Cat Food for Chicken Allergies

Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Jenny

Several weeks ago, we got a question on our Facebook page about the best cat food for cats with chicken allergies.

If your cat suffers from a food allergy, then you have to go the extra mile to find cat food that does not include the allergen among the ingredients. In the case of chicken allergies, this can be particularly challenging because a very large part of cat food recipes include chicken.

However, there are some very good chicken-free options that you can get for your cat. These will provide it with the nutrients it needs without sparking its allergies. We will list some good options in this article to give you a few ideas.

How do you know if your cat is allergic to chicken?

One of our readers said “Constant diarrhoea is another sign for us. Soon as we take out tuna, kibble and chicken we see a rapid change to normal litterbox habits.”

If a cat develops a food allergy, it will also display symptoms. The most noticeable one is persistent diarrhea. This type of diarrhea is maintained by the presence of the allergen (the chicken). As long as the cat eats chicken, it will also have diarrhea.

And because the cause is not bacterial, it will not respond to antibiotics or other medicine that is generally used to treat diarrhea. It may improve with anti-diarrhea medication, but it does not go away while the allergen is still present. In fact, the challenge is actually identifying the allergen.

Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat Murphy eating Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Pumpkin Lickin Chicken with dry food on top IMG_0140

When a food allergy is suspected, the cat must first go on a hypoallergenic diet. This will improve the diarrhea and it will give it a chance to regain its strength. Persistent diarrhea can be very dangerous because of the secondary symptoms – dehydration, the incomplete absorption of nutrients, weight loss, fatigue, dermatological issues (affecting the skin, the fur, and the claws).

Once the cat is stabilized on the hypoallergenic diet, each type of meat is introduced individually. This is done over the course of a few weeks, maybe months. If the introduction of a type of meat is followed by an episode of diarrhea, then that is an allergen.

Once it is identified (further tests may be performed to confirm the allergy), then that ingredient must be eliminated entirely from the cat’s menu. Please note that there may be more than one allergen causing the symptoms.

Ziwi Peak Canned Cat Food - Mackerel and Lamb Ragdoll Cat Trigg Eating 3

Another one of our readers said “For my Maxi it was vomiting more than normal, acne on the chin and ear infections. The vomiting or hairballs is normal but the amount that Maxi was vomiting was not.”

While diarrhea is the most common symptom of a food allergy, it is not the only one. In some cats, the allergy may present with persistent vomiting. The response to anti-emetic medicine is positive only in the short term. As long as the allergen is present in the cat’s diet, then the vomiting persists.

This can be very dangerous for the cat because persistent diarrhea also causes dehydration, weight loss, fatigue. The cat cannot absorb the nutrients in the food it eats and the body is weakened.

Ragdoll Cat Trigg Eating Canned Wet Food Out of PawNosh Glass Pet Bowls on WooPet Pet Food Mat P1010455

Unless the cat is hydrated and provided with the nutrients it needs intravenously, then the situation can become rather severe. However, with the treatment, the cat can bounce back quickly.

In other cats, the food allergy presents with dermatological symptoms. Small areas on its body (its neck, behind its ears, on its head) become red and itchy. The fur comes off entirely and as the cat scratches, the areas get inflamed and bloody. This symptom is very common in the case of fish allergies.

This is what another Floppycats reader wrote on our Facebook page – “We had to go to rabbit. And we realized that fish (including the ever-present fish oil) was also a trigger for him. So his diet got very limited very quickly.”

While chicken is a common allergen, in some cases it is not the only culprit. Cats sometimes develop allergies to more than one type of food. The most important step is identifying these allergens. Then, you can research the available food options that do not include any of these items to keep your cat safe and healthy.

What Should You Feed a Cat with Chicken Allergies?

If your cat is allergic to chicken, then you have to make sure that you give it a completely chicken-free diet. There are plenty of healthy cat food options that you can choose from.

All you have to do is check the ingredients. Please note that any food that has chicken in it should be eliminated altogether. Even foods that have chicken in small quantities might trigger an allergic reaction, which will make the diarrhea or vomiting come back.

Chicken-free food will keep your cat healthy and it will provide it with the proper nutrients it needs.

