Updated: February 17, 2021 by Kristen Chapple
I’m sure you think food allergies in your felines are the most frustrating thing you encounter when caring for them. There’s no single test that a veterinarian can perform to diagnose food sensitivities or allergies.
Moreover, there’s no proof that any of these tests work. They can’t accurately tell what potential allergens you have to watch out for when you feed your cats.
Because there’s no gold standard for diagnosing food allergies, I want you to save time by listing the best cat food for allergies that you may want to try.
Table of Contents
- The Best Cat Food for Allergies Are…
- 1. Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food — Best Cat Food for Skin Allergies
- 2. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Skin and Stomach Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Adult Cat Food
- 3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Cat Food
- 4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food
- 5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein Adult PR Canned Cat Food
- 6. Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin and Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food
- 7. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet PD Selected Protein Canned Food for Adult Cats
- 8. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet PV Selected Protein Canned Food for Adult Cats
- 9. Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Turkey & Oatmeal Dry Cat Food for Sensitive Skin & Stomach
- Buying Guide For The Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food
- Final Thoughts
The Best Cat Food for Allergies Are…
|1. Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food|
|Check Current Price|
|2. Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Skin and Stomach Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Adult Cat Food||Check Current Price|
|3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Cat Food||Check Current Price|
|4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food||Check Current Price|
|5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein Adult PR Canned Cat Food||Check Current Price|
|6. Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin and Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food||Check Current Price|
|7. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet PD Selected Protein Canned Food for Adult Cats||Check Current Price|
|8. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet PV Selected Protein Canned Food for Adult Cats||Check Current Price|
|9. Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Turkey & Oatmeal Dry Cat Food for Sensitive Skin & Stomach||Check Current Price|
1. Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food — Best Cat Food for Skin Allergies
I like Purina ONE Sensitive Skin and Stomach dry cat food because it has turkey and chicken meal as its primary meat-based protein sources. The manufacturer claims that it has omega fatty acids that promote a shiny coat for our feline buddies.
However, it’s not clear how this product is different from the other Purina ONE cat nourishment. This diet is receiving positive reviews from other pet parents.
Chicken by-product meal, which is the second ingredient of this dry kibble, is a dehydrated and dense meat-based food.
Moreover, it has ground corn, oatmeal, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, and rice flour. All these ingredients explain why this diet is a high carb one at 33% carbohydrates.
It also has beef fat and soybean oil as fat sources. This dry cat food has synthetic amino acids, minerals, and vitamins, and caramel color, which is a carcinogenic chemical.
- Quickly digestible recipe for cats with sensitivities
- Includes real turkey as a high-quality protein source
- Contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny coat
- With a blend of antioxidants to encourage a healthy and active immune system
- 100% balanced and complete nutrition
- High-quality turkey and beef fat
- High carbohydrates content
- Contains potential food allergens
Generally, the Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach has moderate fat and protein, but high carbohydrate content. Many customers claim that it’s a solution to many of their pets’ skin problems and digestive issues.
However, this kibble has eggs and chicken, so it’s not limited-ingredient nourishment. As for caloric content, each cup has 430 calories.
Overall Rating: 4.8
2. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Skin and Stomach Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Adult Cat Food
I like this chicken and rice recipe from Hill’s Science Diet because it improves the health of my cat’s skin and coat. It has a rice and egg base that’s protein-rich and easy to digest.
The kibble also has a unique mix of omega-6, and vitamins C and E. I also like that it doesn’t have artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Moreover, it doesn’t have soy in the recipe, but it’s expensive.
- An exclusive mix of omega-6 and other nutrients for healthy skin and coat
- Gently on the stomach recipe for quick digestion and clean litter box
- Vitamin and antioxidant blend for a healthy immune system
- No artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors
- Easy to digest
- High-quality ingredients
- Not all cats like it
Many kibbles for sensitive skin and stomachs are expensive. If you have the budget, you may want to try Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin in chicken and rice formula.
It promotes healthy skin and fur in an easily digestible protein-rich recipe. Many consider it the best hypoallergenic cat food.
Moreover, it doesn’t include artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. It’s soy-free too.
Overall Rating: 4.6
3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Cat Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP is an AAFCO-approved recipe for adult cats. It has brewer’s rice as its first ingredient; unfortunately, it’s lower quality and inexpensive grain.
However, it has hydrolyzed soybean protein, an easily absorbable amino acid. Chicken fat is essential in my pet’s diet because it’s an excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids.
On the other hand, powdered cellulose doesn’t have any nutritional contribution except for fiber content.
