If your cat is struggling with dry, itchy, and flaky skin, and has a dull coat, they might be struggling with allergies. Taking them to your vet for a diagnosis is the first step to take to ensure those symptoms aren’t the result of something more serious with their health.
The next step to take is to find a new diet for your cat. If your cat has allergies, it might be from the ingredients they’re putting into their body. However, identifying the culprit is the hard part, and there might be more than one type of ingredient that causes flare-ups in your cat. Trying out a limited-ingredient diet, a hydrolyzed protein diet, and using novel proteins instead of common ones may improve your cat’s condition.
We’ve got some reviews on a few great foods option for cats with allergies below. However, they are only recommendations and any health-related questions and should be taken to your vet.
A Quick Look at The Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS HA Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food||
|Best Value||Specific Food Allergen Management FDD-HY||
|Premium Choice||ROYAL CANIN Feline Hypoallergenic||
|Best for Kittens||James Wellbeloved Complete Hypoallergenic Dry Kitten Food||
|Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food||
The 7 Best Cat Foods for Allergies in the UK
1. PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS HA Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food – Best Overall
|Main Ingredients:||Purified rice starch, hydrolyzed soya protein, soyabean oil, minerals|
|Special Feature:||Hydrolyzed protein|
PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS HA Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food is our best overall cat food for allergies. It’s suitable for all life stages, from kittens to seniors. Pro Plan uses hydrolyzed protein that is broken down so small that your cat’s immune system won’t recognize it as a threat, preventing an allergic reaction. The carbohydrates have also been purified to eliminate a reaction.
Only one protein source is in this recipe to reduce the risks, and only high-quality ingredients have been used to improve digestibility and taste. The crude protein content is 35%, which is largely thanks to the soy. There are no hidden or harmful ingredients in this recipe that you need to worry about. The packaging falls short, however, as the seal isn’t effective, and the opening isn’t big enough to comfortably scoop food out.
2. Specific Food Allergen Management FDD-HY – Best Value
|Main Ingredients:||Rice, rice protein, hydrolyzed protein, pork fat|
|Special Feature:||Hydrolyzed protein|
It’s no secret that specialized food is expensive, but Specific Food Allergen Management FDD-HY is a good option for the best cat food for allergies for the money. It’s nutritionally balanced and only contains a few ingredients to help your cat’s body easily digest them and reduce the risk of causing an allergic reaction.
This is a high-quality food with great flavor and appealing texture, suitable for even picky eaters. It contains vitamins and minerals, fish oils for a healthy coat and hydrated skin, and taurine, which is needed for the health of your cat’s organs. However, there aren’t many flavors to choose from.
3. ROYAL CANIN Feline Hypoallergenic – Premium Choice
|Main Ingredients:||Derivatives of vegetable origin, vegetable protein extracts, oils, and fats|
|Special Feature:||Hydrolyzed protein|
Although ROYAL CANIN Feline Hypoallergenic is expensive, it’s an excellent choice to feed your allergic cat, especially if they’re suffering from chronic dermatitis. It’s necessary to chat with your vet about starting your cat on this recipe and to take them for regular checkups while on this food.
This recipe uses hydrolyzed protein and only one carbohydrate source to reduce the risks of an allergic reaction. It can be used as an elimination trial to identify what your cat is allergic to or to avoid the ingredients you know they’re intolerant to. The omega fatty acids improve skin rashes, while the beet pulp improves gut health. Many cat owners have reported that their cats have had healthier poop since starting this recipe.
4. James Wellbeloved Complete Hypoallergenic Dry Kitten Food – Best for Kittens
|Main Ingredients:||Fish meal, white rice, brown rice, olive oil|
|Special Feature:||Single-source protein|
For kittens who can eat fish but are intolerant to chicken, beef, and pork, James Wellbeloved Complete Hypoallergenic Dry Kitten Food is a safe option to consider. This recipe contains prebiotics such as chicory extract to help sensitive stomachs recover and get their gut health back to where it should be.
Packed with vitamins and minerals from cranberries, tomato pomace, and other ingredients, this food is not only nutritionally balanced but supports your kitten’s immune system and healthy growth. The kibble is smaller in size to accommodate little mouths, and it can be eaten until 12 months of age. This recipe is also suitable for nursing and pregnant cats. It might not work for every kitten and cat owner, though, as it has a strong fishy smell that may turn picky eaters away.
5. Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food
|Main Ingredients:||Brewer’s rice, rice protein concentrate, chicken liver hydrolyzed, soya bean oil|
|Special Feature:||Hydrolyzed protein|
Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food is a great option for cats with intolerances, as the hydrolyzed chicken liver is the only source of animal protein in the recipe. Rice protein concentrate is another protein source in this food which plays a part in its crude protein content of 32%.
You will need to chat with your vet before starting your cat on this food, but it’s been reported to help clear up skin reactions and digestive issues due to the essential fatty acids and mix of prebiotics used. It has an ingredient mix of vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, natural antioxidants, and trace elements.
