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Best Food for Cat With Pancreatitis - 3 High-Quality Kibbles of 2023

iams-proactive-health-sensitive stomach adult cat food, chicken & turkey

Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Stomach Adult Cat Food, Chicken & Turkey

purina one sensitive systems adult dry cat food

Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food

hills science diet dry cat food, adult, sensitive stomach & skin recipes

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipes

Certified Veterinary Dr. Veronica Heller

Understanding Pancreatitis: Here’s How to Help a Cat With Pancreatitis


In order to understand your cat’s nutritional needs, you should first know what Pancreatitis is. 

An inflammation of your cat’s pancreas causes Pancreatitis. While the organ is small in size, it’s far from insignificant. The pancreas secretes insulin, along with other digestive enzymes that help your kitty get all the nutrients from her food. 

So, the tiny organ plays a crucial role. 

The chances of a cat getting Pancreatitis increase with age. It’s common in cats over ten years in age. 

Common Signs of Pancreatitis in Kitties

More and more dogs are getting diagnosed with heart disease annually. 

According to some experts, we’re observing this incline in health issues such as heart disease and cancer because the average lifespan of a dog has increased thanks to an advanced veterinary care system. 

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is one of the most common heart diseases in dogs. 

We see an increase in chronic valvular disease, which is an acquired heart abnormality. In this disease, the valves of a dog’s heart become stiff and start deteriorating, causing the blood to flow backward. This, in the long term, causes vascular congestion. 

Dilated cardiomyopathy is another reason for CHF. In this condition, the muscles of the heart start thinning and dilating. This affects the effectiveness of the heart in pumping blood throughout the body, causing it to overwork to compensate. 

Finally, some believe that Congestive Heart Failure may be caused by high blood pressure or hypertension in dogs. 

Common Causes of Heart Diseases

Let’s go over a few symptoms of Pancreatitis in cats. 

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Lethargy 
  • Frequent stomach pains 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever 

Pancreatitis can manifest itself as a chronic disease with severe symptoms or be acute with mild to moderate symptoms. 

Here are Some of the Causes of Pancreatitis in Cats

Your cat’s pancreas secretes insulin and other digestive enzymes that help process the food she’s eaten. Experts argue that over time, a high-carb and highly processed diet puts more stress than necessary on the organ, resulting in its inflammation. 

This is why older cats are more prone to getting the disease. 

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they thrive on a diet that’s rich in meat and fat and low in carbohydrates. 

Many commercial cat foods on the market are not only highly processed but contain over 50% carbohydrates–something a cat’s body did not evolve to process. So, naturally, a cat who’s been fed a high-carb diet for most of its life develops the condition.

Research studies on this topic, however, are limited. 

Other causes of Pancreatitis in felines include: 

  • Damage to the Pancreas due to inflammation of the intestines 
  • Diseases such as herpesvirus, FIP, and toxoplasmosis
  • Certain medications such as diuretics, phenobarbital, and catabolic steroids
  • Parasitic infection
  • Colangitis 

Your vet will be able to tell you what exactly caused the condition to develop in the first place. 

A Healthy, Nutritious Diet: What Foods Should I Give to My Cat with Pancreatitis?

So, what do you feed a cat with Pancreatitis?

A good diet can help you keep Pancreatitis in check, allowing your furry friend to be comfortable and symptom-free.

Make Sure Your Cat is Eating Her Food

Due to their loss of appetite, cats with Pancreatitis are at risk of developing Hepatic Lipidosis, a condition that forces a cat’s body to metabolize fat as energy since she isn’t getting enough calories from her diet. Without the protein from food, the fat in the bloodstream attaches itself to the liver, causing complications. 

Isn’t that interesting? 

What’s more, is that the condition can develop anytime between three to ten days of not eating. The exact timeline depends on your furry friend’s overall health. 

You need to make sure your cat is getting enough food to sustain herself. 

If your cat isn’t eating, you’ll need to take her to the vet so that they can feed her with a feeding tube. For some cats, the vet may have to resort to fluid therapy. 

Palatable Foods are the Best

Cats with mild to moderate Pancreatitis won’t have trouble eating. But, if your feline friend has been throwing up, she may not be getting as many calories as she needs. You should take her to the vet as soon as you can. This works as the best pancreatitis cat treatment

Palatable foods work best for cats with Pancreatitis. These include: 

  • Meat-based and unseasoned meals  
  • Boiled and unseasoned chicken 
  • Other baked meats
  • Bone broth 

These foods work best when your kitty has an upset stomach. Meat-based diets are easier for cats to digest as compared to plant-based foods.

Steer Clear of Low-Fat Foods

You don’t need to avoid dietary fats like the plague for your kitty! 

Contrary to popular belief, fats are not a cat’s enemy. In fact, a wild cat’s diet is rich in protein and fat while being very low in carbohydrates. Fats are crucial to maintaining your kitty’s overall health. 

They’re excellent sources of essential fatty acids and amino acids. 

Fats help maintain your kitty’s skin and coat and provide lubrication to her joints. There’s no link between Pancreatitis in cats and dietary fats as there is with dogs. So, a low-fat diet may do more harm to your cat than good. 

