Secret #3: What’s the deal with grain?

Is it okay to have grain in a cat food? Can cats be allergic to grains? Ultimately, there is no reason why a healthy cat without a grain allergy or intolerance should not eat grain. Wheat, corn or barley is commonly used in cat food because it is readily available and provides a great source of energy and a good source of protein when blended with an animal protein such as chicken. That being said, it is better for your cat to eat a diet high in animal protein and lower in grain-based protein. Look for foods that contain minimal grain products as cats should be getting most of their calories from proteins and fats. The ideal diet for a cat is 40 to 50 percent protein, if not more.

Food allergies are caused by a reaction to a protein, and since grain contains protein, cats can develop an allergy to it. Because wheat is present in so many foods, cats that are prone to developing allergies are very likely to develop an allergy to a plant grain such as wheat, though a cat can just as easily develop an allergy to buffalo if they are on a buffalo-based diet when they start to develop the allergy. Bottom line: if your cat doesn’t already have an allergy to wheat, there is no need to worry about buying a wheat-free food.

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