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What is the Difference Between Grain Free and Gluten Free Cat Food?

Keto, low carb, gluten-free, high protein these are all types of diets for humans, however, they are also some of the same diet options for your cat. The two most commonly asked ones are grain-free cat food and gluten-free cat food diets. A big question is are they the same and are the diets better for my cat’s overall health and wellbeing. Here’s a guide as to what the differences and similarities are.

What is Grain-Free Cat Food?

Grains that are typically found in cat foods are rice, corn, wheat, and oats. Grain-free cat food is food that does not have any of these ingredients or any grain.

Grains like wheat is the most common allergy among cats. This is why many cat owners will choose grain-free cat food as the best cat food choice.

Not all Grain-Free Cat Food Is the Same

One thing to keep in mind when looking at labels is that not all grain-free cat food is made the same way. There is high-quality cat food and there are low-quality cat foods and the same with grain-free cat foods. When reading the label, the fastest way to see if it is high or lower quality is to check the ingredients. Lower quality food will replace grains with substitutes like tapioca and potatoes. So, while they are grain-free, they have a high carbohydrate level. This brings up a good point, grain-free does not in fact mean low carb.

High-quality grain-free cat food will contain more natural ingredients and will be better for your pet. A high protein, low-carb, grain-free diet is perfect for cats who suffer from diabetes or obesity.

What is Gluten-Free Cat Food?

Gluten-free cat food may or may not include grains. Gluten is a very specific protein that is found in barley, rye, and wheat. So, gluten-free cat food will not have these grains, however, it may very easily have other types of grains in it.

Not all cats are allergic to glutens just like humans, however, for the small percentage that is they absolutely will need gluten-free diets. If you are thinking that your cat may have a gluten allergy it is best to take them to the vet and get tested.

How Do I Know if My Cat is Allergic to Grains?

There are some symptoms that will let you know if your cat has a grain allergy. They are:

  • Itchiness

  • Inflamed skin

  • Bald patches

  • Excessive hair loss

  • Hot spots

  • Sores

  • Scabs

While these do not mean that your cat for sure has a grain allergy, it is best to take them to a vet and have them check your cat and discuss diet with you. Cat owners find that by changing their cat’s diet to a high-quality cat food has improved their coat and skin.

Grain-Free or Gluten-Free Diet?

While gluten-free cat food may or may not be grain-free, grain-free cat food is always gluten-free. This means that if you want to eliminate grains and gluten, a grain-free diet is the best choice. Cats are carnivores and thrive on animal proteins, always double-check the ingredients labels when choosing the best cat food for your cat.

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