Cats love to eat. They can learn when the wet food can is opened, when food is poured in their bowl, and can even determine when feeding time is. While cats love to eat, there are some cases where cats cannot eat a regular diet due to health or allergy reasons.
If your cat has food sensitivities, then they need the best-limited ingredient cat food. These limited ingredient diets use fewer and higher quality ingredients so that cats with food sensitivities can still enjoy eating time.
The need for a limited ingredient diet can come from many reasons, like stomach sensitivities, food allergies, and even food preferences. To help narrow down your search for a limited ingredient cat food, we have put together a list of both dry and wet food. Any of these food suggestions should be beneficial for cats who require a limited ingredient diet to benefit their health.
Top-Rated Limited Ingredient Cat Food
Natural Balance L.I.D Green Pea and Duck Formula is a great choice for cats with sensitive stomachs.
- Contains no questionable ingredients
- Single animal protein
- Balanced levels of Omega Fatty Acids
Natural Balance uses a single animal protein, in this case, duck, to prevent allergic reactions and to help cats with sensitive stomachs digest their food easier. No grains, artificial ingredients, or other questionable ingredients have been used in this formula.
Cats who have allergies need Omega Fatty Acids to help their skin and fur stay healthy, and Natural Balance offers the ideal levels cats need. The diet is also fortified with vitamins, minerals, and Taurine that will help your cat maintain a healthy body. If your cat has a sensitive stomach, they will be able to digest and pass this food with no pain or qualms.
- Comes in 5lb and 10lb bag options
- Contains duck, which is allergy-friendly
- Has a high carbohydrate percentage of 35%
- Contains Salmon Oil, which can upset cat stomachs
Whether it be a sensitive stomach or food sensitivities, Natural Balance L.I.D Green Pea and Duck Formula will help your cat’s health inside and out.
Blue Wilderness Duck Grain-Free Wet Food gives cats with sensitive stomachs or allergies the high protein source their bodies need.
- Easy to eat texture
- Contains wholesome and beneficial ingredients
- Uses real animal proteins
This diet offered by Blue Wilderness cat food uses genuine and locally sourced duck as the first ingredient. Duck is an easy to digest protein and is one of the top proteins suggested for cats who have allergies. Chicken liver has also been added for a flavor boost for picky cats.
Even though cats are mainly carnivores, they can still benefit from plant nutrients. Healthy fruits and vegetables have been added to provide cats with vitamins and minerals to keep their bodies moving. The texture of the wet food is a soft, easy to eat pate that cats will not be able to get enough of.
- Contains no questionable ingredients
- Comes in 3oz cans
- Ideal for adult cats
- Contains chicken liver, so it is not a single protein wet food diet
- Also includes potatoes, which some cats can be allergic to
Finding food for cats with food sensitivities can be tricky, but if you try Blue Wilderness Duck Grain-Free Wet Food first, it may make the search easier on you.
Through the Merrick Limited Ingredient Cat Food Real Chicken Recipe diet, you can feed your cat a dry food without worrying about them getting sick.
- Deboned chicken is the only protein used
- Grain-free recipe
- Easy to digest ingredients
- Contains no harmful ingredients
While cats can be allergic to some animal proteins, Merrick only uses deboned chicken in this formula so that cats can enjoy the diet with no risk of triggering an allergic reaction. Chicken is tasty and easy to digest and provides cats with the protein they need to have lean and strong muscles.
Since this is a limited ingredient diet, you can be sure that no grains, potatoes, corn, or other non-beneficial ingredients have been used. All of the ingredients used are easy to digest, highly beneficial, and should not trigger allergies or stomach issues so long as the cat is not sensitive to the ingredients.
- Comes in 4-7-12 pound bag options
- Sourced and made in the U.S.A.
- Contains chicken, so not ideal for cats with poultry allergies
- Contains yeast, which some cats can be allergic to
When you start feeding your sensitive cat Merrick Limited Ingredient Cat Food Real Chicken Recipe, you should begin to see a difference in their body within a few weeks.
Instinct Cat Food Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Raw Rabbit provides cats with the protein source they need that is allergy-friendly.
- Only uses a single protein source
- Guaranteed nutrition levels
- Contains no added ingredients
Rabbit is a protein that is a favorite for pets who suffer from allergies due to it being easy to digest and gentle on the pet’s stomach. Instinct uses raw rabbit and rabbit meal to provide cats with the protein they need at little risk of triggering sensitivity issues.
