There’s a popular trend that has recently hit the pet industry. That trend is the recognition of grain-free food options.
If you’re a cat owner, you’ve probably taken a look at the best grain free cat food brands once or twice. A diet that is grain-free is a great choice for some cats. But, just like with anything else, it’s not a great choice for all cats.
A well-balanced feline diet is the key to ensuring a healthier living and longevity in cats, but it can get very complicated, very quickly (depending on your cat). The best grain free cat food brands have been on the rise in the past decade, because more and more pet owners are seeing improvements in their cats’ health after switching to these types of diets.
That said, it’s important to always consult with your veterinarian before switching to a grain free cat diet, because it’s not always the option to the issues your cat may be having.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything about the best grain free cat food brands, what are the advantages and disadvantages of these diets, and take a close look at the best grain free cat food reviews including these five:
Why Choose a Grain Free Cat Food Brand?
There are several reasons to pick the best grain free cat food brands over standard commercial cat food, whether it’s dry kibble or wet canned cat food. The main two reasons are (1) the less grains there are, the more meat your cat gets from the food; (2) some cats have allergies to grains, whether inherent or developed from diet.
When it comes to cat food allergies, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish one type of allergy from the next. Mainly because a lot of the food allergy symptoms mimic each other.
But many clients who visit veterinarians for allergy reasons never even mention food. Usually they think they reaction is from something like plants or insect bites. But in most cases, all allergies in cats can be fixed with proper diet and picking different food type.
The best grain free cat food brands are often one of the vet recommended options for pet owners, both the grain free wet cat food and grain free dry cat food options.
What are the Best Grain-Free Cat Food Brands?
Addiction Grain Free Dry Cat Food by Addiction Pet Food:
As the first on the list of best grain free cat food brands is a semi-known company of healthy pet foods. Some cat owners may have never heard of the brand Addiction before, because they’re better known to dog owners.
However, that is before now. This best grain free wet cat food from Addiction is an appropriate blend of animal-based proteins. As well as a plant-based protein, potatoes. The main ingredient is an easy to digest animal-based protein, turkey.
Like most other best grain free cat food brands, it’s not carb-free but it does have a lesser amount of them when compared to regular commercial canned foods and especially dry cat food. Pet owners seem fond of the brand, however, not everybody was pleased (some cats seem to dislike the taste).
Nevertheless, with this grain-free cat food your cat can enjoy Thanksgiving all year long. Of course, without the extra fear of having an allergic reaction.
Wild Sea Catch Grain-Free Dry Food by Earthborn Holistic:
Earthborn Holistic is a much more well-known company manufacturing cat foods and especially cat food formulas for felines with certain health conditions. Their holistic approach made them quite a popular manufacturer among both cat and dog owners, and this best grain free cat food diet is just one of their offerings.
As one of the best grain free cat food brands out there, the nutritional composition of Earthborn Holistic grain free food will work for most cats, and according to reviews from other pet owners, majority of felines seem to be quite fond of the taste of this brand.
Who says “grain-free” has to be boring? Not Earthborn Holistic, that’s for sure! This grain free cat food option is formulated in part for cats with grain allergies. You’ll find a nice mix of salmon, herring, and eggs in this meal option. As well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This cat food option also provides a fun mixture of fruits a vegetables. You’ll find a mixture of blueberries, spinach, carrots, and much more.
Dry Cat and Kitten Food by Orijen: Available at Amazon
If there ones one pet food company that prioritizes simplicity and focuses on quality, that’d be Orijen. They are less popular among cat owners but are one of the most vet recommended brands of food for dogs due to their high quality ingredients and careful manufacturing process. Now, this one of the best grain free cat food brands and their formula can also assist pet owners who have cats that are having problems with grians.
If you’ve been active in your search for the best grain-free cat foods for quite a while now, and the other more popular options on the list do not entice your cat, Orijen’s grain free formula may just be it. From the nutritional standpoint, it’s pretty much the perfect formula; however, some pet owners did find their cats disliking the taste.
This grain-free option is loaded with animal-based proteins. But, as an added bonus, it’s also low in carbohydrates. That’s a win/win situation for most cat owners. Depending on your cat, the mixture of chicken and fish will leave your cat begging for more, as they say.
Freeze-Dried Raw Duck Goose Dinner Food:
Are you looking for grain-free and raw? Then you’ve found it with Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Food for Cats. Raw is yet to become popular in commercial cat food manufacturing, but some companies are already presenting these formulas to pet owners due to their superiority over standard cat food brands.
No matter what taste your cat prefers, you can almost guarantee Stella & Chewy will have that perfect blend of well-balanced nutrition, animal protein and vitamins. Taste options range from duck to turkey.
As one of the best grain free cat food brands, Stella & Chewy’s formula promises that the freeze dried cat food you get from them will never contain grains, glutens, fillers, artificial preservatives, or colorings, but it’s the same as with every label – grain of salt and all. If you’re looking for completely all natural and grain-free, this may be a very good choice.
