7 Best Wet Cat Foods for Allergic and Sensitive Cats

Grey tabby cat eating wet food from bowl on white background

Key Points

  • There's a difference between grain-free and limited-ingredient cat food.

  • The term "limited-ingredient" isn't regulated by the FDA and requires some scrutiny.

  • Prescription diets require a veterinarian's approval before purchasing them.

Cats rely on their owners to choose their food. A cat with allergies needs you to pay special attention to the meals you buy them so they don't experience illness or discomfort.

This article examines seven of the best wet cat foods for allergic and sensitive cats. These brands are either grain-free or have limited ingredients for your feline friend. The two types are different, but both are for cats that cannot eat certain foods.

Grains are a common cat allergen, so eliminating that ingredient is an excellent place to start for a cat with a food allergy. Limiting the ingredients in your cat's food reduces the likelihood they eat something that causes their allergic reactions. If you're unsure of your cat's specific allergy, this is a simple way to narrow down the possible cause.

Difference Between Grain-Free and Limited-Ingredient Diets

Grain-free cat foods are exactly as they sound — they contain no grains and use vegetables and fruits as sources of fiber. They may contain fillers that cause upset stomachs for some cats. Limited-ingredient diets are a bit tricky. They're also typically grain-free but usually go even further than that. Their ingredient lists are much shorter than regular cat foods and grain-free options.

Veterinarians.org author and journalist Anant Shastri says to be wary of the term "limited ingredient" because it "[i]s not officially regulated by the FDA. As a result, pet food companies and brands often write the term on several cat food labels irrespective of the number of ingredients that are present in the product."

Despite the label of "limited-ingredient" on your cat's food, always look at the label. If your cat has specific allergies, check with your vet to see if the cat food you choose works for your cat's needs. Check with your vet if you're unsure whether your cat has allergies, especially if their refusal to eat suddenly or they show signs of allergies.

Being a picky eater doesn't necessarily mean your pet has an allergy or food sensitivity. They may just be a fussy eater. A YouTube video posted on August 1, 2023, shows several reasons why your cat might be picky about their food.

Pros and Cons

Even though grain-free and limited-ingredient cat foods benefit sensitive felines, they aren't without their negative aspects. Grain-free cat foods are more expensive than regular food, but you don't have much choice if your cat is allergic to specific grains. Limited-ingredient cat food is generally even higher in price than grain-free. If your concern is the number of fillers and additives in your cat's food, limited ingredients are the way to go.

A grain-free option usually suffices if price is a concern and your cat's sensitivity is specific to a particular grain. Use treats with caution. Check their ingredients as well. There are also treats for cats with dietary restrictions. If none of these options suit your needs, consider making your own healthy cat food.

If homemade recipes aren't on the menu, consider these top-choice wet cat foods for allergic and sensitive cats. Learning their features and benefits makes finding a food that meets your pet's needs and suits their preferences easier.

Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken & Pumpkin
$89.98 ($0.55 / Ounce)

by Natural Balance 

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03/08/2024 09:06 pm GMT

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets offer wet cat food options with limited high-quality ingredients, ideal for cats with food allergies or sensitivities. It comes in chicken and pumpkin or tuna and pumpkin. Chicken or tuna is the single animal protein source. They add pumpkin as a grain-free source of fiber. It contains either chicken or fish broth and has added vitamin and mineral supplements for a complete and healthy diet.

Customers say their cats like the chunks in this food. With the addition of pumpkin, it doesn't smell overly fishy. The cost is high, but this is true of any limited-ingredient food.

Prescription Diet Skin/Food Wet Cat Food
$95.99 ($0.73 / Ounce)

by Hill's 

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03/08/2024 09:06 pm GMT

Hill's Prescription Diet

Hill's Prescription Diet provides hypoallergenic wet cat food to minimize the risk of adverse reactions for cats with food allergies. To purchase this product, you must have a prescription from your vet.

