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High-Fiber Cat Foods: Beneficial Change or Potential Feline Complication?

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American Journey focuses on quality protein sources without corn, wheat, or soy that may cause problems for your kitty’s tummy. You get up to 40% of the chicken and turkey sourced from the U.S. They’re also careful to avoid any by-product meals in the top ingredients. You DO get a nice bonus of omega fatty acids to keep your cat’s coat looking sleek and shiny. And if you skim the list of ingredients, you’ll see “fermentation extracts.” These are prebiotics that help feed the bacteria in your cat’s GI tract, allowing them to function properly.

Downsides? As a grain-free food, you’re going to see plenty of pea ingredients on this list. However, they skip other legumes and potatoes. It’s not great, but it’s also not the worst. The fiber does tip the scales a bit at 4% – mostly due to the list of fruits and veggies you’ll find (things cats DON’T need in their diet).

The Good

The Bad

Plenty of feline owners recognize the Blue Buffalo brand of cat food. In their Nature’s Evolution line, they bump up the protein level (36%) to mimic the amounts a wild cat might find. Then they add in plenty of vegetables and fruit to meet that high-fiber cat food requirement. You also get the bonus of omegas and folic acid for a healthy kitty coat. And they use fermentation extracts as prebiotics, as well.

The downsides? This is one of the more expensive cat foods out there. It also only comes in a single chicken flavor, which may not work for every cat. As for fiber, it’s WAY over the mark at 7.2%. No cat needs THAT much in their diet. Also, they use peas AND potatoes in their formula – that’s risky.

The Good

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Hill’s comes backed with veterinary approval. It’s the over-the-counter brand for Science Diet, and the company participates in research with their diets. The Hairball Control line is the high-fiber cat food they provide, helping with hairball issues and weight control. They use chicken as their primary source of protein (33.9%) before adding in fruits and vegetables to make up the fiber portion. You’ll also find biotin to support healthy muscles and bones. And the beet pulp? It performs double-duty as a fiber and a prebiotic.

So what are the downsides? They do use corn and wheat. People object to their presence in cat foods, but they ARE insoluble fibers. And it pushes the fiber content over the edge to 9.3%. Cats are also confined to a single chicken flavor.

The Good

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Indoor cats rely on you for their food. And that’s why Hill’s came up with their Indoor Formula line. The extra fruits and vegetables provide plenty of fiber for kitties that don’t supplement their diets with the occasional bird, mouse, or vole. And they keep calorie counts low for those cats that may not get the most activity out of their day. Of course, you get the same benefits you find with every Hill’s diet, too.

Downsides? You’re still going to find the corn and wheat in the ingredients – and some green peas. And the fiber’s equally high at 8.5%. Plus, the chicken flavor continues to reign supreme.

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Iams is another high-fiber cat food that adds in extras such as omegas, beet pulp, and biotin. Your kitty will love the turkey and chicken flavor, and YOU’LL appreciate the lack of any artificial colors or flavorings. The formula’s gentle enough to take things easy on sensitive tummies while still keeping the gut bacteria working properly. And it comes in at the LOWEST fiber rating at 3%! That’s dead-on target!

The downsides? You will still see corn make an appearance in the ingredient list. Whether that’s a deal-breaker or not depends on you. And because it’s a sensitive diet, you only have the turkey flavor. Also, some owners found the smell unappealing (the cats didn’t mind).

The Good

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If you’re looking for a high-fiber cat food that won’t break the budget but contains top ingredients, you can’t go wrong with Natural Balance. They focus on chicken and salmon proteins first before adding in plenty of superfood fruits and veggies. That brings the fiber to a proper level of 3%. And you won’t have to worry about corn or wheat if that’s a concern; they focus on oats and those veggies.

So what are the downsides? Again, you’re only going to get one flavor option. That’s challenging when you have a picky eater at home. And plenty of cats turned up their noses here. They do also use peas and pea protein in their ingredients.

