Some cats can have very specific nutritional needs like eating Hypoallergenic Cat Food. Obviously, this would require some extra care on behalf of their owners. So, today, we will focus on the right food for the hypoallergenic cat. Allergies are quite common among humans and cats alike, and the thing is that they are likely to develop overnight, without any notice whatsoever. Therefore, your cat might become allergic to a specific food group or ingredient – even if, in the past, it had no reaction towards it.
The first thing you should do is to identify the source of the allergy. Once you do that, you can start searching for the best hypoallergenic cat food for your feline. To help you in your search, here are my hypoallergenic cat food reviews;
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Cat Food
||View On Chewy|
Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food
||View On Chewy|
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Cat Food
||View On Chewy|
Go! Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
||View On Chewy|
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
||View On Chewy|
Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food Reviews (Updated List)
1 Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Cat Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Cat Food has been created with the needs of the allergic cat in mind. Therefore, it is an excellent option for the elimination period when you’re trying to depict an allergy or intolerance in your feline.
But it is also customizable to your cat’s long-term needs. The source of protein used in this formula is hydrolyzed, which makes it an excellent choice for ultra-sensitive felines.
In order to ensure the well-functioning of the digestive system, the recipe also contains a mix of prebiotics and fibers. Still, note that in order to purchase this product for your cat, you need to provide veterinary authorization.
Also, I’d like to point out that this is formulated specifically for adult cats which means that it isn’t available for kittens. Moreover, keep in mind that it will take a couple of weeks before you will start seeing improvements in your cat’s general wellbeing.
- Chicken recipe.
- Hydrolyzed proteins for a reduced risk of triggering an immune reaction.
- Reduces skin and GI reactions.
- A blend of fibers and prebiotics for healthy digestion.
- B vitamins and amino acids for the skin barrier.
- Prevents calcium oxalate and struvite crystal formation.
2 Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food is another high-quality dry food assortment that most cats simply love. Once again, for ordering this, you will need veterinarian authorization which only outlines that you should consult with a vet throughout the entire process of getting a diagnosis for your feline companion.
Most importantly, this recipe provides your cat with the necessary nutritional components for a healthy, long life, in spite of its allergies.
The type of protein is hydrolyzed, whereas there is a singular source of carbohydrates as well. The included list of antioxidants has been proven to be beneficial to the health of felines.
Ultimately, this recipe aims at diminishing the risk of oxalate stones, while supporting the immunity of your pet.
- Chicken recipe.
- Hydrolyzed and highly digestible protein to prevent food reaction.
- Antioxidants for a healthy immune system and skin barrier.
3 Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Cat Food
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Cat Food is meant to address the needs of a developing kitten as well as of an adult cat. Hence, if you have more than one cat, the versatility of the formula might appeal to you. Of course, you can always opt for kitten food for your kittens.
In order to help you cope with your cat’s allergies, this recipe contains a singular source of protein, which is hydrolyzed. Essentially, this gives it a high degree of digestibility, something that most allergic cats will find soothing for their digestive system.
According to the manufacturer, this means to address the specific needs of cats suffering from intolerances, allergies, dermatitis, pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease. Most likely, this dry cat food will help you diminish the severity of your cat’s allergic reaction to a given food ingredient.
- Chicken recipe.
- Simple proteins & low-allergen carbohydrates for minimizing the risk of food allergies.
- For cats that have food allergic gastroenteritis or dermatitis, food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, or pancreatitis.
- Prevents the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals.
4 Go! Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Go! Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient Diet Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is another recipe featuring a single source of protein which is usually the norm for most hypoallergenic cat food products. In fact, the amount of protein in the recipe is roughly 30%, the source of the protein being duck.
Actually, duck isn’t a common protein allergen, as it is the case with beef or chicken, for instance. In order to address the specifics of an allergic cat, the formula doesn’t contain any traces of corn, by-product meals, wheat, soy or corn.
