The Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food Reviewed

best hypoallergenic cat food reviewed

Do Cats Get Food Allergies?

Yes. Food allergies are the third most common type of allergic reaction cats experience (after flea bites and environmental).

Statistically, the top causes of allergies are Beef (around 20% of cases), followed by Dairy, (14.6%), Fish (13%), Lamb (under 7%), Poultry (under 5%) and Wheat/Barley (under 5%).

In this article we’ll tell you about the symptoms to look for if you suspect your cat has allergies, discuss treatment, then go into the cat foods we recommend.

Please watch this FANTASTIC video from Dr Karen Becker:



Symptoms of a Food Allergy in Cats

Itchy skin (typically on the face, paws, and ears) is the most common symptom, but 10-15% of cats also experience vomiting and diarrhea.

Other possible indicators are scaling, red bumps on the skin, hair loss, bad odor, ear infections, and severe itching and scratching.


Food Allergy Treatment

If your current cat food is making your cat sick, you need to try something else. Through a complicated series of tests you can discover which protein or carbohydrate is making your cat sick. Essentially this involves feeding your cat something it has never eaten before (e.g. a venison and potato diet) and if the symptoms clear up, you know it was something in the previous food regimen that was causing the allergy.

For most people, that might be too complicated and expensive, and that’s where hypoallergenic cat food comes in.

Hypoallergenic cat food is designed to be highly digestible and sensitive to the dietary needs of cats prone to allergies. Obviously no food can be completely non-allergic to all cats, as cats are complex creatures with varying dietary needs. However, hypoallergenic cat food will work for the majority of cats that have sensitive digestion requirements.

Our Recommendations

The first version of this article was written in 2014, when we featured the top 10 options. Over time, we’ve refined the list based on further testing and feedback and now (Spring 2017) we’ve whittled it down to the top 7 top 5.

Keep in mind that changing what food you give your pet is a good idea! Switch things up as much as you can.


The 5 Best Cat Foods for Cats with Allergies


#1 – Natural Balance Dry Cat Food, Green Pea and Salmon

This is another very highly rated product from the Natural Balance company with countless happy customers and happy cats. Being made with limited ingredients means less chance of an adverse reaction happening. But it still offers a complete, balanced blend of nutrition and in our opinion is the best cat food for cats with skin allergies.

  • Uniquely, contains green peas with all the benefits of that superfood (it’s an excellent carbohydrate for your cat, is rich in potassium, and is a highly digestible energy source)
  • Absolutely top-notch salmon – this is Michelin star cooking from your cat’s point of view!
  • No artificial junk inside
  • Way cheaper on Amazon than from the vet
  • Really helps to clear up allergies
  • Contains flaxseed, which is great for Omega-3

Also check out the Green Pea and Duck option (available from the same link).

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#2 – Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Dry Cat Food

There has been a lot of hype around grain free cat food recently, and with good reason – in many cases it’s the best option for a cat with allergies. This highly-rated product scores big in a number of ways. Many cat owners speak about this product like it is actual medicine, so quickly did it lead to recoveries in their cat’s medical complaints. I can’t speak to that, but my fussy cats wolfed it down in quite unladylike fashion.

  • All your cat’s needs are met by its scientific blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • It’s a common-sense alternative to a raw diet
  • Only the finest ingredients are included – no by-products, no artificial preservatives, no wheat, soy or corn
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#3 – Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed

This one comes highly recommended by vets. It uses hydrolyzed (water-added), low-weight soy protein that is formulated to be easy on kitty’s stomach.

  • Your cat’s skin needs Omega-3 fatty acids to stay healthy, and the Royal Canin gives them that. It’s also good for intestinal health
  • Another ingredient that’s great for the skin is all the vitamins and amino acids inside
  • Having one simple source of carbs (rice) and protein (soy) lessens the risk of allergic reaction
  • The minerals are chelated, which some people believe makes it more easily absorbed by a body
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#4 – Nature’s Variety Instinct

The limited ingredients used in this product mean less risk of an allergic reaction happening. It doesn’t use carageenan, gum, or additives.

  • Grain-free, gluten-free, allergy formula
  • Contains high amounts of protein and also hypoallergenic starch
  • Helps cats maintain a healthy weight
  • Improves fur shininess and silkiness
  • Perfect for cats with sensitive tummies
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#5 – WildSide Salmon – Wild Alaskan Freeze Dried Treats

The last on our list isn’t a meal but rather treats. Even cats with allergies love eating little food treats, so here’s our pick for the best hypoallergenic cat treat.

  • Freeze dried treats are made from human grade 100% Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon
  • Each 3 oz resealable foil bag contains approx. 250-275 treats
  • It’s perfect for animals with food or skin allergies
  • No refrigeration is required
  • Cats go nuts for the taste
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