Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food Reviews – Selected for 2020
Cat food allergy, where your cat reacts to a particular ingredient, is a pretty common thing in cats of all ages and breeds.
In fact, studies have ranked food allergy as the third most common type of allergy in felines after flea bites and inhaled substances. (Source)
That said, the top cat food brands are now manufacturing food formulas which help tame your kitty’s tummy troubles while meeting their dietary needs.
These foods are known as hypoallergenic foods.
We searched the market for the best hypoallergenic cat food that you can start giving your allergy-prone cat.
Luckily, we found up to 10 highly effective foods which we’ll share with you shortly.
How can you tell if your cat has a food allergy?
The most visible sign of food allergy in cats revolves around skin irritation. If you notice your pet scratching abnormally, especially around the neck, head, face, and ears, there’s a good chance he/she has a food allergy. Repeated scratching causes redness and swelling on your cat’s skin and even fur loss.
Another way you can tell if your kitty has a food allergy is checking for digestive issues. Has your cat fallen sick frequently of late? Is she having diarrhea and vomiting? Excessive gas sounds? Passing of gas? Frequent bowel movements?
All these can further point to the possibility of a food allergy in your cat.
Check your cat’s feeding habits too.
If your cat is suffering from the digestive issues caused by allergy, they may end up avoiding their food and water, resulting in weight loss. You might want to monitor their weight regularly if you suspect they’re suffering from food allergy.
NOTE: You cat can show allergic reactions to foods they’ve been taking for months or even years depending on how fast or slow their allergic response to that particular food is.
Once you’ve discovered these symptoms in your cat, we suggest that you change their diet ASAP!
Below, we parade our selection of the best cat food for allergies you can start feeding your cat today when you discover the above symptoms…
10 Best Cat Food for Allergies:
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
This is one of the best dry cat food for allergies you can start feeding your cat today to help relieve her tummy troubles. In case you didn’t know, Blue Buffalo is a family owned company, and having owned pets before, they have your pet’s best interests at heart.
Now, this dry cat food is created using real chicken meat as its first ingredient. This makes it the ideal food for your cat if they have shown a negative reaction to foods containing other meats like lamb, beef, etc. The delicious chicken acts as a high-quality lean muscle protein which your cat can easily digest.
The tasty cat food is 100% grain-free, with no soy, corn, gluten, etc. which can trigger allergic reactions. It also contains no artificial additives/preservatives.
Keep in mind that this recipe also features Blue Buffalo’s mindfully crafted kibbles—the Life Source Bits—which contain a blend of minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants which help keep your cat’s health in top condition.
2. Instinct Original Natural Wet Canned Cat Food
If your feline friend has a food allergy and loves wet food, this hypoallergenic wet cat food from Instinct Original might be what you are looking for. The extra benefit of feeding your cat with this food is that they’ll get to take in water which is crucial for their overall body health.
While it’s not a limited ingredient diet, this wet canned formula contains no grains (no wheat, no soy, no corn). It also contains no fillers and preservatives. With all these ingredients missing, feeding your cat with this food significantly minimizes the chances of showing any food allergies.
Note that this is also a high protein food which boasts of up to 95% salmon and pork content. This makes it an excellent choice for cats which show a negative reaction to beef, poultry, and other meat sources.
As it’s expected of a top-quality brand like Instinct, their protein is naturally sourced from REAL meat to ensure its easily digestible and absorbed into your cat’s system to help improve their health.
All the other ingredients used to manufacture this cat formula are 100% natural. Remember the recipe has zero grains and zero fillers and additives—which are main culprits behind allergies in your sensitive cat.
3. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food
If you’re looking for a formula which helps sort out your cat’s sensitive digestive system while improving her skin and coat health, this dry cat food from Hill’s is specially formulated to do just that.
The expertly created dry food (chicken and rice recipe) provides your pet with a precisely balanced, complete nutrition which is gentle on her stomach for maximum nutrient absorption.
