The 10 Best Cat Food for Allergies (Vet Approved Review)

  • By:

    Alina Andreeva
    Alina Andreeva

    Author: Alina Andreeva

    Alina A. is a professional writer, editor, and pet-lover. She has published over 50 articles on how to care for pets properly. Alina has been writing articles for 3 years, so she has considerable experience in this niche. Her natural curiosity helps her to expand her knowledge and learn new pet care life hacks, which will make your life much easier.

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  • Vet reviewed by:

    Dr. Joanna De Klerk
    Dr. Joanna De Klerk

    Veterinary review
    by Dr. Joanna De Klerk

    Dr. Joanna de Klerk is a professional Clinical Veterinarian. Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK and a member of the South African Veterinary Association. Graduated with a Master of Science in Tropical Animal Medicine in 2018. Professional author, she has been writing in scientific journals, and also several book series. Joanna loves to enjoy time with her young daughter and family in her free time.

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  • Viewed: 63

  • Updated on: 02/17/2021

Do you have a sensitive kitty and tie yourself up in knots seeing your favorite ball of fur suffer from an allergy? Is your cat scratching and itching; or experience indigestion and vomiting?[1] Does she bring up her breakfast once or twice a week, and of course, always on the carpet (or some other place that is difficult to clean). No doubt you will have started looking into the best cat food for allergies so that her life, and yours — can get back to normal. 

And here’s the million-dollar question: what food to choose? This is where some pet parents get confused: With so many options, the task of selecting the right product seems impossible. We have done this job for you. In our guide, you will find a list of the best products. Here you can learn what to avoid and look for in our handy buyer’s guide.

best cat food for allergiesImage by @alexander132 from FreePik

The Best Hypoallergenic Cat Foods Reviews

We reviewed dozens of cat foods for allergies based on several factors, such as nutritional value, ingredients, customer reviews, and other considerations, to find the best options.

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The Best Picks

1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Cat Food

royal canin veterinary diet hydrolyzed protein hp dry cat food
Our TOP-1 Pick

If your fluff ball could speak a human language, digestive care would have top priority. The good news is that there are still brands of cat food that give pride of place to balanced nutrition and dietary issues. 

This product incorporates fibers and prebiotics to make digestion easier, as well as strengthen the skin barrier. The optimal amounts of amino acids, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids in this hypoallergenic diet nourish the skin and keep the fur shiny and healthy.

In addition to that, proteins are hydrolyzed, meaning that even if your kitty is usually sensitive to a certain type of protein, their body won’t recognize it as an allergen, and hence won’t react.

If you are looking for the right food for your sensitive kitty, Royal Canin is the best choice. Keep in mind that it needs veterinary approval in the form of a prescription in many countries.

Features:

  • Comes with hydrolyzed soy proteins.
  • Crafted with amino acids, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Incorporates fibers and prebiotics.
  • Needs veterinary approval.

Pros

Cons

  • The cat’s digestive tract can absorb this food with a reduced risk of skin and gastrointestinal reactions.
  • Ensures complete and balanced nutrition.
  • Nourishes the skin and keep your cat’s fur shiny and healthy.
  • Makes digestion easier.
  • Enhances an immune system.
  • Helps with digestive problems, itching, and hair loss.
  • Pretty costly.

2. Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food

purina one sensitive systems adult dry cat food
Best Budget

For the price, The Purina ONE’s recipe is definitely a winner. You don’t have to shell out a ton of money even if you want high-quality food for your sweetheart. Each cup of this kibble contains 36 grams of protein to round up your cat’s nutritional requirements while boosting her natural immune defenses. This special formula incorporates turkey as the main ingredient to provide your cuddly companion with all the protein and nutrients he needs to stay healthy inside and out.

This product is not just irresistibly tasty but also packed with high-quality ingredients that enhance the overall health and well-being of your family friend. The crunchy bits help remove tartar and plaque from your kitty’s teeth, promoting oral health. This highly-digestible nutritional blend is a long-term solution for felines with food sensitivities.

Features:

  • Comes with turkey as the main ingredient.
  • Contains antioxidants and omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Packed with all the necessary proteins and nutrients.

