Occasional Contributor

Looking to switch to a Limited Ingredient Diet

Hello all!

I have four cats, ages being 11 months to three and a half years old, that are currently on Ideal Balance dry food with a few teaspoons of Friskies wet in the morning and evening. The youngest went to the vet today with some skin concerns (chewing/hot spots that itch) and we'll know by the end of the week what the test results are when it comes to allergies versus ringworm. The latter is already ruled out but the vet wanted to do a culture test so any and all tests would all agree it was negative. She's pretty sure it's an allergy but is unsure if it's environmental or food related.

We're currently treating the environmental aspect to see if that's it but our next step is a food switch. The vet suggested their in-office supply of a perscription food that is $60 for a 7lb bag for all four of my cats. I guess the look on my face was enough for her to reconsider because she wouldn't tell me the price of the canned food and then said, "Well I guess you could look into a limited ingredient diet if that is more in your budget." So...Here I am!

I have narrowed my choices down to the Merrick L.I.D. that is grain free and has salmon as the main protein, or the Natural Balance L.I.D. that is grain free and has green peas and salmon. If it is a food allergy I will be switching both their dry and wet food to it. I was hoping I could get some feed back as to which you all prefer based on your experience.

Thank you!

New Member

Re: Looking to switch to a Limited Ingredient Diet

I have not given any of my pets natural balance, however Merrick is the one thing that all of my animals eat. I have an old overweight cat, a young small cat, and a two year old dog. My lab was getting an upset stomach, and didn't eat very much food. When we switched her to the Merrick LID it was great. She ate well, kept her food down, and she went up to a healthy weight. My cats have both benefited as well. My oldest is losing weight and my little one is maintaining her weight well, and all of my pet's coats are nice and shiny. I hope that this information has helped you some.
Community Manager

Re: Looking to switch to a Limited Ingredient Diet

Hi Cupcakebreath, and welcome to the community! Limited ingredient diets can be overwhelming at first, but rest assured, we can help you navigate! First off, what kind of food did your veterinarian recommend to begin with? Was it a prescription diet? And if so, which brand? Most of the time, food allergies are caused by proteins, not grains, which is why the LID diets offer a variety of less common protein sources (rabbit, venison, etc.) Did your veterinarian recommend you do food trials (try a food for 6 - 8 weeks to see if there is any improvement?) Please let us know and we can help you find a starting point. We look forward to hearing back! Cat Happy

New Contributor

Re: Looking to switch to a Limited Ingredient Diet

I strongly recommend you read "Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life" by Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM. She does not specify a particular commercial pet food, but she does explain what to look for on the ingredient lists. I stopped feeding all dry food about a year ago because my 12-year old spayed female cat was vomiting daily, and the 'prescription diet' was recommended. I tried that for a while, as well as limited-ingredient dry foods, since she was used to dry food with a daily treat of wet, and it was slightly better, but still vomiting multiple times a week. Then I started reading, came across that book and multiple blogs along the same lines, and switched to a grain-free all wet diet - and the vomiting as stopped. (see this blog http://www.stevedalepetworld.com/content/view/308/71/)

Good luck!
Petco Partner

Re: Looking to switch to a Limited Ingredient Diet

Both Natural Balance and Merrick are great brands. Natural Balance is a true limited ingredient because they only use 1 protein and 1 carbohydrate in the LID formulas. Merrick used both pea and potato in their formula. Potato is not commonly used in most regular cat food formulas, but if you want to limit his diet the most, the Natural Balance might be a good place to start. I got my sister to put her cat on Natural Balance as a kitten and he's had 0 health concerns and a shiny glossy coat for almost 5 years.
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