10 Best Cat Foods for Allergies [Hypoallergenic Reviews 2021]
What we feed our cats directly impacts their health and appearance. This is true even for cats that have allergies to certain kinds of ingredients and foods. It’s a fine line you must walk: balancing food that is good for your cat’s condition, with food that they will actually eat. We review the 10 best cat foods, canned and dry, for cats with allergies. Some are for cats with sensitive stomachs, and others are for cats with skin issues. We hope that these reviews will help you find the food that helps your cat’s condition and that they will enjoy eating.
The best overall cat food for cats with allergies is the Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food. It comes in five different sizes (from 2 up to 15 pounds) and is a dry kibble made with deboned chicken. This cat food is specially designed for any cat with a sensitive tummy and includes FOS prebiotics, which help the digestion and absorption of nutrients. It also includes omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which help develop healthy skin and coat, and various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It does not include any artificial flavors or preservatives, wheat, corn, soy, or meat by-products. However, there are drawbacks. This food is fairly high in calories and might be too high for less active cats, as weight gain is possible. Also, it won’t necessarily work for every cat with sensitive stomachs and regurgitation issues.
Comes in five different-sized bags
Made with deboned chicken as main ingredient
Supports sensitive stomachs by including FOS prebiotics
Includes minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
No wheat, soy, corn, or any artificial ingredients or meat by-products
High in calories, so less suitable for less active cats
Won’t help all cats with stomach issues
2. Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals Variety Pack Canned Cat Food — Best Value
The best cat food for cats with allergies for the money is Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals Canned Cat Food. This canned food is in pâté form and comes in a variety pack of four flavors: beef, white meat chicken, wild Alaskan salmon, and trout and tuna. It’s a hypoallergenic formula without any added artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. It also doesn’t contain soy, wheat, corn, or any by-product fillers. It does contain natural ingredients and added vitamins and minerals, so it is a 100% nutritionally balanced diet. However, the disadvantages include that picky cats might not enjoy this food. Having a variety pack is a great idea if your cat is indeed picky, but if your cat doesn’t like some (or any) of the flavors, you’ll have wasted money.
Comes in pâté form in four different flavors
No artificial ingredients and no wheat, soy, or corn, or any by-products
Vitamins, minerals, and natural ingredients give 100% nutritionally complete diet
Variety pack does not guarantee that cats will like every flavor
The best premium choice hypoallergenic cat food is the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Cat Food. This dry food has been made with hydrolyzed soy protein, which can be absorbed in your cat’s digestive tract and is not likely to provoke a reaction in the immune system. It assists in reducing both gastrointestinal and skin reactions, which commonly occur with the proteins found in other pet foods. The proteins are formulated in a smaller size that is much less likely to be recognized by your cat’s immune system, which means less chance of a bad reaction to the food. It has fibers, prebiotics, and nutrients that will help cats with skin sensitivities and digestive issues. Unfortunately, this food is quite expensive, and you need authorization from your vet to purchase it. It’s also quite high in calories and fat, so less active cats might gain weight on it.
Made with hydrolyzed soy protein for cats with food sensitivities
Smaller proteins that won’t be recognized by the immune system
Contains prebiotics, fibers, and nutrients for healthy skin and digestion
Higher in calories and fats
Need authorization from your vet
4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Kitten Food — Best for Kittens
The best hypoallergenic food for kittens is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Dry Cat Food. While this food isn’t advertised as hypoallergenic, it’s grain-free and doesn’t contain wheat, soy, corn, or any meat by-products. It’s high protein for your growing kitten and made with deboned chicken and several fruits and vegetables, such as cranberries, carrots, blueberries, and sweet potatoes, for natural sources of carbohydrates and antioxidants. Taurine is included, which contributes to your kitten’s eye and cognitive health. The main disadvantage of this food is that it is fairly expensive, and it might cause stomach upset in some kittens.
Grain-free without soy, wheat, corn, or meat by-products
High protein and made with deboned chicken
Contains ingredients as natural sources of carbs and antioxidants
Purina Beyond Simply Dry Cat Food has salmon as its first ingredient, which is an excellent source of omega fatty acids. It contains added minerals and vitamins and probiotics and limited (rather than multiple) ingredients that aid in digestion and GI health. It doesn’t have any animal by-products, soy, wheat, corn, artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. Other than the possibility of some cats not enjoying this food, the only real problem is that some cats might develop an allergic reaction to it.
