page title icon Best Chicken Free Cat Foods

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by Linda Mathews Last Updated November 15, 2020

If you check our list of top-rated cat food with no chicken, you’ll discover that this category of cat foods is not as expensive as you might expect.

Despite chicken is one of the most affordable protein options, the top-rated cat food manufacturers represented below also manage to reduce the expenses. Thus, the best-tasting cat food with no chicken in our top-10 dry and wet cat food list is also rather budget-friendly.

In this article, you’ll learn everything about chicken-free cat food, discover how chicken can appear in foods without «chicken» on the label, and find out what to look for in healthy cat food (spoiler: most of the products in this list are also one of the best cat food for sensitive stomach vomiting)

To find well-balanced and healthy chicken-free cat food, scroll down to the gallery below.

What is the Best Chicken-Free Cat Food?

What food is good for cats with allergies?

We have made this top-10 list of the best chicken-free cat food options to answer this question. The main food requirements for a cat allergic to chicken are:

  • Contains a high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
  • Minimum 30% of crude protein
  • A good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • 9% and over of crude fat
  • No by-products, artificial preservatives, dyes, or flavors, low-quality fillers
  • Limited carbohydrate content from digestible sources

To tell the truth, it’s quite a challenge to find a good chicken free cat food, choose from hydrolyzed protein cat food and low iodine cat food, or identify the cat food brands to avoid.

So, we’ll give you some assistance. Here are our top picks for the best cat food without chicken:

Top 5 Best Dry Cat Food Without Chicken

Blue Buffalo Basics LID Turkey & Potato Indoor Mature Recipe

Blue Buffalo Basics LID Turkey & Potato Indoor Mature Recipe

Status: Overall Best

Indeed, this Blue cat food recipe starting with real turkey and followed by other high-quality ingredients like peas, potatoes, and pumpkin is meant to support digestion.

This Blue Basics cat food is free from all common allergens: chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and eggs, so it prevents allergic reactions in cats.

Since the product also includes natural sources of fiber and carefully balanced calories, the recipe can also work as Blue Buffalo sensitive stomach cat food or best cat dry food for weight control.

Pros:

  • All-natural cat food
  • Promotes a healthy body weight
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Made with LifeSource Bits (a blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins)
  • No poultry by-product meals, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Cons:

  • Is recommended for senior indoor cats only.

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Venison Cat Food

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Venison Cat Food

Status: Best Delicacy

Ziwi Peak Venison cat food is one of the best limited ingredient cat food for delicacies lovers. This air-dried treat has venison as a single protein in the recipe, which makes this product perfect for elimination diets.

Besides the muscle meat, this recipe also includes venison liver, heart, kidney, lung, and bone. Plus, the New Zealand green-lipped mussel provides a cat’s body with glucosamine and chondroitin.

Pros:

  • Appropriate for elimination diets (single-source protein)
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No plant ingredients
  • Great for cats with allergies

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Some cats don’t like the air-dried texture

Taste of the Wild Canyon River

Taste of the Wild Canyon River

Status: Best Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Taste of the Wild Canyon River hypoallergenic cat food is one of the best on-a-budget options. This is the USA brand you can trust, «chicken-free» on the label really means no chicken in any form. Instead, it includes fresh trout as the main source of protein. This product has a similar ingredients list to our overall best Blue Buffalo Basics LID but the price is much more affordable.

Also, Taste of the Wild Canyon River includes canola oil, fresh fruit, and vegetables to provide your kitty with omega-6 fatty acids and nutrients.

Pros:

  • Extremely rich in protein
  • Best value for money
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Trout as the main protein source is a unique ingredient

Cons:

  • Specific fish is not mentioned in «ocean fish meal»
  • Limited choice of flavors

I and Love and You Lovingly Simple LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Cat Food

I and Love and You Lovingly Simple LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Cat Food

Status: With Love, Without Chicken

I and Love and You Lovingly Simple LID Salmon & Sweet Potato recipe is made with love for your kitty. Just check the I and Love and You cat food reviews – love is the only explanation of such a high quality of the product and such a warm customers’ response.

36% crude animal protein comes from salmon, menhaden fish meal, and salmon meal. The sources of nutrients are ground peas and sweet potatoes – highly digestible carbohydrates.
Flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, and fish oils provide a kitty with Omegas 3 and 6 to take care of their soft fur and healthy skin.

Pros:

  • Grain-free
  • No GMO, by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.
  • Prebiotics and probiotics help with digestion issues.

