Like humans, some cats suffer allergic reactions to certain foods, among which are grains, such as wheat, rice and corn. Maybe your pet has been diagnosed as having such a condition, or perhaps you are interested in controlling your cat’s diet so that it more naturally resembles what he or she would eat in the wild. For many devoted pet owners, the ability to identify good quality alternatives to the traditional ranges of cat foods can be made more difficult by the huge choice offered by manufacturers. Here to help, then, is our top selection of grain free cat foods on the market.

The Best Grain Free Cat Food

1 Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Feline Formula

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Feline Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Venison, Salmon, Ocean Fish
  • Calories: 425 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Roasted Venison & Smoked Salmon
  • Life Stage: Adult

This grain-free formula is enhanced with sweet potatoes and peas to offer your cat easily digestible sources of protein and assist in the development of strong and lean musculature. Other vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, blueberries and raspberries provide antioxidants to help promote overall wellbeing, including a healthy coat, skin and immune system overall. Probiotics including those from dried chicory root helps aid good digestion. With no grain, corn or soy, there are also no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.

The product contains real smoked salmon and roasted venison to tempt the taste buds and has been formulated for optimum nutrition for felines of all ages, from kittens to senior cats. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain is one of 5 cat food recipes mentioned in our Taste of the Wild Cat Food Review.

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Potato Protein, Roasted Venison, Smoked Salmon, Natural Flavor, Ocean Fish Meal, Dl-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

What others say about it:
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Featuring an array of meats including chicken, roasted venison, salmon, and whitefish, this wonderful cat kibble boasts an ample 42% crude protein, with an equally elite crude fat content of 18%. Those cornerstone nutritional values are supplemented with a robust vitamin and mineral profile, ample Omega-3 fatty acids, and a whopping probiotics payload of 80 million CFU per pound.
More importantly, our tuxedo cat is as fussy as they come, she’s nearly nineteen, and Taste of the Wild’s Rocky Mountain Feline Recipe has been her preferred cat food for the better part of that long lifetime. Testimony!

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2 Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Cat Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Peas
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Peas
  • Calories: 443 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

This dry cat food is grain and gluten free, and complex carbohydrates to meet your pet’s needs come from sweet potatoes rather than wheat, rice or corn. The recipe contains high quality protein from deboned chicken, rather than chicken or other poultry by-product meals, more naturally recreating the diet your cat would eat in the wild. However, unlike a raw diet, this is far easier for owners to prepare and use; and also contains the additional supplements you’d expect to make sure your cat’s diet is nutritionally complete.

These supplements combine the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants recommended by animal nutritionists and vets to support a strong immune system, healthy skin and coat, and  robust muscle development; while all aiding optimal digestion. The balance of calories from fat and proteins will assist your cat to maintain a healthy weight. No artificial preservatives or flavors are used in the manufacture of this product. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken is one of 10 cat food recipes included in our Blue Buffalo Cat Food Review.

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Calcium Chloride, Potassium Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

What others say about it:
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Blue Buffalo is great cat food. I have 4 cats who love all the flavors of the dry and canned food. It costs more than many other brands but is so worth it. I have 2 senior cats, 14 years old, who were starting to have kidney problems. I switched them to Blue Buffalo and in 6 weeks the issues cleared up. I pay more in the short term, but in the long run, I save big money on vet bills. There is also a better quality of life and longer life my fur babies have. If I ever get a dog, he’s going to be on Blue Buffalo too.

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3 Purina Pro Plan True Nature Grain Free Formula

Purina Pro Plan True Nature Grain Free Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: Purina Pro Plan
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Liver, Meat By-Products, Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Livers
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken
  • Calories: 107 kcal/can
  • Flavor: Chicken & Liver
  • Life Stage: Adult

For pet owners who prefer to feed their cats a wet diet, there is Purina Pro Plan True Nature Natural Grain Free formula. Grain and gluten free, with no added artificial flavorings, colorings or preservatives, this recipe contain levels of high quality protein derived from real chicken and liver as the top ingredients, helping to promote optimal body condition. Added essential nutrients, including 25 essential vitamins and minerals, make this a complete food for cats – no need to include any supplements in their diet.

