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15 Best Chicken-Free Cat Foods

The finest cat food is high in high-quality protein that is species-appropriate. To put it another way, flesh. Because cats are obligate carnivores, they require a meat-rich diet that is low in carbs.

There are numerous proteins to pick from, but chicken is one of the most popular in pet food. It's widely available and reasonably priced for pet food companies.

While there is nothing wrong with chicken in cat food, it is one of the most prevalent food allergies in cats. If your cat is allergic or sensitive to this component, opt for a chicken-free cat food.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled a list of our top selections for the best chicken-free cat foods.

Look at them down below!

Reviews

Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Cat Food is a top choice
 

Stella & Chewy’s has a wide selection of premium cat food formulas if you’re ready to invest in your cat’s health.

Their freeze-dried raw cat feeds provide excellent nutrition, and many of them, including this duck formula, are prepared with innovative protein sources.

While this recipe does not include a single source of protein, the three that are included are unique to many cats. Duck is the most common protein, followed by turkey and geese.

Ground bone, which is rich in important minerals as well as joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin, is included in both the duck and turkey.

Turkey liver and gizzard are also on the list, as they are high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

This recipe is freeze-dried gently to maintain nutrition and serves as a shelf-stable alternative to fresh food. It has only one extra plant ingredient, pumpkin seed, and has relatively few core ingredients.

Overall, this formula is high in protein and healthful fat. Just keep in mind that the calorie level and moisture content are both pretty high. This meal should be rehydrated before feeding to your cat.

Pros

  • To retain nutrients and flavor, they are freeze-dried.
  • Contains raw flesh, bone, and organs
  • There are only a few plant-based components.
  • Probiotics are added to help with digestion.

Cons

  • Extremely costly
  • Before feeding, the animal must be rehydrated.

 

Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Morsels in Gravy Real Duck Recipe Cuts Cat Food is the best novel protein
 

Cats with chicken sensitivities may develop allergic reactions to other proteins. If you’ve exhausted common proteins like beef and fish, a unique protein like duck may be the natural next step.

This Merrick wet cat food formula is a wonderful alternative because it is high in animal protein and low in carbohydrates.

The initial ingredient is deboned duck, which is reinforced with protein from turkey liver, deboned turkey, and dried egg whites.

The single plant ingredient is potato starch, which is most likely employed to thicken the meal. The total carbohydrate content is quite low, hovering around 3% when fed.

This dish includes salmon oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats promote skin and coat health while also being anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting.

One thing to remember about this recipe is that, while it is a novel protein formula, it is not a single protein formula.

Many cats consider duck and turkey to be novel proteins; but, if your cat is sensitive to chicken, he may acquire an allergy to other poultry.

Pros

  • Made with two high-quality new animal protein sources.
  • Muscle meat and nutrient-dense organs are included.
  • Moisture-rich to help your cat stay hydrated.
  • Carbohydrate content is really low.

Cons

  • Fairly costly
  • There is some potato starch added.

 

ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is the best dry food
 

While many dry food formulations are laden with plant ingredients, Orijen’s Regional Red formula has a lower carbohydrate content than the usual dry cat food.

The first ingredient in this Orijen dry food mix is fresh beef, and the remaining 17 ingredients are all animal-based.

Pork, whole mackerel, lamb liver, wild boar, and whitefish meal are among the proteins available. It’s a healthy mix of fresh muscle meat, meat meals, and organs from reputable suppliers.

All of that protein is bound to provide plenty of natural taste, so it’s no surprise that this dish is free of artificial additives.

Although it contains various beans and legumes, as well as a few additional starchy ingredients, the total carb level is still lower than that of a typical dry dish.

This formula contains probiotics to help with digestion and lots of omega-3 fatty acids to help with skin and coat health.

Overall, this kibble recipe is a good source of animal protein with a lot of fat and calories.

However, keep in mind that no dry food delivers the moisture your cat need, so you should supplement your cat’s moisture consumption elsewhere in his diet.

Pros

  • The first 18 ingredients are animal proteins.
  • Muscle meat, meat meals, and organ meats are abundant.
  • Fish and pollock oil contain omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Probiotics are added to help with digestion.

