suggestions with around double the amount you’d normally find.

What Cats Actually Want To Eat

Studies on both indoor, commercially-fed cats, and feral and stray cats show that cats will self-select food sources that result in a macronutrient profile in this range (dry-matter basis used):

  • Protein: 52-63%
  • Fat: 22-36%
  • Carbohydrate: 2.8-12% (with “wild” cats on the very low end of this range)

What we believe this shows is that cats have evolved to thrive on a high protein, moderate fat, and low carb diet.

How We Rate Foods

Our database of cat foods contains over 2000 individual foods.

We collected all the relevant information on each product, including:

  • AAFCO Rating
  • Ingredient list
  • Macronutrient profiles (Guaranteed Analysis, Dry-Matter Basis, and Caloric Basis)
  • Price and price per pound
  • Calories per 100 grams
  • Whether meat is the first ingredient
  • How each food compares to the average of all foods on a macronutrient basis
  • Whether the recipe uses more than 4 controversial ingredients

Each of these data points works together to form a star rating on a 1-5 star scale (including half points).

  1. If the food’s first ingredient is meat, it gets 1 point.
  2. If the food does not use unnamed meat ingredients (“meat by-products”), it gets 1 point.
  3. If the food has an above average protein level on a dry-matter basis, compared to all other foods in the database, it gets 1 point. If it has an average amount, it gets .5 points.
  4. If the recipe contains fewer than 4 controversial ingredients (not necessarily bad ingredients), it gets 1 point. If it contains exactly 4 it gets .5 points.
  5. The final available point is a discretionary point that we award based on things like carbohydrate content, inclusion of probiotics and vitamins, and other points, and is our judgement call on a food’s quality and biological appropriateness for your cat.

We think that this system provides a fair, transparent system by which we can compare all foods on an equal footing, and give you the easiest possible time when choosing the best of the best.

Reviews Of The Best High Fiber Cat Foods

Reviewing The Best Healthy High Fiber Wet and Freeze-Dried Cat Food

#1. Dave’s Pet Food 95% Premium Meat Grain Free Beef Canned Cat Food

daves cat food high fiber

Catological Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Fiber percentage (Guaranteed Analysis Basis): 6.5%

Type of Fiber: Soluble fiber (flaxseed, guar gum, alfalfa meal)

Best For: Diarrhea

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

Protein: 54.6%
Fat: 27.3%
Carbs: 0%

First 4 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Broth, Natural Flavor

This is quite an interesting food, since it utilizes what we consider a “novel protein” source.

That means it’s also a great food for cats with sensitive stomachs, who might be allergic to chicken or other common forms of protein.

The only reason we didn’t score this perfectly as 5/5 is because although it has enormous amounts of protein and fiber, beef is not a natural food for cats to be eating.

Have you ever seen or considered a cat hunting and eating a cow in the wild? Not a chance! (Though kind of a funny mental picture.)

However, it is an excellent recipe, and includes absolutely no filler ingredients.

The addition of liver is very important, too, because organ meats are favored by cats and include much higher levels of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.

With high protein and high levels of fat, this is an excellent food all around, and should be useful in combatting constipation in your cat.

If her stomach agrees with the beef (her taste buds most certainly will!), we recommend this as the best starting point for adding more fiber by way of feeding a very high quality food.

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#2. Primal Nuggets Venison Freeze Dried Cat Food

primal nuggets venison high fiber cat food

Catological Rating: 5/5 stars

Fiber percentage (Guaranteed Analysis Basis): 6%

Type of Fiber: Mostly Insoluble (collard greens, green beans, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, quinoa), but some Soluble (squash, green beans, cranberries, blueberries)

Best For: Constipation

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

Protein: 63.9%
Fat: 24.7%
Carbs: 0%

First 4 Ingredients: Venison, Venison Hearts, Venison Livers, Ground Venison Bones

One of the few foods in our entire database to score a perfect 5/5 stars, you could say this is one of the best foods overall.

It just so happens that the venison flavor has a lot of fiber. Most of it is insoluble, which should help for constipation, though there is a decent amount of soluble fiber as well.

What we love most about this is the fact that it contains a huge amount of whole food ingredients, and literally no fillers.

