Studies have shown that food allergies are the third most common type of feline allergy, outranked in frequency only by allergies to flea bites and inhaled substances. An allergen is a substance to which the cat’s system is abnormally sensitive and reacts to. These symptoms become evident and can intensify over extended periods of time, usually taking months for the cats immune system to break down with standard cat foods. The good news is, most cats with food allergies can be helped if you feed him the best cat food for cats with allergies. If your cat is having an allergic reaction or your veterinarian has recommended a hypoallergenic diet, consider the following cat food choices.
Best Rated Food for Cats with Allergies
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The most visible signs of a food allergy is the persistent scratching, signs of skin lesions, hair loss, and lack of a healthy coat. The itching that typically signals the presence of a food allergy is caused by the eruption of small, pale, fluid-filled lumps on a cat’s skin, which form in response to the presence of an allergen. Although itchy, irritated skin problems are the most common signs of allergies, an estimated 10 to 15 percent of affected cats also exhibit gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting and diarrhea. One of the most frustrating things about food allergies is that there really isn’t an easy way to test. While many tests can be performed a veterinarian, by using blood, saliva, and hair, there is no proof they work entirely. There are also online tests for cat owners to buy that claim they can diagnose food allergies or sensitivities, but again not accurate findings.the best way to confirm an allergen is by using an elimination diet in a food trial by choosing a diet that has one kind of protein which your cat has never eaten before. If your cat symptoms get better after 8 weeks, you can start adding more ingredients back in to your cats diet. If your cat has an allergic reaction, you will know which food is the culprit.
5 Recommended Foods for Cats with Allergies
The following foods are some of the best hypoallergenic cat foods you can buy whether your cat prefers wet or dry.
Natural Balance LID Salmon Dry Cat Food is designed with a limited number of premium protein and carbohydrate sources. LID Limited Ingredient Diets Green Pea & Salmon Dry Cat Food is an excellent choice when seeking alternative ingredients for your cat. It is formulated with complex carbohydrates and protein, green peas and is a great choice when seeking alternatives to grains. Limited ingredient foods are great for cats with allergies, as they reduce the chance for your cat to be exposed to allergens. This ultra premium grain-free cat food is designed to support healthy digestion and to maintain skin and coat health as well as providing complete, balanced nutrition for adult cats.
- Grain free
- Made with high quality protein
- Safety tests done on every batch
- Some cats won’t eat it
- Price on the high side
Blue Buffalo Foods are inspired by the diet of the lynx, a tireless and legendary hunter. BLUE Wilderness is a protein-rich, grain-free food that contains premium-quality formulas with real meat, fruit and vegetables. This limited ingredient food is made up of a unique two-part recipe consisting of the finest natural ingredients enhanced with a precise blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant-rich kibble called, LifeSource Bits. Some cats are allergic to poultry, so eliminating chicken and feeding fish & potato dry cat food is a good place to start when narrowing down your cat’s allergies.
- Made with limited ingredients
- No by-product meals
- Helps narrow down allergies
- Some cats refuse to eat
- Some cats still vomit it up
This natural holistic cat food provides essential amino acids and vital nutrients cats need every day. Made with wholesome whole grains, hearty whole grains like brown rice, Barley and Oats to keep your cat supplied with the complex carbohydrates needed for energy. Also includes healthy garden veggies and fruit like whole carrots, sweet potatoes, parsley and cranberries. Naturally healthy and highly digestible, Spa select is a delicious way to provide your adult cat with the complete and balanced nutrition he needs every day. BLUE Basics contains duck which is a delicious, high-quality protein not typically used in cat food as well as potatoes and peas which are easily digestible carbohydrate sources. Also you will find an optimal blend of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support skin and coat health for cats with food sensitivities.
- No by products
- High quality protein
- Made with duck
- Very pricey
- Some cats refuse to eat
This grain free cat food is a great mixer with other dry foods or a vegetarian formula. This is an excellent choice for pets with other food allergies. Evanger’s formula is made with rabbit and is grain-free and gluten-free. Evanger’s grain-free game meats food is unique in its simplicity and can be fed to both dogs and cats. Because this is 100% meat, the product is not intended to be fed as a complete and balanced diet. This as a meal lacks essential nutrients, and should not be fed continuously or as the sole meal in your cats diet.
- High Protein
- Made for cats with allergies
- 100% grain free
- Not made for continuous feeding
- Some cats refuse to eat it
Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Pea and Duck Cat Food is a nutritionally complete and balanced dry cat food that minimizes the risk of food-related allergic reactions in your cat. Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Pea and Duck Feline Formula provides a complete and balanced meal for your cat, without ingredients that will cause harmful allergic reactions. The formula contains a patented skin barrier blend with optimal amounts of B vitamins and amino acids proven to help maintain the skin’s natural barrier. It also helps reduce inflammation by providing a supplemental omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation in the skin and gastrointestinal tract.
- Easy digestion
- Helps with skin and coat
- Made with duck
- May cause smelly poop
- Contains by product meal
While the overall percentage of cats that have food allergies is low, there are some ingredients that are more common than others where foods are concerned. The most commonly reported food allergies are chicken, beef, fish, dairy, and egg. The most common of those is beef, while dairy and fish are in second and third place. There is nothing unique about these ingredients other than cats are exposed to them a lot in their foods, no matter the quality of that food. Even more surprising is that grains are not a common cause of food allergies and most cats are allergic to animal proteins. There are rare cases in which a cat is allergic to a specific grain, or plant-source such as potato, or carrot, but this is less common than animal protein. Gluten allergies are rare in cats, but many food manufacturers advertise gluten free formulas being good for cats with allergies.
If your cat is having symptoms of a food allergy or intolerance, he should see a veterinarian. If a food allergy is found, then the specific allergen should be identified and removed from your cats diet. Through testing, elimination and patience, you should be able to pinpoint any ingredients your cat is affected by.