Unfortunately, customers have complained that Hill’s Prescription Diet has undergone a packaging change as well as a formula change which has upset their cat’s stomachs because they weren’t instructed to slowly transition their cats onto the new recipe.
6. MjAMjAM Natural Wet Cat Food – Best for Animal Protein Allergy
|Main Ingredients:||Meat and offal, blueberries, mineral nutrients|
|Special Feature:||Novel protein|
If your cat is allergic to a variety of animal proteins, they may do best with novel ones. A cat can only become allergic to an animal protein that has been in their diet for a long period of time—they cannot be allergic to meat that they’ve never eaten before. Swapping your cat onto a diet with novel animal proteins shouldn’t cause them to become sick because it’s new to their bodies.
The MjAMjAM Natural Wet Cat Food is a limited-ingredient diet that uses venison and rabbit meat to provide your cat with the nutrition they need from protein without the negative symptoms. Blueberries are also found in this recipe as natural antioxidants. The food form is pate which is hydrating and perfect for cats who don’t enjoy kibble, but it is a pricey option.
7. Burns Pet Nutrition Complete Dry Cat Food – Best for Grain Allergy
|Main Ingredients:||Potato, buckwheat, duck meal, duck fat|
|Special Feature:||Novel protein and grain free|
Burns Pet Nutrition Complete Dry Cat Food has been created by a veterinary professional who knows what cats need nutritionally—especially those with allergies. This cat food uses duck as its animal protein, which is a novel protein that isn’t likely to cause a reaction in your allergic cat. It is also a limited-ingredient diet, which removes the risk of hidden ingredients in the food that could be harmful to your cat.
It is also a grain-free diet, suitable for cats that are allergic to grain. Many people with sensitive cats think they must cut grain out of their cat’s diet. However, it is much more likely for cats to be allergic to animal protein than to the grain in their food. Due to the high-quality ingredients and simplicity of this diet, it’s easy to digest and results in little waste at the end of the day. However, it has recently undergone a recipe change that some long-term customers aren’t happy about.
Buyer’s Guide — Finding the Best Cat Foods for Allergies in the UK
Many cats are affected by allergies, and, as pet owners, it’s hard to see them in so much discomfort. It’s our responsibility to familiarize ourselves with the condition, find ways to identify symptoms, and help our cats manage the life they’ve been given. We’re going to discuss what causes allergies in cats and what we can do about it.
What Causes Allergies in Cats?
An allergy occurs when your cat’s immune system recognizes something that your cat has breathed in or eaten as a threat and tries to attack it. Those substances, which are referred to as allergens, generally aren’t harmful to your cat’s body. However, some cats’ immune systems are sensitive to them, and when it comes into contact with those allergens, it overreacts in the form of an allergic reaction.
An allergic reaction can often present itself in the form of sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, ear infections, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin, and scratching. Cats are commonly allergic to substances in their environment, such as dust, pollen, grass, and mold. Cats can also be allergic to the saliva of fleas. Certain foods can also cause an allergic reaction in sensitive cats.
Treatment for Allergic Cats
You must take your feline to the vet if they’re experiencing any of the above symptoms to rule out other health conditions. Vets will also be able to help you distinguish which substance your cat is reacting to in order to help them receive the best treatment. They’ll have to do blood or skin tests to get their results.
Cats that are allergic to substances in their environment, as well as fleas, will often improve on medication and skin creams. You’ll also have to try to keep them away from dust and dirt, bathe them more frequently, and do whatever else you can to prevent potential allergens from coming into contact with your cat. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible.
Cats with food allergies will need to change their diet to one with limited ingredients, hydrolyzed proteins, or novel proteins. They may even have to change to a grain-free diet. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know what exactly your cat is allergic to, as it might be the protein, preservatives, carbohydrates, dye, etc. Finding a diet that works for your allergic cat is a long process that comes with trial, error, and elimination. However, it’s more common for a cat to be allergic to the animal proteins in their diet than grains.
What Ingredients Should My Allergic Cat Avoid?
What one cat is allergic to might be completely different from what another cat is allergic to. However, the most common ingredients that cause an allergic reaction are beef, chicken, dairy, eggs, wheat, soya, fish, and pork. Whatever it is that your cat does react to, it’s an ingredient your cat has had before and has built an intolerance towards.
A huge misconception is that cats with food allergies should change to a grain-free diet. However, grain often isn’t the culprit, and your cat will lose out on the benefits it offers. Of course, sometimes it is, and in those cases, a grain-free diet is the better alternative.
If your cat is struggling with allergies, they need to see a vet and receive the correct treatment. Cats with food allergies will need to change their diet to one without a high risk of causing negative symptoms. PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS HA Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food is our best overall pick because it’s high in protein and suitable for all life stages. Specific Food Allergen Management FDD-HY is a more affordable option on the market. ROYAL CANIN Feline Hypoallergenic shows successful results in your cat quickly. James Wellbeloved Complete Hypoallergenic Dry Kitten Food is a great hypoallergenic option for kittens and Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food is commonly recommended by vets.