Evidently, there are no traces of artificial preservatives or growth hormones either, which is reassuring if you want to provide your cat with a clean diet.
Plus, your cat’s nutritional needs are also taken into account, in the sense that the recipe contains added taurine, pre and probiotics, antioxidants and omega oils. However, note that this formula also contains chicken fat. Some cats might be sensitive to this ingredient. Also, they might not be used to the taste, as it is a bit different.
- Duck recipe.
- Antioxidants for strong immunity.
- Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy and lustrous skin and coat.
- Free of grains, gluten, beef, wheat, corn, soy, by-product meals, added growth hormones, and artificial preservatives.
- Vitamins, minerals, and taurine for a balanced diet.
5 Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is our fifth and the last recommendation of hypoallergenic dry cat food. It aims at diminishing the incidence of allergic reactions, which usually occur due to the most commonly used protein sources.
Therefore, the main ingredient is actually hydrolyzed salmon, which is usually appealing to most cats. Most importantly, since the protein is hydrolyzed, it is highly digestible, which addresses the digestive problems that an allergic cat has.
Other important vitamins included in the recipe are vitamin E and C as well as other quintessential antioxidants that basically support the well-functioning of your feline’s immunity. There are also omega 3 fatty acids derived from flaxseed and fish oil, which aim at ensuring the health of your cat’s skin and coat.
Once again, if you want to purchase this, you will need veterinary authorization.
- Salmon recipe.
- Hydrolyzed protein for food intolerance.
- Vitamins E, C, and antioxidant-rich ingredients for a healthy immune system.
- Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil and flaxseed for healthy skin and coat.
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has a Food Allergy?
Although you might have your set of suspicions regarding your cat’s allergies, you should still take the time to analyze its behavior in closer detail. This is the only way in which you can be sure that your doubts are, indeed, plausible.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that some of the most commonly met symptoms indicating an allergy might not be the first things that come to mind. For instance, one of the first signs of an allergy is itchy skin. If you suddenly notice that your furry companion is scratching like crazy and it rarely does that, this might be a bad sign. The places where the itchiness is most likely to happen are around the head or near the neck. Nonetheless, this doesn’t exclude the likelihood of itchiness elsewhere on the body.
The thing is that, as your cat continues to scratch a given area, this will lead to skin damage. In some cases, it might even cause an infection. Furthermore, repeated scratching will have adverse effects on your cat’s overall wellbeing and health. Not to mention that your pet’s fur or coat will deteriorate as a result of the excessive scratching.
While it’s true that skin itchiness is the most prominent indicator, digestive issues are also worth mentioning. Most cats are likely to deal with gastrointestinal issues as well, as a result of an allergic reaction to food. According to this study, up to 15 percent of cats struggling with food allergies have diarrhea, vomiting, as well as other signs indicating gastrointestinal distress. Another solution to gastrointestinal problems might be cat food for sensitive stomach and vomiting.
All things considered, it may still be rather confusing to pinpoint an allergy. This has to do with the fact that itchiness might very well be caused by insect or flea bites, bacterial infections, parasites as well as other conditions. Here is a list of some other signs that could help you determine whether your cat has an allergy or not:
- Swollen paws and paw chewing
- Itchy, runny eyes
- An inflamed throat that causes excessive snoring
- Itchy ears and ears infections
- Excessive scaling
- Bad odor due to the coat
- Red bumps on the skin
- Loss of hair
- Sneezing, coughing, wheezing and other respiratory signs
If you notice these symptoms in your cat, then you should definitely consider discussing them with a veterinarian. However, the thing is that diagnosing the causes of the allergy comes with some trials and errors. Even if there are blood tests you could run on your cat, they are quite unreliable, as pointed out by veterinary dermatologists.
