Limited Ingredient Cat Food

Not all cats can handle the complex ingredients and artificial flavors on their food. Unfortunately, most of the pet food store today will offer this kind of formulas which is not ideal if your cats are prone to allergies or have sensitivities.

Most of the additives, manufactured ingredients, fillers, and other ingredients that are not produced naturally doesn’t always sit well with the stomach of your cats and will lead to them developing sensitivities.

This is one of the main reasons why they will be required to have a change in their meal and probably have a limited ingredient cat food. A limited ingredient diet cuts down the number of ingredients used to make it simple and easier for the cat owners to understand. It strips down the unnecessary components and focuses on what your cat truly needs. However, it comes at a higher price on the market since it uses quality ingredients.

As you check the market, there can be a lot of limited ingredient cat food formulated by different brands. It is often labeled as hypoallergenic cat food and may commonly feature single protein source and a single carb source. For more information, make sure to check our recommendations below.


Limited Ingredient Cat Food Comparison Table

NameMain IngredientsProteinFatFiberPricing
Instinct’s Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free RecipeRabbit, Water, Rabbit Liver, Pea Protein, Peas12.5%4.5%3%Click Here
Merrick Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Cat FoodDeboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Protein32%13%4%Click Here
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Cat FoodVenison Broth, Venison, Ground Peas, Pea Protein, Brewers Dried Yeast9%5%1%Click Here
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Rabbit Meal FormulaRabbit Meal, Peas, Tapoica, Canola Oil, Rabbit35%15%6.5%Click Here
ZiwiPeak Canned Cat CuisineVenison, Venison Broth, Venison Liver, Venison Lung, Venison Heart9%4.5%1%Click Here

Go! Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe dry food is made by Petcurian, a family-owned and operated company. This is a bonus, because it means that they have more control over the quality of their ingredients and manufacturing process – good news for you as a kitty owner!

This limited ingredient duck dry food formula is made with a limited number of ingredients. Premium quality duck is the primary ingredient and the single source of protein in this food. It also contains no gluten or grains and is supplemented with pre and probiotics to support a cat’s overall regular and digestive health.

Duck and duck meal are both highly-concentrated sources of animal protein, too; cats are obligate carnivores and require a lot of protein in their diets. In addition to duck, this recipe contains chickpeas and lentils as a source of carbohydrates.


  • Contains flaxseed and chicken fat to provide omega fatty acids.
  • Duck is a brilliant source of protein, which cats love.
  • Grain and gluten free.


  • It is a dry food.
  • It is not nutritionally balanced and requires nutritional supplements.

The Instinct’s Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe is made to be purposely simple. You’ll find simple ingredients stated on the label to make sure that your cats are getting the right nutrients that they need. It uses one animal protein and one vegetable to let your cats enjoy this meal. This recipe features a farm-raised rabbit and offers digestible and flavorful protein necessary for your cats to have leaner and stronger muscles.

It also offers essential amino acids that can boost the nutrition of your cats and help improve their immune system. This can help them avoid sensitivities and fight off possible allergies. This is made without beef, fish, chicken, dairy, grains, corn, potato, and other ingredients that are not needed by your cats.

It comes with delicious pate texture and it is proudly made in the USA. It is formulated to be highly digestible and aid cats with a sensitive stomach. It lets them absorb the nutrients their body requires and helps your cats achieve their ideal body condition.


  • It uses a single source of animal protein.
  • It is highly digestible and comes with pate texture.
  • It aids cats with a sensitive stomach.
  • It boosts the immune system of your cats.


  • Some cats may not like this recipe.
  • There are other recipes available with the same ingredient.

The Blue Wilderness Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food is formulated to have sweet potatoes that offer healthy complex carbohydrates. This is a high-quality recipe that contains exclusive LifeSource Bits that is a precise blend of vitamins and minerals for a healthy oxidative balance for the overall wellness of your cats.

This recipe is made of real duck and offers a lot of benefits. This helps support healthy muscle growth and development coming from real duck. It boosts and supports the healthy immune system of your cats with the right level of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It also comes with natural fiber sources that are important to promote the digestive health of your cats.

It also helps achieve a healthy weight with balanced calories coming from the proteins and fats. This is a great recipe that is highly recommended to many cats as it also comes with amino acids like Taurine to support the health of your cats’ eye and heart.


  • It promotes healthy muscle growth.
  • It supports the immune system of your cats.
  •  It promotes the digestive health of your cats.
  • It helps maintain a healthy weight.


  • Some cats need more moisture level.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food is made with a premium protein and carbohydrates which helps prevent negative reactions and promote normal, healthy digestion. This product is made without artificial colors, flavourings or additivies and is naturally grain-free.

