Best high fiber wet cat foods

Look for the following recipes:

Best high fiber dry cat foods

The best kibbles with high fiber content are:

Best high fiber cat treats

Introduce the following treats to reduce digestion and hairball problems:

How to choose a quality high fiber cat food?

Not all high-fiber foods are created equal. Before rushing to change your cat’s diet and making a switch to another product, you should read the label carefully and check the list of its ingredients. Here’s how you can figure out the best option.

1. Check the fiber content

This is the primary thing to do. Determine the amount of crude fiber. It should be around 1.5-3% in dry cat food, and at least 1% in wet food. Also, when you are in search of kibbles, watch the moisture level: ideally, it should be at least 10%.

2. Avoid foods with non-fermentable fiber sources only

The formulas based on corn and wheat products won’t be efficient – these products won’t make any positive difference with digestion. If you see ‘powdered cellulose’, seek for an alternative option.

3. Search for high-quality sources of fiber

These include fresh vegetables, for example, peas and potatoes, flaxseed, and oats. Also, watch the percentage of fiber content because the above-mentioned products might have too much of it.

4. Avoid products with an excessive amount of fiber

In fact, it’s easier to find high-fiber foods than recipes that are low in fiber. Unless indicated so by a veterinarian, serve cat food with no more than 3% of fiber. This amount is enough for the proper functioning of the cat’s digestive system. Generally, wet food is better but fiber should be obtained from proper sources.

What are the types of fiber in cat food?

All carnivores consume some sort of fiber – this is an essential part of any diet that helps the digestive process. It can be of animal or plant origin. In their natural wildlife diet, cats obtain fiber from prey: they eat rodents and birds whole, which means fur, feathers, bones, and cartilage are also devoured. Cat’s digestive system cannot break such components, so they function as animal-based fiber.

When it comes to plant-based fiber, it can be divided into three basic categories:

  • Soluble fiber is often denoted in the ingredients list as ‘gum’ or ‘pectin’. After reaching the colon, it draws water from the bloodstream into the food. Intestinal bacteria can ferment such fiber by emitting enzymes and after doing so, they produce fatty acids that are useful for the colon. Such fiber makes poop softer and relieves constipation.
  • Insoluble fiber. In cat food, it can often be found in the form of peanut hulls and cellulose. It makes food bulky and reduces its speed of traveling through the intestine. Such components help to reduce diarrhea. Too much of such fiber causes constipation and pain in cats, so it’s better to avoid it. 
  • Moderately fermentable fiber has the properties of both. It’s found in beet pulp and bran. 

Thus, optimal levels of soluble fiber provide energy to the intestine without undesirable side effects, excessive colon movements, or flatulence. When selecting products for a cat’s diet, you should seek for such products as beet, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, apples, flaxseed, and oats.

How to transition your cat to a high fiber diet?

Before you decide to make a switch, you should consult a diet. Does your cat need a high-fiber food at all? If yes, you should start transitioning it slowly. Add a small amount of new food to your cat’s regular diet: you can begin with 15/85 ratio and gradually change it.

The transition might take a week or even more. Watch your cat’s health and well-being during this time. If your pet exhibits some gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or bloating, consult a veterinarian and don’t hurry with the switch.

The potential dangers of high-fiber food

A high-fiber cat diet can also be risky for your feline child. Sometimes, extra fiber might be collected as fat and complicate weight management. Besides, too many carbohydrates can result in less protein absorbed – this isn’t healthy for cats. Cat’s primary nutritive is protein since it helps to build and sustain lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism. Some vets claim that cats don’t need carbohydrate fiber in their diet at all. 

Besides, plant-based fiber isn’t good for cats because not all felines are equally tolerant of it. In some pets, it causes digestion disorders like diarrhea and nausea. Thus, if your pet has a sensitive stomach and allergy to some plant-based food, a high-fiber diet might take an adverse effect on it.

FAQ’s

What to look for in a high fiber cat food?

The quantity of fiber matters (it should be around 1.5-3%) but first and foremost, look at its quality. Avoid corn and wheat-sourced fiber and prefer such superfoods as apples, carrots, flaxseed, sweet potato, beet, and broccoli.

What cat food is considered high in fibers?

Dry food with 3% fiber is the most optimal solution while options with 4% and more fiber are usually prescribed by vets in special occasions. When it comes to wet foods, 1.5-3% of the fiber is more than enough. 

Does high fiber food help cats with constipation? 

Yes, such recipes can take a positive toll on the cat’s digestion and reduce the risk of constipation. However, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian because such a digestion issue might be caused by various factors (not connected with a diet at all). 

Is too much fiber bad for cats? 

Yes, because it might cause digestive disorders, such as diarrhea and bloating. Too much fiber meddles with protein digestion and overall metabolism. Besides, the prevalence of carbs in a cat’s diet provokes problems with weight.

In a word

The meals of indoor cats are so much different from what they used to be in ancient times, hence, you should take care of its digestion. However, like in anything else, you should maintain balance in your cat’s diet. By introducing high-fiber foods without consulting a veterinarian, you can do more harm than good. Thus, it’s important to visit a specialist and define your cat’s nutritional needs beforehand.

When picking fiber-rich products, pay particular attention to its source. Avoid foods with corn gluten, wheat, and powdered cellulose. Choose recipes with vegetables, peas, and fruit instead.

I am Claudine, a College of Veterinary Medicine alumni and cat health & lifestyle specialist. In this blog, I share my personal experience and recommendations on improving cat’s diet, behavior, and both physical and psychological state.

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