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Thankfully, allergies amongst cats are rare. For food, it is more likely to be an intolerance compared to a more severe allergy, but this still means you need to make changes to their diet.
Animals will only develop intolerances and allergies towards foods which they have already eaten. So for cats who have to be on a high meat diet, common intolerances include chicken, beef and fish.
If you have narrowed down that your cat is suffering from an allergy or intolerance to certain foods, hypoallergenic cat food can reduce the number of ingredients, so you can completely cut out any triggering food additions.
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Our Top Picks
High Protein Content: Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Ha Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food
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Low Intolerance Risk: Hill's Prescription Diet d/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Cat Food
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Helps With Skin Allergies: Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities Cat Food
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The Top Hypoallergenic Cat Foods Reviewed
1. Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Ha Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food
Purina® Proplan® Veterinary Diets Feline Ha St/Ox Hypoallergenic food is completely hypoallergenic, for the diagnosis and management of food allergies in cats of all ages including kittens.
It is a diet formulated with protein that has been broken down (hydrolysed) into very tiny components, which still give your cat all of the benefits yet are too small to cause an allergic reaction. Soy is there to produce high protein content.
This type of food is seen as the best option for any cats about to follow an elimination diet. They still get everything they need, yet you don’t have to worry about there being any hidden ingredients or multiple causes of their intolerances.
It is highly digestible and also protects against urinary conditions for cats who may be susceptible to these conditions. There is still a great taste left too, which is perfect for any cats who are pretty fussy.
- Hydrolysed protein for avoiding allergens
- Good for internal health
- Ingredients: Hydrolysed soya protein, Rice starch, Soyabean oil, Minerals, Hydrolysed digest, Animal fat, Fish oil
- Weight: 1.3kg, 3.5kg
2. Hill's Prescription Diet d/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Cat Food
Formulated with dietary allergies and food intolerances in mind, this food contains duck and green pea which aren’t common ingredients in normal cat food, so there is a good chance it will put a stop to their symptoms.
It is grain-free and made from gluten-free ingredients too. For any cats that need to avoid soy, it is free from this, and it will help to improve their overall digestion and stool quality. Both duck and peas are a great source of protein, and it also helps to produce a healthy skin barrier in case this is also a symptom of their allergies.
There is also a natural antioxidant included, which can help prevent further illnesses, and it will support their immune system overall.
- Boosts immune system
- Small kibble pieces
- Ingredients: Vegetables, Plant protein extracts, Oils & Fats, Meat and animal by-products, Vegetable by-products, Minerals
- Weight: 1.5kg
3. Royal Canin Feline Hypoallergenic Adult Dry Cat Food
A hydrolysed protein, hypoallergenic diet is the best approach to tackling food allergies and intolerances.
The hydrolysed soya protein isolate contains a low molecular weight, which reduces the risk of allergen likelihood. There is an added nutrient complex contained, which supports the protective barrier of your pet’s skin in case the allergies have caused an issue here.
You can use it as part of an elimination diet or for long-term use, and it can also help in case your cat suffers from Chronic diarrhoea, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).
- Choice of bag sizes
- Reduces risk of allergenicity
- Ingredients: Rice, Hydrolysed soya protein isolate, Animal fats, Vegetable fibres, Minerals, Beet pulp, Hydrolysed poultry liver, Soya oil, Fish oil, Fructooligo-saccharides, Borage oil, Marigold extract
- Weight: 2.5kg, 4.5kg
4. Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities Cat Food
Absolutely none of the proteins which commonly cause intolerances in cats is present in Hill’s z/d food.
This means that a diet of this food for around 6 weeks will be long enough for all of the old food to be out of their system and for the symptoms to have subsided. You can then continue to feed them on this or switch to another food.
It is one of the best wet food options, but a dry version is also available in case you want to feed your cat on a mixture. There are a lot of reviews saying that it is perfect for their cat who has a sensitive stomach too, and the texture and flavour are appealing.
- Wet or dry available
- Helps skin conditions too
- Ingredients: Chicken liver hydrolysate, Maize starch, Vegetable oil, Cellulose, Calcium carbonate, DL-methionine, Dicalcium phosphate, Potassium chloride, Iodised salt, Taurine, Calcium sulphate, Vitamins and trace elements
- Weight: 24 x 156 cans
5. Specific (VetXX) FDD-HY Food Allergy Management Cat Food
Available in wet or dry, Specific FDD-HY Food Allergy Management is a complete, balanced hypoallergenic diet for cats which contains limited ingredients.
The dry biscuits are based upon salmon and rice, so is still a natural foodstuff for them, and all of the ingredients are highly digestible. Added electrolyte levels are ideal for any cats who suffer from gastrointestinal issues.
The wet food is lamb, which is rare in cat food but has a high biological value and low allergenicity. It contains no artificial antioxidants, colourings or flavouring.
- Dry and wet available
- Uses salmon
- Ingredients: Dry - Rice, Hydrolysed salmon protein, Rice protein, Pork fat, Minerals, Powdered cellulose, Vitamins and trace elements, Psyllium husk, Sunflower oil, Taurine
- Weight: 400g, 2kg, 28 x 100g
6. James Wellbeloved Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food
This food wasn’t specifically formulated to be hypoallergenic, but just happens to be naturally.