The formula also boasts of omega-6 fatty acids plus Vitamin E which work closely to help restore your cat’s deteriorated skin healthy and promote a shinier coat. What’s more, it features a clinically proven blend of anti-oxidants (with vitamins C and E) which helps facilitate a healthy immune system in your kitty.
Like all the other hypoallergenic cat foods featured on this list, this food is created using 100% natural ingredients minus artificial colors, additives, and flavors.
You can give this formula to all adult cats with sensitive stomach and/or skin. It’s not recommended for kittens, pregnant, and nursing kitties.
4. “I and love and you" Essentials Grain Free Can Cat Food
“I and love and you” …that’s the name of a newly established, small Colorado-based pet food brand which is slowly gaining momentum with its highly rated pet foods by cat owners across all the states. Vets also love it.
This particular package from the brand falls in the category of hypoallergenic wet cat food, which means it meets your kitty’s hydration needs while helping tame her food allergy.
It’s 100% pet allergy safe formula which is made of all-natural ingredients. No fillers, preservatives or artificial colors. Not forgetting it’s also grain-free.
The number #1 ingredient used in this canned cat food is cod. As you’ll agree with me, cod is far less frequently used in cat foods than other protein sources. This makes it an excellent choice for your cat if it has shown a negative reaction to a variety of other meats.
If your cat’s skin has already gone bald due to excessive scratching caused by food allergy, you’ll also find this food helpful. It comes packed with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are sure to restore your cat’s healthy skin and make her coat look lustrous.
5. Halo Natural Dry Cat Food, Sensitive Stomach Seafood Medley
Halo Natural Dry Cat Food is another great formula for cats experiencing food allergies. If you’ve tried other foods containing difference sources of meat but fish, you’d want to try this food to see if it works for your cat.
The formulation is made using the real whole whitefish plus salmon as its first ingredient. This means it has a natural source of protein which is highly digestible and easily absorbed into your cat’s system for the ultimate body health. The protein also promotes lean muscle development for your cat’s weight stabilization.
It’s also worth noting that this food contains WHOLE grains and non-GMO veggies which further support easy digestion.
Note that the food also contains fatty acids—sourced from non-GMO plant sources and vitamin E— to help promote healthier skin and shinier coat in your cat.
Halo uses Originative sourcing for all their food ingredients—where they use all-natural ingredients. No animal raised with antibiotics; no artificial colors flavors, and preservatives and no factory farming!
6. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food
This limited ingredient diet from Natural Balance is also a top-rated dry cat food for allergies. Limited ingredient diets usually use fewer ingredients which helps reduce the possibility of your cat getting exposed to allergens.
This dry cat food is made from duck and peas, which translates to a single protein source and a single carb source. You can feed this food to your cat without fear of her developing allergies to the ingredients. The fact that this formula contains duck as the protein source makes it ideal for cats which have shown intolerance to other meat sources like beef, fish, lamb, and pork.
Like nearly all the other previously discussed hypoallergenic foods, this formula too doesn’t contain any grains. It’s free from soy, wheat, corn, etc., which are known allergy triggers.
We also like the fact that the high-quality duck used in this recipe also provided the essential amino acids for enhancing your cat’s skin and keep its coat in top condition. This is important keeping in mind that your kitty’s skin acts as the first line of defense against the allergens.
Note that Natural Balance takes all their pet foods, including this one, through 9 safety tests before releasing them into the market. So, you can rest assured that this 100% pet-safe food that will help your cat solver her digestive system issues.
7. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food
Blue Buffalo, the family-owned brand, shows up again! This is another great limited ingredients formula which reduces the allergens that might trouble your cat’s digestive system.
It uses ONLY one protein source—the whitefish, which is an excellent choice for your kitty if it has shown intolerance to other meats like beef and chicken. The food doesn’t contain grains, dairy, or eggs, which are known to trigger food allergy in cats.