Grain Free Fish Adult Recipe Food by Now Fresh:
Although not as popular as some of the other best grain free cat food brands on this list, with NOW! Fresh Grain Free Adult Cat Food your cat is getting the ultimate grain-free dish, according to their label and ingredient composition.
Mainly, it’s because this cat food isn’t just grain free – it’s gluten, wheat, beef, corn, soy, byproducts, and artificial preservatives free, too.
Arguably one of the best grain free dry cat food brands for felines with food allergies in general (not just to grains), NOW Fresh brand formulas are usually good but depending on the cat, their taste buds will need to be tested.
Some pet owners say that the animal proteins in this grain free cat food are proteins your cat is going to drool over. There’s a mix of fresh turkey, salmon, and duck.
Gold Holistic Adult Dry Food by Fromm:
A slightly better known option of best grain free cat food brands, Fromm’s Gold Holistic Adult Dry Cat Food is perfect for the healthy, active cat who needs a good grain-free diet if we go by the nutritional composition alone.
You won’t find any corn, wheat, or soy mixed in this formula, which means less problems with food allergies. Instead your cat will enjoy a wholesome blend of duck, chicken, whole eggs, and even real cheese – all for a good source of protein and fats.
This is one of the more popular best grain free cat foods on the lower scale, and majority of pet owners love the micronutrient breakdown of it and claim that their cats love the taste as well. The added salmon oil is also a nice touch. Salmon oil is great for promoting a healthy coat in cats as well as assisting with other issues related to cat food allergies.
GO! SENSITIVITY + SHINE L.I.D. Grain Free by Petcurean:
Petcurean is the new kid on the block among the best grain free cat food brands, but with their team of nutritional consultants and doctors developing the formulas of dog and cat foods, they’re usually pretty solid in terms of the nutrition and ratios of protein, fat and carbs.
Now, Petcurean really hit the nail on the head when it comes to the best grain free cat food diets. Each ingredient in the GO! Sensitivity and Shine L.I.D. formula is of high quality. From their meat proteins to the mix of fruits and veggies.
It’s hard to find a cat that won’t love this from Petcurean, but we’ll need for this formula to become more popular among pet owners to really know that. As an added bonus, this grain free option also has prebiotics and probiotics – good for aiding in digestive health.
Grain Free PURE Elements Cat Wet Formula by Canidae: Available at Amazon
One of the most popular pet food brands that is often vet recommended are Canidae. They’ve been in the pet food industry for a long while, constantly improving their manufacturing processes and food formulas.
This best grain free cat food diet in their PURE line is a good proof of that; however, it seems they did not pay too much attention to palatability, since many claim the dislike of taste in cats.
Nevertheless, if your cat enjoys canned food more than dry kibble (and most do), and the other popular best grain free cat food brands aren’t a good option, you may try this wet cat food from Canidae.
The food source is primarily animal proteins, with a healthy mixture of chicken, turkey, and lamb. As many other best cat foods grain free on this list, this one is also gluten free and it’s considered a “limited ingredient” diet, which makes it also a perfect option for cats with food sensitivities and stomach upset.
Spot’s Stew Holistic Dry Grain Free Food by Halo:
I’m pretty sure most cat owners are quite familiar with the brand Halo, who has an outstanding reputation with their holistic type of cat food brands. It can be found in almost any large chain retail store and they’re one of the most popular cat foods online. Being one of the best grain-free cat food brands, Halo just made yet another formula in their already popular line of pet foods.
Halo Spot’s Stew will fulfill your cat’s “fishy side”. In fact, real salmon is the very first ingredient and the food is well-balanced, with a great nutrient composition and seems to fit most cats with food sensitivities, grain allergies and stomach upset. Pet owners claim that majority of cats love the taste of this grain free diet as well, and in particular, it seems to be because of the whole egg and vegetables in it.
Natural Grain Free Dry Indoor Food by Wellness CORE:
Last but not least is the most popular pet food manufacturer and their new formula. Wellness are known for their dog and cat food brands that combine healthy and high quality ingredients, with high palatability and great taste which most cats love.
The company takes great care of what they put into their cat food and it’s reflected in the way pet owners view the Wellness brand. As one of the best grain free cat food brands out there, Wellness is just another example of healthy cat food that most pet owners love, and it’s one of the most popular cat food brands on Amazon and other online retailers.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Cat Food is rich in high quality proteins such as turkey and chicken. You’ll also find a mix of whitefish and herring.
Wellness also goes above and beyond with this natural recipe. They’ve added Yucca Schidigera extract to this formula. The purpose of this? It’s been proven that this extract may actually help reduce the odor that your cat’s stool puts out. That’s a win/win situation!
Why Choose The Best Grain Free Cat Food Brands?
