There is nothing more painful than watching your cat get sick. Allergies are quite common in cats, and these can develop, requiring you to make multiple visits to the vet. Cats with allergies need special diets that are limited in ingredients so the allergy won’t be triggered by something your cat consumes. Below is the list of best cat food for allergies available that are just perfect for your furry friend.
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks…
Overall Best Cat Food For Allergies
Crave’s grain free cat food is our overall favorite cat food for allergies. It doesn’t have grain, corn, soy, or by-product and tries to mimic the natural diet of a cat. It’s a good overall pick.
This formula is a good overall pick for cats with allergies because the cat food is designed to mimic the natural diet that cats consume. The cat food contains real chicken or salmon, depending upon the flavor you get for your cat.
The dry food keeps your cat full and satisfied for longer because it is packing in the protein. Crave is a high 40% protein so this is a good pick for overweight cats who need to shed the pounds and very active cats.
Since it is made for cats with food sensitivities, the formula has immune system strengthening properties.
Our only nitpick here is that the price per pound is a little high, but it’s not too bad compared to some of the other options.
The all-natural ingredients mean that your cat gets only the most wholesome and energetic foods they need without containing any processed additives that are responsible for allergic reactions. Made to mimic cats’ ancestral diet, the CRAVE formula ensures your cat’s healthy development.
Things We Like
- Good pick if your cat has grain, by-product, corn, wheat, or soy allergies
- Strengthens the immune system
- Very high protein
Things We Don’t Like
- Price per pound is a little high, but it’s not too bad
Crave is our overall favorite cat food for allergies. It passes on a lot of potential allergens, has tons of protein, and sells for a pretty reasonable price.
Best Cat Food For Extreme Allergies
The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet is our favorite cat food for extreme allergies. It sells at a premium, but there’s no other food with a better chance of getting rid of your cat’s allergies.
We recommend this food if nothing else has worked.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet is perfect for cats with allergies. This hypoallergenic cat food is specifically made for cats with allergy issues. Rabbit and peas are the main ingredients, both of which are suitable for cats that are normally allergic to most things. The cat food is rich in protein so your cat can stay active all day long. The high protein content also assures that your cat gains lean muscle mass and strength, so this is a good pick for overweight cats or very active cats.
Despite being designed for cats with food sensitivities, the Royal Canin is a complete meal, supplying your pet with all the necessary nutrients. The cat food includes EPA, DHA, and omega-3 fatty acids, ensuring that limited ingredients do not mean limited nutrients. Omega-3, in particular, is great for your cat’s skin and fur. The formula also boasts B vitamins and amino acids that strengthen the natural defense mechanism of the skin.
So it’s good for overall health and does a great job at allergy relief, but it’s pretty pricey.
Things We Like
- Great for cats with extreme or pervasive allergies
- Helps your cat build strong muscle with lots of protein
- Helps skin and fur health
Things We Don’t Like
- Pricey. It’s the Ferrari of cat foods, the last resort for budget shoppers
This is our favorite cat food if your cat has extreme allergies. Due to the cost, we don’t recommend it to everyone. I say give it a try if you’ve tried other solutions and never had any luck.
Pro tip: It’s MUCH cheaper on Chewy at time of writing
Best Cat Food For Allergies & Vomiting
The Natural Balance cat food is our favorite pick if your cat has allergies and vomits. It’s a good option if your cat is allergic to most foods and can’t hold food down very well.
This is highly rated cat food formula suitable for cats with food allergies. The formula comes in three different flavors; chicken, salmon, and tuna, which means you can choose the taste that your cat prefers. The formula is free of grains, potatoes, or fillers. All the ingredients are plant based and rich in fiber, making the food easily digestible for your cat.
This is good news if your cat tends to throw up or have diarrhea after eating.
The LID cat food contains all the vital vitamins and minerals needed to provide your cat with a well-balanced meal. Another thing that makes it perfect for cats with allergies is that it’s free of any artificial flavors or colors. Lots of protein gives provides energy throughout the day, so another win for overweight or overactive kitties.
This food has weird pricing on Amazon: per pound the 5-pound bag is less expensive than the 11-pound bag. If you want 11 pounds, we recommend buying 2 5-pound bags 🙂 The pricing for the 5-pound is very reasonable (about $2.50 per pound). The pricing for the 11-pound is less reasonable (almost $4 per pound).
Weird, but no problem.
