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How Long Does It Take for a Cat to Digest Food? Features and Specifications of the Nourishing and Healthy Diet for Your Cat

Similar to other animals, cats take time to digest food. Feline digestion is quite a long-lasting and complicated process, which turns food from a treat into energy. The rest goes out as poop. It is inevitable to understand that the digestive system of cats is ultimately sensitive, which means that the slightest changes may result in severe disorders. 

How Long Does It Take for Food to Digest in a Cat?

Cat's digestion is individual and will depend on the type of food the animal gets, age, health state, and a few other factors. However, on average, it should not exceed 24 hours.  

Key Problems with the Digestive System Cats Can Suffer from

Unhealthy food, homemade products, and some other factors may lead to blockage and related problems with the digestive system. What should a feline owner do with the cat unable to digest food

  • Find out the reason for the problem.
  • Look out for blockage at the early stages. 
  • Pay attention to the absence of appetite, lack of energy, and feeling sick, as these are the key symptoms of digestion disorders.
  • Adapt the diet, eliminating any products that can cause problems. 
  • Replace dry food with wet alternatives.
  • Contact your wet if the symptoms aggravate and nothing helps. 

What Ingredients in Cat Food Is Hard to Digest?

What is the easiest to digest cat food? The answer is obvious, diverse. A responsible pet owner should understand that balanced food is a key to a feline's health. At the same time, homemade products, food dyes, fillers, rendered fat, and a range of other products may slow down digestion, lead to blockage and cause other severe health disorders. 

Top 5 Tips on How to Improve Cat's Digestion

Each cat is individual, with its unique digestive system, eating preferences, and other specifications. Therefore, the main task of the pet owner is to be attentive to its fluffy friend and provide it with the exact food it likes and needs. 

If you have ever been wondering how to help a cat digest, here are several simple recommendations you may use. 

Buy prebiotics and probiotics

The components that contain dietary fiber and high quantities of live bacteria are inevitable for cats who have certain health disorders. Both ingredients help to prevent inflammation, pain, and other stomach-related disorders. 

Add some veggies

At this point, you need to be creative and flexible. Let your cat decide what kind of veggies it prefers, as all of them are rich in vitamins and minerals. 

Remove dairy from a diet

Contrary to the most common misconception, the overwhelming majority of cats have lactose intolerance. Therefore, you need to avoid dairy products to help your pet feel better. 

Avoid homemade foods

It is indispensable to provide a cat with healthy and balanced food. Contact your vet if you want to spoil your pet with homemade products to make sure it will not suffer from diarrhea. 

Mind hydration

Choose wet food which has a higher concentration of the liquid. Otherwise, you should encourage the feline to drink, as water is crucial for proper digestion. 

Dry vs. Wet Cat Food: Pros and Cons of Each Option

Each cat food category has its advantages and drawbacks, which should be taken into consideration. So, before you ask, "how long does it take for a cat to digest food," you need to learn the basic features and specifications of different types of diet your feline can have. It is crucial to remember that variety is still a key to the excellent health and well-being of your pet. 

Wet Cat Food

According to the vets and cat experts, wet food is frequently much more advantageous. It is offered in a convenient form and filled with beneficial components and crucial ingredients. 

  • High moisture content helps to maintain the recommended daily water intake.
  • More protein and fat.
  • Low concentration of carbohydrates. 
  • High cost.
  • Can be quickly spoilt. 

Dry Cat Food

The first and the most important reason that makes cat owners buy dry food is its affordability. However, several other factors contribute to its increasing popularity among pet parents.



  • Does not spoil even after a long period of time. 
  • Can be left in the food bowl without any worries.
  • Is high in calories.

Final Word

The feline digestive system has significant similarities with the human one. The food they consume goes from mouth to the stomach, moving to the small intestine, large intestine, and ending at the butt. Nonetheless, food digestion in cats is comparatively longer and can take from 10 to 24 hours. 

At the same time, if your pet suffers from blockage, the digestion may be even longer and more complicated. It is indispensable to provide the cat with a well-balanced, healthy, and nutritious food that has a favorable impact and causes no side effects. Besides, it is crucial to remember that cats do not have enzymes that can help digest plants, so you need to give your pet meat and other products. 


How many times does a cat poop in a day?

Unfortunately, there is no universal answer, as it may depend on numerous factors. Generally, according to veterinarians, cat poops once a day. However, it may vary based on the individual specifications of the feline digestive system, daily activity, diet, and some other factors. Some cats poop less than once a day, while others can do it twice. 

How long will a cat have diarrhea after changing food?

Any dietary changes lead to diarrhea. No matter if you want to replace the main food, treats or add some nutrition supplements to the meal plan, you should be ready for the mild symptoms of diarrhea. Nonetheless, the disorder will be temporary, and its symptoms will subside after several days of eating new food. 

Is it bad to switch cat food?

Felines have a sensitive digestive system, so switching food can result in mild to severe diarrhea. In most cases, changing a diet is a long-lasting and challenging process. Therefore, it is not recommended to switch to different food often. If you occasionally need to do it, care for the transition to be smooth and slow. 

Is it normal for a cat to poop three times a day?

Every cat has its rhythm of digestion. On average, cats poop once a day. This number can depend on the feline's age, its eating pattern, and a range of other issues. However, if your cat has bowel movements three and more times a day, you should contact your vet and make sure the pet is healthy.

Feral Cat Fact: The vast majority of free-roaming catsĀ are not fully socialized and thus not adoptable.