The product has been formulated by Purina’s panel of over 400 nutritionists and vets and is manufactured in the US. Online reviews from pet owners suggest this is a great choice for diabetic and overweight cats. 

You may also like our Purina Pro Plan Cat Food Review.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Liver, Meat By-Products, Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Livers, Chicken Hearts, Natural Flavors, Guar Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Carrageenan, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Manganese Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide.

What others say about it:
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I am so glad that I bought this type of wet food for my cats. They like it very much. When it is time for them to eat and they may be upstairs. All I have to do is tap the can with a spoon and they come running. It like a you see on tv ad when all the cats come running from ever where. It is so funny

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4 Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free

Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free
Key features:
  • Brand: Purina Beyond
  • First 5 ingredients: Hake, Chicken Meal, Cassava Root Flour, Dried Egg Product, Pea Starch
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Egg
  • Calories: 392 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Ocean Whitefish & Egg
  • Life Stage: Adult

With Whitefish as the top listed ingredient and egg added to the recipe, this grain and gluten free food is rich in high quality protein, and contains no soy, wheat or corn nor poultry by-product meal. There are no added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives either. With essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals added to the formula, this is a complete and balanced food for cats – no other supplements need to be fed to keep your cat healthy. However, as with all dry foods, pet owners should ensure a fresh source of drinking water is always available.

The product is developed in conjunction with nutritionists and vets and manufactured in the US, with the makers stating that no ingredients are sourced from China.

Take a look at our review of Purina Beyond Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Hake, Chicken Meal, Cassava Root Flour, Dried Egg Product, Pea Starch, Pea Protein, Dried Yeast, Canola Meal, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Potassium Chloride, Sunflower Oil, L-lysine Monohydrochloride, Dl-methionine, Phosphoric Acid, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bisulfate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product. E426320.

What others say about it:
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I was looking for a new dry food brand for my two cats. One of them hated the dry food before, but eating only wet food made him vomit frequently. Since we switch to this brand, it’s a first time my older cat started eating dry food and vomits only maybe twice a month. My younger fat cat lost a bit of weight (I attribute it to grain free formula), although he still eats the same amount of dry food as before. I’m very happy with this brand recommend it to all cat owners.

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5 Wellness Core Grain Free Protein-Rich Nutrition

Wellness Core Grain Free Protein-Rich Nutrition
Key features:
  • Brand: Wellness
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Turkey & Peas
  • Calories: 445 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Meal
  • Life Stage: Adult

Wellness describes their cat foods as designed to closely mimic the diet of a cat in the wild, containing animal proteins from high-quality sources in high concentration within the formula. This complete cat food also incorporates dried kelp to offer beneficial fiber, which together with the protein-rich recipe will help you cat feel fuller for longer without overeating, thereby assisting in the maintenance of a healthy body weight. The inclusion of cranberries, which promote a healthy urinary tract by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, make this formula beneficial for indoor cats.

Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Chondroitin Sulfate assist with healthy joints. All ingredients come from natural sources and there are no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors. The product is manufactured in the USA. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula is one of 5 cat food recipes mentioned in our review of Wellness Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Chicory Root Extract, Choline Chloride, Cranberries, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Dried Kelp, L-Carnitine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

What others say about it:
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I have 2 cats with urinary problems and they must have food low in ash…this is low in ash and carbs, made in the USA and my babies destroy this along with the core tiny taster pouches. I feel good that they’re getting good nutrition and it’s helping them and is healthy. Ash/phosphorus content should be under 2% btw

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6 Weruva B.F.F. Tuna & Salmon Soulmates Dinner

