10 Best Chicken Free Cat Food


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Having a high protein blend should be the top priority when it comes to cat food. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they should get plenty of protein in their diets, even as indoor kitties. Chicken is a common protein source in cat food because it’s affordable and easy to procure and process. However, while the chicken is relatively low-cost and accessible, it doesn’t always agree with every cat’s stomach. 

This may be due to an allergy that your cat was born with or developed over time. Your cat may also steer clear of a chicken simply because they don’t like it. Like people, cats have their preferences, too, and your cat may prefer beef or fish to chicken. 

Chicken is commonly used as the primary protein source for a wide variety of cat foods today. However, it can be challenging to go poultry free because of how frequently it appears in food. You may get lost in the nutritional facts label or be striking out with the foods you’ve selected-with, with your cat turning their nose up to them. 

Lucky for you and your cat, I’ve compiled a list of the best chicken-free cat foods sold today. They all boast healthy ingredient lists that cater to common food allergens and still provide your feline friend with plenty of protein through alternate sources. 

There is one food that ranks higher than the rest, though. This is American Journey Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food. Because of its ingredients list specially formulated with food allergies in mind and high protein level, we had to make it top of our list. 

Keep reading to see what other poultry-free foods cut. 

best Products discussed in the article:

Wondering if chicken is good for your cat? Check out these 10 best chicken free cat food that is sure to keep your kitty happy and active:

#1: Best Dry Food 

American Journey Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food

Ideal for Sensitive Stomachs
Great Source of Fiber
Vitamin C and E

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#2: Best Wet Cat Food 

FREELY Rabbit Recipe Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

Ideal for Sensitive Stomachs
Great Source of Fiber
Vitamin C and E

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#3: Best Flavor Cat Food

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food

Ideal for Sensitive Stomachs
Great Source of Fiber
Vitamin C and E

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Review of best chicken free Cat Foods

American Journey Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food

Option #1: Best Dry Cat Food

Rating: 10/10

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The limited ingredient list makes it safe for most cats with food sensitivities to enjoy this poultry-free dry cat food. This formula is made specifically without chicken and with common food allergens in mind and doesn’t include most of those ingredients that plague cats.  

Along with being suitable for cats with food allergies, this healthy ingredient list provides the complete scope of nutrition that your cat needs in their diet. It includes fibre-rich peas and pumpkins that aid in promoting sound digestive health. It also features omega fatty acids that boost the overall shine and health of your cat’s fur. 

High protein levels suit your obligate carnivore’s lifestyle. This dry cat food consists of 30% crude protein. But, it doesn’t skimp on added nutrients for a limited ingredient food either. Calcium, Zinc, and Vitamin A are a part of this food blend. 

It May take time for your cat(s) to adjust to this pet food. Be patient and ease them into it with a gradual blend of their original food and this new food to be safe. Your cat stands a greater chance of adapting to this food if it can take it at a slower pace.

If your cat has more than just a chicken allergy, this may be a good fit for them as it’s made to suit a wide variety of common allergies. For example, common food allergens in cats include chicken, milk, and cheese.

FREELY Rabbit Recipe Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

Option #2: Best Wet Cat Food

Rating: 9/10

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A unique ingredient list that’s high-quality and boasts high health benefits is a formidable ingredient list to beat. Unfortunately, rabbit isn’t commonly used as an alternative protein source in wet or dry cat food. Don’t discredit it though-this canned cat food still contains 12% crude protein.  

The versatile recipe can make this a great addition to dry food or be served on its own. Simply spoon this poultry-free wet cat food over the dry kibble food you typically do your cat for a fun addition to mealtimes. Your cat may appreciate the diversity in their diet!  

This wet cat food is also excellent for cats with sensitive teeth and stomachs. Because wet cat food is gentle on teeth and gums, those missing teeth or with general dental issues can eat this without any fuss. The added boost of prebiotics supports a healthy digestive system too.  

Cats who are not accustomed to eating rabbits, are not adventurous eaters or prefer dry pet food may not be interested in this. On the other hand, you can’t fault your cat for trying something new and not enjoying it. While the food itself is excellent, each cat will hold their own unique opinion of it. If this one isn’t a good fit, perhaps another on our list will fit the bill!

