Grain-Free Cat Food: Is It Good or Bad?

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Grain Free High Protein Cat Foods

There has been a noticeable buzz around grain-free foods among people, questioning their suitability for humans or pets such as cats. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the topic.

So what is the absolute truth behind it? Can you feed grain-free food for cats to your cat? And how does it relate to a cat’s health? This article will answer all these questions, so let’s dive right in.

What Is Grain-Free Food?

Grain-free foods are precisely as their name suggests; they are foods that contain no grains from traditional sources such as wheat, corn, rice, corn, etc. This means that these foods contain carbohydrates from several other sources. Furthermore, the grains are removed, and instead, the carbohydrate content is supplied from foods such as potatoes, beans, carrots, yams, etc. It may seem ironic that sometimes these grain-free foods contain much more carbohydrate concentrated content than grain-filled foods.

Do Grain-Free Food For Cats Mean Gluten-Free?

Yes, gluten is a protein found in grains, which means that grain-free foods do not contain gluten. However, not all grains contain gluten; therefore, all grain-free foods are gluten-free, but it is not the same vice versa.

But what does gluten-free mean for a cat’s diet? As some humans tend to have gluten intolerance, they may benefit from gluten-free foods, but it is a different case for cats. There has been no evidence on whether some cats must be fed a gluten-free diet.

Benefits of Grain

As a well-known fact, cars are obligate carnivores, require a meat-based diet, and cannot rely on a purely vegetarian diet. Furthermore, their daily calorie intake must come from an animal source of proteins. At the same time, the rest of their diet demands a reasonable amount of vitamins, carbs, fats, and some minerals. Grains are a great benefit because it is an excellent source of all the mentioned nutrients, even protein.

Are Grains Necessary For My Cat?

The primary energy source for cats comes from proteins, and grains can provide a moderate amount. Not only protein, but it also contains a range of other nutrients such as vitamins, fats, minerals, fiber, etc. With that being said, it can be difficult to argue that grains are just useless stomach fillers for your cat because they do provide some nutritional value.

Other Benefits of Grains

As mentioned earlier, grains are not only a decent source of proteins but also consist of several other beneficial nutrients that improve your cat’s health. Some of those include:


Grains provide a good amount of fiber to your cat if it is a part of her diet. This is especially necessary for your cat to be risk-free from stomach problems. It prevents the formation of hairballs, maintains blood sugar levels, and controls weight gain.


Grains are also a great source of vitamins and minerals that are important to ensure your cat is as healthy as it should be. Among those nutrients include iron, folate, calcium, etc.

Is It Risky for My Cat’s Health?

We now understand the benefits of adding grains to a cat’s diet and the effect on a cat’s health. Now, you may wonder if eliminating grains from a cat’s diet by opting for grain-free food for cats can deprive them of essential nutrients. But the truth is that it all depends on the quality of grain-free food that you feed your cat.

A good quality grain-free food for cat products can successfully substitute grains’ necessary nutrients using other whole food sources. As a result, your cat is very unlikely to suffer any deficiencies caused by poor quality grain-free cat food products, which usually have a lower source of nutrients.

Our Recommendations

Purina ONE True Instinct Grain Free High Protein

Purina ONE True Instinct Grain Free High Protein

Purina ONE True Instinct is crafted to be a cat food closer to nature’s intended. Recommended by veterinarians, it is a high-protein grain-free kibble for your beloved feline buddy with 100% nutrition, no fillers at all, and real chicken meat as the main ingredient.

It is a good option because it promotes a strong immune system, and healthy gums and teeth; furthermore it is tasty and crunchy.

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Cat Food

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Cat Food

Whole Earth Farms takes the best and healthiest ingredients from the earth to provide your cat with natural goodness. Not only protein-rich salmon and peas, but the Whole Earth Farms recipe also consist of multiple protein sources and vegetables.

It has no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-products, no artificial colors, and no artificial preservatives at all. Indeed a safe and perfect choice for your cat.

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food

CRAVE recipes are always crafted with high-quality animal protein and tasty flavor to match your cat’s natural ancestral diet. This cat food is a premium natural cat food with a lot of protein, plus vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, with no soy or grains at all.

It will undoubtedly provide essential nutrients for developing muscle, aiding digestion, and supporting a robust immune system.

Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food & Toppers

Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food & Toppers

This Purina grain-free cat food comes with a special recipe, formulated with the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and essential nutrients to support a long and healthy life.

Their nutritionist carefully selected natural, gluten-free, and grain-free ingredients to deliver the much-required daily nutrition for your cat. It also consists of natural probiotics for your cat’s digestive health, making it one of the best grain-free cat food to consider.

The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Cat Food

The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Cat Food

The Honest Kitchen makes its cat food from everyday ingredients found in our kitchen. It retains all the nutrients, taste, and goodness by gently dehydrating and finely dicing them for easy digestion and maximum nutrient absorption.

Carefully crafted by vet nutritionists, it has very high protein and includes probiotics to support digestion. As part of the commitment, they do not use GMO, fillers, corn, wheat, and soy at all.

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Complete Care Dry Cat Food

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Complete Care Dry Cat Food

It has a balanced formula, with 65% of protein and healthy fat, plus 35% of fiber, vitamins, and minerals – with no artificial preservatives, no corn, no wheat, no soy, and no gluten ingredients.

Very well suited if your beloved feline has a sensitive stomach, as it is crafted with easily digestible proteins. It is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 for healthy skin and fur. It also contains prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion.

The Pros

After discussing the benefits of grains and grain-filled foods, it is only fair to do the same for grain-free food for cats. The benefits of grain-free foods depend on how well the cat takes it, as not every cat is the same.

  • When it comes to high-quality grain-free cat food, it generally tends to contain more essential nutrients than the food your cat would have eaten in the wild. Proteins sourced from animal-based meats such as fish can be found in more significant amounts in such a diet.
  • As rare a case it may be, some cats can become allergic to grains. Grain-free foods can be a great option that helps in reducing the ingredients causing the allergic reactions.

The Cons

As with most other things, there may be some potential drawbacks to giving grain-free food to cats. Here are a few of them:

  • You should be well aware that grain-free foods can contain many proteins. Similarly, it can be possible to have a high quantity of fats. Therefore, properly inspect the ingredient section of the grain-free food for cats to avoid feeding your cat a fat-rich diet that will lead to your cat gaining weight. Otherwise, it would be best to be mindful of the portion size that you will be feeding your cat.
  • Another drawback is that they can come at quite a high price because they tend to be rich in protein. However, you may work around the high cost by controlling the portion size. You can still meet your cat’s protein requirement without a hefty amount per meal.


In summary, grain-free cat food is unlikely to cause serious health problems for your cat if you choose to opt for it as the primary diet for your cat. Even though there has been noticeable relation between grain-free dog food and canine heart disease, there is a lack of evidence for the same case in cats.

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