Post Published on May 20, 2020 | 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.