It also includes hardly any added vitamins or minerals, which is a great sign, because it means that the ingredients themselves maintain enough nutrients not to need any added synthetics. It is still a complete and balanced food, which means the quality of the venison and vegetables included is outstanding.

This is another “novel protein” diet, because it includes only venison, something that is not typically found as a protein source in cat or kitten food.

If your cat has a sensitive stomach or has food allergies, this is a great choice.

You can either crumble up some of this and serve it on top of your kitty’s kibble, or you can add water and serve it as an entire meal.

Whatever way you choose to serve it, it will greatly increase your cat’s consumption of fiber and should help with upset stomachs.

Fiber or no fiber, this is one of the best overall foods, and it’s hard to go wrong with it.

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#3. Instinct Raw Market Freeze Dried Cat Food

instinct raw market freeze dried high fiber cat food

Catological Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Fiber percentage (Guaranteed Analysis Basis): 6%

Type of Fiber: Almost an even mix of insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber: (pumpkin seeds, carrots, pears, butternut squash). Soluble fiber: (pumpkin seeds, carrots, pears, butternut squash, dried kelp)

Best For: Constipation and Diarrhea

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

Protein: 41.3%
Fat: 37.0%
Carbs: 5.4%

First 4 Ingredients: Chicken (Including Ground Chicken Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Pumpkinseeds

This is a grain free, freeze dried food. Basically what freeze drying does is locks in all the nutrients of a raw food, and make sit shelf stable.

It’s one of the best ways to feed a very natural diet to your cat, and her body will do an excellent job digesting and utilizing all the nutrition in the food.

This particular food is one of the few freeze dried options that has a good amount of fiber, and interestingly, it’s almost split down the middle with both soluble and insoluble fibers.

It’s likely that it is slightly higher in the insoluble type, which means it could be a good choice for constipation, but might also help with diarrhea.

We love to see both chicken liver and heart in here, both of which are excellent sources of vital nutrients.

Not to mention that the chicken used actually contains ground bone, which is extremely healthy for your cat, and mimics what she would eat in the wild – always a good thing!

The fat content is a bit higher than we’d like to see, but the protein is fairly high, too.

You can choose to add a little bit of this to your cat’s normal food, thereby stretching it out and keeping costs down, or you can feed this exclusively, as it is a complete and balanced meal according to AAFCO guidelines.

We think freeze-dried options are among the best overall foods, so to find one with a good amount of fiber is excellent news for your pet with tummy troubles.

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Reviewing The Top Rated High Fiber Dry Cat Food

#1. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Dry Cat Food

merrick purrfect bistro high fiber dry cat food

Catological Rating: 4/5 stars

Fiber percentage (Guaranteed Analysis Basis): 7.5%

Type of Fiber: Mostly Insoluble (potato, peas, cellulose, sweet potatoes), but some Soluble (flaxseeds, alfalfa)

Best For: Constipation

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

Protein: 44.9%
Fat: 15.7%
Carbs: 20.8%

First 4 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Dried Potatoes

While we generally do not recommend feeding dry food, it’s typically easier to get a lot of fiber into kibble.

This is a fairly good dry food (one of the better rated ones in our database at 4 stars), and contains a variety of good animal proteins like chicken and turkey.

It does contain vegetable protein to cheaply boost protein amounts, but doesn’t have many offensive fillers.

Although carbohydrate content is in the 20% range, it’s much lower than many competing dry brands.

You also get the gut health benefits of a variety of probiotic strains in this food, so for a cat with constipation, this could be useful in more than one way.

Overall it’s a fairly good food if you choose to feed dry, and since it’s fiber content is one of the highest on this list, it’s definitely worth your time to buy and test.

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#2. Only Natural Pet PowerFood Dry Cat Food

only natural pet grain free high fiber dry cat food

Catological Rating: 4/5 stars

Fiber percentage (Guaranteed Analysis Basis): 6%

Type of Fiber: Mostly Insoluble (garbanzo beans, pea fiber,  pumpkin) and some Soluble (garbanzo beans, pumpkin)

Best For: Constipation

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

Protein: 52.2%
Fat: 20%
Carbs: 11%

First 4 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Low Ash Turkey Meal, Low Ash Chicken Meal, Garbanzo Beans

First of all, this is a dry food with outstanding macronutrient profiles.