Weruva B.F.F. Tuna & Salmon Soulmates Dinner
Key features:
  • Brand: BFF
  • First 5 ingredients: Tuna, Fish Broth, Salmon, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate
  • Primary Proteins: Tuna, Salmon
  • Calories: 68 kcal/3-oz can
  • Flavor: Tuna & Salmon
  • Life Stage: All

If you’re not only concerned with the welfare of your cat, but the welfare of the planet in general, Weruva’s formulas seem to tick all the boxes. It is dolphin and sea turtle-safe, free from grains, gluten, starch, potato and MSG; and also GMO free. Additionally, it is produced in facilities and with ingredients also used for humans, and all protein content is derived from ethical, sustainable sources. Best Feline Friend offers a complete and balanced diet made from all natural ingredients; it is low in carbs and fat, but rich in proteins from high quality sources. The high moisture content ensures your cat gets the fluids it needs.

Weruva also offers variety packs containing a range of flavors in both aspic and gravy, so even the most finicky of cats won’t get bored with the selection. If you want to find out more about their company, product lines, and recall history, read our overview of Weruva Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Tuna, Fish Broth, Salmon, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K), Potassium Iodide, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

What others say about it:
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My cat is allergic to absolutely everything, from dust to fleas to most cat food ingredients. We went grain-free, but that wasn’t enough because it turned out she was ALSO allergic to most common proteins, like chicken and beef.

Did I mention she’s also a picky eater? When we had to make the rare-protein switch, I made a sweep through the pet store for every no-grain rare-meat option they had. Half of them, she wouldn’t even touch. The BFF Tuna and Pumpkin was the clear winner from our experiment. (Luckily, it was one of the less expensive options. Some of those “artisan” foods can get expensive!) She’s been on it for about 8 months now, and her itching and vomiting are almost gone, her coat is softer, and she seems to have more energy overall. My mother started her own elderly cat on BFF Tuna when she saw that transformation, and her cat is loving the food and looking healthier too.

Our biggest problems are (1) finding it — the local pet store has trouble keeping enough cans in stock, and (2) keeping our other cats and dog away because they all love it at least as much as Allergy Cat. Not much answer to the latter problem, but Amazon has been a lifesaver for the former. The price is comparable to our local pet store, and it’s extra-convenient to have cases delivered directly to our door.

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7 Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Cat Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • First 5 ingredients: Whitefish, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Tapioca Starch, Peas, Chicken Meal
  • Primary Proteins: Whitefish, Peas & Chicken
  • Calories: 391 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Fish
  • Life Stage: Adult

This holistic formula has been developed especially for indoor cats, to meet all their nutritional needs while preserving and maintaining an ideal body weight. Protein comes from high quality Whitefish and the calorie count is carefully balanced. With no corn, wheat or soy filler, nor any chicken or other poultry by-product meals, the food also does not contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Essential nutrients are added to ensure optimum health over a range of areas, from joints to strong muscles and healthy eyesight. These vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are blended into BLUE’s proprietary formula that they call LifeSource Bits, and are processed at low temperatures to ensure the goodness is retained so there is no degradation during manufacture.

Ingredients:

Whitefish, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Tapioca Starch, Peas, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Potato Starch, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Fiber, Dried Egg Product, Powdered Cellulose, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potatoes, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Calcium Chloride, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Vegetable juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, L-Carnitine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

What others say about it:
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We have five outdoor cats we adopted and they wait for their Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Fish Recipe every morning at 6 AM.. We have to put out five bowls of cat food so everyone has their own bowl. Other wise they push each other out of the way if we only put out two or three bowls.

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8 Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Real Salmon

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Real Salmon
Key features:
  • Brand: Merrick
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Primary Proteins: Salmon, Chicken & Turkey
  • Calories: 412 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Salmon + Sweet Potato
  • Life Stage: Adult

Merrick offers farm fresh ingredients in this formula which are combined in a ratio of 74% protein and fat ingredients to 26% carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. This offers the right balance of high protein and moisture levels; measured fat levels; and low carbohydrates to meet your pet’s needs without becoming overweight. The top ingredient in all Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro range is a high quality protein source; in this case, deboned salmon. The recipe offers a 100% complete and balanced diet for adult cats with no special nutritional needs. Essential fatty acids – Omegas 3 and 6 – are included for healthy coat and skin.

