When you should buy hypoallergenic cat food 

We should buy hypoallergenic cat food when our feline suffers from food allergies. They happen when the immune system reacts to some proteins or other products as if they’re a threat, triggering symptoms such as itchy skin with lousy odor, dandruff, hair loss, runny eyes and nose, excessive scaling, ear infections, and others. Diarrhea and vomiting can also happen, but they are not common, occurring in about 10-15% of affected cats.

Once you’ve noticed the symptoms, visit a vet and take blood, saliva, and skin tests to identify a cat’s allergy. Depending on that, you’ll choose cat food allergies best food accordingly. Your feline may need a sensitive skin cat food, a single protein cat food, a non-prescription hydrolyzed protein cat food, etc.

Hypoallergenic cat food is free of common allergens, so you should buy it when you want to reduce or even eliminate your feline’s food allergy symptoms. The best hypoallergenic cat foods are nutrient-rich, made of high-quality ingredients (real meat, natural fats, and low carbs), and free of artificial fillers. Consult a vet to make sure you’ve chosen the right cat food for allergies to meet your four-legged friend’s individual needs most.

How to feed hypoallergenic cat food 

  • Step 1. Transit your feline to the chosen hypoallergenic cat food. For that, follow the recommendations from the manufacturer (on a package) and consult a vet if they fit your cat’s individual case.
  • Step 2. After the transition, give only the food your vet prescribed. No other products, supplements, or treats are allowed during a cat’s food trial because it may interfere with the results.
  • Step 3. Follow the feeding instructions to make sure your cat gets enough nutrients while on a food trial.
  • Step 4. Provide a cat with free access to clean water. The moisture she gets from the food isn’t enough for proper hydration, so place several bowls around the apartment and refill them with fresh water every day.
  • Step 5. If your cat needs to take prescribed medications, please don’t mix them with hypoallergenic cat foods. The food should be given separately.
  • Step 6. Perform a food challenge. Once you see that the cat’s allergy symptoms resolve, try re-introducing her old food. Follow the same strategy as you used when transiting to a hypoallergenic diet for cats.
  • Step 7. If the allergy symptoms return within a week of the food challenge, keep on feeding with hypoallergenic foods for cats, and visit a vet for further instructions.

Best dry cat food for allergies

Here goes the dry food for cats with allergies:

Best hypoallergenic wet cat food

The best wet food for cat with allergies is as follows:


What ingredient in cat food causes allergies?

Like people, felines can be allergic to everything in the food; but, the most common allergens are proteins, especially those from beef (20%), dairy products (14.6%), fish (13%), poultry (4.5%), and corn/wheat (4.5%). On the other hand, cats are obligate carnivores and they need a certain amount of protein every day. Given that, some food for cats with allergies contains a hydrolyzed protein, i.e. that is broken down into its component amino acids.
Also, the protein in question can be excluded, for example we have a guide with poultry-free cat food that will become handy for owners of cats allergic to poultry.

Can a cat be allergic to hypoallergenic food?

Hypoallergenic cat food is ingredient-limited to minimize the risk of new allergies in a cat. And yet, if you choose the wrong food that still contains products your feline can’t eat and digest, she may be allergic to it. That’s why it’s crucial to identify a cat’s allergy source and read the ingredients list on the package. Only a vet can prescribe the 100% correct hypoallergenic diet for a cat.

Claudine Sievert, DVM

How to feed an allergic cat with hypoallergenic food

The #1 rule here is to follow the transition and feeding recommendations from your vet: A specialist will prescribe a diet that will meet every feline’s individual needs. For multicat households where one kitty is allergic, separate her with automatic cat doors, or use automatic feeders so that she could eat her hypoallergenic cat food on a schedule. Another option is to give hypoallergenic food to all cats.

Do hypoallergenic cats have allergies?

Yes. Hypoallergenic cats have lower chances to trigger your allergy to cats. However, they can have a food allergy. So these terms are not related.

In a word 

Like their human parents, cats are prone to food allergies. But unlike with humans, these allergies are relatively uncommon in cats. Only 5-15% of felines suffer from allergies, and if yours are among them – hypoallergenic cat foods are what can help her deal with the problem.

This food for cats with allergies is a limited-ingredient cat food designed to reduce or eliminate the symptoms. It’s nutrient-rich, made of high-quality ingredients, and often contains a hydrolyzed protein that is easier for a cat to digest. In this guide, we’ve reviewed the best cat food for cats with allergies and shared the advice on when to buy this food, how to feed it, and what things to consider when choosing a hypoallergenic food for cats.

Also please, remember that your cat may have a different allergy, for example a dust mite allergy. In this case, you should take care of the air quality using a specialized cat air purifier instead of switching to a hypoallergenic food.

It’s your turn now:

If you notice the allergy symptoms, get a jump on a vet hospital, take all the tests, and ask a specialist to help you choose the hypoallergenic cat food for your feline.

I’m Kimberly Baumgart, a future veterinary physician from Manhattan, Kansas. Volunteering in animal shelters and assisting in the local vet hospital, I help pet owners learn more about feline lifestyle. Read my works on Catpet.Club blog to discover the world of healthy nutrition and well-being for your four-legged friend.

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