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Is Grain Free Food Bad For Cats

Hoax Or Real Is Grain Free Cat Food Bad For Cats

Is Grain Free Cat Food Bad for Cats? An Interview with Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM
  • Reviewed by: Kate Basedow, LVT

Pet store aisles are awash with grain free pet food, mimicking the same trend seen in human diets. But is grain free food bad for cats?

Grain free cat food is cat food without corn, wheat, barley, rice, or oats. And yes, grain free cat food is bad for some cats. Like cats who are overweight or who have diabetes. Why? Because many grain free cat food contains peas and peas have lectins and phytates which cause all sorts of health issues .

In this article we bust the myths around grain free cat food and dig deep into the science that explains if this food is right for your cats nutritional needs.

Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Entre Grain

Most Popular Cat Food without Peas, Lentils, Legumes or Potatoes: If youre not sure what to feed your cat, you can always go with a popular brand like Wellness. This Complete Health Pate Chicken Entrée is a great option for cat food free from peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes. It features fresh chicken, chicken liver, and fresh turkey as the top three ingredients, making it incredibly rich in real animal protein. The only carbohydrate ingredients are carrots, cranberries, and ground flaxseed, so the recipe is grain-free as well. This formula contains a fairly limited list of ingredients, making the risk of triggering food allergies fairly low, and it is complete and nutritionally balanced with minimal need for synthetic supplements.

Grain Free Cat Food: What You Need To Know


Visit any grocery store aisle and you are certain to find more and more shoppers scanning labels to make sure their food is “free” of one thing or another: gluten free, fat free, sugar free the list grows longer each day. Now, these preferences have extended beyond the dinner table and into the food bowl, as some pet parents strive to make similar food choices for their beloved four-legged family members.;

Its no wonder that the pet food market has reacted in kind, with an array of grain-free cat food options appearing within the recent years. But is grain-free food for cats the right option for your favorite kitty? Contrary to what can be found on the internet , grains can actually be good for your cat. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about grain-free cat food and whether you should consider for your own pet.

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Top 3 Best Wet Grain Free Cat Food

1. Purina Beyond Wet Cat Food

What can we say? Purina has done it again.

Like its dry food counterpart, this wet cat food variation continues to impress both cat owners and their feline friends. Formulated with natural ingredients, this thoughtfully-crafted wet grain free diet plan offers high moisture content, not to mention, essential vitamins and minerals that an adult cat need in their daily feline lives.


  • A good number of cats like this wet cat foods taste.
  • A couple of cats with reported digestion problems and food sensitivities ate this without any issues.
  • Cats can choose from a variety of flavors. Many especially liked the Chicken in Gravy Recipe as well as the Salmon flavor.
  • When it comes to quality, many gave a thumbs up.
  • Its scent is liked by both felines and humans.


  • A few cats disliked its texture

2. Instinct Original Wet Cat Food

Made with 95% meat and 0% grains, Instincts Original Grain Free Wet Cat Food ensures to satisfy your cats cravings with its meaty goodness.

Given that its content consists of mostly real meat, you can be assured that this diet plan contains high levels of animal protein, which your cats need to develop strong, lean muscles. Other than meat, it also offers high amounts of moisture as well as vitamins and minerals.



  • This pet food is a little expensive.
  • When it comes to flavor, some cats took some time to get used to it.

3. Nulo Wet Cat Food



Let Your Veterinarian Help Determine The Best Food For Your Cat


The fact that so many owners care about what their cats are eating is great! But, please make sure you speak with your veterinarian about what diet is appropriate for your cat.; Please be careful about advice from the internet or from employees at pet stores.; There is no one size fits all diet. Every cat is different, and what works for one may not work for others. Lastly, the biggest recommendation from our doctors is to feed a largely canned food diet and strictly limit dry food.

At A Cat Clinic, as cat veterinarians, we discuss nutrition at every exam because we feel this is so vital to your cats health and well-being.; If youre looking for a cat veterinarian in Germantown, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Clarksville or surrounding areas, contact us to set up an exam for your cat and well be happy to discuss diet options. The years of education and experience our doctors have been through help us guide you in the best direction for your individual cat.; Like all of you, we want your cats to be happy and healthy!

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The Problem With Grain Free Cat Food

Some veterinarians argue grain free cat food is more problematic than conventional cat food. They point out that grain free food has become more of a designer cat food diet than anything. Pet food companies aggressively market grain free cat food with tactics like overpromising unregulated health benefits, banking on pet parents believing grains are all bad.

A Reduction Of Allergies And Intolerances

Foods that contain rice, corn, wheat and barley are known to contribute to allergies in cats. Such allergies cause cats to lose fur and itch profusely. Say nothing of the fact that allergies make cats uncomfortable overall as they cause running eyes and respiratory problems.