Hydrolyzed chicken liver is the main ingredient. It contains cornstarch and soybean oil, which isn't a grain-free option. Be sure your cat isn't allergic to those ingredients. The food also reduces the risk of urinary crystals.

This is easy on your cat's stomach, but several customers say their cat doesn't like the taste. Other buyers don't like the food's consistency or the lack of gravy. This is a reminder that every cat has individual tastes and preferences.

Feline Selected Protein PD Loaf

by Royal Canin 

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Royal Canin Feline Selected Protein

Royal Canin Feline Selected Protein offers wet cat food with a limited ingredient list and specific protein sources for cats with allergies or sensitivities. This food also requires a veterinarian's prescription.

This limited-ingredient diet made with peas and duck is easy on your cat's stomach. It has omega-3 fatty acids to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin. Customers say this keeps their cats from having skin reactions. Others comment about the high price, which is typical for a prescription diet.

Basics Skin & Stomach Care

by Blue Buffalo 

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Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet features wet cat food options made with a limited number of carefully selected ingredients to avoid common allergens. Customers say Blue Buffalo Basics solves their cat's digestive issues and creates a more solid stool. Others say the adult version works better than the kitten food. Most say their cats enjoy the taste, but you may have to test it to see which flavor they prefer.

This food's primary ingredients are turkey, broth, liver, and fish oil. It also includes a variety of fruits and vegetables for fiber and antioxidants. However, it contains carrageenan, which some claim causes an adverse reaction in some cats. Talk to your vet about whether your cat might be susceptible to its effects.

CORE Signature Selects Wet Cat Food

by Wellness 

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03/08/2024 09:25 pm GMT

Wellness Core Signature Selects

Wellness Core Signature Selects provides wet cat food options with animal protein as the number one ingredient and easily digestible carbohydrates, suitable for cats with food sensitivities. Wellness Core is grain-free but contains potato starch and eggs, so be aware of your cat's allergies.

It has no animal by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives and flavors. This one is chunky in a sauce for cats that don't like pate. Several customers say Wellness is the only food their cats don't refuse. For a picky eater, the price is worth it. Cats and owners both love the higher moisture content.

Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free
$59.76 ($0.83 / Ounce)

by Instinct 

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03/08/2024 09:31 pm GMT

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet focuses on a single animal protein and one vegetable to avoid common allergens. This one contains no chicken, beef, or fish for pets with certain sensitivities. You choose turkey or rabbit, a protein you don't find in many other cat foods. It contains no corn, wheat, soy, or carrageenan for cats with sensitivities to those ingredients.

Instinct reportedly helps cats with digestive issues. Customers like the high quality, but it comes with a price. If your cat likes it, there's better value in buying it by the case.

Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Real
$57.12 ($7.62 / lb)

by Merrick 

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03/08/2024 09:35 pm GMT

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet offers wet cat food with a limited ingredients list and a single source of animal protein, suitable for cats with food allergies or sensitivities. This is the best limited-ingredient wet food, according to Veterinarians.org. Pleasing multiple cats at once isn't easy, but customers say their cats love Merrick.

You choose from chicken, turkey, tuna, rabbit, or duck. Some cats don't like particular flavors, but with five to choose from, you're sure to find one they prefer that has the right protein for your cat's sensitive stomach. Each meat has a different percentage of protein, so be aware of your cat's needs when selecting from these options.

Limit the Ingredients, But Not the Love

Finding a cat food that works may be difficult when you have a feline with allergies or sensitivities to certain foods. These seven wet cat foods are known to meet these dietary needs. Determine your cat's specific issue and do your research to find a food that works for your cat.

These limited-ingredient cat food choices aid you in eliminating your cat's allergy-causing source. These food brands are also healthy options. Your cat doesn't need a lot of fillers in their food to obtain their necessary nutrients, and that's the main goal.

You have the information to decide on your sensitive cat's diet. Limit their ingredients and expand your love for them.

For more recommendations on food, treats, and other cat things, subscribe to Cattitude Daily.

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