Choosing the right gluten free cat food is never an easy task, given the rising popularity and availability of a wide variety of brands in the market.
A gluten free cat food diet help cats affected by the Celiac disease, wheat allergies or mild or even acute gluten intolerance. An allergy is known to be an unpredictable condition and no one really knows what causes it unless a proper allergen test is done.
However, before feeding your cat a gluten free diet, you also need to know it’s the best choice for your pet and if at all, it requires a gluten free diet.
Does your cat actually need gluten free cat food?
It's a fact that a majority of cats don’t need gluten-free food. Exceptions, however, are there when the cat may be truly allergic to glutens – a somewhat rare condition.
Glutens are actually known to supply a portion of the feline’s protein requirements. Since cats are carnivores, they require animal proteins as food. So, gluten or plant-based proteins can’t be the only protein source in their diet.
Gluten free cat food: Myths & misconceptions
A majority of cat owners opine that gluten free cat food is rich in protein and low on carbohydrate content. This actually is a myth as not every gluten free cat food has a low carbohydrate content.
Also, such foods may contain potatoes to replace carbohydrate-rich, gluten containing grains. So it’s often seen that gluten free cat food and low carbohydrate foods aren’t always the same.
Most cat owners also choose gluten free cat food because they believe that the pet actually suffers from food allergies. Research has shown that grains are least responsible for food allergies in cats as compared to dairy products, beef and/or fish.
If your cat’s attending vet, however, confirms your pet’s allergy to gluten-containing grains, you will be left with no choice but to opt for a gluten-free diet.
This calls for getting an appropriate allergen test done using the pet’s blood sample to identify the allergen. This could be followed by a food trial with gluten free food to determine whether the cat gets any relief or not.
Also, you should remember that gluten free cat food is manufactured without the use of grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. But since certain grains do not contain gluten, the gluten free food may have some grain in it.