Even though the diet is limited, it still gives cats the omegas, antioxidants, and amino acids necessary for cats to have a happy and healthy lifestyle. And since it is a limited ingredient diet, you will not see any other animal proteins being used, nor grains, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial colors.
- Available in 4.5 and 10-pound bag options
- Made in the U.S.A.
- May cause cats to have smelly waste
- Rabbit meal is the first ingredient instead of the whole rabbit
Cats will love the taste, and will enjoy the health benefits of Instinct Cat Food Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Raw Rabbit.
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey Wet Food will satisfy your cat’s carnivorous needs while preventing them from a negative reaction.
- Turkey is the first ingredient used
- Combines animal protein and plant nutrients
- Contains no filler ingredients
Turkey is the only animal protein used so that cats with sensitive stomachs or who need to be on a limited ingredient diet can eat the wet food. Since turkey is used to provide the protein to cats, whole food ingredients have been added to give the cats the other nutrients they need.
Organic alfalfa is used to provide calcium and fiber, ground flaxseed to provide omega fatty acids, and yucca and potatoes are used to provide essential vitamins and minerals. No filler ingredients have been used, such as corn, wheat, soy, grains, or gluten ingredients, only ingredients that will benefit the health of your cat.
- Available in 5oz cans
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Contains plant proteins, which could potentially not offer cats enough of the protein that they need
See how happy and active your cat will be thanks to the protein and nutrients offered by Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey Wet Food.
If you want to provide your cat with a simple yet healthy diet, feed them Canidae Grain-Free Limited Ingredient.
- Contains real animal proteins
- Only uses eight key ingredients
- Has added nutrients
Since the cooking process of some dry foods can remove nutrients out of the used ingredients, using multiple proteins can help boost the retained nutrients. Canidae uses chicken, turkey, lamb, and menhaden fish to provide cats with a high protein level.
The total ingredients used by Canidae in this formula is eight, which is excellent for cats who need to be on a limited ingredient diet. But since there are only eight ingredients used, Canidae does need to add a vitamin, mineral, and probiotic mix that will provide cats with the nutrient content their bodies need to prosper.
- Available in 2.5-5-10-pound bags
- Contains no filler ingredients
- Contains multiple animal proteins, so caution should be taken for cats with protein-specific allergies
All of the ingredients used in the Canidae Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet will provide cats with the balanced diet they need at no risk to their health.
I and Love and You Lovingly Simple Salmon and Sweet Potato is specially formulated with high-quality ingredients that will benefit cats with food sensitivities.
- Contains no chicken or beef, only fish proteins
- Provides 100% balanced diet
- Nutrient packed
Cats can develop allergies to beef and chicken easily, so to prevent that risk, this brand of cat food only uses fish proteins, like salmon and menhaden fish, to supply cats with the protein they need. As a bonus, all the fish protein gives cats the omega fatty acids that will keep their skin healthy if they are prone to allergies.
Even though the diet uses limited ingredients, it will still offer cats the complete and balanced diet their bodies need. That means cats will get the prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion, nutrients for body development, and antioxidants for a reliable immune system.
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Ideal for all life stages
- Contains a high amount of pea products, which may risk it being used as filler ingredients
Every bite of I and Love and You Lovingly Simple Salmon and Sweet Potato will provide cats with balanced nutrients that should not upset their stomachs or allergies.
FirstMate Limited Ingredient Pacific Ocean Meal Diet caters to a cat’s need for a yummy and nutrient-rich diet.
- Uses limited ingredients
- Contains wholesome ingredients
- Grain and gluten-free
FirstMate uses only four ingredients in this diet, Pacific Ocean fish meal, potato, chicken fat, and whole blueberries. The Pacific Ocean fish meal provides the essential protein cats need while the potatoes add a nutrient boost, but the main benefits come from the whole blueberries.
The blueberries serve as an antioxidant source that promotes a healthy immune system, a healthy urinary tract, increases eyesight health, and improves memory. Blueberries also offer a natural source of dietary fiber and help cats have a healthy digestive system. No grain or gluten ingredients have been used as they can cause stomach issues or trigger allergies.
- Ideal for cats of all ages
- Ingredients sourced from reputable farmers in Canada
- Contains chicken fat for flavor, so not ideal for cats with poultry allergies
Make sure that your cat doesn’t have an allergic reaction or upset their stomach by feeding them FirstMate Limited Ingredient Pacific Ocean Meal Diet.
The pate style of Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Turkey and Potato Wet Food will satisfy your cat’s taste and health needs.