Pros

Cons

  • Provides excellent value for the price.
  • Highly-digestible recipe.
  • Boosts your cat’s natural immune defenses.
  • The crunchy bits promote oral health.
  • Nourishes the skin and coat for a luxurious shine.
  • Safe for felines with seafood sensitivities.
  • Not found.

3. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Novel Protein-Alligator Grain-free Dry Cat Food

blue buffalo natural veterinary diet novel protein-alligator grain-free dry cat food
Best Dry

If your feline companion has several food intolerances, you should try this carefully formulated kibble. This diet helps fight the causes of feline allergies. It is grain-free and contains no corn, soy, or wheat. Remember that this product needs authorization from your veterinarian.

Something to note about this kibble, it uses alligator-protein to satisfy nutritional needs, which has been clinically proven to cause fewer flare-ups in cats since it’s a novel protein to most cats. Also, it contains many other natural elements to enhance the overall health and well-being of your sweetheart, including Omega-3 fatty acids and flaxseed for healthy skin and a lustrous coat, and various berries to improve urinary health and boost an immunity. This is a highly-digestible nutritional blend of natural ingredients for pet parents looking to relieve the symptoms caused by food allergies in their fluff ball. 

Features:

  • Limited ingredient formula.
  • Comes with alligator meat as the main ingredient.
  • Free from corn, soy, or wheat.
  • Contains berries.
  • Includes Omega-3 fatty acids and flaxseed.
  • Features an exclusive blend of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.
  • Needs veterinary approval.

Pros

Cons

  • Provides well-balanced nutrition.
  • Suitable for cats with multiple food intolerances.
  • Support a healthy digestive process.
  • Boosts skin and hair health.
  • Improves urinary health.
  • Boosts your cat’s immunity.
  • A costly price tag.
  • Not all felines love it.

4. Instinct Grain-Free Wet Cat Food Pate

instinct grain-free wet cat food pate chicken
Best Wet

Instinct Grain-Free Wet Cat Food Pate is another top choice for cats who like wet food. This formula is a perfect option for felines with allergies. Although it is not limited in ingredients, the cat food is free from artificial additives, gluten, corn, wheat, dairy, eggs, by-product meals, or soy. It comes in a robust variety of tastes: duck, beef, chicken, rabbit, lamb, and salmon, so you can choose your kitty’s favorite. 

The Instinct’s formula is great for geriatric cats that have digestive problems and adult cats that are sensitive to grain. Natural omega fatty acids guarantee a soft coat that shines, while taurine nourishes the heart and promotes eye health. If you are looking for good canned food, starting with a grain-free option is a good way to reduce skin and GI reactions.

Features:

  • Not limited in ingredients.
  • Comes in a robust variety of tastes: duck, beef, chicken, rabbit, lamb, and salmon.
  • Free from grains, eggs, or dairy.
  • No soy, corn, gluten, wheat, and artificial additives.
  • Packed with natural omega fatty acids and taurine.

Pros

Cons

  • Reduces skin and GI reactions.
  • Suitable for geriatric cats that have digestive problems.
  • Perfect for adult cats that are sensitive to corn.
  • Nourishes the skin and coat for a luxurious shine.
  • Supports eye health.
  • Ensures heart health.
  • Not found.

5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Feline Formula

purina pro plan veterinary diets ha hydrolyzed feline formula
Best for Food Allergy

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Feline Formula is another hypoallergenic kibble that is gentle on a sensitive stomach. The veterinary-exclusive food promotes optimum nutrient absorption thanks to the highly-digestible hydrolyzed protein source. So it is less likely to trigger a negative reaction in your kitty with sensitive issues.

The main ingredients include hydrolyzed chicken, hydrolyzed soy protein, and partially hydrogenated canola oil to minimize the risk of food allergic reactions. Each bite also contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin A and zinc that are beneficial to fur and skin health. The Purina’s formula offers dietary benefits that ensure complete and balanced nutrition and meet your furry pal’s special needs. Keep in mind that this kibble needs veterinary approval.

Features:

  • The main ingredients include hydrolyzed chicken, hydrolyzed soy protein, and partially hydrogenated canola oil.
  • Contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin A and zinc.
  • Needs veterinary approval.