The same holds true for intolerances. Grains cause cats to develop several intolerances; however, these disappear when cats are switched to a grain-free diet.

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How To Know If Your Pet Needs Gluten Or Grain Free Cat Food

Choosing a diet for your cat is a task that should not be taken lightly. Grain free and gluten free pet diets have become extremely popular. This popularity has mirrored the appearance of similar products for people. These diets are particularly helpful for people that have celiac disease, intolerance to glutens in general, or allergies to wheat.

Many pet owners choose to mimic their own food choices when choosing a food for their pet. With the increase in the number of people choosing to consume a grain free diet, pet food manufacturers have recognized that similar pet diets are attractive to pet owners. The popularity of these diets has led to an increase in the number of grain free and gluten free diets available for pets.

Are these diets the best choice for your cat? How do you know if your cat needs a grain free or gluten free diet?

Is Grain Free Bad For Cats

Should Cats Eat Grain Free Kibble? | Two Crazy Cat Ladies

Cats are designed to acquire the protein and amino acids needed in their diet from meat. This is not true for every grain free food. Most cats are better off without grains. While food allergies do occur in pets, corn and other grains are not among the most common allergens found in foods. You can listen to the podcast of grain free cat food or you can read the interview below. Grain free cat food bad for cats podcast.

No, cats cannot be maintained on a dog food diet. Vets that see both dogs and cats seem to be jumping on the grain free is bad trend because large breed dogs that are already prone to heart disease are having higher instances of heart problems and seem to eat grain free. We agree that cheap carbohydrates used in commercial pet foods are not good for health, but this does not mean that dogs and cats do not actually eat grains. Over the past couple of years, veterinary cardiologists noticed an increase in the number of dogs they saw who had dilated cardiomyopathy , a heart condition that decreases the hearts ability to pump blood. Scroll down to the bottom to see all updates.

She specifically said to not get grain free food as this can predispose cats to dilated cardiomyopathy. No doubt, owners want to do what is best for their pet. She also said i needed to change the brand of both dry and wet food. Scroll down to the bottom to see all updates. But this is not true.

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Grain Free Cat Food 101

The hype for grain-free diet plans for humans continues.

Initially adopted by those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease a disease characterized by difficulty in digesting food due to hypersensitivity to gluten- this diet plan, later on, became widespread and is now used as a means to improve ones health.

As for our pet food manufacturers, they cannot help but join the bandwagon.

If you are looking for grain-free cat foods, you are most probably someone who has tried this type of diet yourself. You might also be someone who firmly believes that your cat needs a high protein, low carb diet given that they are biological meat-eaters.

Or maybe, you are just one of the pet owners who just thinks this is a good choice for your hypersensitive cat. Regardless of your reasons, one thing is for sure.

We know for a fact that you, as a loving pet parent, value your cats health above all. However, as a pet parent who has great concern over his or felines well being, it is best that you understand what grain free cat food is all about.

Should Cats Eat Grain Free

Iron, thiamine, calcium, riboflavin, folate, and niacin are all in grain. Grain free diets may result in a deficiency of these essential nutrients. Plus, these carbohydrate sources cost more. Depending on your cats health status and specific nutritional needs, a diet with grain may be better than one without.

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Try Single Ingredient Foods

If you notice that your cat has several health problems and you want to make certain you are avoiding any filler ingredients, experts recommend you choose single-ingredient foods.

When food is advertised as being a single ingredient, AAFCO states that it must contain 95% of that ingredient, and the remaining five percent will be comprised of water, vitamins, and supplements.

For example, if a manufacturer is selling salmon as a single-ingredient food, then 95% of the food must consist of salmon, and the rest will consist of water, vitamins, and other supplements.

A Quick Look At Crave Cat Food

How To Pick A Healthy Food For Your Cat
  • High protein levels compared to other cat food
  • A lower amount of fat and carbohydrates
  • Sold at affordable prices
  • Sells both kitten and adult cat food

An American expat living in Metro Manila, Philippines for over a decade, Christian is a lifelong cat lover and the proud papa of two rescue cats, Trixie and Chloe. Both girls were formerly among the droves of strays that roam the cities and countryside. Three-year-old Trixie was pulled from a litter found under the porch of a neighbors house, while two-year-old Chloe was brought home by Christians young son, Henry, who found the kitten crying in the parking lot. As Editor in Chief of, Christian is thrilled to be a part of the pro-feline movement.

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Best Cat Food Without Peas Lentils Legumes And Potatoes In 2021

Nutrition experts agree that plant-based diets are extremely healthy for humans any way. There is some concern about meeting your needs for specific nutrients including protein, but it is perfectly possible to create a balanced plant-based diet. Plant foods like peas, lentils, and legumes offer plenty of protein as well as other essential nutrients.