Unlike our previously listed limited ingredient formula, this one comes with added pumpkin which goes a long way in aiding the pet’s digestion.
It’s also worth noting that this cat food uses natural sources of fiber to ensure maximum absorption of nutrients into the cat’s body. It supplies your kitty with a balanced proportion of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids which help promote a healthy and shiny coat.
And yes, this Blue Buffalo product also comes with the manufacturer’s exclusive LifeSource Bits—which are essentially a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals—to help make your cat’s immune system stronger than ever before.
8. Hill's Prescription Diet Hypoallergenic Feline Treats
How about feeding your allergic cat with these hard, crunchy treats from Hill’s? Created with your allergy-prone kitty in mind, this formula contains hydrolyzed proteins, which have been broken down into smaller parts for easier digestion.
The secret behind hydrolyzation (breaking down the proteins) is that your cat’s system no longer recognizes them as the proteins that caused her to develop allergies…meaning an end to allergies!
The key ingredients used here include hydrolyzed chicken liver, corn, and rice. If your cat has grain allergy (corn, to be specific), you might consider not giving them this treat.
With the increased omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, these treats will also take care of your cat’s skin and coat. Not forgetting the added antioxidants which help support skin barrier function.
Cat owners who have used these treats have openly confessed how their cats love these treats. They’ll meow and meow until you give them more of these…and they’ll show lots of excitement as they take them.
9. Purina Veterinary Diets Hypoallergenic Feline Formula
We’re edging closer to the end of our listing for the best food for cats with allergies. This hypoallergenic feline formula from Purina, the respected brand, is also a hydrolyzed formula, precisely created to deal with food intolerance and food allergies in cats.
The dry cat food combines hydrolyzed proteins plus rice starch to provide your cat with an easily digestible and tasty food. The main protein source used in this formula is soy…but it’s supplemented with the chicken liver to create a meaty taste that all felines crazily crave for.
The B vitamins are also part of this feline formula and go a long way in promoting your kitty’s natural metabolism.
Most of the previous customers agree that this formula comes at a more economical price than other similar formulas. It has also helped cats with food allergy to stop vomiting…and kitties love taking it!
10. ROYAL CANIN Feline Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP
The last best cat food for allergies on our list goes to the ROYAL CANIN Feline Hypoallergenic food. As you can easily tell from its name, this is another hypoallergenic protein formula, just like the formula we’ve just discussed.
This food provides your cat with a complete, balanced diet, without ingredients which will result in chronic digestive problems. It uses hydrolyzed, low weight soy as the key source of protein. Since this protein is hydrolyzed, it contains extremely low molecular weight, eliminating the possibility of triggering an allergic reaction in your cat.
Plus, the hydrolyzed proteins are general highly digestible.
Another thing that makes this formula suitable for your allergic cat is that it comes packed with omega 3 fatty acids to help heal your cat’s skin and restore his glorious, lustrous coat. Since the food is also enhanced with B vitamins and amino, it also helps maintain the skin barrier effect.
Things To Look For Before Buying
With sooo many hypoallergenic foods for cat on the market, deciding on which one to buy for your allergic kitty might not be a walk on the park.
Here, we’ll discuss some crucial guidelines to help you make a perfect choice:
1. What’s the food’s source of protein?
The most common types of proteins found in most foods include beef, lamb, pork, turkey, chicken, and eggs.
Most kitties show an allergic reaction to at least one type of these proteins, which explains why you should always look at the main source of protein in the hypoallergenic food you want to buy.
If your cat is sensitive to beef, for instance, you’d want to make sure the food’s list of ingredients has nothing to do with beef.
If your cat has a sensitivity to seafood, you should ensure you buy foods with no fish or fish oils, even if the oils are supplying omega 3.
What if your cat has a sensitive stomach and not an allergy to a specific protein?
In this case, you should go with food which uses soy or whitefish as the primary protein source.
2. Is the formula hydrolyzed?
Hydrolyzation is the process in which the proteins are broken down into small, low weight peptides.