- The veterinary-exclusive formula for adult cats sensitive to food
- Reduces skin and gastrointestinal reactions triggered by some proteins
- Has hydrolyzed soy proteins
- Added essential nutrients for felines with skin irritation and sensitivities
- An exceptional combination of prebiotics and fibers for healthy digestion
- Hydrolyzed soybean protein for quicker absorption
- Includes chicken fat as a high-quality omega-6 source
- Has natural flavors
- Includes omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
- Contains optimal amounts of amino acids and vitamin B to maintain the skin’s natural barrier
- Low quality and inexpensive brewer’s rice
- Ingredient (powdered cellulose) doesn’t contribute to cat nutrition except for fiber
- Not all cats like it
If you’re searching for balanced and complete nutrition for your lovable fur baby, you may want to try the Hydrolyzed Protein HP from Royal Canin. It is unusual for a high-protein diet to have non-meat sources.
However, it is a prescription recipe, so the hydrolyzed soybean may be necessary. Moreover, it doesn’t have any unknown meat ingredients, artificial preservatives, and colors.
Overall Rating: 4.6
4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food
I like this lamb and rice formula from Purina Pro Plan Focus because it has a chicken meal and lamb as quality ingredients.
However, it has so many questionable ingredients like rice, soy protein isolate, corn gluten meal, wheat flour, and soybean oil.
Many of them are bulk-adding fillers that have little nutritional value to pets. Moreover, felines with food allergies from lamb, soy, seafood, eggs, and corn may have issues when eating this product.
- Specially formulated with real lamb
- Consists of 40% protein and antioxidants for the stamina and energy needs
- Easily digestible oatmeal and rice for irritable stomach
- Includes zinc and omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy, shiny, and beautiful coat
- Has prebiotic fiber from chicory root for optimal digestive health
- Easy to chew because of small kibbles
- Cheaper than other brands
- Fewer vomiting
- Less poop in the litter box
- Not liked by some cats
If you prefer a moderate amount of protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and fat diet for your cant, you may want to try this lamb and rice recipe from Purina. For its caloric content, every 100 grams of kibbles has 379 calories.
Overall Rating: 4.7
5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein Adult PR Canned Cat Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein PR needs a veterinarian authorization. It is moisture-rich and has rabbits as an outstanding source of protein.
I also like that it has rabbit liver for additional protein and fat, and it’s also a source of many vitamins and minerals that cats need. It also has pea flour as a dietary fiber and protein source.
However, the manufacturer doesn’t specify the type of veggies it uses for its vegetable oil ingredient. It’s impossible to determine its omega acids content.
- Highly palatable with limited ingredients for adult felines with food sensitivities
- Rabbit protein for cats with digestion issues with common proteins
- Includes DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
- Has essential nutrients for pets with skin irritation and sensitivities
- For cats with hair loss, constant itching, and digestive problems
- AAFCO approved
- High-protein rabbit as the second ingredient
- Consists of water as its first ingredient
- Not liked by some cats
Your veterinarian may recommend the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet PR for your cat. It’s high in animal protein, so your little buddy will have his required amino acids. This canned food doesn’t have any artificial preservatives, colors, and anonymous meat ingredients.
Overall Rating: 4.7
6. Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin and Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original for skin and food sensitivities is a kibble food for our fur buddies. It’s favorite hypoallergenic cat nourishment and requires a veterinarian prescription. The recipe consists of a hydrolyzed diet from the chicken liver as the lone animal protein source.
It doesn’t have lactose, soy protein, and artificial flavors and colors in its list of ingredients, and it has essential fatty acids, natural fiber, and vitamin E. If there’s one complaint I have about this product, it’s expensive.
- Requires veterinary prescription
- For cats with a dietary sensitivity
- Formulated to improve stool and digestion quality to lessen the gastrointestinal workload
- Promotes a healthy skin barrier and eliminates food-related causes of skin irritation
- Includes highly digestible proteins to minimize adverse food reactions
- Has clinically-proven antioxidants for improved skin barrier function and a healthy immune system
- Also available as wet food
- Excellent cat food for urinary tract health
- Has Vitamin E for healthy skin and coat
- Hydrolyzed diet from a single source of meat-based protein
Your veterinarian may prescribe Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original dry cat food. It is a hypoallergenic recipe with hydrolyzed chicken liver, vitamin E, natural fiber, and significant amounts of fatty acids. Moreover, it doesn’t have artificial colors and flavors, soy protein, and lactose.