Things We Like
- 5 pound bag has very reasonable price on Amazon
- High protein helps your cat feel full and build muscle
- No artificial flavors or colors
- A good pick if your cat has stomach problems – this food has lots of fiber
Things We Don’t Like
- Weird pricing on Amazon; per pound, the 11-pound bag costs more than the 5-pound. We recommend buying 2 5-pound bags if you want an 11 pounder. Weird pricing could lead some unwary buyers to pay more 🙁
This is our favorite pick if your cat has allergies and stomach issues. The limited ingredients help with the allergies and the fiber helps with stomach problems.
Best Wet Cat Food For Allergies
This is our favorite wet cat food for allergies. It doesn’t have a lot of common allergens for cats and is wet, so your cat may end up enjoying it more than a dry food.
The Simply Perfection cat food has salmon as the main ingredient. So if your cat loves salmon, this one is a winner. It is protein-rich, that means your cat gets the just the right amount of nutrients required for healthy growth and development. Lots of protein helps build strong muscles and makes your cat feel more full after eating.
Simply Perfection passes on grains, corn, wheat, and soy. This formula is also completely free of any artificial colors or flavors. Overall it is a natural formula which is easy to digest and does not contain any of the most common ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction in cats.
Additional ingredients include broccoli, spinach, and carrots, meaning your cat gets a wholesome meal with added vitamins and minerals. As with most wet foods, this is a little pricier than a dry food per meal. So say a dry food costs $0.25 per meal, this food costs about $0.50 per meal.
Things We Like
- Cats tend to like wet food more than dry
- No grain, corn, or soy. Good pick for cats who have those allergies
- Added veggies make sure that your cat gets plenty of vitamins and minerals
Things We Don’t Like
- Just one flavor option – not great for cats who aren’t salmon fans
This is our top pick if your cat is a wet food kind of guy or gal. It helps with food allergies and since it’s wet food, there’s a good chance that picky eaters will like it.
Best Budget Cat Food For Allergies
Purina Beyond is our favorite option for budget shoppers. It’s dry, so a little bit less expensive than wet varieties and it sells at a great cost per pound.
This cat food formula promises high quality nutrition for your cat. Formulated by veterinarians, the food is designed to be easy to digest and full of nutrients. This food is pretty high in proteins, so it’s a good pick for active or overweight cats. It’s not the highest in protein, but it’s much higher than most budget cat foods.
One thing I like about this food is that it comes in several flavors. My cat tends to dislike less expensive foods (to my wallet’s detriment, she’s a cat of refined tastes) so I like that there are several flavors here to choose from.
Several buyers commented that this food helped their cats have less stomach problems. This might be a good cat food for vomiting. I know that it is a great pick for an allergen free cat food; no soy, corn, or wheat here.
The kibbles in this food are a bit big, so it’s not a good pick for cats who have teeth problems.
What We Like
- Great budget pick
- No grain, corn, or soy
- Might help with stomach problems
- Lots of flavor options
What We Don’t Like
- Big kibbles make this a bad pick for cats with teeth problems
This is our favorite budget pick. It skips out on a lot of potential allergens for kitties and still sells at a super reasonable price.
Things to know before you buy
Food-related allergies are the third most common cause of allergies in cats, just behind fleas and inhaled substances. An allergy is defined as an immune system response. In the case of food-related allergies, this immune system reaction is triggered by an ingredient in the food. At times these allergies are the result of a combination of an intolerant ingredient coupled with a metabolic problem, like the deficiency of an important digestive enzyme.
Food allergies can be quite debilitating and can bring about quite painful symptoms in cats. So much so that they may need getting checked up by a vet right away. Some common symptoms of allergies:
Allergens can cause severe itching in cats. The itching is a result of little, pale fluid-filled lumps that appear once a food allergy kick in. It is usually the head and neck area that become the most irritated. Constant scratching to relieve themselves of the itching can result in hair loss, coat deterioration, and eventually wounds on the skin. Itching is especially uncomfortable and may be mistaken for fleas, so going to a vet is a good idea.
Redness and inflammation:
Sometimes cats get redness and inflamed skin instead. This condition is equally uncomfortable and can be a source of great distress to your cat. Usually itching and inflammation occurs together and can damage your cat’s skin due to continuous scratching which cats do as a way to get some relief.
Not applicable for adult cats, but a food allergy can have the effect of stunting your kitten’s growth and development. Food allergies can negatively impact the normal growth in cats, which can be a real problem.