Salmon is the main ingredient for its omega fatty acids
Added vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and limited ingredients for digestion and GI health
No corn, wheat, soy, or animal by-products
No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
Some cats might develop an allergic reaction
6. Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Sensitive Skin and Stomach Dry Cat Food
The Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Dry Cat Food contains prebiotic fiber, which helps your cat’s GI, and live probiotics for immune and digestive system support. It’s high protein with turkey as the main ingredient. It has the added advantage for cat owners with cat allergies, as it’s specifically designed to reduce cat allergens through an egg-based protein. Fel d 1 is an allergen found in cat saliva, and this protein neutralizes it. This food can reduce your cat’s dander and hair allergens by about 47% after 3 weeks on this diet. However, this food is not grain-free, so avoid it if your cat has issues with grains. It is also a little more expensive than some other foods.
Contains prebiotics for healthy digestive system
Also, probiotics for immune and digestion health
High-protein with turkey as main ingredient
Contains a protein designed to reduce a cat’s allergens for the owner allergic to cats
7. Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food
The best food for cats with skin allergies is the Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food. This dry kibble supports a cat with sensitive skin and stomach issues, with turkey as the main ingredient. It contains added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a healthy digestive system and omega fatty acids for a cat’s sensitive skin. Drawbacks include that it is not grain-free. It does contain wheat, corn, soy, and chicken by-product. It also might cause gastrointestinal upset in some cats. Vomiting and diarrhea have occurred in a few cats with this food.
Designed for cats with sensitive skin and stomachs
American Journey Dry Cat Food has deboned turkey as the main ingredient, followed by deboned chicken, fruits, and vegetables. It is grain-free without any added meat by-products, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial preservatives. It does contain omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, antioxidants for immune system support, and taurine for heart and eye health. On the downside, it is more expensive than some other brands, and the texture and size of the kibble is sometimes inconsistent.
Contains deboned turkey and chicken, fruits, and vegetables
Grain-free with no wheat, corn, soy, or artificial preservatives
Contains antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and taurine
The Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free Multipack comes in three different flavors of chicken, salmon, and turkey. They are all available in morsels with gravy formula. This food is made pea- and grain-free, so there’s no corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, or flavors. Each flavor comes in an individual twin pack that you snap apart and peel open, making for an easy and more convenient way to feed your cat — there are 48 servings altogether. Unfortunately, the packaging of these twin packs isn’t environmentally friendly. Also, while the peeling open of each pack is convenient, it tends to occasionally squirt out some of the gravy, so be careful while opening!
Multipack in three flavors as morsels with gravy
Pea and grain-free with no corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
Convenient, individual twin packs that peel open
Tasty (for cats) and contains essential vitamins and minerals
Purina Beyond Simply Dry Cat Food has a high-protein ocean whitefish flavor and includes sweet potato and eggs for added nutrients. It also contains natural probiotics for a healthy digestive system. It is grain-free and gluten-free and doesn’t contain wheat, soy, corn, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or animal by-products. However, it does contain chicken meal, so if your cat is sensitive to chicken, you’ll want to avoid this one. This food was also recently changed to a new recipe, so some cats that appreciated the old recipe might not like the new one. Some also might find the size of the kibble to be too big.
Main ingredient is high-protein ocean whitefish
Gluten and grain-free with no corn, wheat, or soy
No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or animal by-products
Contains natural probiotics for healthy digestive system
Contains chicken meal, which isn’t good for cats sensitive to chicken
New recipe might not be enjoyed by cats used to the old recipe
Finding just the right cat food for a cat with allergies is crucial because you want your cat to be healthy but also enjoy their food. Some cats will wolf almost anything down, while others can be pretty finicky. The following are just a few tips for you to consider while shopping for food for your sensitive cat.
This is the most crucial part of buying food if your cat has allergies. You’ll always want to read the ingredient list in case the food does contain anything that might negatively affect your kitty. Protein is super important for all cats because they’re obligate carnivores (which means that in order to survive, their diet should consist of animal proteins), but in some cases, cats might be sensitive toward different types of animal proteins. It’s rare for a cat to have sensitivities toward gluten and wheat, so just make sure that your vet knows that you’re shopping for food for your cat. They might also recommend a few brands.
Several of the foods on our list are quite high in calories and fat, which might cause your cat to gain weight. If you’ve found the perfect food for your cat’s allergies, but it’s also causing weight gain, speak to your vet. You might need to cut back on the amount that you’re doling out and increase exercise through play.
Canned or Dry
It’s usually best to stick with the kind of food that your cat is used to and prefers. If your cat is used to canned food only, you should shop for suitable hypoallergenic canned food. In some cases, canned food can be the better option for cats with digestive problems.
In some of the more extreme allergy cases, some cats might need a prescription diet that you can only get through your vet’s authorization. Unfortunately, many of these foods are on the expensive side, but your cat’s health is worth the extra cost. Don’t forget to introduce any new food slowly and gradually. This is even more essential for cats with sensitive stomachs and digestive issues.
Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she’s not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.