What Is Low Residue Cat Food?

Low residue cat food can help with problems of feline constipation in several ways. The fiber in the food serves several purposes. The food is highly digestible and produces minimal waste. Other ingredients are formulated to increase the health of your cat in other ways. Feline constipation is caused by an abnormal build-up of feces in the intestine. In addition to being painful, this can lead to defecating outside the box and a variety of health issues. Addressing the issue with nutrition and providing good nutrition from the start can help keep your cat healthy and save you money on vet bills.


The right amount of fiber, not too much or too little, plays an important part in feline constipation problems. A low residue cat food needs to be low in fiber but not without it altogether. Many low residue cat foods have a variety of types of fiber that serve several functions in reducing feline constipation. There are certain types of bacteria that live in the intestine and help keep the intestine free from bacteria and build-up in the colon that can cause problems. A blend of high quality fibers can enhance large bowel health by nourishing this healthy bacteria. The fiber content, however, needs to be low enough that minimal waste is produced by eating the food. Once the immediate constipation is alleviated, more fiber might be introduced into the diet to help prevent a future episode.

Highly Digestible Ingredients

A low residue cat food contains ingredients that are very easy to digest. Cats digest animal protein the most easily. A small amount of fat is also digestible but some cats have a harder time with fat than others. Low fat animal protein and under 4% of fiber is the best. A food with a high moisture content will also help your cat digest the ingredients. The food should be low in grains and carbohydrates as cats don't digest these easily.

Keeping the Stool Soft

A high quality low residue cat food will also have ingredients that will help keep the stool soft. A sugary syrup, called lactulose, keeps the stool soft by holding water in the stool. Find out if this ingredient is in the food and if not you may want to add it to your cat's food. Your bet can prescribe other stool softeners such as DSS which stands for docusate sodium.

Other Healthy Ingredients

A good low residue cat food will also include other ingredients that promote healthy digestion and a healthy skin and coat. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids help with the skin and also help keep the digestion moving. The small amount of fiber may come in the form of slippery elm bark or psyllium which are natural ways of cleaning out the digestive system.