Cons:

  • Some cats might not like it

American Journey Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food

American Journey Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food

Status: Best Affordable Chicken-Free Cat Food

This is the most affordable dry cat food without chicken on our list. However, unlike most budget-friendly cat food brands, American Journey Salmon Recipe doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the product and doesn’t include controversial ingredients.
American Journey Salmon Recipe keeps up with lux grain-free dry cat foods and is completely free from chicken.
It also provides cats with essential amino acids, nutrients, probiotics.
One issue you should be aware of is the dried egg product in the ingredients list. Some cats with chicken allergy tolerate dried eggs, others don’t.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Rich with nutrients and amino acids.
  • Grain-free.

Cons:

  • Contains dried eggs
  • Only one flavor available

Top 5 Best Wet Cat Food Without Chicken

NomNomNow Flavorful Fish Feast Cat Food

NomNomNow Flavorful Fish Feast Cat Food

Status: The Breakthrough

NomNomNow Flavorful Fish Feast Cat Food is a real breakthrough and one of the healthiest canned cat food alternatives available on the market now. It is a human-grade cat food made in human food processing facilities locally in California and Tennessee.

To get your first batch of NomNomNow food, you need to get a subscription and create your profile with information about your cat’s health, weight, and all possible requests.

The company prepares the small batches of fresh food and portions it according to your kitty’s weight. The food is delivered according to the schedule you choose.

NomNomNow Flavorful Fish Feast Cat Food is packed with omega 3 fatty acids. Your cat will love this tilapia, salmon, beef fat, yuca, and carrot blend.

Pros:

  • Human-grade cat food
  • Made in human food processing facilities
  • Personalized approach (ingredients, portions size)
  • You can choose the delivery schedule.
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No artificial preservatives, colors, flavors.

Cons:

  • Available only in the 48 contiguous United States
  • Subscription is required

Smalls for Smalls Fresh Beef Cat Food

Smalls for Smalls Fresh Beef Cat Food

Status: Best Human-Grade Cat Food

Smalls for Smalls works just like NomNomNow. Both cat food alternatives specialize in delivering fresh, healthy, high-quality, individually portioned cat food, which resembles homemade cat food gravy.

All you need is to subscribe and specify the preferences, needs, and characteristics of your cat. Smalls for Smalls will do the rest of the job to provide your cat with personalized nutrition necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

Pros:

  • Human-grade cat food
  • Made in human food processing facilities
  • Personalized approach (ingredients, portions size, delivery schedule)
  • High-protein, high-moisture recipe

Cons:

  • Delivery is available only in a limited area
  • Subscription is required

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Lamb Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food Review

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Lamb Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food Review

Status: Runner-Up

Limited ingredient canned cat food can be super delicious and varied – Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Lamb Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food proves that.

This wet cat food will provide your feline with a hypoallergenic diet. One can is 95% lamb and turkey liver and a small amount of egg.

It’s also rich with meat, but also includes plant ingredients (artichokes, cranberries, pumpkin, tomato).

Pros:

  • Rich in animal protein
  • Made primarily from lamb and cage-free turkey
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No artificial preservatives, colors, flavors.

Cons:

  • Contains eggs

Wellness CORE 95% Turkey Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Wellness CORE 95% Turkey Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Status: Best Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

Wellness CORE 95% – the name that speaks for itself. Thus, 95% of the meal is pure animal protein. The remaining 5% is ground flaxseed as a fiber source, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and binders. No common allergens, no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Wellness CORE 95% Turkey Grain-Free Canned Cat Food is perfect for cats that love poultry but are allergic to chicken.

Pros:

  • 95% turkey meat – a single protein source
  • Free from common allergens
  • Low carbohydrates
  • No common allergens (like fish, beef, dairy, or eggs)
  • Grain-free

Cons:

  • Contains multiple gums as binders

Purina Pro Plan Entrees in Gravy Adult Canned Wet Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Entrees in Gravy Adult Canned Wet Cat Food

Status: Best Affordable Wet Cat Food

If your kitty is into beef and cheese, Purina Pro Plan Entrees in Gravy Adult Canned Wet Cat Food is something you must try. The moist texture, real beef, cheese, savory gravy make together a mouthwatering product.
This is the best quality affordable wet cat food you can find on the market today.

Pros:

  • Amazing taste
  • Veterinary nutritionists control the premium quality
  • Budget-friendly
  • Supports healthy skin, fur, and immune system

Cons:

  • Contains grains

What You Need to Know About Chicken in Cat Food

Cat food for older cats has to include at least 26% of protein (for kittens, it’s even more), so the first ingredient of all cat foods is an animal protein; and chicken is the most popular one.