Turkey is the main ingredient, so if you still want to feed your cat on white meat yet avoid the more common chicken, or meat and fish, it is a good option.
This is also the only source of protein, and it is packed full of extra vitamins and minerals. Natural supplements such as chicory and cranberry are also present, and it will help to reduce the smell of their stools, as well as giving them stronger immunity against disease.
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- One source of protein
- Ingredients: Turkey meal, Brown rice, Turkey fat, White rice, Maize gluten, Poultry gravy, Potato protein, Tomato pomace, Potassium chloride, Chicory pulp, Chicory extract, Omega oil supplement, Calcium carbonate, Carrot, Sodium chloride, Cranberry extract, Yucca extract
- Weight: 300g, 1.5kg, 4kg
7. Applaws Natural Chicken Wet Cat Food
Packed with meat which makes it natural and replicative of the diet they would have in the wild.
It’s 75% meat with no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives, as well as being gluten-free and full of natural vitamins from vegetables, so if your cat has a sensitive stomach, this food would be ideal. There’s a choice of different selections so you can tailor the pack to your cat’s taste.
It’s a complementary cat food so that you can add it to any other food for a nutritious, balanced diet.
- Gluten Free
- High meat contents
- Ingredients: Multiple choices
- Weight: 70g
You will be looking to avoid certain ingredients, so check that your chosen cat food contains no hint of this. For instance, unless your food is specifically hypoallergenic, just because fish isn’t the main ingredient doesn’t mean there aren’t fish oils in the biscuits.
The main thing to look at is the protein source, which is most likely the cause of their intolerance. For some, you may not want to risk anything and instead opt for a neutral protein source which they have never had before or isn’t commonly found in cat food.
Whitefish, cod, salmon, and duck are all popular choices for protein in hypoallergenic cat foods. This is because they are rarely used in commercial food, so there is low allergenic potential.
You may wish to avoid other common allergy triggers like corn or gluten, too. Elimination diets are the best way to narrow down what it is that is causing the upset, but if the intolerance is severe, you may want to make a straight quick switch.
It is worth mentioning that even though something says it is hypoallergenic, while it should limit the ingredients, this isn’t always the case. Double-check that your food isn’t anywhere in the ingredients list.
Dry vs. Wet
Wet hypoallergenic foods are harder to come by. However, they can be more appealing to selective eaters as the flavour will be stronger, and it will increase their levels of hydration which in turn boosts digestion.
Cat owners often choose dry food as their primary food, because it isn’t only cheaper but it also helps with teeth condition. You may want to give them a mix of both wet and dry, but double-check their wet food doesn’t contain any allergens.
Other Buyers Ask...
What is hypoallergenic pet food?
Hypoallergenic cat food contains very few ingredients, which helps with elimination diets and avoiding certain foods.
There is usually just one source of meat protein in there, with oils and vitamins also derived from this source. Many other foods will mix meat proteins so that your pet has a balanced diet, but hypoallergenic food is more limited.
How do I find the best hypoallergenic food for my cat?
What is it that your cat is allergic or intolerant to? If you have worked this out through an elimination diet, basically avoid everything with this in.
So, if it is beef, opt for chicken, turkey or fish-based foods. Many people confuse hypoallergenic with needing to pick something which is grain-free, which isn’t always the case, but it can still be a cause of stomach upset or intolerance so don’t just think the meat is the culprit.
Which brands should I look for?
Royal Canin, Purina and Hills are the best ones to look for. These foods are backed by vets and scientists, so everything that goes into them is perfect for your cat, and you can guarantee that they are catered to your cat and their allergies.
Wainwrights and Applaws are two other brands who are good to look for. Their foods won’t always be explicitly hypoallergenic and will contain quite a few ingredients, but they will all be natural, and usually stick to just one protein source.
Which ingredients is my cat likely to be allergic to?
It can sometimes be the food that they eat every single day. No two cats are the same, either.
Beef, pork, fish, soya, dairy, wheat and eggs are some of the most common allergens for cats, but grains and other meats are also possible.
This will include not just the meat as the main protein source, but also any oils or other vitamins.
What is the number 1 hypoallergenic cat? ›
Sphynx. Sphynx cats are the first breed most often associated with being hypoallergenic. Unlike other breeds, the hairless Sphynx does not shed any Fel D1 protein saturated fur around the house – the allergen just stays on their skin.Which cat food is best for allergies? ›
Hydrolyzed proteins and single carbohydrate sources are the safest option for allergy-prone cats,1 so foods like Hill's Prescription Diet z/d (view at Amazon) are recommended. Hill's Prescription Diet d/d (view at Amazon) is another quality option to ensure common allergens are avoided.Are there any 100% hypoallergenic cats? ›
Technically, there is no such thing as a 100 percent hypoallergenic domestic cat (or dog). If your allergy is not severe, these breeds should come pretty close. The following is a guideline which petMD recommends for people who want to adopt a feline, yet feel their options are limited due to allergies.What's the healthiest dry cat food for allergies? ›
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Cat Food. ...
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Cat Food. ...
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Green Pea and Venison Dry Cat Food. ...
- Blue Buffalo Basics L.I.D. ...
- Instinct L.I.D. ...
- Purina Beyond Simply Salmon & Whole Brown Rice Recipe. ...
- Blue Buffalo Basics L.I.D.