Pros

Cons

  • Ensures complete and balanced nutrition.
  • Gentle on a sensitive stomach.
  • Promotes optimum nutrient absorption.
  • Minimizes the risk of food allergic reactions.
  • Nourishes the skin and coat for a luxurious shine.
  • Boosts a natural immune defenses.
  • Expensive.

6. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food

instinct limited ingredient diet grain-free recipe with real rabbit freeze-dried raw coated dry cat food
Best for Skin Allergy

When your furry pal has sensitive skin, it is important to know exactly what ingredients her food contains. That’s why this formula has a purposefully short ingredient list, crafted with one single animal protein and one vegetable. Based on the purity and simplicity, Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe occupies a complete and balanced diet for your furry friend.

This premium product comes with a nutrient-rich, highly-digestible protein — farm-raised rabbit — that contains key amino acids. You will also not find any grains, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, dairy, potatoes, chickpeas, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial additives. The Instinct’s kibble also features an increased amount of omega acids for healthy skin and shiny coat, as well as more antioxidants to promote better immunity — and all ingredients are sourced from verified farmers from around the world.

Features:

  • Short ingredient list.
  • The main ingredient and the only protein source is a farm-raised rabbit.
  • Contains key amino acids, omega acids, antioxidants.
  • Free from grains, eggs, or dairy.
  • No chicken, beef, fish, soy, corn, wheat, potatoes, chickpeas, and artificial additives.

Pros

Cons

  • Occupies a complete and balanced diet for your pet.
  • Supports healthy skin and shiny coat.
  • Promotes better immunity.
  • All ingredients are sourced from verified farmers.
  • Can be harder to digest.
  • A bit high in salt.

7. Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food

halo holistic seafood medley sensitive stomach dry cat food
Best Natural

The Halo kibble is a great choice for allergic felines. With whole wild-caught whitefish and salmon as the two main ingredients in the recipe, it serves to fulfill the total nutrient-rich requirements of daily meal while being gentle on a sensitive stomach. The manufacturer also takes great care to ensure that the vegetables in this formula are GMO-free and your feline friend gets only the healthiest of vegetables.

Thanks to extra bioavailable nutrients, this kibble regulates intestinal transit, promotes better digestion, and positively affects the cat’s stomach health. This hypoallergenic product says “no” to artificial additives, by-products, or antibiotics. Blueberries, cranberries, and carrots contain all the necessary antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals — all-natural to unlock your cat’s potential to thrive. It also has a good level of taurine, which promotes healthy eyes and heart.

Features:

  • The two main ingredients in the recipe are whole wild-caught whitefish and salmon.
  • Vegetables in this formula are GMO-free.
  • Features extra bioavailable nutrients.
  • Free from artificial additives, by-products, or antibiotics.
  • Packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and taurine.

Pros

Cons

  • Serves to fulfill total nutrient-rich requirements of daily meal.
  • Gentle on a sensitive stomach.
  • Regulates intestinal transit.
  • Promotes better digestion.
  • Has a positive effect on a health.
  • Supports eye health.
  • Ensures heart health.
  • Not found.

8. Hill’s Prescription Diet Hypoallergenic Cat Treats

Recommended by veterinarians, these treats can help reduce food-related skin sensitivities and positively influence overall tummy health. The crunchy bits help remove tartar and plaque from your kitty’s teeth, promoting oral health. It is a limited-ingredient feline food containing hydrolyzed chicken liver, rice, corn, oils, and minerals. So before feeding your favorite ball of fur these treats, make sure he doesn’t have a corn allergy. Remember that this diet needs authorization from your veterinarian.

This product is formulated with clinically tested hydrolyzed proteins for easier digestion and antioxidants — for better immunity and reduced possibility of adverse reactions. The Hill’s treats help satisfy your cat’s cravings and minimize skin signs caused by food allergies. 

Features:

  • Limited-ingredient formula.
  • Contains hydrolyzed chicken liver, rice, corn, oils, and minerals.
  • Comes with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Requires authorization from your veterinarian.

Pros

Cons

  • Helps reduce food-related skin sensitivities.
  • Highly-digestible recipe.
  • Protects your kitty’s stomach from adverse reactions.
  • Helps satisfy your cat’s cravings.
  • Promotes oral health.
  • Recommended by veterinarians.
  • Not suitable for cats with a corn allergy.

