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14 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Foods of 2021

 

Food allergies are what we and our felines have in common. If that’s the case, a hypoallergenic diet for cats can help solve the problem. But that’s where some pet parents run into trouble: With so many hypoallergenic cat food options on the market, the mission of choosing the best one seems impossible. We’ve done this job for you:___In this guide, you’ll find the list of dry and wet cat food for allergies and learn how to feed it right.

4 things to consider buying a hypoallergenic cat food

First and foremost, make sure you know about food allergies and sensitivities your cat has. General symptoms are many, so you’ll notice when something goes wrong, but what you need to do is visit a vet and take the test to find out the exact products your cat is allergic to.

Depending on that, you’ll choose hypoallergenic cat food accordingly. Yet, there are some universal details to consider:

1) What’s the protein source?

 

Some cats can be allergic to protein or its particular type, so you should always examine the list of ingredients thoroughly. Even if it’s a single protein cat food, make sure it’s not that triggering your feline’s allergy. More than that, some formulas with no protein as a primary ingredient still may contain it elsewhere in the food.

If your cat has a sensitive stomach rather than an allergy to any specific protein source, consider food with soy or whitefish instead.

2) How many ingredients are there?

 

The best food for cats with allergies is often a limited ingredient cat food. That’s because allergic reactions are too complicated, and even a tiny ingredient in its smallness can become a trigger. So, the fewer ingredients are in the hypoallergenic cat food, the better.

Some felines may suffer from reactions to ingredients their fellows would rarely find dangerous. And that’s another reason to check ALL the components of hypoallergenic foods for cats before making a choice.

3) Is protein hydrolyzed?

 

Hydrolyzed protein is the one broken down into its component amino acids. It’s easier for a cat to digest, and that is why it can be a good option for felines with sensitive stomachs. Also, a hydrolyzed protein diet serves to remove existing allergens.

With non-prescription hydrolyzed protein cat food available on the market, feel free to purchase some for your feline with general sensitivities. For cats with a specific food allergy other than protein, non-hydrolyzed protein sources will work well too.

4) Is it wet or dry?

 

The best dry cat food for allergies and the limited ingredient wet cat food are both worth trying if your feline has no individual preferences or health issues. For example, some cats suffer from teeth or gums pain, so they need a food to be as palatable as possible. And others get used to dry food, refusing to eat anything else.

Consider your cat’s taste, comfort, and individual needs when choosing a wet or dry hypoallergenic diet for her.

Top 14 Best hypoallergenic cat foods of 2021

The formula incorporates hydrolyzed soy proteins, broken into small parts to prevent allergic reactions such as lesions and dermatitis. Extra amino- and omega-3 acids in this hypoallergenic diet for cats boost skin and coat health, which makes it great sensitive skin cat food too. Professional vets and nutritionists designed it to help adult cats suffering from hair loss, itching, and digestion troubles.

Thanks to hydrolyzed proteins in the food, it’s less triggering for a cat’s immune system, reducing the risk of skin and gastrointestinal reactions. A blend of fibers and prebiotics support healthy digestion and reinforce the skin barrier to minimize sensitivity. Royal Canin is the best dry cat food for allergies that requires veterinary authorization.

specification
  • Protein: 24% min (hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 36%
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs, 17.6 lbs
  • Calories: 351 kcal/cup

This one is another hypoallergenic cat food from Purina that promotes optimal nutrient absorption thanks to its high-quality, hydrolyzed protein sources inside. As well as above-described Purina Veterinary Diets Hypoallergenic, this formula contains a single carbohydrate source to minimize digestion problems and allergic reactions in cats.

What do we have inside? Hydrolyzed chicken and chicken liver, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, partially hydrogenated canola oil – these are the primary ingredients providing a cat with essential proteins. As for carbs, it’s rice starch responsible for them in the formula. Taurine, biotin, and the complex of vitamins A, B, C, and E – all this makes the food AAFCO-approved for maintenance of adult cats.

specification
  • Protein: 30% min (hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 39%
  • Weight: 4 lbs, 8 lbs
  • Calories: 350 kcal/cup

Recommended by vets, the formula helps manage a cat’s food sensitivities and reduces the possibility of adverse reactions. It also works as cat food for skin allergies as it’s formulated to minimize skin signs caused by food allergies. Hill’s Prescription Diet is limited-ingredient cat food containing cereals, meats, vegetable protein extracts, oils, and minerals only.