Merrick does not use ingredients from China and no corn, wheat, soy or gluten are included in this product. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Real Salmon is one of 5 recipes included in our review of the Merrick Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Tapioca, Ground Flaxseed, Phosphoric Acid, Inulin (from chicory root), Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Choline Chloride, Salt, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil, Taurine, Minerals((Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamins(Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

What others say about it:
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I purchased this cat food for……(insert drum roll here) …my cats. They like it and they eat a lot minus the bits that end up on the floor and later in my trash can. I give the flavor 5 stars, as my cats seam to enjoy, but for the record I have not sampled it myself. Although, I know you are shocked and /or amazed to hear this. It smells as cat food would, fishy, this is a salmon flavor after all, but I would not consider it to stinky. The bag has an easy reseal, which if you read my other reviews you will see I consider this a bonus. Box also doubled as a cat bed for at lease one night.

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9 Natural Balance L.I.D. Green Pea & Salmon Formula

Natural Balance L.I.D. Green Pea & Salmon Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: Natural Balance
  • First 5 ingredients: Green Peas, Salmon Meal, Salmon, Pea Protein, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
  • Primary Proteins: Salmon, Green Peas
  • Calories: 410 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Green Pea & Salmon
  • Life Stage: Adult

Natural Balance limits the number of protein and carbohydrate sources in its recipes so that pet owners can identify and balance exactly what goes into their cats’ diets. This particularly assists with cats who suffer from food allergies and intolerances. The protein is derived from high quality sources, such as salmon in this case, designed to ensure a sleek, shiny coat and optimum muscle tone. Carbohydrate needs are met by green peas rather than wheat, soy or corn, for owners who prefer their cats to have a grain free diet.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids assist in maintaining a healthy skin and coat. The recipe is complete and balanced according to regulatory standards. There is also a version specifically designed for indoor cats. Natural Balance L.I.D. Green Pea & Salmon Formula is one of 5 recipes included in our review of the Natural Balance Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Green Peas, Salmon Meal, Salmon, Pea Protein, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Flaxseed, Dl-Methionine, Salt, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

What others say about it:
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I ordered the only dry cat food that my fussy cat will eat (Natural Balance salmon & green pea.) It’s often not available at local pet stores. I ordered the manageable size bag. The price was comparable to local pet stores and the delivery was arrived on time to my door. I will definitely be using this in the future!

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10 Blue Buffalo Indoor Freedom Grain Free Flaked

Blue Buffalo Indoor Freedom Grain Free Flaked
Key features:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken
  • Calories: 418 kcal/12.5 oz can
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Formulated for cats who do not thrive on grain-based diets, this grain and gluten free recipe is also specifically designed for indoor cats. Features incorporate the inclusion of cranberries to maintain health in the urinary tract and a proprietary blend of natural dietary fibers which assist in easing hairballs through the digestive system to prevent issues with these. Because cats who live indoors are also prone to excess weight, the ratio of calories to fat is carefully calculated to avoid obesity.

BLUE Freedom contains no wheat, corn, or soy, nor any chicken or other poultry by-product meals. There are no artificial colors, preservatives or flavorings.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Powdered Cellulose, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Fish Oil, Cranberries, Blueberries, Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.

What others say about it:
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The wet food my cats have eaten their whole lives seems to be stuck on a barge somewhere in the supply chain black hole. With that being said, I needed to find a new food – fast. To say that I was nervous about switching was an understatement! My one cat has the most sensitive stomach, and gets sick very easily. Well, I had no time to slowly transition them to the new food, and there have been zero problems! This food saved us. I’m sticking with it for good!

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Best Grain Free Cat Food Buying Guide

If you want to switch your cat to a grain-free diet, where do you start with all this information? The obvious source of advice is your vet, who will be pleased to make recommendations based on their knowledge of feline nutrition in general and the health of your cat specifically.