9. Blue Buffalo BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Cat Food Indoor Fish & Potato Recipe

blue buffalo blue basics limited ingredient cat food indoor fish and potato recipe
Best Limited Ingredient

It is a limited ingredient kibble that is purposefully crafted for cats with sensitive stomachs. The number one ingredient is whitefish (a good option for felines that show meat intolerance). Plus, it contains no grains, eggs, or dairy. This hypoallergenic recipe comes with pumpkin, which is known to support a healthy digestive process. It reduces vomiting and boosts skin and hair health.

The Blue Buffalo’s formula also features an exclusive blend of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins selected by professional veterinarians and nutritionists to fuel the overall well-being. Now your favorite ball of fur has something to purr about!

Features:

  • Limited ingredient formula.
  • Comes with whitefish as the main ingredient.
  • Free from grains, eggs, or dairy.
  • No chicken by-product meals.
  • Contains pumpkin.
  • Features an exclusive blend of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.
  • No soy, corn, wheat, and artificial additives.

Pros

Cons

  • Provides well-balanced nutrition.
  • Ideal for cats with food sensitivities and allergies.
  • Support a healthy digestive process.
  • Reduces vomit.
  • Boosts skin and hair health.
  • Not found.

10. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Cat Food

If you are looking for a grain-free dry food for your furry pal, this product will not disappoint you. This formula is grain-free and includes no corn, soy, or wheat, making it the best choice. You will surely appreciate that it comes with other high-quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are significant for your kitty’s health. This special blend is designed to reduce gastrointestinal workload and support healthy skin and a shiny coat.

It is available in three delicious flavors: chicken, duck, and salmon. So you can choose the one your kitty likes most or based on your cat’s known food allergies. This particular recipe comes with the only source of animal protein — tasty duck — as one of the main ingredients to support all those fluffy adventures.

Features:

  • Limited-ingredient formula.
  • Grain-free.
  • Contains no corn, soy, or wheat.
  • Crafted with vitamins and minerals.
  • Comes with omega fatty acids and taurine.
  • Available in three flavors: chicken, duck, and salmon.

Pros

Cons

  • Gentle on a sensitive stomach.
  • Regulates intestinal transit.
  • Nourishes the skin and keeps a fur shiny and healthy.
  • Makes digestion easier.
  • Supports eye health.
  • Ensures heart health.
  • Not found.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have enjoyed our reviews on hypoallergenic food for cats with sensitive stomachs. We know it can be a heart-wrenching time to watch your favorite ball of fur suffers. Now, when you are armed with knowledge, you can make the right choice to help your sweetheart to stay healthy inside and out.

We believe that Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Cat Food is the best choice. This carefully formulated kibble helps pets suffering from digestive issues, itching, and hair loss. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Food has quite an affordable price tag. Being a healthy alternative, this formula addresses your cat’s all nutritional requirements while boosting her natural immune defenses. But don’t forget to check with your veterinarian before changing your kitty’s diet. 

Buying Guide: What to Look for?

First, make sure you are aware of your kitty’s sensitivities.

Dr. Jo tells us:

Symptoms of allergies are usually quite obvious: itchy skin, rashes, hair loss, or sensitive digestion. However, allergies can be to many things, such as flea bites, environmental allergens or food. So, knowing why your cat is allergic is important, as it determines what sort of food they will need. If they have itchy skin because of an environmental allergy, they’ll need a food which is high in omega oils to decrease inflammation in the skin and build up the skin’s defense layer. On the other hand, if they are allergic to a type of food protein, they will need food which have hydrolyzed, novel or limited proteins.

Dr. Joanna De Klerk

READ MORE: How to Choose the Right Veterinarian for Your Cat?

what is the best food for cat with allergiesPhoto by Daniel Nyman on Unsplash

Still, there are some universal details to bear in mind:

1. What is the source of protein?

Some felines can have a protein intolerance, so you should always carefully check the ingredient list. Even if it is a single protein food, make sure it does not cause allergy. Moreover, some dry or wet foods that do not contain protein as the main ingredient may have it elsewhere in the food.

If your pet possesses a sensitive case but is not allergic to any particular protein source, a good choice of protein is whitefish.

2. How many ingredients are in it?

The best option for sensitive cats is usually a kibble with limited ingredients. This is because even a tiny ingredient can trigger a negative reaction in immune system. So, sometimes, fewer means more.