This dry food is also available as the best wet food for cat with allergies. It’s formulated with clinically proven, hydrolyzed proteins for more comfortable digestion and antioxidants – for a healthier immune system and reduced gastrointestinal workload. This food from Hill’s helps eliminate food-related causes of skin irritation and improve stool quality. It’s vet-prescribed, so please consult yours to find out if it meets your feline’s individual needs for managing her dietary sensitivity.

specification
  • Protein: 29% min (hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 39%
  • Weight: 4 lbs, 8.5 lbs
  • Calories: 408 kcal/cup

This one is hypoallergenic wet cat food, with hydrolyzed proteins from duck to minimize allergic reactions. Water sufficient for processing, the formula contains boosted B-vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids to promote skin health and restore coat luster to a feline. All the ingredients are combined to provide a cat with essential nutrients, reinforcing her skin barrier and reducing skin sensitivity and irritation.

It’s a veterinary diet recipe, so you need to consult your vet before purchasing this product for your cat with food allergies. Ask if this cat food for skin allergies meets your feline’s individual needs. Follow the feeding and transition recommendations from both your vet and the manufacturer for the maximum result. Royal Canin Feline Selected Protein is a complete and balanced wet cat food for long-term diet trials.

specification
  • Protein: 9% min (hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 4.7%
  • Weight: 5.9-oz cans
  • Calories: 189 kcal/can

As well as its dry companion, this wet hypoallergenic food for cats from Hill’s serves to help manage a feline’s dietary sensitivity and reduce the risks of her adverse reactions to food. The pet food brand collaborates with vets and nutritionists to develop clinical nutrition formulas, single-protein and with digestible carbohydrates for a better gastrointestinal workload.

It contains hydrolyzed chicken liver, increased omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and added antioxidants to support felines’ skin health and immune system. Please choose this limited-ingredient wet cat food only if your vet prescribes it, to make sure it will help with managing your cat’s individual dietary needs. Follow the feeding instructions from the manufacturer and provide your four-legged friend with fresh water daily.

specification
  • Protein: 7.5% min (hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 7.5%
  • Weight: 5.5-oz cans
  • Calories: 169 kcal/can

This one is among the best limited-ingredient cat foods with non-hydrolyzed proteins for felines with a sensitive stomach. Deboned whitefish and real menhaden meat are the first ingredients here, formulated to meet adult indoor cats’ nutrition needs, promote healthy digestion, and maintain healthy body weight. No grains, soy, eggs, or dairy products are in the formula to minimize allergic reactions in cats. If your feline is allergic to sea products, please choose other flavors (duck, turkey, rabbit) in this line.

Blue Buffalo Basics diet contains LifeSource Bits. It’s a specific blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support a cat’s immune health and oxidative balance. This dry cat food for allergies is non-prescription, but we encourage you to consult a vet if it’s worth feeding in your case. The manufacturer also provides instructions on how to transit your feline to this dry food.

specification
  • Protein: 30% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 33%
  • Weight: 5 lbs, 11 lbs
  • Calories: 402 kcal/cup

This formula from Natural Balance is a limited-ingredient diet, designed to support healthy digestions in cats. It comes with a single, non-hydrolyzed animal protein source (it can be salmon, chicken, or duck) and contains no corn, wheat, or soy to reduce the risks of her adverse reactions to food. Limited carbohydrate sources in this food serve to provide a cat with highly-digestible energy.

The manufacturer adds extra taurine to the formula for maintaining heart health and good vision in cats. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids work to support healthy skin and coat. Feeding instructions depend on a cat’s age, activity level, and environment, so please adjust accordingly. In the case of severe allergic reactions in a cat, consult a vet for further recommendations.

specification
  • Protein: 30% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 35.5%
  • Weight: 2 lbs, 5 lbs, 10 lbs
  • Calories: 410 kcal/cup

Halo is good cat food for cats with allergies, even though its protein sources are non-hydrolyzed. With whole whitefish and salmon as two primary ingredients in the formula, it serves to satisfy a feline’s nutrition needs yet protect her sensitive stomach from adverse reactions. The manufacturer works with responsible farmers who catch seafood from sustainable sources and say “no” to GMO feeds.

Thanks to added bioavailable nutrients, this food provides better digestibility and positively influences a cat’s stool and overall tummy health. No by-products, artificial colors, antibiotics, or preservatives are here. What gives a cat essential antioxidants, fiber, and trace nutrients are blueberries, cranberries, and carrots – all-natural to keep a feline healthy inside and out. And take note of taurine: It’s a must-have ingredient of good cat food, ensuring eye and heart health.

specification
  • Protein: 32% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 29.5%
  • Weight: 3 lbs, 6 lbs
  • Calories: 414 kcal/cup

Crafted with real turkey as the #1 source of animal proteins, this formula is gluten- and wheat-free for a cat’s healthy digestion. It’s an antioxidant-rich blend of high-quality ingredients (peas, dried carrots), vitamins, and minerals to support a feline’s immune system and promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat. What makes this item a hypoallergenic diet for cats is the minimum of irritant agents in the formula. It’s safe to eat for cats with seafood sensitivities.