Look for evidence that the food you are considering is ‘complete and balanced’, which means it complies with the nutritional guidelines laid down for pets by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Also, check that the food is appropriate for the particular life stage your cat is at: kittens have greater nutritional needs to support healthy growth and development than adult cats, for instance.

Another important factor is your own cat’s preference – for wet over dry food, for instance; for flavors and so on. And finally, when changing any pet’s diet, make the switch gradually, increasing quantities of the new food while decreasing the old, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. This ensures your pet’s body will adapt gradually to the new diet without any adverse side effects.

The answers to the following questions may also help inform your choice.

You may also like our guide on the Best Kitten Foods.

Grain Free Cat Food

Does My Cat Need a Grain Free Diet?

Firstly, what is a grain-free diet? Well, as the name suggests, it’s one where the cat food contains no wheat, rice or corn. While allergic reactions to grains in cats is rare, it still can happen. Possible symptoms of a grain allergy include:

  • Itchy or inflamed skin;
  • Excessive grooming, hair loss or bald patches;
  • Sores and scabs.

If you suspect your cat has allergies, your veterinary can carry out elimination tests to establish what (if anything) in her diet is causing the distress.

Some owners also believe their cats have an intolerance (rather than an allergy) to grains, and experience fewer episodes of vomiting when on a grain-free diet.

Pros and Cons of a Grain-Free Diet

The advantages of a grain-free diet are that:

  • Cat foods often use grains as ‘filler’, additional ingredients to bulk up the carbohydrate count. Wheat, corn and rice are all relatively cheap, so often, in grain-free varieties, this is replaced with higher quality ingredients.
  • Your cat would certainly not be eating grains in the wild out of choice! Grain-free foods therefore more closely resembles a ‘natural’ diet for your pet.
  • There’s no doubt that some cats suffer from food allergies and intolerances, just as humans do. If your cat has been diagnosed by a vet as suffering from an allergy or intolerance to grains, then a grain free diet is a no-brainer as it eliminates the ingredients that can cause a bad reaction.

The disadvantages:

  • Remove the grain from cat food and that has to be replaced it with something. Grain-free foods often end up being higher in fat, so it’s important to watch the fat content and ensure your cat has a balanced diet. Otherwise, she is liable to become overweight, which is never healthy.
  • Grain-free cat foods tend to be more expensive. However, because your cat will be able to meet all her nutritional requirements from a smaller portion, you may well find you are feeding her less and the cost balances out.

You may also like our review of Cat Food for Weight Loss.

What Makes a Good Grain Free Cat Food?

Your cat needs a high quality food that meets all its nutritional needs in order to remain healthy. One of the best tests is to ensure the grain-free food you will be feeding your cat meets the nutritional standards laid down in guidelines by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Pet food companies must adhere to these before advertising their products as ‘complete and balanced’.

Remember, though, that every cat is an individual and will have their own specific requirements. There’s also the ‘taste test’: even if you buy the finest, most highly recommended cat food on the market and she won’t eat it, then you’ve wasted your money! Luckily, there is a good selection of flavors and types on the market these days, so take your vet’s advice on what your pet’s nutritional needs are and then try different recommended, high quality types that meets AAFCO guidelines till you find one she likes.

Take a look at our guide on Vitamins For Cats.

Cat eating from the bowl

Can Cats Digest Grains?

Although cats do not have the same enzyme in their saliva that we have – called salivary amylase – which assists in the breakdown of grains before they reach the stomach, they do have amylase secreted by the pancreas. This allows them to break down grains in the intestines as digestion occurs. So it is entirely possible for them to absorb carbohydrates from grains, although their diet in the wild would typically only contain small amounts.

Check out our review of Probiotics for Cats.

Sources:

  1. Dr. Cailin Heinze, New Insight Into Grain-Free Cat Diets, Cummings Veterinary Medical Center

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