Cats are notoriously picky, but maybe for a good reason.
Many popular brands of cat food leave a lot to be desired. Dry cat food is often packed with sub-par ingredients and artificial flavors, while wet cat food can be a mix of mystery animal proteins. And these options aren’t only of inferior quality, but they may not be helping your feline friend feel their best.
If your current cat food is leaving your cat hungry for more or unsatisfied, chances are it doesn’t offer balanced nutrition. Or worse, it may be causing your cat to have an uncomfortable allergic reaction.
Read on to learn more about the best cat food for allergies so you can take the best care of your kitty.
Most Common Allergies for Cats
While cats are often considered to be more independent than their canine counterparts, they still have important dietary requirements and special needs. Just like humans, cats can be allergic to environmental elements like pollen and grass or other factors like fleas and food.
In fact, food allergies are the third most common allergy that cats experience. Cats can be allergic to a variety of different foods, but some of the most common food allergies are protein sources like beef, turkey, egg, and milk. Cats are rarely allergic to carbohydrates like wheat or barley. You may or may not be surprised to learn that chicken is the most common food allergen in cats.
Many of these allergens are also the most common ingredients in mainstream pet food. Dry and wet foods alike often use a mix of these standard proteins in their meals to achieve certain nutrient, vitamin, and mineral levels.
How to Tell if Your Cat Has Allergies
Knowing if your cat is allergic to their food can be a challenge. This is because most cats try to hide or withdraw if they are not feeling well.
As a pet parent, it’s important to know the signs your cat isn’t feeling well. Cats with food allergies often experience chronic, year-round itching and skin inflammation. They also may over-groom themselves which leads to further skin irritation and severe hair loss. Ear infections are another common symptom since food allergies cause inflammation.
More common, and perhaps more obvious, symptoms are gastrointestinal. Your cat may experience vomiting or diarrhea after eating and be bloated or gassy. They might also start “scooting” (dragging their butt along the carpet or ground) to alleviate uncomfortable itching.
Diagnosing Your Cat With a Food Allergy
If you notice your cat experiencing any of these symptoms, they may be allergic to their food. The best way to determine if there is an allergy is to try an elimination diet trial. This is a long process, taking anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks, which can help you identify the ingredient(s) that is making your cat sick and provide them with a nutritious alternative.
There are three types of elimination diets for cats:
This type of diet consists of proteins that have been hydrolyzed. This means the protein source is broken down into tiny pieces that the immune system won’t react to. It’s commonly sold as hypoallergenic cat food you can find in stores.
Novel Protein Diets
This diet is formulated with protein and carbohydrate sources that are not commonly found in commercial cat foods and that your cat may never have been exposed to before, and therefore won’t have an allergic reaction to right away. This is the most palatable diet for many cats but may require knowledge about their past diet.
This is the most challenging and hands-on diet to perfect. As the name suggests, it involves cooking a limited-ingredient diet for your cat.
Best Food for Cats With Allergies
If you’re looking for the best cat food for cats with food allergies, you should look for limited-ingredient cat foods made with high-quality novel ingredients.
Fish-based dinners can be some of the best cat food for cats with allergies. This is especially true if your cat hasn’t had fish in the past, making it a novel protein diet.
Incorporating fish into your cat’s diet can also help alleviate many common allergy symptoms. As a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fish supports a healthy skin and coat. It can also help create a healthy immune system and ward off the inflammation that leads to common skin and ear infections.
But that’s not where the benefits of fish for cats end. The same Omega-3s that reward a healthy skin and coat are also known to improve heart health and brain development. They can also promote hip and joint health. Omega 3s are truly a nutritional powerhouse, which is why we like to say our Simply Naked Cat Food is packed with the power of “Vitamin SEA”.
Lastly, fish is a stellar source of lean protein that supports a long and healthy life. Fish is the first ingredient in the best cat food for allergies here at Simply Naked Pet Food.
Tips for Transitioning Your Cat
Ready to transition your feline to some of the best cat food for food allergies? A sudden change from one diet to another can cause unpredictable digestive issues, so it’s best to take things slowly.
We recommend a transition over the course of 7 to 10 days. Mixing your current food with their new food during this time will help get them accustomed to their new nutritious meal.
Learn more about our 10-day transition plan for cats.
Simply Naked Cat Food for Allergies
At Simply Naked, we want to make choosing the right pet food super simple. Our premier seafood dinners are the ultimate choice for nutrition, flavor, and sustainability, plus they are an allergy-friendly alternative if your cat has an allergy or food sensitivity to other common animal proteins. It won’t take long to see a real difference in your pet after switching to Simply Naked!Shop our complete collection of fish-first dinners for cats and provide your furry friend with the best diet for their needs.