Huge protein, moderate fat, and far below average carbs. This is a fantastic start, so let’s look at the ingredients that make all this possible.

The variety of meat based protein sources like chicken and turkey are excellent to see.

Garbanzo beans add a lot of fiber, but also protein. This is not the best thing, because it means the amount of meat-based protein is less than the label makes you believe. However, since it is such high protein and since the first three ingredients are meat, there’s probably not a ton of beans in here.

There are no grains, which may be what you’re looking for, though they do supplement it with tapioca starch for added carbohydrates.

We like the addition of salmon oil for the healthy fatty acids, and are big fans of green lipped mussels, which can help with joint health and support.

This also includes a variety of probiotics, so it should do well for your cat’s upset stomach on multiple front (fiber and probiotic strains).

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#3. Orijen Fit & Trim Dry Cat Food

orijen fit and trim high fiber dry cat food

Catological Rating: 4/5 stars

Fiber percentage (Guaranteed Analysis Basis): 6%

Type of Fiber: Soluble (lentils, garbanzo beans) and Insoluble (lentils, peas, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, navy beans)

Best For: Diarrhea and Constipation

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

Protein: 48.9%
Fat: 16.7%
Carbs: 16.7%

First 4 Ingredients: Fresh chicken meat, fresh whole eggs, fresh whole herring, fresh turkey meat

This is a super interesting food, because it is absolutely PACKED with animal source proteins.

Chicken, egg, herring, turkey, flounder, mackerel, hake, sardine, pollock. Plus, a wide variety of organ meats (multiple types of liver and heart).

This is a very hearty line up of protein, especially surprising since it is, of course, a dry kibble.

It also includes an interesting bunch of fibrous ingredients, including a variety of beans. The addition of a little bit of chicken cartilage is interesting, as fur and cartilage are a couple of the natural options that would help with digestion in the wild.

Orijen also packs so many whole food ingredients into it’s foods in order to eliminate the need for many (or any) synthetic added vitamins and minerals.

This is a very natural food, and one of the only dry foods on the market without loads of added micronutrients, which speaks to the quality of the ingredients it uses.

They’re a very trusted brand, and we safely recommend them here.

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What To Look Out For

We have already discussed the fact that adding more fiber to your pet’s diet is not necessarily the thing that is going to fix their gut issues.

The real problem may be in the actual food itself.

Often, it’s the fact that these foods are packed with the wrong types of fiber, which is inhibiting normal gut function, AND inhibiting good nutrients from being absorbed, like protein.

So again, before you distress her tummy with one of these hugely fiber filled foods, make sure you’re buying one that has a lot of meat and very few carbs.

It’s important to note again that most of the super high fiber foods are absolutely dreadful to feed to any animal, let alone your beloved cat.

Popular brands like Hill’s Science Diet, Purina, Royal Canin, and similar brands often have very high fiber options, but it’s at the expense of good quality ingredients. They’re often full of by-products, unnamed meat sources, and unhealthy grains like corn and wheat.

If fiber really is the culprit to your cat’s gastrointestinal disturbances, one of the foods above should serve you well!

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
holly melillo - August 27, 2019

Hi Emily,
Your breakdown on the different types of food was very helpful. We rescued our fur baby about 7 yrs ago from a feline rescue center and noticed that he looked ill(eyes were crust, fur unkept and sluggish). We asked if he was ok, when we had visited him the week before he appeared to look healthy. We were assured he was fine. We did not like the way he looked so w brought him our vet and found out that he was suffering(TERRIBLY) with Pancreatitis. After a long haul with a feeding tube and a few trips back to the vets he finally was feeling better. He have had an ongoing battle with stomach issues, especially constipation. We have received conflicting information about what to feed him. Your breakdown of what types of cat there is and what problems they address is amazing!

Many Thanks,
Holly

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    Emily Parker - August 27, 2019

    Holly,

    I’m so glad you found the information helpful. Best wishes to you and your beloved rescue.

    Emily

    Reply

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