When your cat consumes them in hydrolyzed form, their immune system will not recognize that they’re proteins and will, therefore, not react to them.
Manufacturers usually indicate these types of food as “Hydrolyzed Protein, HP” or “low molecular protein.”
If your cat is suffering from a sensitive digestive tract or stomach, we suggest that you get this type of food for them.
Keep in mind, however, that the hydrolyzation process might make these foods a bit costly.
3. Look for a limited ingredient cat food
Limited ingredient cats are also suitable for cats with food allergy.
Just a quick reminder…a limited ingredient diet is where the food is made using fewer ingredients to help reduce the possibility of your taking in an allergen and triggering a reaction.
Again, this type of food is based on the fact that proteins—especially beef, fish, and dairy products—are the main causes of allergy in cats.
With this info at hand, the manufactures usually use a single source of protein (usually chicken or duck).
Since carbohydrates can also trigger an allergy, manufacturers usually prefer sweet potatoes or peas for this kind of diet as they provide your cats with lots of energy and are highly digestible.
4. Wet vs dry cat food: Which one to choose?
As you have seen in our list of top hypoallergenic cat foods, they can come in wet or dry form.
Here, we suggest that you stick to the type of food that your cat is used to for. For instance, if your cat takes dry food, stick to dry food and vice versa.
However, you might consider getting your kitty wet canned food if she’s experiencing chronic diarrhea or vomiting to help keep her hydrated.
Overall, whether to choose dry or wet food should strictly depend on your cat’s specific preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What food is good for cats with allergies?
If your cat is showing negative reaction, you should consider feeding him with hypoallergenic foods—special formulations which try to eliminate the possible allergens in your cat’s diet.
A good example of these formulas is the hydrolyzed which involves breaking down the proteins into small particles so that your cat kitty’s immune system can’t recognize them as the allergy triggers.
You might also consider the dietary elimination trials—where you feed your cat with limited ingredient diets which usually contain fewer ingredients. This will help significantly minimize the possibility of your cat taking in specific ingredients which might be triggering allergic reactions in your cat.
2. What causes food allergies in cats?
The allergies in cats are usually attributed to protein sources (i.e., the meat in your cat’s food).
In general, here are the key causes of food allergy in cats:
Keep in mind that cat food allergy can take months or even years before showing in your kitty.
Your cat can also abruptly develop allergy or food intolerance for food you have been feeding with her for a long time.
3. Food allergy vs food intolerance: do they mean the same thing?
No, the two terms mean different things. A food allergy refers to the adverse reactions to various foods and involves the cat’s immune system while food intolerance describes the adverse reaction to food which doesn’t involve the immune system.
Your cat can experience the same food allergy while food intolerance might get triggered specific ingredients or even environmental conditions.
Understanding the difference between the two food-related issues is essential in helping you differentiate their symptoms and use the best treatment approach.
4. How long does it take for cat food allergy to go away?
As long as you take action fast—by switching your cat’s diet to hydrolyzed diet or simply the hypoallergenic formulas—your cat should be able to show improvements in 6-8 weeks.
If the symptoms don’t go away after a long period of feeding your cat with cat food for allergy, reach out to your vet for professional advice.
Food allergy is pretty normal among cats of various all ages and breeds. It’s usually triggered when your kitty body negatively reacts to a particular ingredient in the food you give to them.
The most common symptoms of food allergy in cats include excessive skin scratching around the neck, head, ears, and even the face.
Vomiting and diarrhea are also associated with food allergy.
If you observe any food allergy symptoms in your cat, we advise you to change their diet to hypoallergenic foods—the unique formulas designed to eliminate the ingredients usually associated with cat food allergy.
The 10 best hypoallergenic cat food varieties we’ve listed in this guide are formulated by highly reputable brands and recommended by many cat owners as well as vets.
Order one of these lifesaver foods today for your kitty and help tame her trouble tummy!