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Limited ingredient diets are popular with plenty of pet owners when their dog or cat suffers from allergies. And they can work as high-fiber cat foods, too. Nature’s Variety is one option out there that skip grain and gluten, focusing on the protein (rabbit, salmon, or turkey). Freeze-drying preserves all of the nutrients, ensuring your cat receives a balanced diet. They explicitly avoid corn, wheat, soy, chickpeas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Downsides? While they did a great job of eliminating most of the suspect ingredients, they still use peas. It’s why we stopped offering it to our cats (it wasn’t worth the risk). And while close, the fiber is still over at 5.5%. It also comes in high in the calorie department – something you want to keep in mind if you plan to use it for weight loss.

The Good

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Most indoor formulas work well as high-fiber cat foods. They’re designed to help control weight and hairballs. And that’s true of Purina ONE. They combine the perfect mix of turkey, fruits, and vegetables to provide a balanced diet for your favorite feline friend. You’ll also see a healthy list of vitamins and minerals to keep your cat looking and feeling their best.

The downsides? Corn and soy make up the bulk of the fiber in this diet. That means plenty of insoluble fiber. Again, nothing wrong with it, but you need to make sure you have plenty of water around. Especially since the fiber goes over the line at 5.1%.

The Good

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Some cats with GI problems need high-fiber cat foods with a genuine punch behind them. That’s where Royal Canin comes in. Formulated by veterinarians and board-certified nutritionists, they combine soluble and insoluble fibers to help your cat’s GI tract feel like itself again. And, as a bonus, it works great for kitties struggling with urinary crystals!

So what are the downsides? This is a prescription diet. You’ll need to speak with your vet if you want to switch your cat over. And the insoluble fiber comes in the form of corn and wheat. That pushes it to 4.7% – a genuine high-fiber cat food. You’re going to pay for the prescription, too. But it works!

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The Best Canned High-Fiber Cat Foods

High-fiber cat foods work a little better in the canned department. You’re still bumping up the fiber department while providing the proper hydration your cat needs at the same time. And with quality ingredients and flavors cats love, you’re more likely to find your cat diving into their meals. You’ll still need to check the labels carefully, though. A 1% fiber in these foods is plenty. And if you’re combining them with dry food, you don’t want to go overboard. Always have clean, cold water available to help your feline flush their system.

Purina Beyond combines top protein choices with vegetables and fruits. You won’t find corn, wheat, or soy in the mixtures. Instead, they use the vegetables as the fiber source. And at 1.5%, that fiber is only a whisker over the limit! With ten different flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find one your cat will fall in love with (or, you know, ten you can rotate through!). The pate texture works well on its own, or you can mix it with water to create more gravy.

Downside? Some of the flavors use sweet potatoes. You may want to steer clear of those in favor of others. 

The Good

The Bad

Finding high-fiber cat foods in delightful flavors is always tricky. But Weruva manages it with their “punny” names. You have 12 different proteins to choose from, all available in three sizes. They combine top meats with fibers such as pumpkin to keep your kitty’s digestive tract working smoothly. You’ll also get a little bonus of fish oil for joint health.

The downsides? This is one of those cans that include fiber in the ingredients, but it comes out short in the analysis. You’ll only find 0.5% fiber in this line. And, given the size of the cans, some people feel they’re on the expensive side.

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A Side of Fiber, Please

Sure, cats enjoy nibbling on grass now and then. And they may even decide to chomp down an entire plant (when you’re not looking). That seems to run counter to their carnivore nature. And while they DO need some fiber to help their GI tract run properly, high-fiber cat foods may OVERDO things. You can end up with felines sicker than when you started. This is why it’s important to always discuss any diet changes with your vet FIRST.

If you do make the switch, look at the labels carefully. The magic number of 3% (for dry food) and 1% (for cans) will appear in most normal foods. A high-fiber cat food? It might put you over the top!

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Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician for 10 years, focusing on Emergency/ICU and later Cardiology, as well as volunteering at both the Philadelphia Zoo and Virginia Living Museum for over six years. She's now a freelance writer, but she gravitates toward writing projects with a focus on animals (once an animal-lover, always an animal-lover). She lives in Virginia with her husband, three cats (one "works" as her personal assistant), and a Greyhound who thinks she's a big cat — all of them rescues.

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