- Contains a single animal protein
- Packed with healthy fruits and vegetables
- Easy to digest ingredients
This diet by Blue Basics only uses turkey as the protein source. Turkey is easy to digest and highly palatable. All of the ingredients used are easy for cats to digest and should not trigger allergic reactions – if they are not allergic to the ingredients used.
Speaking of ingredients, wholesome and healthy fruits and vegetables are used for a nutrient boost. At the same time, vitamins and minerals have been added to ensure cats will have a long and healthy lifestyle. The smooth pate style is tasty and easy for cats to eat and digest.
- Available in 3 and 5.5oz cans
- Contains no filler ingredients, preservatives, or artificial ingredients
- Includes potatoes, which contains carbohydrates that may be hard for some cats to digest
Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Turkey and Potato Wet Food provide cats with the ideal level of nutrients cats need for a long and healthy life.
Ziwi Peak Venison Canned Cat Food provides the freshest and highest quality ingredients available so that cats can have a healthy body inside and out.
- Mirrors a whole-prey diet
- Uses healthy and hearty ingredients
Ziwi Peak uses venison sourced from New Zealand so that cats will have the most naturally raised and protein-dense wet food. Compared to other cat wet foods, Ziwi peak uses the meat, liver, tripe, lung, heart, kidney, and bones of the venison to mimic best the whole-prey and nutrient-dense diet similar to what cats in the wild would eat.
To help provide cats with the other nutrients they need, Ziwi Peak uses New Zealand green mussels for a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health as well as a mineral and vitamin mix for a health boost. The nutrient-rich wet food should satisfy even the pickiest of eaters and should not cause stomach issues.
- Contains no filler, sugars, rendered meats, or other questionable ingredients
- Free of TSPP, B.P.A., and carrageenan
- Chunky loaf style to satisfy picky eaters
- Contains a high protein percentage, so should not be fed to less active or senior cats
Help your cat feel healthy and have the nutrients they need by feeding them Ziwi Peak Venison Canned Cat Food.
Royal Canin Selected Protein Canned Cat Food is specially formulated for cats with food sensitivities so they can digest their food without issues.
- Contains rabbit as the single animal protein
- Reinforced with omega fatty acids
- Limited ingredient and palatable diet
Rabbit is a novel protein that is perfect for cats who have a hard time digesting common proteins. Cats will have an easier time digesting rabbit thanks to the addition of peas while providing them with the protein levels that they need. Omega-3 fatty acids, E.P.A., and D.H.A. have been added to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
These nutrients will reinforce the skin barrier and can even support cats with skin sensitivities and reduce irritations. Cats should be scratching less, have less hair loss issues, and have a healthy digestive system thanks to this wet food diet.
- Contains a high level of Taurine
- Includes an added nutrient mix
- Requires a veterinary authorization, so cannot be purchased over the counter
- Contains pea flour, which some cats can become allergic to
If you know that your cat needs to be careful with what they eat because of a sensitive stomach, you should try to feed them Royal Canin Selected Protein Canned Cat Food to see if they have a reaction or not.
If you want to be sure that your cat will have the least likely chance of reacting to their food, feed them Naturally Blue Food Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance.
- Formulated to minimize adverse reactions
- Contains Omega Fatty Acids
- Contains essential nutrients
A hydrolyzed protein cat food uses water to break down animal proteins to a level where it won’t affect the immune system. This diet uses hydrolyzed salmon, which is an easy protein for cats to digest, and it offers essential Fatty Acids that help maintain healthy skin and fur. Flaxseed also helps provide a boost in the much-needed Fatty acids.
Vitamins and antioxidants have been added to the wet food via blueberries and cranberries, which can also help boost immunity. To further prevent cats from reacting to this specialized wet food, no grains, corn, wheat, or soy products have been used. This is a veterinary formula, so you do need to visit your vet first and get the food prescribed before being able to feed it to your cat.
- Does not use grains, corn, wheat, or soy ingredients
- Uses a single animal protein
- Cannot be bought over the counter, needs vet authorization
- Texture may not be favorable for most cats
Naturally Blue Food Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance is specially made for cats with food sensitivities, so there is a less likely chance of them reacting to their food.
Key Information about Limited Ingredient Diets
When it comes to helping your cat’s allergies, you need to understand what allergies are, how you can help when your cat has an allergic reaction, and what ingredients can help and hurt your cat.
Once you have a better understanding of what causes your cat to have allergies, then you will better understand why it is crucial to switch their diets.