Feed Her Small, Frequent Meals

Having your kitty go a long time between meals isn’t the best idea. 

This may cause spikes in your cat’s hormones–similar to what happens in humans who practice intermittent fasting. As you might have guessed, a spike in hormones isn’t necessarily good for a cat with Pancreatitis.

Six small meals a day are ideal for cats with Pancreatitis. 

Digestive Enzyme Supplements May Help

To take some load off of your cat’s pancreas, you can supplement her diet with digestive enzymes. The idea finds its inspiration from nature–how cats would consume their prey’s digestive enzymes. 

You can find powdered digestive enzymes on the market. 

However, there haven’t been many scientific studies on the use of digestive enzymes. Some believe that probiotic supplements, too, are excellent to keep the condition in check.

Say No to Inflammatory Ingredients

You’ll often come across a variety of ingredients on a cat food label–some of them are known to cause inflammation, yet they remain in the formula, anyway. The list of ingredients to avoid includes:

  • Artificial colors 
  • Sweeteners 
  • Carrageenan 

This is important for cat pancreatitis treatment. 

Limited Number of Carbohydrates

Thousands of years of evolution have made a cat’s body thrive on a meat-based diet. A cat’s body cannot process a high-carbohydrate diet without long-term health consequences. 

A large number of carbs in your kitty’s diet will trigger your kitty’s pancreas to produce more insulin. 

That’s not something you want!

High-Quality Animal Protein

A cat’s diet should contain protein from an animal source. Cats thrive on a meat-based diet. Plant protein isn’t going to provide a cat with all the nutrients she needs. Recipes with a single source animal protein are the best for your feline friend.

Our Top 3 Choices: The Best Food for Cat With Pancreatitis

We hope that the last few sections of this blog post helped you figure out everything you need to know about what to feed a cat with Pancreatitis. 

In this section of the blog post, we will review the diet for cat with Pancreatitis in detail so that you can choose the best one for your kitty. We have researched these foods in great detail so that we can help you figure out the best for your feline friend. 

Take a look.

Food for Cat with Pancreatitis
Here’s Why You Should Get It
Our Rating
Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Stomach Adult Cat Food, Chicken & Turkey
Contains Turkey as the number one ingredient, Highly digestible formula, Excellent for cats with a sensitive stomach, Doesn’t contain filler ingredients, Improves skin and coat health
4.9 Stars
Check now
Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food
Turkey is the number one ingredient, Doesn’t contain any filler ingredients, No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives used, Natural food with added vitamins, Complete and balanced meal
4.9 Stars
Check now
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipes
Chicken is the number one ingredient, Contains prebiotic fiber for optimal digestion, Improves skin and coat health, Enriched with vitamins for optimal health , Only natural ingredients used in the recipe
4.6 Stars
Check now

Let’s take a closer look at each of these, shall we?

Iams is one of the most popular pet food brands on the market. It has been around since the 1940s. All of the foods they create are made in the United States. The brand uses high-quality natural ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers. 

Contains Real Turkey 

Real Turkey is the number one ingredient for this recipe, followed by Chicken by-product meal. The food contains more than adequate meat for your kitty to thrive. 

What we also like about this kibble is that it doesn’t contain low-quality filler ingredients like wheat or soy. 

Easy to Digest

This highly digestible meal contains a  proprietary fiber blend that provides your kitty with complete and balanced nutrition from her food. The high digestibility ensures your kitty gets optimal nutrition from her food. 

You won’t need additional supplements with this kibble!

Healthy Skin and Coat

This high-quality cat food contains the right amount of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty acids for healthy skin and a glossy coat.

Nutritional Breakdown 

This cat food formula contains: 

  • 40% protein which is near-average
  • 23% fat which is below-average
  • 37% carbohydrates which are average

It also contains a moderate amount of meat, making it the best food to feed cat with Pancreatitis

Pros and Cons 

Let’s take a quick peek at the pros and cons, shall we?

Improves healthy digestion
Linked to odors in the litterbox
Turkey and Chicken meal are the first two ingredients
Doesn’t contain known allergens
Contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
Contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

On to the next one.

Purina Pet Foods is a subsidiary of a well-known international giant–Nestle. The brand was created with the vision to create high-quality pet foods. 

The best thing about the company is that they prioritize innovative research to create better and more nutritious foods for your pet’s health and wellbeing.

Highly Digestible Formula

The cat food is highly digestible, making it easier for your kitty to absorb all the nutrients from it. The food nourishes your cat’s stomach and skin from the inside, making her look and feel healthier. 

Optimal Heart Function

The kibble contains protein from Turkey and is wheat and gluten-free. The food contains essential vitamins such as vitamins A and E, along with antioxidants, making it good for heart function. 

Skin and Coat Health

Thanks to the generous levels of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, this kibble helps nourish your kitty’s skin and coat, making them look and feel better than ever. The wholesome grains and veggies, too, help.

