Cats are adorable, and they deserve the best nutrition to maintain their health. Seeing your cat suffer from an allergy can be very heartbreaking and frustrating. The good news is, most of these allergic cases can be fixed with a little change to their diet.
If you feel that your cat is having an allergic reaction to its food, a simple and effective solution would be to switch to hypoallergenic cat food.
There are so many options in the market and getting the right one for your cat can be tricky.
Experimenting with different cat foods randomly can cost you a lot! That’s why I’m here with 5 of the best hypoallergenic cat foods that are guaranteed to offer a solution to at least one of your cat’s allergic issues.
I’ve also included a detailed guide on how to pick the right food for your beloved companion.
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks…
- Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet
- Royal Canin Selected Protein
- Natural Balance Limited Ingredient
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Overall Best Cat Food For Skin Allergies
If your cat’s allergy is able to adapt to a commercial diet, then this cat food from Merrick should be at the top of your list. Merrick is known for producing high-quality pet food, and this particular line is targeted at cats with food issues. This diet is available in both dry and canned versions.
Merrick sources its protein from real turkey. This product contains turkey liver, turkey broth, and deboned turkey as well. Not just that, it also includes alfalfa meal, natural flavor, guar gum, and flaxseed oil.
Additionally, this product has added healthy minerals and vitamins so you can be sure that your cat is getting a balanced diet.
The Limited Ingredient Diet by Merrick has a huge customer base because of its effectiveness. Testimonies from customers have indicated that this diet does help resolve allergies.
Some buyers mention that their cat didn’t love the taste of the dry version. If your cat is a picky eater, I recommend going with the wet cat food. You can try the dry food for a more budget buy.
What We Like
- Suitable for all ages
- Free from by-products, corn, and wheat.
What We Don’t Like
- Some cats may not like the taste
This is a truly outstanding product from Merrick. It’s good for cats with allergies and is easily digested and quickly absorbed. It’s a great source of protein and it’s suitable for cats of all ages.
Best Prescription Hypoallergenic Cat Food
Selected Protein by Royal Canin is very popular and an excellent hypoallergenic cat diet. You can avail this product through a prescription from your veterinarian.
If you already have a prescription, you have the option to purchase it online as well. It has three main flavors – duck, rabbit, and venison. For cats that can’t consume common proteins, the venison can be suitable.
Enriched with DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, this product will encourage a shiny coat and healthier skin.
It also contains essential nutrients which makes it suitable for cats with irritation and skin sensitivity. You’ll also find that this cat food assists in regulating digestive issues and hair loss.
What We Like
- Recommended by Vets
- Numerous flavors available
- Suitable for food sensitive cats
What We Don’t Like
- Requires a prescription
This is a remarkable product by Royal Canin that specifically targets allergies and food sensitivity. It’s often recommended by pet experts and veterinarians themselves which attests to its reliability and effectiveness
Best Cat Food For Diabetic Cats With Skin Allergies
This hypoallergenic product from Purina uses a carbohydrate source which very rarely leads to an allergic reaction. If your cat is a very picky eater, it might not like the taste, but it’ll not get ill or face allergies because of this product. Purina has designed this diet with a focus on digestibility.
This diet is made from chicken liver, rice starch, numerous healthy oils, and other ingredients. The product also ensures optimum nutrient absorption. For better absorption, it has been broken into tiny bits.
This food was made for diabetic cats, so we only recommend it if your cat has diabetes. But if your cat is suffering from a two-pronged attack of skin allergies and diabetes, this is a great choice.
It’s suitable for cats that suffer from dermatitis or allergic gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerance, or pancreatitis.
Purina has produced this cat food with the highest standards from the US.
What We Like
- Produced with low-allergen source
- Contains many nutrients
- Positive feedback from customers
What We Don’t Like
- Can lead to diarrhea
- Best for cats with diabetes
Purina is a widely respected brand in the pet food industry. This particular product has been precisely aimed at being hypoallergenic while at the same time providing all the necessary nutrients.
A small fraction of cats, however, have faced diarrhea when on this diet. It’s also a little bit expensive but totally worth it.
Best Cat Food For Skin Allergies & Sensitive Stomach
This cat food helps combat skin allergies by getting rid of grains and packing in extra nutrients that will help your cat stay healthy.