Therefore, most likely, your veterinarian will suggest that you eliminate some ingredients, depending on your cat’s current diet. That is to say, you’ll most likely have to follow an elimination diet plan. So, your veterinarian will probably suggest you provide your cat with a diet that doesn’t have any of the ingredients it has eaten until then. After following that diet for a couple of weeks, your vet will assess the cat’s progress and determine where to proceed from that point onward.
What Ingredients in Cat Food Can Cause Allergies?
You might find it a bit difficult to believe that the ingredients that most cats are allergic to are actually regularly found in cat food. These are the main ingredients that trigger allergies:
Considering that cats have been given these ingredients in significant amounts, it is easy to understand why so many felines are allergic to them nowadays. Meanwhile, most people assume that cats are allergic to grains. But you might be surprised to find out that grain allergies are some of the less common.
In fact, cats are more predisposed to develop allergies to animal protein than to grains. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you can exclude the possibility of a grain allergy altogether. As this issue is a bit tricky, you should discuss it with a vet. Your vet might advise you to feed your cat grain-free cat food.
Allergies vs. Intolerances
Many people confuse allergies with intolerances. But the truth is that they are totally different. For one thing, an allergy entails that a cat’s immune system responds to a specific food or ingredient. This means that the problem is derived from the immune system.
On the other hand, intolerances usually originate from an issue in the digestive system. Of course, you shouldn’t overlook the intolerances either but it’s worth noting the difference between the two.
On a different note, a cat might develop intolerance to an ingredient or a type of food if you feed it a diet that isn’t nutritional. For example, if the food is filled with artificial additives and colorants, your feline’s digestive system might not tolerate the food, this leading to vomiting, diarrhea and other digestive distress.
What Are the Consequences of Allergic Reactions in Cats?
If you notice that your cat is unwell, and you see the symptoms presented above, you should definitely do something about it. In essence, allergies cause a lot of discomfort. The severity of the symptoms depends on the cat, though, just as it is the case with humans suffering from allergies.
In isolated cases, if an allergic cat is exposed to an allergen for an extended timeframe, it might enter a phase of anaphylaxis. This implies the following symptoms: wheezing, collapse, facial swelling, trembling and pale gums.
In case you notice any of these symptoms, it is absolutely mandatory to call your vet right away. The good thing is that the condition can be treated. So, the sooner it is diagnosed the better. In a couple of days, your cat might recover.
On the other hand, in the case of consistent exposure to the allergen, your cat’s symptoms will most likely worsen. This is why you shouldn’t ignore these signs if you notice them. In fact, you should know that skin diseases are likely to emerge due to allergies.
Hypoallergenic Cat Food Buying Guide
What to Consider When Looking for a Hypoallergenic Cat Food?
Considering the numerous options of hypoallergenic cat food, you will find it a bit difficult to choose one product out of the many. So, I would like to give you some guidelines in this view;
Wet vs. Dry Cat Hypoallergenic Cat Food
When it comes to purchasing hypoallergenic cat food, the first thing you’ll have to determine is whether dry cat food or wet food is better. Ideally, most vets recommend sticking to the type of diet your cat prefers. Therefore, if your cat has a diet consisting of dry food, then you should stick to the kibble as opposed to switching to wet cat food. The same goes in the opposite direction.
As you might know, cats tend to be reluctant to change, especially when it isn’t implemented gradually. This is why, even if you were to switch to wet food eventually, perhaps you should do that after a while so that your cat doesn’t refuse the food on the spot.
Nevertheless, there is an exception, namely in the case of serious digestive issues. In this case, wet food might be a better alternative for most cats. Due to the structure of your cat’s teeth, it might not be able to chew on the kibble properly. Thus, the food might end up in the digestive system in its initial form. Therefore, if you were to go for dry food, perhaps you should choose a formula that is friendly on your cat’s teeth, in the sense that it’s not too rough.
Even so, your cat’s preferences are still worth considering as some felines will only eat dry food. In this case, you might consider combining the two types of food or adding some water to mix it up a bit.