The kibbles’ crunchy texture serves to remove plaque and tartar from a cat’s teeth, promoting a healthy oral cavity. (but please, keep in mind that it’s not a replacement to brushing the cat’s teeth or chew toys). As well as any other dry cat food, Purina ONE Sensitive Systems requires extra moisture for your feline to consume. Please provide a cat with fresh, cold water daily to get the most out of the diet. The manufacturer shares feeding and transition instructions on every package, so you shouldn’t have any issues here.

specification
  • Protein: 34% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 29%
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs, 7 lbs, 16 lbs
  • Calories: 430 kcal/cup

This recipe is a limited ingredient wet cat food, featuring a single protein source to support felines with sensitive stomachs and food allergies. It’s grain-free, full of vitamins and minerals, and free from wheat, soy, and or other by-products able to cause adverse reactions in cats. The flavors include duck, fish, and turkey.

Healthy fruit and veggies are here to support gentle digestion. The formula contains no dairy, eggs, or gluten. Taurine serves to promote eye and heart health; and, added omega-3 and -6 fatty acids in the ingredients allow us to call Blue Buffalo Basics cat food for skin allergies: They help skin and coat stay healthy and shining. Feeding instructions depend on a cat’s weight, so do your best to give this food accordingly.

specification
  • Protein: 7.5% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 4%
  • Weight: 3-oz cans
  • Calories: 99 kcal/can

Here goes another best wet food for cat with allergies: Instinct Original designed the formula available in different flavors (chicken, duck, lamb, rabbit, salmon) yet being natural and nutrient-rich to satisfy a cat’s needs. It’s protein-rich and grain-free to promote strong, lean muscles and serve balanced nutrition from real ingredients.

The manufacturer says “no” to soy, corn, dairy, eggs, by-product meals, and artificial colors or preservatives – the ingredients known as those triggering food sensitivities in cats. Natural omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat, and taurine works to support eye and heart health.

specification
  • Protein: 10% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 1.5%
  • Weight: 3-oz and 5.5-oz cans
  • Calories: 105 kcal/3 oz can, 193 kcal/5.5 oz can

The hypoallergenic cat food from CANIDAE is ok to feed both kittens and adult felines. It’s limited-ingredient cat food for allergies and sensitive stomachs, with cod and fish broth as primary ingredients to provide high-quality protein sources for your feline’s diet. The manufacturer cooked it as morsels to make it even tastier and more comfortable for a cat to eat.

The formula is moisture-rich (82%) for better hydration of a cat’s body. It contains all the essential nutrients (taurine, folic acid, vitamins A/B/D, and omega fatty acids) for your feline’s energy and health. Thanks to its natural ingredients and limited protein sources, we can safely call CANIDAE the food for cats with allergies.

specification
  • Protein: 8% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 5.5%
  • Weight: 3-oz cans
  • Calories: 71 kcal/can

One more hypoallergenic wet cat food in our list, Merrick offers single-source protein recipes for cats with food sensitivities. It’s grain-free, with no gluten, grains, soy, or artificial flavors to enable more comfortable digestion. The formula contains real deboned chicken as the #1 ingredient and is potato- and fish-free to ensure a cat won’t have any potential allergens in her diet.

There are also omega fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny fur in the recipe. It’s enhanced with taurine for eye and heart health, contains added vitamins and antioxidants for the immune system, and provides a feline with extra minerals and essential moisture for better hydration and overall well-being.

specification
  • Protein: 8% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 6%
  • Weight: 2.75-oz or 5-oz cans
  • Calories: 131 kcal/5 oz can

This limited ingredient wet cat food for adult felines contains 100% natural ingredients: Chicken breast is the primary source of proteins and vitamins, and there are no by-products, corn, or artificial preservatives in this formula. Besides the chicken, the manufacturer offers other flavors so you could choose the diet your four-legged friend will love for sure.

Amino Nature is a single protein cat food. Cuts of chicken are stored in their broth to keep all the micronutrients a cat needs. The formula’s proteins are of high biological value, and minerals and amino acids inside promote more comfortable digestion and serve to help felines with sensitive stomachs.

specification
  • Protein: 17% min (non-hydrolyzed)
  • Carbs: 0%
  • Weight: 2.47-oz or 5-oz cans
  • Calories: 43.4 kcal/2.47-oz can

When you should buy hypoallergenic cat food 

We should buy hypoallergenic cat food when our feline suffers from food allergies. They happen when the immune system reacts to some proteins or other products as if they’re a threat, triggering symptoms such as itchy skin with lousy odor, dandruff, hair loss, runny eyes and nose, excessive scaling, ear infections, and others. Diarrhea and vomiting can also happen, but they are not common, occurring in about 10-15% of affected cats.