Blue Buffalo has introduced a product that’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive cats, and at the same time, it’s packed with numerous wholesome ingredients. This product is composed of duck as the main ingredient along with potatoes and kibbles.
This product includes an optimum blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants selected by animal nutritionist and veterinarians to support your cat’s immune system, life stage requirements and overall well being.
It’s also free from, grain, soy, by-products, wheat, artificial preservatives or colors which are known agents of food sensitivity.
Wilderness Grain-Free is made in the USA with the finest quality ingredients and the highest standards.
What We Like
- No artificial colors or preservatives
- High protein
- Excellent hydration
What We Don’t Like
It has so many healthy ingredients that it’s great for your cat’s sensitive stomach as well as its overall health. It has premium quality protein sources and digestibility, which will boost your cat’s health. It’s an overall excellent product with very few drawbacks.
Best Budget Cat Food For Allergies
Unlike its competitors, Limited Ingredient from Natural balance isn’t overdosed with too many ingredients. This ingredient restriction works to reduce the chances of an allergy. It’s grain-free and includes high-quality chicken meat, which is superb for giving your cat a shiny coat. To provide your cat with the best natural diet, it’s produced with no flavorings or artificial color.
Natural balance always ensures that their products go through rigorous testing and safety standards to ensure transparency to thousands of its customers. Their main source of protein is chicken, which your cat will love to eat.
To provide only the healthiest and most nutritious, this product is also loaded with healthy minerals, vitamins, omegas, and essential taurine.
It’s also packed in the USA so you shouldn’t have any doubts regarding the quality and standards of the product. One thing that we love about this food is that it’s so affordable.
What We Like
- Very Affordable
- A healthy simplistic formula
- Quality ingredients
- Safety and quality tested
What We Don’t Like
- Some cats may not like the taste
This is a simple diet that’s packed with a whole lot of goodness. The simple formula can be a very big advantage for cats with high sensitivity.
Best Cat Food for Skin Allergies Buying Guide
When you go purchasing cat food, there are certain ingredients that you need to avoid. If it’s confirmed that your cat has an allergy, keep these factors in mind when giving them a diet.
Wet vs Dry Food
Every cat is unique, and so is its criteria. Many cats that are underweight will already be suffering from low energy, and they might struggle to chew kibbles. Additionally, sufficient hydration is required to maintain optimum health, and as such, a pure dry diet won’t be suitable for your cat.
If your cat has a sensitive stomach, then it needs to be adequately hydrated to ensure that its digestive system is running efficiently. A wet diet holds more moisture and would be more preferable in these circumstances.
Similarly, the texture of canned wet food might not be preferred by your cat. Not just that, wet food isn’t as easy to free-feed as it is with dry food and that’s something that your cat is already accustomed to.
Many cat owners often combine both dry and wet diets. It all depends on your preferences and requirements.
Source Of Protein
Beef, fish, and eggs often lead to allergic reactions in many cats. Even if the food you chose claims to be hypoallergenic, it may still cause allergic reactions if it contains any of the above-mentioned ingredients.
Generally, chicken, duck, and turkey is very well tolerated and loved by cats. For a more premium product, you could look for cat food that contains deboned chicken along with one or two other proteins.
Ingredients to Avoid
Unfortunately, many of the pet foods available often contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. Even if the product is ‘limited ingredients’ you should still check the ingredients to make sure it’s safe for your furry friend.
The following ingredients should be excluded from your cat’s diet:
- Meat By-products
- Artificial colors, preservatives, and sweeteners
Symptoms of an Allergy
If your cat has chronic yeast infection or suffers from skin related issues throughout the year, which reacts to medicines but arises again, then it’s also probably related to their diet.
There are some symptoms that are related to a food allergy, and you need to look out for these signs:
- Dull looking coat
- Foul odor skin and coat
- Excessive itching and scratching
- Runny nose and eyes
- Low energy, lethargy, and fatigue
- Continuous chewing at their paws
- Irritated and inflamed skin
- Wheezing, coughing, sneezing, and other respiratory symptoms
If you notice your cat showing any of these symptoms, it’s ideal for taking her to your Vet for a checkup.