Cons

  • No dry food contains the moisture that your cat requires.
  • A significant number of plant components have been added.

 

Weruva Tuna & Salmon Formula in Hydrating Puree Wet Cat Food is best for kittens
 

A high-protein formula is essential for weaning a young cat onto solid food or seeking to boost growth and development.

This Weruva wet food is rich of fish flavor and refreshing moisture and is designed exclusively for the nutritional needs of kittens.

This dish, which includes tuna and salmon as two of the top three ingredients, is a good source of species-appropriate animal protein for kittens.

Both of these components are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote skin and coat health as well as immune system function.

The primary carbohydrate additive in this wet food dish is potato starch, but the overall carbohydrate content of the recipe is low.

Furthermore, it is free of artificial ingredients such as colors, flavors, and preservatives, as well as low-quality grains and fillers.

This Weruva kitten food is costly, but it is species-appropriate and high in protein. If you prefer dry food, try this recipe as a wet food topper to add moisture and quality nutrition to your kitten’s diet.

Pros

  • Two high-quality animal protein sources
  • Designed to meet the dietary requirements of developing kittens.
  • Moisture-rich for hydration and digesting
  • No animal byproducts or artificial additives

Cons

  • Some starchy plant components are present.
  • Plants are the primary source of extra fat.

 

Wellness CORE Signature Selects Seafood Variety Pack Flaked Wet Cat Food is the best choice for seniors
 

Senior cats sometimes have dental issues, and some report decreased thirst as they age.

A soft, moist cat food, such as these Wellness CORE Signature Selects formulas, could be an excellent choice.

Tuna, mackerel, and salmon are species-appropriate sources of animal protein in this Wellness wet food pair.

Neither formula is a single-source protein recipe, but all of the proteins are derived from fish rather than other frequent allergies such as beef or chicken.

This formula helps support lean muscle mass in elderly cats by including at least three sources of animal protein in each recipe.

Because the fat content is quite low in comparison to the protein content, it may be an excellent alternative for cats who could benefit from losing some weight.

This recipe is quite digestible, and many cat owners find the soft texture to be tolerable and enticing to cats. Although it is a touch pricy, this recipe is free of low-value grains, animal by-products, and artificial preservatives.

Pros

  • Contains three high-quality animal protein sources.
  • Carbohydrate content is really low.
  • Senior cats will appreciate the soft texture and high moisture content.

Cons

  • Some plant components have been added.
  • The consistency is more gravy-like than flakes.

 

LID Diets (Limited Ingredient Diets) Wet Cat Food Tuna & Pumpkin Formula Flaked Grain-Free Recipe
 

Food allergies and sensitive stomach are two distinct disorders, yet they can coexist.

If your cat suffers from recurrent stomach problems, it’s worth looking for a chicken-free recipe with a small amount of simple ingredients to make it as digestible as possible.

This grain-free cat food is basic and highly digestible, with simply tuna, pumpkin, and canola oil as key ingredients.

It’s sad that the only extra oil source is plant-based, and we could certainly do without the pumpkin, but it might aid your cat’s sensitive digestion.

This recipe is heavy in protein, but because it is made with fish, it is low in fat and calories. It’s also heavy in moisture, which helps your cat stay hydrated.

One disadvantage of this formula is the presence of carrageenan. This is a seaweed-derived thickener that, according to some accounts, may cause inflammation and toxicity.

However, other studies have found no harm from carrageenan, making it difficult to pass judgment on this substance.

Pros

  • Made with a single animal protein source
  • Moisture-rich to help your cat stay hydrated
  • A short list of main elements that are easily digested

Cons

  • Carrageenan is present.
  • Plants are the primary source of extra fat.

 

Blue Buffalo Diet with Few Ingredients
 

LID (Limited Ingredient Diet) is a cat food formula that contains only one type of protein and, in certain cases, only one type of carbohydrate.

Limited ingredient diets are frequently used to aid cats with food allergies by reducing the amount of proteins to which your cat may react. They’re also an excellent choice for chicken-free cat food.

Blue Buffalo offers three varieties (turkey, duck, and fish) that are all devoid of chicken. Click here to view the current Amazon price.