Nutritional Breakdown 

This cat food formula contains: 

  • 34% protein which is average
  • 14% fat which is average
  • 34% carbohydrates which are above-average

It also contains a moderate amount of meat, making it good food for cat with Pancreatitis

Pros and Cons 

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons, shall we?

Contains real turkey and chicken
Shorter shelf life
Great for a sensitive stomach
Improves heart health
Builds immunity
Good to taste

Moving on.

Dr. Mark Morris created this premium pet food company to ensure pets get all the right nutrients to enjoy a long, happy, and healthy life. The company is owned by Colgate-Palmolive and uses human-grade ingredients to provide your furry friend with the best. 

Highly Digestible 

This cat food contains beneficial gut bacteria that help support a balanced microbiome in your cat’s gut and improves gut health. This, in turn, helps build your kitty’s immune system. 

Omega Fatty Acids and Vitamin E

The cat food is enriched with essential omega-6 fatty acids that nourish your cat’s skin and coat. In addition to that, the kibble also contains Vitamin E and other clinically-proven antioxidants to help build immunity. 

Natural Ingredients

This is an excellent diet for cat with Pancreatitis as it is made of natural ingredients and doesn’t contain filler ingredients. What’s more, is that the kibble uses real chicken as the number one ingredient. 

Nutritional Breakdown 

This cat food formula contains: 

  • 32.% protein which is average
  • 20.7% fat which is average
  • 34.8% carbohydrates which are above-average

It also contains a moderate amount of meat, making a good Pancreatitis cat diet

Pros and Cons 

Here’s a quick peek at the pros and cons!

Nourishes skin and coat
Hard to chew for older cats
Good for the digestive system
Contains antioxidants
Made in the US
Ingredients from trusted sources

Pancreatitis Cat Diet: Frequently Asked Questions

So, what do you feed a cat with pancreatitis?

In this section of the blog post, we’ll go through some of the frequently asked questions we came across when researching for this article.

Let’s take a quick peek, shall we? 

best food to feed cat with pancreatitis

Did we answer all of your questions? 

Heart-related issues have become alarmingly common with our canine companions, which means that we need to look closely at two things: 

  • The food that we’re feeding our dogs 
  • The amount of exercise they’re getting 

A healthy diet and exercise can go a long way–in fact, they can help improve your dog’s chances of survival. 

We went through three of the best dog foods for heart health in this article. However, keep in mind first buying the smallest pack available to see whether your dog likes the formula–this helps avoid wastage. Trust me, I’ve learned from my mistakes. 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section, and we’ll answer them right away! 

1. Can cats recover from Pancreatitis?

The chances of a full recovery depend upon how soon your cat was diagnosed. 

  • Cats diagnosed sooner have better chances of recovery since they’re treated promptly 
  • Mild cases tend to resolve themselves within a few months without complications 
  • Moderate cases, too, have a good prognosis 
  • Severe cases of Pancreatitis recover, but your cat may have recurrences throughout her life 

A full recovery may not be on the plate for cats that have coexisting conditions like small intestine disease, diabetes, and liver issues. 

2. Can I treat the condition at home?

This question is often asked by people who have just received word on the diagnosis. 

Yes, you can treat your kitty’s condition at home by giving her a high-quality and meat-based diet. Her food should be rich in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates. Topping her food up with some fish oil and digestive enzymes isn’t a bad idea, either. This is one of the best cat pancreatitis treatments

In addition to giving your cat a healthy diet, you should also make sure she’s exercised well. 

At-home treatments work best for cats with mild or moderate forms of the disease. For severe bouts, you should always follow your vet’s recommendations and guidelines.

3. Is Pancreatitis fatal in cats?

As mentioned earlier, Pancreatitis is the name given to inflammation of the pancreas. The condition, in itself, isn’t fatal. However, a severe attack of it could cause death in cats–especially when they have comorbidities. 

Fatalities, however, are rare and usually have secondary reasons. 

Your vet will help you understand your cat’s unique case and the things you’ll need to keep in mind.

To Sum Up: Best Food To Feed Cat with Pancreatitis

Did we help you pick out the right food for a cat with Pancreatitis? 

You’ll need to make changes to your kitty’s current diet to ensure that she’s getting all the nutrients from her food without overworking her Pancreas. A healthy diet will keep the recurrence of the disease at bay. 

While the condition isn’t as intimidating as its name, it can have a catastrophic effect on your kitty’s long-term health. Food is probably the best pancreatitis cat treatment.

Certified Veterinary Dr. Veronica Heller

Dr. Veronica Heller

Born and brought up in Grand Marais, Minnesota, ever since she was a little girl, Dr. Veronica Heller dreamed of becoming a vet thanks to
Sruffy, her family pet. She graduated from College of Veterinary Medicine, Minnesota and began her veterinary career in Larpenteur Animal Hospital in St. Paul as an emergency Veterinarian. Since then, she has worked with Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, Small Animal Hospital, and Blue Pearl Pet Hospital. Her interests in the field include preventive medicine, internal medicine, nutrition, and surgery. She’s also a loving pet mother to two cats and a Golden Retriever.