If your cat is likely to try new things, this could be an excellent choice. Rabbit isn’t commonly used in cat foods and is a unique welcome flavour to some cats. If wet cat food is also the preferred texture of food for your cat, I recommend giving this one a try.

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food 

Option #3: Best Flavor

Rating: 9/10

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Many of the cat foods we’ve listed boast a limited ingredient formula. This one specifically is great for cats with digestive issues or food sensitivities, though, as it’s made without chicken. Most cats naturally and easily digest salmon. In addition, this poultry-free formula features many other simple ingredients and none of the harsh preservatives, so all your cat gets is good for their food. 

This dry cat food is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for pet food that features enough protein for your carnivorous cat. It’s a great source of protein. These small kibble bites pack a punch with a whopping 37.5% crude protein level. 

The size and shape of this dry kibble food are safe for cats of any age to eat. Adolescent cats can ease their way into adult food and continue to eat into their elder years. It’s also easy on teeth and gums, which benefits cats of any age. 

There’s no easy way to say this, but this food may lead to some unpleasant smells coming from the litter box. While full of flavor, this dry cat food leaves its mark when your cat is done. If your litter box is in a different room or your cat prefers to go outside, this shouldn’t be a problem. 

Because of its rich salmon flavour, most cats will find this pet food a joy to consume. If you have a picky cat or one who is especially fond of fish, I’d highly recommend this dry cat food. 

Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Option #4: Best Natural Cat Food

Rating: 9/10

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One serving of this poultry-free dry cat food is packed with enough vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants to help boost your cat’s internal systems and keep them in peak shape all day long. Vitamin E, Zinc, and Taurine contribute to healthy eyes, heart, skin, and fur. 

The addition of probiotics helps to maintain your furry friend’s immune and digestive health. This is important regardless of whether your need for chicken-free cat food is due to an allergy. A robust immune system helps your cat live a longer, healthier, and happier life. 

This dry cat food touts a generous 32% crude protein. This is plenty of protein to keep your cat’s muscles strong and ready to pounce. This isn’t the only significant percentage on the label either. This dry cat food contains 3% crude fiber and 2.4% omega-6 fatty acids, which help your feline’s overall skin health. 

The shape and texture of the pet food may be too hard for cats with dental pains to eat comfortably. These bits of kibble are in smaller pieces but could still pose a potential choking hazard or digestive issue if your cat tends to swallow their food whole.

This is an excellent choice if your cat has strong, healthy teeth. If it’s too hard for them to eat comfortably, you can slightly pour water on the dry cat food to soften the kibble pieces. Wet food may be a more comfortable choice for a cat who has trouble chewing.  

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner Canned Cat Food 

Option #5: Trusted Brand

Rating: 8/10

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This is a wet poultry free canned cat food made by a reliable brand name and loved by many. You can count on this food to provide your cat with the nutrition they need without exacerbating allergic symptoms if any are present. 

An ample supply of pet food lasts approximately one month or 2 to 3 weeks for a multi-cat household. This means fewer trips to the store or your online shopping cart. While cat foods that are chicken free and boast a limited ingredient list are lovely, they can often come in small packages. This one is sure to get you through multiple meals. 

It promotes healthy hydration levels in your cat as well. Wet cat food naturally boosts your feline friend’s water levels. This is especially helpful for cats who are diabetic or are at risk of feline diabetes as a symptom of that disease can be increased thirst.  

Picky eaters may turn up their noses to this pet food. However, if your cat is accustomed to a particular food, it can take time and patience to get them used to this one. The best way to do this is by integrating a new food with a starting ratio of ¾ original food to ¼ of fresh food. Then, slowly you can increase this ratio till you’re serving them an entire portion of the new food. 

I would recommend this for someone with a multi-cat household as the supply of 24 cans can last a few weeks. Also, by setting up automatic deliveries, you can get this food sent straight to your door-so easy!

ZIWI Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food 

Option #6: High-Quality Ingredients

Rating: 8/10

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This canned cat food’s unique and protein-packed ingredient list will impress your cat’s taste buds. It’s great for naturally carnivorous cats as it’s made up of 92% of meat, organs, and New Zealand green mussels. Now that’s something you don’t come across often on a cat food label!