What’s all the hype about grain-free? As you may know, cats in the wild eat meat. As a result, normally their diets would contain a little more protein. But, in order to cut cost, a lot of pet food manufacturers add an abundance of grain products into their food.
If you’re not already feeding grain-free cat food, take a look at the ingredients in your cat’s food. More than likely you’ll see many grains listed. Grains like wheat, corn, and rice.
In all honesty, the food you feed your cat shouldn’t have more grains than proteins in it. This isn’t just because cats prefer a meat diet. Many cats develop an allergy to grains. Food allergies are actually quite common among the cat community.
A lot of the time the reason behind the allergy goes unknown. Something as simple as grass can be an allergy trigger for your cat. Then again, something as important as their food can be, too.
Cats are known as “obligate carnivores”. Simply put, your cat was made to eat animal protein. That’s where most of the nutrition they need comes from. In fact, it’s also suggested that cats barely, or not all, benefit from plant-based proteins. Plant-based proteins such as, well, grains.
Times are hard. Companies are trying to save money while providing at least a decent option. So, many times pet food manufacturers shy away from adding too much animal based protein in their foods.
This is because it’s expensive. That’s when their cost to make it rises. As a result, your cost to buy it goes up, too. Pet owners have tight wallets right now. They may not follow a price increase.
Have you ever heard the phrase “You get what you pay for”? Well, that’s even true for the pet food industry.
Most of the time, you’ll find that grain-free cat foods are a bit more on the pricey side. This is one main reason cat owners may shy away from this meal option. What they replace these proteins with makes the price increase worth it for a cat who may depend on a grain-free diet.
Now, not all pet food companies are doing it right. Some companies have decided to replace the grains with other foods that are high in carbohydrates. Plus, they are plant-based proteins, just like grains. These carbohydrates can range as high as 35%. But, in reality, a cat’s diet would really have a diet that consisted of about 2% of carbohydrates.
Many grain-free diets do contain a lot of extra carbohydrates. That’s why, in most cases, grain-free diets aren’t exactly recommended for a cat who is overweight. Especially if their food consumption isn’t monitored that well. As well as if they are more of a couch potato than explorer. A grain-free diet may lead to unwanted weight gain.
Aside from allergies, a grain-free diet may be recommended for an active cat. Since they are more active, it’s more likely they’ll work the extra carbohydrates off. Which is, of course, the opposite of what a more laid back cat may do. But, what if you do have an overweight cat with a grain allergy?
Make sure to read your labels. Try to stay away from cat foods that are high in carbohydrates. You should also read the ingredients and make sure that a whole bunch of food sources that may contain carbohydrates aren’t listed.
These foods may include potatoes, apples, and peas. This of course means that just because it says “grain-free” it doesn’t mean it’s “gluten free”, too. Keep that in mind if you have a cat who suffers, or may suffer, from sensitivity to gluten.
Grain is a common allergy trigger for cats.
However, just because your cat is allergic to one grain doesn’t mean he or she will be allergic to the next. Unfortunately, most cat foods are filled with a variety of different grains. Until you know that, switching foods may not even help.
The key is to find a specific ingredient. Mostly because, if you’re not checking for grain ingredients, you could still be feeding them the allergy trigger. That’s why one of the first diet change recommendation a veterinarian makes is going grain-free.
Symptoms of a grain allergy in cats
If you’re suspecting that your cat has a food allergy, do not jump into buying her one of these best grain free cat food brands just yet. First, you must consult with a veterinarian and rule out other possible causes for allergies and have the vet recommend you the diet.
Second, check whether your cat has any of the grain allergy symptoms:
According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, about 15% of cats with a food allergy exhibit signs of gastrointestinal distress. This may include vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea.
The most common sign of a food allergy in a cat is actually excessive scratching. As a result of the scratching, you may also see hair loss and wounds. Their coat may also eventually end up in poor condition.
If the allergy causes any swelling to the throat, you may notice your cat snoring.
There is a blood test available to check for many different possible allergies your cat may have. This test is quite expensive though. That’s why many veterinarians tend to shy away from recommending it. Usually they’ll recommend a change in diet first. Especially if the symptoms your cat is exhibiting mimic a food allergy.
However, the best grain free cat food is not only for food allergies. Usually, switching to grain free cat foods means your cat will be consuming much more protein and less carbohydrates, which is perfect for a carnivorous animal like a feline. Unlike dogs who are more omnivorous, cats are healthier on a diet made up primarily of animal meat.
That being said, here are the best grain free cat foods available today. I highly recommend you read the grain free cat food reviews from other pet owners before buying.
Cat going grain-free? Lessen the stress!
Finding a great grain free cat food doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you know what you’re looking for. Remember, just because your cat has a grain allergy doesn’t mean it’s to all grains. Remember, also, that a grain free diet isn’t right for every cat.
With all of the options available, switching cat food can really make your head spin. But, the 10 grain free cat food options below, will hopefully help lessen that load some. Each food listed above is of high quality, grain free, and developed just for cats.
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