Overall Rating: 4.5
7. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet PD Selected Protein Canned Food for Adult Cats
My veterinarian prescribed Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein PD for my adult cat. I like that it has a duck and duck liver as high-quality sources of protein.
However, it also has questionable ingredients like duck by-product meal, pea flour, and carrageenan. Moreover, fish oil is a potential allergen for cats with seafood food allergies.
By-products are often of low quality, while pea flour is a bulk-adding filler and doesn’t add value to the diet. Carrageenan, on the other hand, is an additive that can cause some medical conditions in pets.
- Veterinarian-prescribed recipe for sensitive felines
- Balanced and complete wet cat nutrition
- Includes peas and duck as high-quality protein sources not associated with food sensitivities
- Contains fish oil as omega-3 fatty acids source for healthy skin and coat
- Essential nutrients that support the skin barriers to reduce skin irritation and sensitivity
- No upset stomach for felines
- High-quality protein from duck and duck liver
- May cause an allergic reaction due to fish oil
- Not liked by some cats
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein PD has less protein and more carbohydrates content. It also has more fiber and an average amount of fat.
However, your veterinarian recommends this specialty diet to prioritize another nutritional value. As for caloric content, it has 100 calories per 100 grams and is AAFCO-approved nutrition.
Overall Rating: 4.7
8. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet PV Selected Protein Canned Food for Adult Cats
I also got a veterinarian prescription for Royal Canin Veterinary Diet PV Selected Protein for my adult cat. I like that it has high-quality venison as a protein source.
However, it also has questionable ingredients like pea flour, carrageenan, and venison by-products. Pea flour only adds bulk to this product and has no nutritional value to my pet’s diet. Moreover, carrageenan, as an additive, is contributory to some medical issues.
By-products, on the other hand, are low-quality ingredients. Fish oil is also an allergen for felines with seafood allergies.
- Veterinarian-authorized diet for cats with food sensitivities
- Balanced and complete wet feline nutrition
- Has high-quality peas and venison as protein sources
- Includes fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
- Includes vital nutrients that lessen skin irritation and sensitivity
- Includes high-quality venison as a protein source
- Stops vomiting
- Better-looking coat
- Abhorred by some cats
- May cause allergies due to fish oil
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein PV for adult felines has less protein, but more carbohydrates. It also has more fiber and less fat.
Your veterinarian may prescribe it to solve a particular health issue that needs a different nutritional recipe. It’s AAFCO-approved and has 81 calories per 100 grams.
Overall Rating: 4.5
9. Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Turkey & Oatmeal Dry Cat Food for Sensitive Skin & Stomach
Purina Pro Plan LiveClear is a revolutionary approach in cat allergens management. I like that it’s able to reduce the irritants in feline dander and hair. It’s a result of at least a decade of research to find an effective and safe method to address the issue of allergies.
It has a specific protein from eggs that neutralizes the Fel d 1 allergen in the saliva. I also like that it’s safe on pets by not affecting their physiology. However, like other specialty foods, this cat kibble is expensive.
- Allergy-reducing ingredients (oatmeal and turkey)
- The well-researched formula for allergen-reducing recipe
- Includes natural prebiotic fiber that supports digestive health
- Has egg-based protein that neutralizes allergens in the saliva
- Contains vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and hair
- High-protein content
- Reduced cat dander
- Easily digestible
- Loathed by some cats
If you are searching for a kibble that will manage cat allergies, you may like to try Purina Pro Plan LiveClear in turkey and oatmeal formula. It’s a result of more than ten years of research and promises to reduce the allergens in your pet’s hair and dander.
It taps the specific protein found in eggs to neutralize the allergen in the mouth without affecting the physiology of your felines.
Overall Rating: 4.8
Buying Guide For The Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food
A food allergy is common in cats and occurs when they eat a specific substance that stimulates an immune system response. The allergen gets inside the body, and the digestive tract produces antibodies to attack it, even if it isn’t noxious or harmful to many animals.
Moreover, your pet may instantly develop an allergy to something that never bothered it previously. If it’s allergic to certain food ingredients, your feline buddy may have a leaky intestinal tract. It can cause a weakened immune system or decreased nutrient absorption.
Although it isn’t clear what causes the allergic reaction, cats can develop one between ages two and six. Some breeds may have higher risks, but all kinds can have sensitivities. Gluten, dairy, corn, soy, meat by-products, and artificial preservatives are common food allergens.
Food Allergy Symptoms In Cats
If your pet has year-round skin issues, ringworm, or other chronic fungal infections, some medications can reduce them. However, these inconveniences may come back as soon as you stop medicating.