In this food made without chicken, the calorie count falls to an average amount, so it can be safely consumed by cats who have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. With 113 kcals per can, a significantly lower amount than you see on most standard canned cat foods.  

The meat used in this chicken free canned cat food is free-range. In addition, wild-caught fish are a fresh and welcome addition to the recipe and complements the rest of the formula. Combined, these factors make this an ethical choice and a healthy, chicken-free one.  

This chicken free canned cat food can run a little on the expensive side. If you have a multi-cat household, it can add up quickly. Depending on your budget, this may not be the best fit. 

If you have the extra dough to put down on high-end cat food, this is it. However, if you’re working with a budget, there are plenty of other chicken-free cat foods on our list that won’t break the bank. 

Tender & True Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Cat Food

Option #7: Affordable Price

Rating: 7/10

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The price tag is fair on this bag of dry cat food. While having a wallet-friendly price, it still provides adequate nutrition without compromising quality. It’s crafted with seafood that’s certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This means your cat is getting the top-notch catch of the day in every meal. 

A great list of ingredients provides plenty of protein and enriched nutrition in every bite. Zinc, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin E are a few of the great additions to this chicken-free cat food formula. 

If your cat needs to gain weight or is reaching its elder years and having a more challenging time maintaining weight, this is a good choice. With 470 kcals per cup, the higher calorie count can boost a cat’s weight if they’ve been too skinny. 

The higher calorie count is less ideal for a diabetic cat or one that needs to be on a diet to lose weight. Unless your cat lives a pretty active lifestyle, this may cause them to add a few pounds to their little furry bodies. 

If your cat is diabetic or at risk of feline diabetes, this may not be a good fit. However, this is an excellent option for a rescue cat or one that needs more weight. It’s packed with everything they need nutritionally while still boasting a remarkable flavor that cats love. 

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Freeze Dried Cat Treats

Option #8: Best Cat Food Treats

Rating: 8/10

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While these don’t provide enough nutritional value to be served as a complete meal, they’re still healthy enough to be given as a regular treat. Made with over 90% meat, organs, and bones, your carnivore cat can enjoy a delicious and protein-rich snack between meal times. 

The natural, high-quality ingredients are straightforward. Only a tiny handful of ingredients made a list for these chicken-free cat food treats, and they all perform a valuable function. As a result, you can allow your cat to indulge from time to time without a guilty conscience on your part.

The protein content of these treats makes them a great addition to cat food that may not flaunt the highest number in that category. A can of wet cat food will often have a lower percentage of crude protein than what can be found in heartier dry food. 

These poultry-free cat food treats are made of venison. Some cats may not appreciate this flavor if they are picky eaters. Finding an excellent chicken-free cat food that both you and your cat approve of can be challenging.

These are incredibly natural and healthy cat treat suitable for almost any cat. It’s made without several common allergens and isn’t very high in calories. This makes these a great treat when you want to give your cat something on a special occasion. 

Stella & Chewy’s Sea-licious Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food

Option #9: Best Raw Food

Rating: 8/10

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A raw food suits a cat’s obligate carnivore diet well. This food, in particular, mimics what they would be eating in the wild, supplying them with an authentic eating experience. While raw food can be an adjustment for both you and your cat, it’s generally worth it.  

This raw chicken-free cat food is made with a food safety procedure in place. Anytime you’re dealing with raw food, it’s essential to prepare it properly, so it doesn’t make your cat sick. Unfortunately, this food does just that. Outside labs test all raw food, and you can find results on the company’s website. 

While switching to raw food can seem intimidating, it’s pretty easy to store and serve. This food is quickly done by just adding water. Unlike some raw foods that you must keep in a fridge or freezer, this food only needs to be stored in a cool, dry place-securely sealed.

The serving recommendations for this raw chicken-free cat food are state-specific instructions. It’s essential to handle the food with care and follow the directions so as not to make yourself or your cat ill. 

Feeding your cat a raw diet is beneficial to their health and creates a natural and authentic eating experience. However, due to the more strict serving requirements, it may not be the best fit for you or your cat if you don’t have the time or attention to detail to upkeep this regime.