Canned Food Options

Here are some chicken-free canned food options you can try out:

Ziwi Peak

Ziwi Peak Daily-Cat Cuisine Lamb Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Ziwi Peak cat food comes from New Zealand, it is made from premium ingredients and it provides your cat with a complete meal. They have plenty of chicken-free options you can try out. It is a food I regularly feed Charlie and Trigg – we keep several of their flavors in our rotation.

The food from Ziwi Peak has superior ingredients and it is 100% natural. However, precisely because it is entirely natural, cats may prefer something tastier.

If this is the case with your cat, then you can try alternating the Ziwi Peak food with other types of food.  They have several flavors that do not contain chicken that you can try.

Feline Natural

Canned Cat Food Supplement Booster by Feline Natural

Another alternative for chicken-free cat food is the Lamb Green Tripe can from Feline Natural. This also comes from New Zealand, which means that the meat is entirely antibiotic-free. Their food is made from grass-fed, free-range lamb.

Nature’s Logic

NATURE'S LOGIC Feline Rabbit Dinner Fare Cat Food

Made entirely with organic ingredients, the Feline Rabbit Feast from Nature’s Logic is a very good choice for cats with chicken allergies. It is made from muscle meat and organs and it is gluten and grain-free. You can also try their Feline Beef Feast, which has over 90% animal ingredients, or their Feline Turkey Feast.

Hounds and Gatos

Hound and Gatos Beef Recipe Canned Cat Food

Another beef-based recipe is the Beef can from Hounds and Gatos. This is a limited ingredient recipe made from 100% animal protein and 0% grains. It is made with high-quality beef and it doesn’t have hidden chemicals.

Red Barn Naturals 

Redbarn Pet Products 24 Cans Turkey Pate Grain-Free Cat Food

If your cat enjoys pates, then the turkey pate from Red Barn Naturals could make it to your regular list. This recipe also includes parsley and green-lipped mussels, which make it even more nutrient-packed.


Weruva Cats in The Kitchen Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food Lamb Burgini

If you’re looking for chicken-free diversity in cat food, then you can explore the amazing recipes from Weruva. They have an impressive collection of canned cat food options (and pouches) and quite a few of them do not include chicken.

Here are some of the options from Weruva:

    • Tic Tac Whoa! – Tuna & Salmon Dinner
    • Lamb Burger-ini – Lamb Recipe Au Jus
    • Kitty Gone Wild – Wild Salmon Recipe Au Jus
    • La Isla Bonita – Mackerel and Shrimp Recipe Au JusTwo Tu Tango – Sardine,
    • Tuna and Turkey Recipe Au Jus
    • Stewlander – Duck & Salmon Dinner in Gravy
    • Mack and Jack – with Mackerel & Grilled Skipjack in Gravy
    • Polynesian BBQ – with Grilled Red Bigeye in Gravy
    • Asian Fusion – with Tuna & Shirasu in Gravy
    • Meow Luau – with Mackerel & Pumpkin in Gravy
    • Marbella Paella – with Mackerel, Shrimp & Mussels in Gravy
    • Outback Grill – with Sardine and Sea Bass in Gravy

Tiki Cat

Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free, Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food with Whole Seafood in Broth for Adult Cats

The recipes for Tiki Cat food are meat-based and they are all inspired by cat’s natural prey diets. They are high in protein and grain-free, low or no carbs, and made from real natural ingredients.

They have several collections of canned food you can explore. The Grill collection is entirely based on fish, so there are plenty of delicious options here. The Luau collection has quite a few fish-based recipes.

Only Natural Pet


If you’re looking for something else than fish, then you can try the rabbit and pork canned food from Only Natural Pet. Made from all-natural ingredients and completely chicken-free, this recipe also comes with a highly-palatable and hydrating broth.

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

This type of cat food from Instinct is made specifically for cats with food allergies. Their recipes are based on one central ingredient to make it a good choice for cats that are allergic to one or even several types of meat. The Limited Ingredient canned food has a turkey, a duck, a rabbit, and a salmon-based recipe you can try out.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Can Cat Food

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Meat Grain Free Adult Wet Cat Food

Another limited ingredient canned food option comes from Merrick. You can try their duck, salmon, or turkey recipes, which are all safe for cats with chicken allergies. These are also rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are very healthy for your cat.