Food Intolerance vs Allergy
Many cat owners wonder what the difference is between food intolerance and allergy or if there’s any at all. In the case of cats, the most important difference is that food allergy causes a particular immune system reaction and symptoms are often related to their skin.
In contrast, food intolerance causes gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Hypoallergenic Cat Diets
There are many ingredients that cats can get an allergy from. Keeping this in mind, many brands develop diets that prevent this problem. Hypoallergenic foods are particularly designed to be free from common allergens.
Generally, they’re composed of very high-quality ingredients like healthy fats and real meat and free from substandard ingredients like fillers.
Most limited ingredients or hypoallergenic items are also minimally processed, which means that they’ve been made with less heat or other procedures which can affect the food’s quality.
Even if the product is hypoallergenic, remember that one food might work well for some cats and not for other cats. It all depends on your cat’s particular allergens and intolerances.
The obvious advantage of providing hypoallergenic food to your cat is that it can lessen or even eliminate their allergy symptoms. High-quality hypoallergenic diets are also filled with probiotics and can work wonders for your cat’s gut as well.
They’re a little bit more expensive compared to standard cat food, but most owners with sensitive cats find the price tag reasonable for their benefits.
Transitioning Your Cat’s Diet
If your cat has allergies, then it already has a sensitive stomach. Introducing it to a brand new diet immediately can be overpowering and may lead to gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.
The best way is to slowly and gradually introduce tiny portions of the new food along with their existing diet before eventually replacing them with the new diet.
While you are doing this, always carefully observe your cat’s reaction to the new diet. If you have any doubts, just give a call to your vet.
1. When should I give my kitten adult food?
Generally, a kitten is typically completely grown after 12 months and that’s when you can switch to adult food. However, some breeds take way longer as well.
2. Which ingredients should I avoid?
Most cat foods available in the market are safe but the quality and standard vastly differ. Pork, beef is a type known irritant. Cats also struggle with cows milk, as they can’t digest milk sugar. Look for a product with highly-digestible ingredients.
3. Is hypoallergenic food more expensive?
Yes, it’s generally more expensive because of its higher quality ingredients. However, if your cat is sensitive, it’s better to invest a little extra on their diet.
4. Do cats require more meat?
Absolutely. Cats are by nature carnivores and high-quality real meat protein is an essential part of their diet.
5. How do I feed my cat a new diet?
Introduce the new diet gradually and slowly. Spread it over a week by increasing the portion of new food every day before eventually replacing the old diet.
6. Can cat allergies be serious?
Yes. Sometimes the issue can escalate to a life-threatening problem called anaphylaxis. Treat your cat promptly if you feel it has an allergy.
Check out the best cat food brands to treat skin allergies.
Started in 1988, Meririck has a large base of loyal customers. They produce high-quality pet products made of real whole foods and refrain from using any kind of fillers, preservatives, or anything artificial. They continuously make an effort to provide the optimum level of vitamins, nutrients, and proteins.
Headquartered in France, Royal Canin manufactures top-quality pet foods and supplies it across the globe.
Their products provide nutrition and health benefits as well as great taste. They have a huge catalog of pet food targeting numerous needs.
Founded in 1989, Natural Balance produces products that are tasty, nutritional, and safe.
They offer a huge selection of excellent pet products and are adored for their Limited Ingredient Diets line. They ensure high-quality, premium pet products.
For over 120 years, this iconic brand has been committed to providing wholesome care for your pets.
They have many high-quality products that’ve been developed by experts and scientists. They were actually the first ones to invent kibble as well as the first to use meat as the No.1 ingredient.
This brand specializes in high protein diets that are also grain free and maintain high meat content.
They conduct intensive research to find the best products for animals and concentrate on natural products. Not just that, they also spread awareness of pet cancer.
A good hypoallergenic product is as ideal choice even if your cat is suffering from intolerance or allergies as it can eliminate their uncomfortable symptoms. These products contain high-quality ingredients and a higher concentration of nutrients and thus can be beneficial for many cats.
My top choice is the Limited Ingredient from Merrick, which is an all-rounder. It’s grain-free and contains simple ingredients to lessen the risk of an allergy. If you’re looking for more of a budget buy, I like the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient recipe.
Every cat has its own preferences and needs, and you’ll need to experiment a little bit more before you find the right choice.