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Old 05-17-2008, 03:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Allergic to Chicken

Ever tried to find chicken-free cat food? No fun!

One of my three cats developed an allergy to chicken about 18 months ago. Before the allergy developed (all three cats are adults) I was feeding them Science Diet Rice and Lamb Formula and supplementing with an occasional can of wet food. When my vet diagnosed the problem, I switched to Wysong Anergen, still using the dry food, and have supplemented with (very) small amounts of tuna or roast turkey. Bigfoot's skin condition has cleared up completely and chubby Simon has even slimmed down; however, all three cats DETEST the food and have become shameless beggers of table food. (I can't leave dirty dishes in the sink for 30 seconds before someone is on the counter trying to lick the plates clean!)

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any suggestions as to what other brands of chicken-free catfood I can try? I've seen several references to Natural Balance and considered trying them until I realized that they were on the Recall List last spring.
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've used N.B. Venison and Pea... now Duck and pea and my cats loved it and did very well on it. I don't believe it was ever recalled, I think that was the dry dog food, but I could be wrong. In any event, I believe N.B. was the first (and perhaps the only) company to actually put new safely procedures in place after the recall. They now have their own testing plant and, if I remember correctly (it's been a long time since I read the article) they test every batch of food themselves.
Honestly, as upsetting and scary as the recalls were, it could happen with any food at any time, so I wouldn't put too much emphasis on it. The best you can do is find a food with he best ingredients and as few fillers as possible, and hope for the best.
If your cat is prone to allergies I would also try to stay away from foods that have corn, glutens (big reason for recall), fish and soy since they are also major allergy triggers as well as chicken.
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree w/ Victoria - Natural Balance is a good choice for alternatives to chicken - it was a dry dog food and a dry cat food that they recalled, and it was not related to the Menu foods recalls. They now test all their foods for certain natural toxins, you can check your food by batch date on their site.

Evangers has turkey and squash (canned), and Organics by Nature has a turkey and liver (canned), in addition to the duck and venison flavors offered by Natural Balance. I assume you are looking for canned foods also, not just chicken-free kibble?

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Old 05-17-2008, 06:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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(putting on recall hat for old times' sake)

Actually, there was a dry cat food recalled by NB...I think it was venison and green pea. They had just started adding rice protein concentrate in the preceding 6 months (i.e. hadn't changed the label yet). They also recalled several varieties of canned food, claiming that American Nutrition added rice protein concentrate to the formulas without their permission...and several other companies (like Blue Buffalo/Spa) made the same claim. In the end, many of the premium food companies (Wysong included) were contracting at least some of their canned food production to Menu (or American Nutrition). How I judged food companies at the time was how they dealt with the recall situation...NB did pretty well, not bothering to specify batches/lots, just pulling ALL of it off the market and sorting it out later. There are other companies that did much worse, at least in my opinion...some that didn't even have products recalled!

Not easy finding a dry food without chicken. IVD makes a prescription line of sensitivity foods based on novel proteins...they're pricey, but no chicken. Lick Your Chops might also have one (though they got smacked by the recall...I want to say through the Chenago Valley Foods Rice Protein concentrate batch). Rice protein concentrate is very common in sensitivity foods, so you might find that they were hit disproportionately in that specific round of the recalls.

(recall hat OFF)

You might have more luck with canned foods, or using all-meat foods that your cats can tolerate and mixing your own homemade from those. Is Anergen a complete and balanced diet for feline maintenance? I was under the impression that it was one of their canine/feline diets that needed to be balanced properly for cats.
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes. My girl is allergic to or gets horrible diarrhea from every food we try. Right now she has sores we are treating because we had to put her on an intestinal formula to get rid of her diarrhea. We are getting ready to try yet another allergy formula on her. Hopefully it agrees with her tummy.

Royal Canin veterinary diets ( used to be IVD) makes several alternative protein foods. Even if your vet doesn't carry it you can usually get a prescription from them to get it elsewhere. Hills makes several as well and there is the Natural Balance peas and duck that you can get without a prescription from pet stores in wet and dry and the venison canned.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My youngest Apollo has had diarrhea as long as we have had him. I am in the process of experimenting to see if chicken may be the culpret. I am trying Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck dry food and Duck and green pea canned food. The canned food is going over well but the dry is not as popular yet but he is eating it. I believe the dry is new. It is a limited ingrediant food for allergies. ... ckCat.html

In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him. - Dereke Bruce
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I can definitely relate....Holly has a problem with fish, finding a cat food with absolutely no fish isn't easy either. But maybe a little easier than no chicken.

I agree that of all the company's affected by the recall, Natural Balance was one of the ones that responded the best. I would not take them out of the mix because of it. The reality is, if you eliminate all of the recall companies and then try to find a food without chicken, there probably isn't a lot left.

You'll have a much larger selection if you switch over to more wet food. And wet food is better for him anyway.

Holly & her companion, Jake, the dog.
Onyx, Callie May, Maggie & Kobi forever in my heart.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you are looking for a wet food check out California Natural, they have wet allergy formulas but unfortunately they do contain fish. Actually a lot of wet foods will not have chicken, dry is where it gets tough.

This food does not have it but it's kinds grain heavy...better than Science Diet though: ... YXJ3388D7A

If you are comfortable feeding a mainly fish diet you can find more but (and I don't know why) I believe fish is not good to have in their food as a main ingredient.

I thought natural Balance was recalled but not in the same recall as all the had it's own problems. I would probably feed it if I had a cat with chicken allergies and could not do Raw or an all can diet (if you want me to find all canned chicken free ones I'll go a lookin' for you, there are many more than there is of the dry food).
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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NB was recalled for the same melamine/cyanuric acid contamination, just in a different ingredient (rice protein concentrate instead of wheat gluten).

One of my most vivid memories of the recalls is the day the RPC news broke and companies started releasing statements that the RPC had been added to their foods at the AN factory without their knowledge or permission. I just sat in front of my computer for about 20 minutes, trying to process that and thinking about the implications. It was the only time during the recalls that I actually vaporlocked. It was horrible.
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your input. I turned up a few of these brands on the internet yesterday (thank goodness everyone posts their ingredients now!), but I feel much better getting a true perspective from people who have used the products. I think I'm going to try the NB Duck and Peas and see how my girls take to it.
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