Blue Buffalo is a decent choice, and the limited ingredient range is ideal for individuals who prefer not to consume chicken.

To gain a better sense of the product, let’s take a short glance at the first five ingredients. We’ll look at the Fish & Potato dish because it’s also free of poultry.

Pros

  • There are several varieties to select from, all of which are chicken-free.
  • No wheat, soy, or corn.
  • Excludes egg, which can be beneficial to some cats.

Cons

  • With the addition of plant proteins, the ingredients are of slightly lesser quality.
  • Within the last five years, there has been a mixed recall history.

 

Taste of the Wild Canyon River on a Budget
 

I chose Taste of the Wild Canyon River as our best value option.

This dry cat food contains trout as the first component, making it rather unique in the cat food world and an excellent choice if you feel your cat is having difficulty digesting more standard proteins.

The ingredient list is more similar to our Blue Buffalo offering, making Taste of the Wild a good value. You may find the most recent Amazon price by clicking here.

Taste of the Wild takes a different approach to carbohydrate selection by including potatoes and sweet potatoes.

This could be an excellent choice for cat owners looking to try something new while avoiding chicken. Let’s look at the first five elements in more detail.

Pros

  • Because trout is the first component, this is a more unusual alternative.
  • Since the 1970s, the company has been family-owned and manufactured in the United States.
  • Filler is limited, and carbohydrate sources are unique.

Cons

  • The 2012 Salmonella recalls do raise some worries (learn more)
  • Flavor options are limited.

Is Your Cat Allergic to Chicken?

Sneezing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing may spring to mind when you think of allergies. Food allergies, in particular, can cause digestive symptoms, at least in humans.

Cat food allergies are a little different.

The most prevalent skin-related symptoms of food allergies in cats are chronic skin issues and recurring ear infections. Some cats will experience digestive symptoms such as frequent bowel motions, vomiting, and diarrhea.

A food trial is the most effective technique to confirm a food allergy. You’ll need to feed your cat a recipe free of the probable allergy for 6 to 8 weeks until the symptoms go away.

The allergen can then be reintroduced. If your cat’s symptoms reappear within a week, the allergen is most likely to blame.

Food allergies in cats are most typically provoked by proteins such as chicken, beef, and fish, as well as dairy products.

If your cat is allergic to chicken, you must eliminate all kinds of chicken protein from his diet. Fresh chicken, chicken meal, and chicken by-product meal are all included.

It’s also a good idea to avoid items with generically called poultry meal because you can’t tell if they include chicken.

Shopping Tips for Chicken-Free Cat Food

Once you’ve determined that your cat is allergic to chicken, you’ll need to find a new cat food that does not contain chicken.

It should be prepared with high-quality components, and choosing one with a minimal ingredient list can help reduce the chance of extra sensitivities.

  • The first element in a decent chicken-free cat chow is a high-quality source of animal protein.

Beef, turkey, and fish are some other possibilities to consider. If your cat has further allergies, try novel proteins such lamb, venison, and duck. Check the ingredient list to ensure that no chicken products are hidden.

  • A balanced nutritional profile can be found in a healthy chicken-free cat food.

Cats, once again, require an animal-based diet that contains as little plant elements as possible. Depending on your cat’s life stage, choose a recipe that is nutritionally balanced according to AAFCO nutrient profiles for either adult cats or kittens.

  • A high-quality cat food does not contain fillers, ambiguous byproducts, or artificial additions.

Low-value cereals such as corn, wheat, and soy have no place in the diet of a cat. Because cats have a limited ability to digest plant foods, even entire grains like brown rice and oatmeal should be avoided.

Animal byproducts aren’t always harmful to your cat. The fundamental issue is that judging the quality and, unless the species of animal is indicated, the protein source might be difficult.

Artificial additives such as colors, flavors, and preservatives provide no nutritional benefit to your cat and have been related to detrimental health impacts in rare cases.

Let’s have a look at our top selections now that you have a better grasp of chicken allergies in cats and why you might want to try a chicken-free cat food.

Conclusion

After doing research and testing on the above items, we think that Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Cat Food and ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Cat Food are the two most well-known and reliable products for you to choose from.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes that our list of the best chicken-free cat foods was useful in assisting you with your quest!

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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