This product’s primary ingredient is fresh salmon, salmon meal and green peas. Salmon is a super-high quality protein, which is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote a healthy skin and coat; this is a great option if your cat has had an allergy which has caused skin problems.

Supplemented with flaxseed oil, this food is also a great source of healthy fats and dietary fiber which complements the green peas. In addition, this food has chelated minerals (minerals bound to proteins for easier digestion) and supplementary vitamins. You can read about the benefits of vitamins for cats in our Best Cat Vitamins and Supplements guide.


  • A natural salmon flavour, which is a magnet for cats.
  • Packed with high-quality fatty acids.
  • Easy digestible.


  • It is a dry food and has lower moisture content.

The Merrick Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Cat Food is a complete and well-balanced recipe made of limited ingredients to fit the specific needs of your cats. It uses single source animal protein which is deboned salmon. This is a perfect recipe that is often recommended for cats that have food allergies.

It is free from grains and gluten that makes it easier for digestion. Cats often have an upset stomach because of the traditional recipe they eat and thanks to this formula, you can be assured of the overall nutrients that your cat will have. This also comes with omega fatty acids that can improve the health of the skin and fur of your cats.

It is ideal for cats that have allergies on poultry ingredients. It is free from poultry-free products and a perfect choice for most of the cats. This is proven and proudly made in the USA and is trusted by many consumers today.


  • It uses single animal protein.
  • It is free from grains and gluten.
  • It promotes healthy digestion of your cats.
  • It supports healthy skin and fur.


  • Some cats may have allergies on seafood.
  • It can make cats finicky over time.

 The Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Cat Food is a highly recommended cat food that uses a single animal protein source which is deboned duck. This offers quality protein that helps to boosts the growth and development of your cats. It comes with pea fiber and pumpkin that is important to support gentle digestion and let cats absorb the right nutrients that the ingredients offer.

It also comes with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that support the skin and coat of the cats. This is important as they can have allergies on the skin, and eventually cause shedding and other problems. This is formulated to have no corn, wheat, dairy, soy, and eggs. There are also no by-products which make it safe and ideal for your cats.

It is formulated for the specific needs of the indoor cats and it is free from grains. We all know that grains are the main cause of sensitivities and getting rid of it on the ingredients list can give peace of mind to the cat owners.


  • It uses single animal protein source.
  • It supports the gentle digestion of cats.
  • It comes with fatty acids for skin and coat of the coats.
  • It has no grains and other additives used.


  • Some cats won’t like this.
  • Most cats would be recommended to have wet canned recipes.

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Cat Food is formulated to be free from grains and offers high-quality venison and green pea as the main ingredient. This is rich in quality protein and helps a cat to build stronger muscles. This is highly recommended by many veterinarians because it also has a good level of moisture needed to boost the digestive system of the cats.

This is a great recipe that helps in minimizing the number of ingredients that your cats are exposed to and let you identify the possible main cause of their allergies or sensitivities. This is made with no artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, and it is ideal for cats that are suffering from food allergies.

The feeding amounts should be followed correctly and be adjusted according to the age, weight, and activity of your cat. All the details are provided on the label including the full list of ingredients used by the company in manufacturing this recipe.


  • It is free from grains and gluten.
  • It is rich in quality protein.
  • It helps to boost the digestive system.
  • It is made with no preservatives and additives.


  • Some cats don’t like this flavor.

The Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Rabbit Meal Formula is one of the special formulas offered by the company that is intended for cats with food sensitivities. It is made with a single animal protein source and there are no added grains and gluten on this. It is recommended by many veterinarians and is a great recipe you can offer for your cats.

According to the brand, this recipe comes with most essential, fewest easily digestible ingredients that are needed to aid the sensitive stomach of the cats and prevent the development of any other allergies. There is no potato, dairy, eggs, beef, chicken, and fish used on this recipe. This is a complete and well-balanced diet that comes with healthy omega 3 and 5 fatty acids.

The fatty acids are important in order to let cats have shiny and softer coat and skin. When they have allergies, shedding can be a first sign you have to watch out for. Aside from that, it has a unique green tea extract coating which offers perfect aroma and blends to the recipe. It is highly palatable and made for your cat’s sensitivities.


  • It features a rabbit as the main ingredient.
  • It is highly digestible and aids sensitive stomach.
  • It promotes healthy skin and coat of the cats.
  • It comes with a green tea extract.


  • Green tea extract can make them develop diarrhea.