  • Rich in real animal protein
  • Blend of omega-3

Unfortunately, these foods are not quite as healthy for your cat. If you know anything at all about feline nutrition, you probably know that protein is important. You may also know that your cat is a carnivore and needs meat rather than plants. Ingredients like peas and lentils in cat food often add extra protein, but not in a form your cat can efficiently process. Pet food manufacturers, particularly those selling grain-free diets, dont tell you that on the label.

In this article, well talk about the role of peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes in cat food as well as the potential problems they can cause. Well also discuss the things you should be looking for in a healthy cat food and provide you with some of our top recommendations. Read on!

Why Are You Talking About Dogs What About Cats

The FDA recently issued a frequently asked questions list about the investigation into the connection between diet and canine heart disease. Among the answers was this:

Prior to issuing our public notification on July 12, 2018, the FDA received sporadic reports involving 30 dogs and seven cats.

After the FDAs previous statement talked exclusively about dogs, they suddenly mention that over 20% of the reports they had received were about cats. Should families with cats worry?

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What To Look For In Grain

If youre looking for good quality, nutritious grain-free food, you should examine their content labels very carefully to check for these:

  • Fiber: Is there enough fiber to make up for the missing grains? There should be between 3-5% fiber in your cats food on a dry matter basis.
  • Carbohydrates: If you are switching to grain-free because you want lower carbs in your cats food, then make sure that the food you choose is in fact low-carb. Opt for options that have no more than 30% carbohydrate on a dry matter basis.
  • Protein: Grain-free or not, always check the protein amount and source. Dont go for less than 35% protein on a dry matter basis. Also, besides animal-sourced protein, are there any plant-based sources of digestible protein?
  • Replacements: Which foods have been used to replace grains and are these good for your cat? Do these replacements make up for the fiber, protein, and minerals that would otherwise have come from grains?

Fortunately, Ive considered all these points mentioned above and gathered some top-quality grain-free cat food options for you to choose from.

Ive done the math* and compared the contents of a variety of top-rated grain-free dry foods on a dry matter basis. Ive compared their amounts of protein, fat, fiber, and carbs and taken into account the other ingredients that are listed on their labels.

So, here are the top 5 grain-free dry cat foods that are actually high-protein, low-carb, and have a nutritious, well-balanced content.

Whats The Cause For Concern

Pure Balance Grain Free Cat Food Review (By My Cats)

Over the past couple of years, veterinary cardiologists noticed an increase in the number of dogs they saw who had dilated cardiomyopathy , a heart condition that decreases the hearts ability to pump blood. There are some dog breeds that are more likely to develop DCM, but the cardiologists were diagnosing the condition in breeds without a known genetic predisposition, so the Federal Drug Administration began an investigation.

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Myth One: Grain Free Cat Food Is Good For Weight Loss

If youre feeding your cat grain free food for weight loss or weight management, youre better off looking elsewhere.

A large grain free cat food study conducted by Tufts University Cummings Veterinary Medical Center sheds found that grain free cat food often contains the same calories and more carbs than traditional cat food.

Lets Take A Look At Some Of The Worst Ingredients On A Cat Food Label

Well start out by identifying specific ingredients that tell you a lot about the quality of the food.

As a general rule of thumb, remember that the first three ingredients on the cat food label should be meat. If corn, peas, or rice are in the first, second, or third spot on the cat food label, pass up that product.

Remember that ingredients are ordered by weight.

Ingredient splitting is a common tactic used to create the illusion of a higher meat concentration. If a food contains multiple variations of corn, for example, its possible that, if all the corn ingredients were lumped together, they would be the first ingredient on the list.

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Should Cats Have Grain Free Food

Should Cats Have Grain Free Food? Iron, thiamine, calcium, riboflavin, folate, and niacin are all in grain. Grain free diets may result in a deficiency of these essential nutrients. Plus, these carbohydrate sources cost more. Depending on your cats health status and specific nutritional needs, a diet with grain may be better than one without.

Is grain-free cat food really as good for your cat as it seems? Heres everything you need to know about grain-free cat food. If a cat food contains none of these ingredients, that food is Grain-free by definition. Gluten is the protein component of grain, so all grain-free cat food is also gluten-free cat food by default. Conversely, the presence of gluten, grain, or grain by-products in cat food does not necessarily speak to the quality of that diet. The argument in favor of grain-free cat food was simple: cats in the wild dont eat grain. If my cat is descended from wild cats, why does he need grain at all? For the vast majority of cats, especially those that seem to be in perfect health, grain-free cat food diets are not necessary for your cat to be healthy.

Is Grain Free bad for cats? Are Grain-Free Diets Dangerous for Cats? For cats and their owners, grain-free diets do not pose a health risk. Although there is a suggested link between grain-free dog food and canine heart disease, no such link appears to exist in cats.


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