3. Is protein hydrolyzed?

Hydrolyzed protein is a protein that has already been broken down into dipeptides and tripeptides. In some sense, protein is predigested, and the cat’s body can easily metabolize it. So it is a good option for your pet with sensitivities. 

The hydrolyzing process means that the body doesn’t recognize the protein as a protein it is allergic to, which prevents the immune system from over-reacting.

Dr. Joanna De Klerk

4. Is it wet or dry?

If your furry pal is used to a certain dry or wet food, it is usually recommended sticking to it. Overall, dry food is better for dental health, however both options are balanced and nutritious. Many cats will get used to one type of food, and refuse to eat anything else. So, your kitty’s individual preferences will determine which product to buy.

READ MORE: Wet Food vs Dry Food for Cats

Ingredients to Avoid

All cats are different, so each of them has their own level of sensitivity to each product. Because of this, the list of ingredients your cat should avoid will vary greatly from case to case. For reference, some common food intolerances in cats include:

  • Animal proteins — The main cause of a food allergy is a specific type of protein, where the body recognizes it as ‘foreign’ and tries to eliminate it with an immune reaction. This protein may differ, but the most common animal protein allergies are chicken and beef.
  • Grains — Wild cats do not eat grains, and some domestic cats cannot digest them fully. Corn, having protein components, could be something your family friend is allergic to.
  • Dairy products — Adult cats don’t have the necessary enzyme to digest lactose, which can make some cats especially sensitive to dairy products.
  • Meat by-products — These ingredients are ground-up parts of animal carcasses that humans won’t eat, such as necks, feet, intestine, and bone, can be converted into food. Certain proteins in these by-products can cause flare-ups.
  • Seafood — Some cats can be allergic to fish and other seafood. 
  • Artificial additives — Just like humans, some pets may be allergic to the artificial fillers that can be found in certain commercially produced pet foods.

How to Feed a Hypoallergenic Cat?

The rule of thumb is to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations who will prescribe a diet that will ensure complete and balanced nutrition for your sensitive cat. If you have two or more cats, and one of them has food intolerances, separate her with automatic doors, or use an automatic feeder so that she could eat her food on a schedule. 

best food for cat with allergiesImage by Peng Louis from Pexels

FAQ

What makes cat food hypoallergenic?

Hypoallergenic wet and dry foods usually do not contain corn, wheat, dairy products, and artificial additives. They can sometimes eliminate soy. There are also grain-free foods for very sensitive cats.

How can you tell if your cat is allergic to food?

A food allergy occurs when immune system takes one or several ingredients of her kibble as a threat. You may notice some following signs:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Frequent scratching.
  • Recurrent ear infections.
  • Hair loss.
  • Skin infections.
  • Coughing.
  • Sneezing.[2]

Before you jump to the conclusion that your feline companion has some kind of food intolerance, understand that several ingredients can cause a negative response in food-sensitive cats. You can confirm an allergy by excluding certain ingredients and adding them back to your cat’s diet, one at a time, checking for symptoms after each change to find out what ingredient triggers the allergic reaction. [3]

Also, it’s important to note, that feline food allergy symptoms can vary greatly between individuals, as well as their response to treatment. However, the one distinguishing symptom between food and environmental allergies, is that food allergies are non-seasonal. [4]

How long does it take for cat food allergies to go away?

If your kitty has a food allergy or intolerance, symptoms should go away in 4-6 weeks with a change to suitable formula. It’s important to remain patient throughout this time before you give up and try another option. You must also prevent your cat from accessing other food, such as treats or food that the neighbor might put out for her. Finally, remember, mice and birds are not hypoallergenic, and also may result in symptoms going back to square one if she goes hunting.

Article Sources:

  1. “Food Allergies.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 22 May 2018, vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/food-allergies.
  2. Barnette, Catherine. “Food Allergies in Cats.” VCA Hospitals, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/food-allergies-in-cats.
  3. “Food Allergy in Cats.” The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/pet-health-hub/conditions/food-allergy-in-cats.
  4. Bryan, Jacqueline, and Linda A. Frank. “Food Allergy in the Cat: A Diagnosis by Elimination.” SAGE Journals, journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.jfms.2010.09.005.

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