ZiwiPeak is a known brand that is behind a number of high-quality recipes that promotes overall wellness and nutrition of the cats. The ZiwiPeak Canned Cat Cuisine is formulated to have chunky loaf texture that makes it easier for the cats to consume and digest. This is important, especially if your cats have sensitivities and a picky eater. This product is made in New Zealand and formulated to have venison.

t is a great alternative to many commercial cat foods on the market as it is formulated with no by-products, additives, artificial flavors, preservatives and any other ingredients that cause the allergies of your cats. It is made with all natural ingredients that give smaller chance for cats to develop an allergic reaction.

Actually, as the brand claims, this recipe is formulated according to the natural diet of the cats where they normally get nutrients from organs, bones, and meats in the wild. As an obligate carnivore, cats need more protein and meat to thrive and this recipe gives them a complete nutrition that they need to live happy and healthy lives.


  • It is designed for finicky eaters.
  • It is free from additives and allergens.
  • It is a natural source of nutrients for your cats.
  • It promotes and aids a sensitive stomach.


  • Some cat owners find a hard time looking for it in local stores.

Important Points to Consider

Offering limited ingredient cat food is ideal for most cats with or without sensitivities as it is truly beneficial. It is not only for cats with allergies, but it is good for all of them. It helps them get the right level of nutrients that they need based on the natural diet they have while in the wild. If you are still in doubt, check out the following points below.

  • Reduce Allergic Reactions: Not all cats have allergies with food, but for those that do, many veterinarians will recommend them to switch to a limited ingredient cat food. It is the best way to help your cats avoid allergies and give them more nutrients to fight off different sensitivities. 
  • Healthier Diet for Cats: Compared to the traditional cat food that you’ll find on the market, having limited ingredients can be healthier and wholesome for your cats. It does not come with artificial content and no filers to worry about. It gives more protein, vitamins, and minerals that are important for the overall wellness and longevity of your cats. 
  • Weight Management: With fewer ingredients used on the recipe, there is less fattening content to expect on the meals as there are also no gravy and oils. This is more convenient because it helps your cats control their weight and avoid being obese. More 
  • Energy for Cats: When you are offering healthier food and a limited ingredient diet for your cats, then it is easier for them to boost their energy levels and be active. This helps them be in a better shape and have the right amount of energy to use in their playtime and other activities. 
  • Overall: Switching to limited ingredient cat food can be a great choice if you want to focus on the health and wellness of your cats.

History of Allergies

Just like humans, most cats will have a bad reaction to some ingredients added to their meals. This can happen if you are serving them cat food with a lot of ingredients. According to Pets WebMD, when your cats have allergies, their immune system is sensitive to everyday substances that have been identified as dangerous.

There are different symptoms that you need to watch out for such as coughing, itchy skin, runny eyes, an itchy base of tail, itchy ears, diarrhea, vomiting, paw chewing, and snoring caused by an inflamed throat. Most cats can develop allergies from what they eat. They can also suffer from different gastrointestinal problems and may tend to vomit or have diarrhea often.

Food allergies in cats may happen at any age. You need to be careful in feeding your cats recipe with clear by-product meals as it can easily trigger their allergies. It can be hard for your cats, but a limited ingredient cat food is essential to help them with their needs.

The limited ingredient cat food is often formulated to have fewer and specific ingredients that are clearly named on the label and give information on the nutrients that come with it. Many veterinarians recommend this to help your cats in overcoming their allergies and still have the right levels of nutrition that they need.

It is a great alternative to many commercial cat foods that you can find on the market today and let you be assured of the overall nutrition and health of your cats. It means that you are letting them have a happy and fun life with you, and fewer trips to the vets. This can also be a great idea if you want to save money in having expensive treatment and buying more vitamin supplements in case your cats develop allergies or any other sensitivities.

Symptoms of Cat Allergies

In cats, the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction are quite typical. Itching, scratching, loss of hair and dermatitis can be tell-tale signs. But, it can be difficult if it is food causing your cat’s problems, or some other issue.

Other typical symptoms of a cat food allergy are fur ball problems due to your kitty swallowing fur when over-grooming and scratching, respiratory problems (although these are rare) and recurrent ear infections.

A food intolerance, however, is different. An intolerance causes problems with your cat’s gastrointestinal tract and digestive system, instead of causing allergic reactions. The primary symptom of this is vomiting and diarrhea, because something in your kitty’s food is irritating the sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Even if your cat appears to enjoy the food, it can still cause a problem during digestion as your cat will not notice anything is wrong until later.

The Round Up

When it comes to limited ingredient cat food, it is important to find the right recipe that is necessary for the health of your cats. If they have allergies, having limited ingredients is important to avoid triggering their current condition and promote overall nutrition. It is a well-balanced and complete diet that supports a healthy body condition.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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