Not every cat can handle all the artificial flavors and complex ingredients of most cat foods you find on store shelves these days. There are all sorts of additives, man-made ingredients and things that simply are not natural in many cat foods, and it doesn’t always sit well with cats and their stomachs.
Limited ingredient cat food cuts down the number of ingredients to the bare essentials, stripping the food of a lot of additives and unnecessary components. A lot of what is being taken out is simply filler, meant to pad out the food and cut costs for the manufacturers. Limited ingredient cat food therefore tends to be more expensive than regular cat food. It contains the same amount of content as conventional cat food, but what it contains is of higher quality and therefore more expensive.
Top 3 Limited Ingredient Cat Foods:
|Brand||Natural Balance||BLUE Basics||Nature’s Variety|
|Our Take||Best Price||Best Overall||Editor’s Choice|
Since getting what you pay for holds true with this kind of product, the fewer and higher quality ingredients typically provide a healthier and more filling meal for your cat. This kind of cat food is a little harder to find, but we will show you some of the best options available to you to help you make an informed decision.
Cat Food Allergies
Some cats will have a bad reaction to certain cat foods, particularly those that have a lot of ingredients. This may be pet allergies, or it could just be food intolerance, and PetEducation.com notes that it is important to tell the difference. Pet allergies will be characterized by a skin reaction most of the time, such as hair falling out or itchiness. Food intolerance is more likely to cause diarrhea or vomiting. If you aren’t sure which one your cat has, you can either take it to a veterinarian or start eliminating certain foods in its diet to find out which one is causing problems.
What to avoid
The most common cat food allergy triggers are potatoes, soy, grains (wheat, rice, etc.) and whole meats. It is typically proteins that are to blame for an allergic reaction, and these tend to be from common cat food ingredients. So, if your cat is showing signs of disinterest in the food or their health condition is changing after you give them a certain type of food, then you may want to consider that they have a food allergy. At that point, it is time to change their diet. You may have to go through some trial and error before you figure out what your cat is allergic to or intolerant of.
Why You Should Buy Limited Ingredient Cat Food
There are a number of benefits to buying limited ingredient cat food for your pet:
- Reduce allergic reactions: Not every cat will have allergies to food, but for those that do, using limited ingredient foods is the best way to deal with the problem.
- Healthier diet for your cat- Limited ingredient cat food tends to be much more wholesome than conventional cat foods, mainly because it lacks fillers and artificial content that can cause health problems over time.
- Better weight control– With fewer ingredients, the food is less likely to contain fattening content, such as oils and gravy that lacks nutritional value but is full of empty calories.
- Uses hydrolyzed proteins- These are broken down proteins that are so simplified that, according to KittyCatter.com, the cat’s body won’t be able to recognize the allergen. Many limited ingredient cat foods use these to reduce allergic reactions.
- More energy for your cat– Healthier food that your cat enjoys is going to boost your cat’s energy levels. The feline is more likely to eat more of the food and to be in better shape because they are keeping their food down and feeling better all the time. Even if you aren’t seeing some of the problems their food may be causing, switching to limited ingredient cat food can help your cat in lots of ways.
Best Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Foods
Let’s start with some dry cat food options that only contain a few ingredients.
Cutting out some of the ingredients from your cat’s diet can help to decrease their chances of suffering an allergic reaction. However, you need to keep in mind that the more often they eat the same foods, the more likely they are to develop an allergic reaction to it. So, even if you are feeding your cat limited ingredient foods, over time they could develop an allergy to one of the ingredients, and you may want to change their diet from time to time to prevent that from happening. After all, most cat food allergies are due to very common ingredients.
According to PetMD, the best way to test for the cause of your cat’s allergy is to eliminate a lot of common ingredients from their food and diet and then add some of those back in gradually until you identify the trigger. Once you know what food causes the cat to have a bad reaction, you can simply avoid feeding it to your cat. You’ll be able to ensure your cat still gets enough nutrients and protein by using one of the limited ingredient cat foods until you can figure out what kind of food is giving your cat problems. Hopefully, one of the selections on this list we have put together will work well for you and your cat.