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Minnows Cat Treats

Option #10: Most Authentic Food

Rating: 8/10

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The allure of these cat food treats is that they’re complete fish. They’re no added dyes or preservatives, making them an incredibly natural and authentic treat for your cat. Especially if your cat is a strictly indoor, cat-when else would they ever experience eating an entire minnow?

These freeze-dried minnows are low-calorie, which is excellent for overweight cats and may otherwise be restricted in the treat department. In addition, because they’re just simple, straightforward fish, there aren’t a lot of other allergens or ingredients to worry about. 

Another perk of these minnow cat treats is that they are great for cats of all ages. Kittens will enjoy pretending to hunt these minnows, especially when placed in a feeder toy. Older cats will love being able to eat what they would naturally eat in the wild. You get to rest easy that your cat is eating good quality treats!

It may be difficult for cats to eat these fish treats if they are missing teeth and unable to chew correctly. These could be broken down by hand if you choose to do so. Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling. While raw food is suitable for your cat, it could make you sick if you accidentally ingest these via cross-contamination.

As long as your cat can chew without any disagreement from their teeth or gums, these are a great treat to give your cat. You can feed them without worrying about adding weight to their waistline and encourage them to use their natural hunting instincts to catch their natural-looking prey. 

Chicken-Free Cat Food Buying Guide

How to Choose the Best Chicken Free Cat Food 

When shopping for chicken-free cat food, you can watch for one thing to make the shopping process more manageable. Keep an eye out for words like “Limited Ingredient List” on the package. This means that there are fewer ingredients that could pose as potential allergens to your cat. These special limited ingredient cat foods are made with food sensitivities in mind and can help make that shopping experience less intimidating. When you’re faced with bags and bags of pet food on the store shelves or online shopping pages, having a way to filter through them quickly can save you valuable time. 

Is Chicken Bad for Cats? 

The chicken itself is an excellent source of protein and isn’t bad for cats if they aren’t allergic to it. When cooked and appropriately served to your cat, it can be excellent for their obligate carnivore diet. However, if the chicken is raw or undercooked or isn’t processed correctly into a cat food blend, it can pose a threat. Raw and undercooked chicken can carry diseases like salmonella and E. Coli. Both of which could make your cat very sick.

It’s an excellent idea to temperature check chicken if you’re cooking it for your cat or choose a high-quality cat food that you know will have processed the chicken properly.

What are the Alternatives to Chicken? 

Pork, fish, and turkey are just a few alternatives that you can use to fill the protein component of your cat’s pet food diet. These are the alternatives most commonly found in cat food, but it’s not unheard of to see more exotic protein sources on the label like pheasant, bison, or lamb. 

How Can I Tell If My Cat is Allergic to Chicken? 

If your cat is experiencing a chicken allergy, it may be presenting these symptoms to you: 

  • Excessive, scratching-particularly around the face. 
  • Rash around their face and ears.
  • Excessive, licking-particularly the paws or belly.
  • Vomiting. 
  • Diarrhea. 
  • Weight Loss. 

If you notice your cat has any of these symptoms, you should take them to a vet to get tested adequately for this allergen. Once the tests conclude that your cat is allergic to chicken, you can make dietary adjustments. 

For a vet to determine if your cat is suffering from a chicken allergy, they may conduct several tests. One of them being a “food exclusion” test. This consists of ridding your cat’s diet of most high-level protein sources and feeding them a hypoallergenic formula for 4-12 weeks while a vet works with you to determine which protein source is the cause of the allergic reaction.  

Sometimes, blood work is also recommended in conjunction with a small, controlled dose of the suspected allergen or pet food. This is because spiked white blood cells in your cat’s blood can point to a potential allergic reaction.

Final Thoughts 

Depending on your cat’s needs and pet food requirements, chicken-free cat food may be the best action. As long as your cat is still getting plenty of protein from another source and the additional vitamins and nutrients they need, there’s no reason a chicken-free life can’t be for them.  

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Katy Duncan

Katy Duncan is a writer/content creator based in the Pacific North West. When she's not busy writing captivating content for clients, she's working on her novel or spending time with her feline friend, Merlin Magoo, and her many prospering houseplants.