Food allergies can magnify a pre-existing condition, such as gastric problems like the deficiency of an important enzyme. In such situations, the most common symptoms can be gastro related. An upset stomach, flatulence, and stomach ache occur. The problem is a lot of the times you might think it is a stomach related issue, while the real problem may be a food allergy that triggered the gastro problems in the first place.
Coughing and sneezing:
Just like in humans, cats may actually be developing coughing, sneezing, and whizzing as symptoms due to a food allergy. Again, these may be confused with the symptoms for the common cold, so it is always better to double-check with your vet first. The prescription should be based on clinical diagnosis; after all, otherwise, the treatment will be no good.
Vomiting and diarrhea:
Some cats may experience vomiting and diarrhea in reaction to consuming an ingredient they are allergic to. This happens as the body rejects the ingredient causing the allergic reaction and tries to get it out of the system completely. Vomiting and diarrhea can result in dehydration, so a visit to the vet is important as soon as you notice that your cat starts to develop any of these symptoms.
If you aren’t sure why your cat is vomiting, check out our guide on why cats throw up.
Common food items causing allergies:
The most common sources of food allergies have to be artificial ingredients used in some foods, like artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, and so on. These man-made chemicals may not be tolerated by your cat and may result in an allergic reaction.
Certain types of proteins may also cause an adverse reaction. There is no specific protein; it varies from cat to cat. So your cat may be allergic to animal-based proteins, like those found in tuna or chicken or beef.
Carbohydrates like soy, wheat, rice, and potatoes are also potential allergens. Carbs are generally discouraged anyway because they can cause cats to become overweight, which is never a good thing.
Cats are also very sensitive to dairy products. So avoiding milk, cheese, and other dairy-based products is a must if your cats start developing symptoms of food allergies.
How are food allergies diagnosed?
Some symptoms of food allergies resemble stomach related problems or even symptoms usually associated with the common cold. This is why you should always consult your vet first.
To diagnose allergies, the vet will run blood work on your cat and change up the diet. Putting your cat on a restrictive diet can help isolate the ingredient causing the problem and help discover a potential allergen.
Sometimes cats can develop an allergy to an ingredient due to age as well. This means they can become intolerant to an ingredient they had no trouble consuming previously.
While curing an allergy always requires medical intervention, you can avoid the hassle by taking preventive measures. Putting your cat on a restrictive diet may sound wrong, but it is actually an excellent idea. Limiting the amount of ingredients consumed can help you in a number of ways. It prevents your cat from putting on weight, especially if you feed your cat grain-free food. And it also reduces the chances of your cat developing an allergic reaction.
So careful selection and maintenance of a diet are crucial if you wish to save your cat from developing an allergic reaction.
Food allergies are cured through food. Your vet may give medication to relieve your cat of the painful symptoms, but the actual treatment involves the removal of the offending ingredient from your cat’s diet completely. Once they come down with an allergic reaction, they will not be able to consume that articular ingredient without having an adverse reaction to it.
Common questions about allergies in cats
Are allergies in cats a common source of concern?
Cats have an anatomy drastically different from humans. That means their dietary requirements are also unique. They are very sensitive to certain food items which are usually harmless to humans.
What foods commonly cause an allergic reaction in cats?
Cats are generally allergic to artificial colors and flavorings. They are also often sensitive to corn, soy, wheat, and dairy products. So a diet that does not contain these things is best for a cat that experiences food-related allergies.
If you’d like a full list, check out our guide on what cats can (and can’t) eat.
But know that your cat may have unique food allergies not shared by other cats.
What should be done in case my cat shows signs of an allergy?
Go straight to your vet. Allergies or any sort of illnesses should be immediately reported to a professional so these can be checked. A vet will make recommendations regarding the remedy best suited for your cat.
Seeing your at develop an allergic reaction to food can be quite a painful sight. Cats are really sensitive to certain types of foods, so being careful about their diet is a must. Otherwise, they can develop symptoms like rashes, itching, and so on. At times these symptoms can develop into something serious as well. Getting any sort of symptom checked out immediately is a must.
If you ask us, our top pick for best cat food for allergies is the Crave grain free cat food. It has a lot of pros and is perfect for cats with food-related allergies. The only downside that we see is that it’s a dry formula so that it might be difficult for your kittens. But adult cats love it, and it is an overall great cat food product, even if your cat is not sensitive to most foods.
We really hope that you found this article useful and gained insight into the issue of allergies in cats. If you have any queries simply visit our website and feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below: what food has been the best thing for your cat?