There are several reasons for this: chicken is an affordable option, it’s highly recognizable by pet owners. However, the manufacturers rarely tell that chicken is also a common allergen causing different allergic reactions in cats.

So, not to get caught, here are several things you need to know about chicken in cat food:

  • There are different forms of chicken used in cat foods (some are good, some are bad)
  • Chicken and chicken meal are the same thing. So, if you wonder what is a chicken meal in cat food, the only difference with chicken is the size of the pieces
  • Chicken by-product can include necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers.
  • The quality of chicken by-product can vary and sometimes contain mostly bones.

That’s why kitties with sensitive stomachs should better avoid eating cat foods containing chicken.

5 Great Alternative Protein Sources to Chicken

If you’ve decided to cut out the chicken from your cat’s diet, you have to find the best cat food for allergies that contains other sources of animal protein.

Despite chicken is probably the most popular protein source used in cat foods, there are numerous alternatives to chicken like beef, turkey, lamb, salmon, tuna, duck, venison, whitefish, bison, pork, for sensitive cats.

So, here is a closer look at the top chicken-free picks:

  • Beef has more iron than chicken. It also contains a lot of zinc, antioxidants, taurine, and other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Turkey is similar to chicken in terms of their nutrient profiles. However, turkey is not a common allergen, it has fewer calories, and is loved by pets a lot.
  • Lamb contains as much protein as beef, and more iron than chicken or fish. Natural antioxidants, taurine, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients also come to your kitty’s body with the red meat of a lamb.
  • Fish is a great source of protein, but low in fat. Tuna, whitefish, salmon are great in cat foods. They contain riboflavin, vitamin B2, D, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, selenium, a lot of omega-3 (it’s good for the heart.) Also, most felines love fish.
  • Eggs can be a good choice in case your cat is not allergic to eggs. They are the most bioavailable of all animal protein sources and are easily used by cats’ bodies.

What Should You Look for in a Healthy Cat Food?

Being an obligate carnivore, your cat is built to digest and absorb nutrition from animal sources. Protein should be your biggest concern, the main ingredient to look for in healthy cat food.

From the previous section, you can see that chicken is not the only solution, and poultry free cat food can be even richer in protein than a traditional chicken meal.

So, what should you avoid in chicken-free cat foods?

  • Vaguely-named ingredients (labels like «chicken by-products», «chicken by-product meal», «poultry by-products», or «poultry by-product meal» can be confusing)
  • Liver (it can be sourced from any animal, including chicken)
  • Artificial additives (colors, flavors, and preservatives)
  • Digestible carbohydrates can be present in limited amounts only (since cats have a limited ability to digest them, they should be highly digestible and nutritious)

What should you look for in good cat food?

  • High-quality animal protein (if there are more than one sources of animal protein, it’s even better)
  • Animal-based fats (they provide cats with energy)
  • Essential fatty acids (omega-3s)
  • The recipe should be labeled complete and balanced by AAFCO

Frequently Asked Questions

• Does My Cat Have Food Allergies?

To identify a food allergy, you need to know the common cat food allergies symptoms.
Poultry allergy is the most common for cats, and it’s usually accompanied by scratching (especially around the neck and face), itching, irritated skin, diarrhea, vomiting, food avoidance, weight loss, hair loss, excessive licking (especially the paws, stomach or legs).
If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms above, you’d better visit a vet to begin the food allergies in cats treatment.

• Why Worry About Chicken In Cat Food?

Chicken is one of the most common reasons for cat food allergies. Moreover, if your cat doesn’t tolerate chicken, poultry should be better avoided as cross-reactions between similar proteins can occur.
Technically, the allergic reaction in cats can develop to any ingredient, but animal proteins like chicken, beef, fish are the most common.

Wanna help your kitty suffering from a chicken allergy? Change their diet with chicken-free cat food from our list.
If you’re looking for the best option, opt for the overall best Blue Buffalo Basics LID Turkey & Potato Indoor Mature Recipe.

If you haven’t found your perfect option on our top-10 list, here is a cool bonus for you: check Hill’s Science Diet Cat Food and Authority Cat Food. These two options are a great combination of value and price, and they are loved by cats so much.

If you’re a resident of the USA, healthy cat food delivery like NomNomNow or Smalls for Smalls – these are also the cheapest cat food options available.

If you still have trouble finding the perfect food for your allergic cat, ask your vet for help, and consider veterinary diets to better the condition of your furry friend.