Meals That Heal: The Top 10 Allergy-Resistant Cat Food

There are few things more frustrating than attempting to help your cat who is allergic to anything. The cat is scratching and itching, clearly in pain. Soon, you're on a mission to locate the finest food for cats with allergies so that your cat's life—and yours—can return to normal. But, before you bring home multiple bags of fresh cat food, let's speak about cat allergies and how to tell whether food is the cause.

What Causes Cat Allergies?

Cats are susceptible to three sorts of allergies, according to a 2022 article from Banfield Pet Hospital: food, fleas, and environmental pollutants (such as pollen, dust, textiles, cleaning solutions, and even kitty litter). To make matters worse, some unfortunate cats may suffer from numerous allergies at the same time.

Finding the source of your cat's specific sensitivity can be time-consuming and costly. Begin with your veterinarian to keep things simple. They can assist you in determining what is causing your cat's illness. (It might not even be an allergy. Bacterial and fungal infections, for example, can both produce skin irritation.) Once you've determined what's causing the issue, you can begin working on your cat's recuperation.

According to the Banfield study, allergic reactions to fleas and environmental toxins are on the rise, although food allergies remain stable—and quite infrequent, affecting just around 0.1 percent of cats. The study concluded that "food allergies in our pets are uncommon, and other causes of certain skin conditions should be investigated before pursuing a food allergy diagnosis." It was based on 500,000 cats seen at Banfield clinics in the previous year.

Dr. Bruce Kornreich, Director of the Cornell Feline Health Centre, informed us that when cats do have food allergies, it is usually to a protein. "We know that cats get food allergies, and in most cases, they are to the protein source," adds Dr. Kornreich. "Chicken is the most common protein source." However, the only method to prove that a cat has a food allergy is to deliberately remove components of the diet and observe how the cat reacts following a food trial."

Food for Allergy-Prone Cats:

If your cat has food allergies, you'll most likely try an elimination diet to determine which foods are causing your cat's discomfort. A limited-ingredient diet (LID) can help with this.

While many popular cat meals offer a variety of protein and fats (chicken and fish oil, beef and chicken, and so on), LID feeds often contain only one type of animal protein. Your veterinarian may advise you to try a food that has beef but no chicken or fish, or a food that contains fish but no beef or chicken.

Your veterinarian may occasionally recommend a single "novel" protein—a less-common cat food component such as deer, duck, alligator, or rabbit. The notion is that your cat hasn't eaten those proteins and so hasn't developed an allergy to them. It requires time and dedication to test your cat with limited-ingredient cat feeds or limited-ingredient cat foods with novel proteins.

"If you are testing your cat for a chicken allergy, that means absolutely no chicken—not [only] in foods, but no treats with any chicken during the food trial," Kornreich explains.

To assist you, we searched the market for hypoallergenic and limited-ingredient ingredient diet foods for cats with food allergies and found dry and wet diets from various well-known brands. We even discovered some delights. To order the hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein formulations, you must give a prescription or the contact information of your veterinarian.

Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Cat Food from Royal Canin:

Your vet may prescribe this food for adult cats with skin and gastrointestinal sensitivities. In addition to easily digestible hydrolyzed soy proteins, it includes omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and a blend of fibers.

Green Pea and Venison Dry Cat Food by Natural Balance:

The distinctive animal protein in this dry food for cats with allergies and sensitivities is venison. Natural Balance also sells canned wet food with a venison-based composition. Venison, like other new proteins, is a wonderful substitute for meats that your cat may be allergic to.

Blue Buffalo Basics L.I.D. Duck and Potato Recipe:

If you want to see how your cat does with a diet free of triggering proteins, this limited-ingredient diet food offers a duck-and-potato alternative. It has no chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, grain, gluten, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Instinct L.I.D. Grain-Free Rabbit Recipe Canned Food:

For cats who love the texture of pâté and need to try a limited-ingredient diet free of poultry, beef, and fish, this novel protein—farm-raised rabbit—could be the answer. This recipe is also made without dairy, eggs, grain, potato, corn, wheat, or soy. Available In 3-ounce and 5.5-ounce cans.

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