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For Your Pet, The Best Poultry-Free Cat Foods

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they must ingest animal proteins in order to obtain adequate nourishment. Chicken is an inexpensive and tasty option to provide all of your cat's nutritional needs.

However, not all cats are suitable for poultry. Some are allergic to chicken—one it's of the most frequent cat allergies, believe it or not—while others dislike it.

Poultry-free food recipes can really save these cats' lives. Pet parents with finicky or allergic cats will have to sift through BestForPets' (bestforpets.org) reviews to locate the best poultry-free cat foods for their pets.

It can be difficult to find food that does not contain poultry or poultry byproducts. Even if a food is not marketed as having a chicken flavor, it may contain poultry components.

This could be hazardous or even lethal to cats with allergies. Always read the contents list to avoid purchasing dubious poultry products!


Natural Harmony L.I.D. – Best Buy

Natural Balance L.I.D. is the best poultry-free cat food we could find for the money. Natural Balance’s formulae are difficult to beat at that pricing point.

Natural Balance L.I.D has a high protein concentration of 30% crude proteins. Natural Balance foods are popular among pet parents as a low-cost-of-entry high-protein option, and their L.I.D range includes a variety of poultry-free options.


  • High protein content
  • Grain-free
  • Pricing that is competitive


  • Food is typically higher in meat meal content than meat.
  • Not without peas


Carnivore Solutions

Go! Solutions addresses an issue that pet parents have identified over the years: the lack of doctors participating in cat food manufacturing.

The nutrition manager at Go! has a Ph.D. in companion animal nutrition, which shows. Go! Solutions Carnivore has the highest crude protein level of any food on this list, at 42 percent.

This degree of species-appropriate nourishment comes at a hefty price, but it is well worth it for those ready to take the plunge!


  • Exceptionally high protein content
  • Meats are the first two ingredients.
  • The nutrition management is overseen by a doctor.


  • High barrier to entry


Taste of the Wild PREY – Recommended for Kittens

Taste of the Wild is a new pet product brand that has quickly gained popularity among pet owners. Their Angus Beef cat food is grain-free and poultry-free.

Beef is also listed as the main ingredient. One of the most appealing aspects of Taste of the Wild is its short recall history. Diamond Pet Food recalled Taste of the Wild in 2012, and there have been no other recalls since.

Pet parents may be confident that Taste of the Wild takes all necessary efforts to keep their pets safe.


  • Recall history is limited.
  • Free of grains and peas


  • 15% of their Chewy reviews are one-star ratings.


Limited Ingredient Instinct

Instinct’s Limited-Ingredient Diet is another excellent option for poultry-free cat food. Instinct’s Limited-Ingredient Diet is available in three varieties for cats with allergies: Rabbit, Turkey, and Salmon.

Instinct now offers canned food in their Limited-Ingredient line for finicky eaters who refuse to eat dry food. Each Limited-Ingredient food contains one source of protein and one supply of vegetables.

All of the other components are vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure that your cat receives appropriate nourishment. Their food is also infused with freeze-dried raw proteins, which your cat will adore!


  • Price point that is competitive
  • Ingredients are clearly labeled.
  • Produced from farm-raised rabbit


  • Not without peas


Cat Food Orijen

Orijen’s cat feeds are said to contain 85-90 percent animal protein, making them ideal for obligate carnivores.

They also make certain that the first five ingredients in each cat formula are high-quality protein sources such as raw meat and organs.

Their Six-Fish blend is exactly what it sounds like. The first six ingredients are fish meats and organs, which give critical nutrients that cats cannot obtain elsewhere.

Orijen’s foods are slightly more expensive than typical cat food, but you are paying for the high quality of the ingredients.


  • Animal proteins account for 85-90 percent of the total.
  • Made primarily of high-quality meats


  • High barrier to entry

Buyer's Manual

Choosing a Poultry-Free Cat Food

Regardless of your motivation, selecting a new cat food can be a daunting task. We care about our pets and want the best for them, which involves learning more about the foods we feed them.

Consider a Formula with Few Ingredients

Cats with food sensitivities benefit from limited-ingredient formulations. Whether your cat is allergic to or dislikes chicken, a limited-ingredient meal will be created with no chicken or by-products.

Because they are focusing on cats with allergies, they will take extra steps to avoid cross-contamination.

Check All of the Ingredients

Just because the dish isn’t labeled as being made of chicken doesn’t mean it doesn’t include any chicken or by-products of chicken.

Cross-contamination may occur if the food is not prepared with allergen sensitivity in mind. If you’re not sure what an item is composed of or if it’s labeled vaguely, it could be a negative omen for a cat with poultry sensitivity.

Consult your veterinarian

If you’re not sure where to begin, consult your veterinarian. They’ll have a solid notion of what products are available and which ones will best meet your cat’s demands.

Your veterinarian can also assist you in developing a customized feeding plan to ensure that your cat receives all of the nutrients they require to live a long and healthy life.

Alternative Protein Sources for Animals


Beef is an excellent protein source for cats. It is high in natural antioxidants and minerals like zinc and iron, which your cat requires in its diet. Beef is also high in taurine, which cats require for healthy vision, stomach, and immune systems.


Fish is an excellent low-fat substitute for chicken. Fish formulations are high in calcium and omega fatty acids, which promote strong bones and make your cat’s hair velvety smooth.


Rabbit meat is a low-calorie, low-fat white meat option for your cat’s main protein source. Rabbit also has less salt than other meats and is high in phosphorus and calcium.


Lamb is another popular protein choice for cats. Because it has more myoglobin than white meats, it is classified as red meat. It contains important antioxidants, minerals, and taurine, much like beef.


While turkey may not be an option for cats that are intolerant or allergic to fowl, it can be a cost-effective solution for pet parents who have finicky eaters who don’t enjoy chicken. Turkey offers equal nutritional values to chicken but fewer calories.

Is Hydrolyzed Chicken Protein Safe for My Cat?

Hydrolyzed chicken protein is a degraded version of the amino acids found in chicken. Veterinarians prescribe it for cats that are allergic to poultry because the hydrolyzed protein does not induce the same reactions as chicken meat.

So, how about eggs?

An aversion to poultry does not always imply an intolerance to eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and minerals for cats.

However, if your cat is easily irritated by poultry, your veterinarian may advise you to avoid egg products in your cat’s food as a precaution.


Choosing a new meal for our pets can be a daunting undertaking. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) can’t help but want to choose the best and never fail them because they rely on us.

Unfortunately, when your cat is unable to consume one of the most common pet food ingredients, extensive investigation is required.

Smalls is our best overall choice for pet parents looking for a chicken-free diet. Raw Cat Food of Human Grade Natural Balance L.I.D was our top value pick for those on a limited budget.

Last but not least, Go! Solutions Carnivore received two thumbs up as the third poultry-free cat food option.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something new and are well on your way to a happy, chicken-free existence with your cat. 

We hope that our list of the best poultry-free cat foods aided you in your hunt for the ideal solution for your pet!

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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