Such problems may arise because your fur baby has food allergies. Let’s take a look at some of the common signs:
- Flaky, red, irritated, dry, and inflamed skin
- Excessive itching and scratching
- Dull looking coat
- Foul-smelling coat and skin
- Frequent paw chewing
Food allergy is different from food intolerance because it stimulates a specific reaction. Its symptoms often relate to the skin, while food intolerance causes gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Finding the best hypoallergenic cat food can diminish these symptoms caused by food intolerance.
It’s tricky to diagnose cat food allergy because there’s no proper test for it. You have to do some trial and error by removing specific ingredients in the diet to observe its effects.
Your vet can help you with an elimination diet. During this treatment phase, you have to feed your sensitive pet with a recipe that doesn’t contain any of the common allergens.
When you buy cat food, you need to check the label for “Limited Ingredient Diet (LID),” which includes novel protein and carbohydrate sources that are unlikely to cause food allergies.
Rabbit, venison, and duck are examples of innovative sources of protein, while peas and potatoes are unique carbohydrate sources. You need to examine the list of ingredients and look for the statement from AAFCO about nutritional adequacy.
If you need to feed new food to your sensitive feline, you have to ensure that your cat slowly transitions onto it. Abrupt food changes can lead to an additional stomach upset. You may start by mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of the old one.
Hypoallergenic Cat Food
Hypoallergenic feline food has specific allergen-free formulations and high-quality ingredients without artificial colors and fillers. Limited ingredients nourishments undergo minimal processing to avoid affecting food quality.
However, it’s possible for particular hypoallergenic cat food to work well for a pet and not other cats. The correct choice of diet can reduce, if not eliminate, the symptoms of food allergy.
If your little fur buddy has food allergies, you have to be wary about buying cat food because it can aggravate the situation. Here’s a list of considerations for purchasing nourishment for your pet.
Dry Vs. Wet Feline Food
Some cats with food intolerances or allergies have failing health or are older, so chewing kibbles may be troublesome for them to swallow. Moreover, they run the risk of dehydration from dry nourishment.
However, our feline friends are picky eaters, so they may not like the textures of canned wet food. Moreover, it takes some time before they can transition to wet food, so you have to consider your little buddy’s situation when you decide the type of nourishment to feed it.
Source Of Protein
Fish, eggs, and beef are potential allergens, so even if the cat food is hypoallergenic, you have to check its protein sources.
Generally, felines have no allergic reaction to duck, turkey, and chicken because their ancestors may have eaten them in the wild. Moreover, real meat as its primary ingredient is suitable, especially if it’s the only protein source.
Cats are predominantly meat-eating animals, so your pet’s diet must include proteins. Chicken is a popular option because it’s gentle on the stomach and easily digestible. Felines absorb it quickly as it becomes building blocks of stronger muscles.
If you’re purchasing food, you have to read the label to ensure that it has chicken protein. Moreover, you can opt for farmed chicken because ordinary caged chicken eats additives from their feeds.
Moreover, some pets react to soy, corn, fillers, and grains, so you have to ensure that the recipe doesn’t include any of these components.
You must understand food labels. For instance, cats don’t like water, although it’s an integral part of any recipe. However, you don’t have to put pet food back on the shelves if you find water in the list of ingredients because some diets have it.
Highly Nutritious Recipe
Your pet must have the proper nutrition to maintain its overall health; therefore, its diet must have equitable proportions of crude fiber, water, crude protein, and crude fat.
You’ll notice them in food labels that also include micronutrients like carbohydrates, vitamins, energy, and minerals in various quantities.
Smell, Texture, And Flavors
Finicky cats like particular tastes or smells, but others may walk away after taking a sniff. You have to choose the appropriate food for your pets.
Common Ingredients To Avoid
Many commercially available cat foods have harmful ingredients. Hypoallergenic brands have distinct formulations to lessen the risk of intolerance or allergy.
However, even these limited-ingredient products have potential allergens too. You may need to check your cat food if it has any of the following ingredients:
- Grains like corn, barley, wheat, or rice
- Low-quality and hard to digest meat by-products
- Dairy products like milk and cheese
- Artificial preservatives, sweeteners, and colors
- Seafood like fish
Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food is a favorite among pet parents. They claim that their feline babies have shown positive signs of developing healthy skin and coats when they feed them with it.
This kibble has chicken and turkey as animal-based protein and omega fatty acids for our cats to have lustrous fur. However, it has high carbohydrates content and moderate fat and protein amounts. You may want to try it on your pets to find out if it suits them well.