Of course, changing your cat’s diet may not be all that your cat needs. It is still beneficial for your cat to have a veterinarian look them over and suggest medication or a vaccine treatment that can be done alongside with the change of diet.
Cat food Allergies & When to Switch Their Diet
Just like we can have allergies to certain foods, cats can as well. When cats start to show or develop allergies, you will need to act fast to help them. If you continue to let your cat have the allergic reactions, it can lead to severe skin issues and other health conditions.
If you start to take care of your cat’s reactions early by switching them to a new diet, then you can begin improving their allergies. It is recommended to consult a veterinarian as well so you can better aid in your cat’s allergies.
Cat Food Allergy Symptoms
Some allergy symptoms are more evident than others, like dry cat skin, so just because you cannot see the allergies, it does not mean that your cat does not have any allergies. But if you do notice obvious allergy symptoms, then you will need to figure out what is causing your cat to have allergies. Here are some signs to keep an eye for if you believe your cat may have allergies.
- Constant Scratching
- Ear Infection
- Fur Loss
- Itchy Ears
- Itchy and Runny Eyes
- Paw Chewing
- Upset Stomach
If you notice your cat is showing one or more of these allergy symptoms, stop and think if your cat has been exposed to something new, or if they ate something out of the ordinary. Chances are if your at ate something out of the ordinary, then they may be having an allergic reaction to the unusual food.
Cat Skin Allergies
The skin is the most straightforward indicator of a possible allergy.
If cats were to eat something that they are allergic to, there is a chance that their body will break out in hives, which are swollen red bumps that are incredibly itchy.
Cats may also be scratching at themselves so much that they cause fur to fall out and trigger skin irritations. You may also see some swelling, especially around the mouth, as the skin gets highly irritated and swells up in defense against the allergen. If you see any of these skin allergy signs, then your cat has been exposed to something they are allergic to.
Ingredients to Look For
Not every ingredient is prone to giving cats allergies. There are some important ingredients to look out for that will not only benefit your cat’s skin, but that can ease allergic reactions before they even occur. Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients to look out for in your cat’s food. All or even one of the listed ingredients will provide benefits to your cat’s allergies.
- Fish oil provides fatty acids that will boost skin immunity and reduce secondary infections.
- Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has natural anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antihistamine properties essential for fighting against allergies.
- Coconut oil can prevent inflammation and has an antioxidant property that can prevent cell damage and can help dry and itchy skin heal.
Ingredients to Avoid
The most obvious ingredients are the ones that your cat is allergic to. As for protein, cats are prone to being allergic to Lamb, Whitefish, Dairy, and Beef, so avoid diets with these proteins unless you know for sure your cat is not allergic to them.
If you are unsure if they are allergic to the listed proteins, you can try to feed them the diets or avoid them altogether, just to be safe. Try to avoid feeding your cat foods dense with grains, by-products, meals, and high carbohydrates as all the ingredients can trigger allergies in cats, or can slowly cause cats to develop allergies the more that they eat the cat food.
Natural Remedies for Cat Allergies
If you need to provide your cat with quick relief from their allergies while their medication kicks in, there are some natural remedies you can try. You can try using some CBD skin cream. CBD is safe to use on pets and has many health benefits, including easing swelling and skin irritations from an allergic reaction. You can rub some coconut oil over the infected area to ease inflammation. You can also bathe your cat with oatmeal since oatmeal soothes the skin and reduces itching.
Cats that have allergies or a sensitive stomach may be suffering from their usual food, even if the diet provides them with the nutrients that they need. By switching to a hypoallergenic cat food or the best cat food for sensitive stomachs, you are helping manage your cat’s health condition.
A limited ingredient diet only uses ingredients that will benefit your cat’s overall health without triggering health concerns. Some of these limited ingredient diets may be a bit pricier than others, but the higher quality ingredients can fill your cat’s stomach more, so you end up using less for the price.
Treating your cat’s health issues through their diet will help prevent your cat’s current health conditions from getting worse, and make them easier to manage as your cat grows and ages. Be sure that if you know what your cat is allergic to, that you read the ingredient list on the diets we have suggested and avoid the ones that use the allergen ingredients.
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Top-Rated Limited Ingredient Cat Food
Choosing the best food brand for your feline is easy with our detailed reviews & ratings.
- Natural Balance L.I.D
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness
- Merrick Limited Ingredient
- Canidae Grain-Free
- I and Love and You Lovingly Simple
- Blue Buffalo Basics
- Ziwi Peak
- Royal Canin
- Blue Buffalo