The Source of the Protein
Obviously, if your cat is allergic to a specific type of protein, then the first thing you should do is purchase food that doesn’t have any traces of that protein whatsoever. It’s highly recommendable to thoroughly check the list of ingredients before purchasing anything.
For example, even if the ingredient your cat is allergic to isn’t the main source of protein, it may still be present in the recipe. Let’s take fish, for example, a type of meat that many cats develop an allergy towards. There are many recipes that don’t contain fish as the primary source of protein. However, they include fish oils, which will have the same effect on your cat’s body.
Nonetheless, it’s still best to make a decision by consulting your vet. He/she will point you in the right direction, depending on the historic health background of your feline companion.
Another thing worth considering is choosing a hydrolyzed protein, as an alternative. This is a popular option for hypoallergenic cats. Let’s talk a bit about its main characteristics so that you know what you’re dealing with.
So, when it comes to hydrolyzed protein, this means that it has already been broken down into its primary amino acids. The main benefit to this is that this makes it easily digestible, in comparison to other sources of protein. Thus, if your cat has an ultra-sensitive digestive tract, this kind of protein might be better for it.
However, people have rather mixed opinions on this issue as well. Some vets suggest that opting for a normal protein is usually best when a cat has an allergy to an ingredient.
Ingredients You Should Stay Away From
Obviously, an allergic cat is more sensitive than normal cats. This is why extra care is necessary if you want to ensure its overall health and wellbeing. Therefore, there are some ingredients that are off-limits for the allergic cat.
For one thing, you should stay away from artificial colors and preservatives. Not only that these are harmful to the healthy cat, but they can be even more detrimental for the allergic cat. This is why you should carefully read the label of the food prior to purchasing it.
Some of the chemicals that are especially harmful include benzoic acid, propyl gallate, BHA, TBHQ, BHT, ethoxyquin, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, potassium benzoate, and sodium nitrate, amongst others.
These chemicals can worsen your feline’s allergic reactions, which is why it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Also, seafood is another major allergy trigger in cats, as well as in humans. In fact, this type of allergy is becoming more and more common. That is why it’s best to play it safe and avoid it.
Meat by-products aren’t necessarily the best either. Meat by-products account for parts of animals that usually people do not consume – such as organs or fat tissue. However, ultra-sensitive cats might be sensitive to the proteins that could be present in those protein sources.
Dairy products might also lead to digestive issues. That’s because, contrary to the widespread myth that cats should drink milk, they aren’t physically equipped to digest it. This is why dairy products are some of the most common allergens in cats.
How Long Does It Take for a Cat Food Allergy to Go Away?
You might think that if you adjust your cat’s diet by feeding it hypoallergenic food, the problem will go away sooner or later. Unfortunately, the thing is that, in most cases, allergies aren’t treatable.
Simply put, once a cat develops an autoimmune reaction to a specific ingredient or food, the allergic reaction will remain unchanged. What you can do, of course, is eliminate that allergen altogether, to get rid of the symptoms.
But the likelihood of feeding your cat that ingredient without it having any adverse reactions to it is slim. Therefore, you should adjust your expectations as there are few cases in which food allergies actually go away.
If you suspect that your cat has an allergy to a given ingredient or food, adjusting its diet accordingly is the best thing you could do for its health. Once you identify that your cat is actually suffering from an allergy, then you should proceed with the right steps. These steps include discussing the issue with your vet, creating an elimination diet, so on and so forth.
In most cases, there’s no need to give your feline companion any medication. All you have to do is feed it a hypoallergenic diet and ensure it gets plenty of water. Meanwhile, it is mandatory to monitor the way in which your cat reacts to the new food, whether the symptoms are going away or not. At the end of the day, even if you have to go through all this trouble, your pet’s health is at stake, which means that it’s certainly worth it. Sooner than later, you will realize that your cat will get better!
I hope that my hypoallergenic cat food reviews have been of help to you in your search for the best hypoallergenic cat food!