Do you know of other cans of food that don’t have chicken that aren’t listed here?

Does your cat have a chicken allergy?  When did you discover it? What do you feed your cat? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

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17 thoughts on “Cat Food for Chicken Allergies

  1. Barbie says:

    Tiki Cat is also one that is w/out chicken for some of their cans. Look for “Tuna based” but still read the labels.

    I have 1 chicken, poultry allergy cat and his sister who is so incredibly picky! 9

  2. Carol English says:

    Okay, all of this info sounds really great. I have emailed you Jenny about my Raggy FuFoo. He is 9 years old now and has had a vomiting problem ( on and off for several years )believed to be caused by allergies to cat foods. He has gone to many specialist and they all say that its allergies and try different foods also they gave me anti vomiting med. He is in good spirits but is skinny and scabby. I will try anything that will help my baby!!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Just found this post tonight, and I am hoping to order a few of these to try out. One not on your list is Applaws. My new cat has a chicken allergy and so I headed to limited ingredients to try to narrow it down. His stomach is SOOOO much better with the Applaws foods, although they are pretty spendy. His favorites are the mousse varieties, which are tuna, ocean fish, and salmon. He also likes the tuna filet in broth, but it includes rice in it for those avoiding fillers. I don’t know if I am allowed to say where I find the best price for it, but I can provide that information with the hosts permission.

      • Rebecca says:

        Thank you! I have found that PetSmart has the best prices for Applaws in my area. The small 2.47 oz cans are $1.89 and the larger 5.5 oz cans are $2.69. Unfortunately, the mousse only seems to come in the smaller cans. That said, they send me emails with coupons on a weekly basis. Amazon and PetCo also sell it, but I have not found it at a lower price through them.

        Thanks for the other great suggestions!

  4. Patti A Johnson says:

    SUPER PAWESOME & FAB POST, Jenny honey! Very informative (as usual)! TYSVM for the education about this cat allergy and alternative foods for those poor kittehs afflicted! No allergies with Miss PSB so far! YAY! 🙂 <3

    I have no clue on other chicken-free canned foods to list. <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & blessings!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

    • Jenny says:

      I know, I count my lucky stars mine don’t have chicken allergies – Amy’s Addie cannot eat chicken because it’s a “Warm” meat and she is supposed to avoid those for inflammation – so it’s a struggle for Amy to find food and food Addie likes.

      • Patti Johnson says:

        Same here….so lucky so far! Yes, I remember Addie’s food challenges that Amy is dealing with. I never even knew about the “warm” versus “cold” meat and the impact on inflammation for kittehs! Fascinating. But, Amy is doing a fabulous & pawesome job caring for Addie’s special health needs. Addie seems to be thriving now. YAY!!! 🙂 <3

        • Jenny says:

          “warm” versus “cold” meat and the impact on inflammation –> for humans too. and as you know, it differs – some people don’t have to worry about that and others do =).

      • Patti A Johnson says:

        I had no idea that applied to controlling inflammation in humans, too! WOW! Fascinating! TYSVM!! 🙂 <3

  5. Kate Atkins says:

    Even, human cooked chicken has never helped. So any alternative proteins are great! From Venison, Trout, etc. suggestions welcomed!

    • veritu says:

      I recently found canned alligator for cats that require novel proteins. Blue Buffalo makes it and it’s called Natural Veterinary Diet NP (Novel Protein) – Alligator. It’s available from Chewy and apparently needs a prescription.

      My poultry-allergic cat had been limited to a hydrolyzed kibble for months and has lately been enjoying Cat’s In The Kitchen Lamburghini. Sadly he is itching like mad – Upon closer inspection the Lamborghini has fish broth and tuna listed first and second with lamb only third. We may be trying alligator next.

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks for asking. They’re fine – I talk about that in the video of the post – it happened over 8 years ago. Trigg had a scraped chin – that was all – until we went to the vet and they had dentals 6 months later. The vet said they both had oddly fractured teeth – that she had never seen the teeth that were fractured on a cat. She didn’t know what could have caused it – it was then that I recalled their fall. I told her about it and she said, yes, that could have caused it.


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