Once you’ve noticed the symptoms, visit a vet and take blood, saliva, and skin tests to identify a cat’s allergy. Depending on that, you’ll choose cat food allergies best food accordingly. Your feline may need a sensitive skin cat food, a single protein cat food, a non-prescription hydrolyzed protein cat food, etc.

Hypoallergenic cat food is free of common allergens, so you should buy it when you want to reduce or even eliminate your feline’s food allergy symptoms. The best hypoallergenic cat foods are nutrient-rich, made of high-quality ingredients (real meat, natural fats, and low carbs), and free of artificial fillers. Consult a vet to make sure you’ve chosen the right cat food for allergies to meet your four-legged friend’s individual needs most.

How to feed hypoallergenic cat food 

  • Step 1. Transit your feline to the chosen hypoallergenic cat food. For that, follow the recommendations from the manufacturer (on a package) and consult a vet if they fit your cat’s individual case.
  • Step 2. After the transition, give only the food your vet prescribed. No other products, supplements, or treats are allowed during a cat’s food trial because it may interfere with the results.
  • Step 3. Follow the feeding instructions to make sure your cat gets enough nutrients while on a food trial.
  • Step 4. Provide a cat with free access to clean water. The moisture she gets from the food isn’t enough for proper hydration, so place several bowls around the apartment and refill them with fresh water every day.
  • Step 5. If your cat needs to take prescribed medications, please don’t mix them with hypoallergenic cat foods. The food should be given separately.
  • Step 6. Perform a food challenge. Once you see that the cat’s allergy symptoms resolve, try re-introducing her old food. Follow the same strategy as you used when transiting to a hypoallergenic diet for cats.
  • Step 7. If the allergy symptoms return within a week of the food challenge, keep on feeding with hypoallergenic foods for cats, and visit a vet for further instructions.

Best dry cat food for allergies

Here goes the dry food for cats with allergies:

Best hypoallergenic wet cat food

The best wet food for cat with allergies is as follows:

FAQ’s

What ingredient in cat food causes allergies?

Like people, felines can be allergic to everything in the food; but, the most common allergens are proteins, especially those from beef (20%), dairy products (14.6%), fish (13%), poultry (4.5%), and corn/wheat (4.5%). On the other hand, cats are obligate carnivores and they need a certain amount of protein every day. Given that, some food for cats with allergies contains a hydrolyzed protein, i.e. that is broken down into its component amino acids.
Also, the protein in question can be excluded, for example we have a guide with poultry-free cat food that will become handy for owners of cats allergic to poultry.

Can a cat be allergic to hypoallergenic food?

Hypoallergenic cat food is ingredient-limited to minimize the risk of new allergies in a cat. And yet, if you choose the wrong food that still contains products your feline can’t eat and digest, she may be allergic to it. That’s why it’s crucial to identify a cat’s allergy source and read the ingredients list on the package. Only a vet can prescribe the 100% correct hypoallergenic diet for a cat.

Claudine Sievert, DVM

How to feed an allergic cat with hypoallergenic food

The #1 rule here is to follow the transition and feeding recommendations from your vet: A specialist will prescribe a diet that will meet every feline’s individual needs. For multicat households where one kitty is allergic, separate her with automatic cat doors, or use automatic feeders so that she could eat her hypoallergenic cat food on a schedule. Another option is to give hypoallergenic food to all cats.

Do hypoallergenic cats have allergies?

Yes. Hypoallergenic cats have lower chances to trigger your allergy to cats. However, they can have a food allergy. So these terms are not related.

In a word 

Like their human parents, cats are prone to food allergies. But unlike with humans, these allergies are relatively uncommon in cats. Only 5-15% of felines suffer from allergies, and if yours are among them – hypoallergenic cat foods are what can help her deal with the problem.

This food for cats with allergies is a limited-ingredient cat food designed to reduce or eliminate the symptoms. It’s nutrient-rich, made of high-quality ingredients, and often contains a hydrolyzed protein that is easier for a cat to digest. In this guide, we’ve reviewed the best cat food for cats with allergies and shared the advice on when to buy this food, how to feed it, and what things to consider when choosing a hypoallergenic food for cats.

Also please, remember that your cat may have a different allergy, for example a dust mite allergy. In this case, you should take care of the air quality using a specialized cat air purifier instead of switching to a hypoallergenic food.

It’s your turn now:

If you notice the allergy symptoms, get a jump on a vet hospital, take all the tests, and ask a specialist to help you choose the hypoallergenic cat food for your feline.

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