Best Fish-Free Cat Food

It seems as though fish is in almost every bag, can, and pouch on the cat food aisle. Whether the product is labeled “chicken feast” or “fish dinner”, it’s likely that fish is hiding somewhere on the ingredient list. Some might even call fish-free cat food an oxymoron.

Just as you can find cat food without chicken, beef, or carrageenan, there actually is a world of cat food made without fish.

If you want cat food without any fish ingredients whatsoever, it just takes a little digging.

How can you find the best cat food without fish?

Unlike chicken and beef, fish is one common allergen that seldom appears in cat food unannounced. While it may not appear on the front of the bag or can, fish is clearly labeled in the ingredient list, most often as fish meal, ocean whitefish, or simply “fish”. Other foods may include specific fish species such as “tuna”, “menhaden”, or “salmon.”

Fish oil is another common ingredient in cat food. Watch out for it near the middle of the ingredient list. Note that fish oil is not a concern for most allergic cats.

Best Dry Cat Foods Without Fish

Wellness CORE Air Dried Natural Grain-Free Original Recipe Dry Cat Food Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chickpeas, Gelatin, Natural Flavor

Turkey and chicken make up 70% of this air-dried cat food. It doesn’t contain any fish, fish meal, or fish oil.  In addition to non-fish meat ingredients, the food contains chickpeas, gelatin, vegetable glycerin, tomato pomace, dried cultured skim milk, sunflower lecithin, ground flaxseed, chicory root, and other supplemental ingredients.

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Note that this food isn’t your traditional dry cat food. From a species-appropriateness perspective, this is a good thing. It’s an air-dried product made with minimal high-carbohydrate ingredients. It’s only 9.5% carbohydrate content, which is considerably lower than the average dry food. With 20% moisture content, it’s also much softer than the standard dry kibble. Wellness CORE describes it as “tender, moist, and flavorful”.

Customers have mixed impressions of this unconventional texture. One said that it was easy on their 17-year-old cat’s jaws and teeth. Another described the food pieces as “weird little pellets” and compared the texture to rubber. – Buy It


  • Made without fish
  • Low in plant ingredients
  • Less heavily processed than most dry cat food
  • Exceptionally low in carbohydrates


  • Expensive
  • Not all cats like the air-dried texture
  • Not a limited-ingredient diet and not appropriate for an elimination regimen

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit Dry Cat Food Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Rabbit Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Rabbit

Instinct by Nature's Variety Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit Dry Cat Food

This dry cat food is a limited-ingredient diet designed for cats with known or suspected food allergies. Instead of common allergens like fish, chicken, eggs, and beef, the food is rabbit-based with rabbit meal, rabbit, and freeze-dried rabbit as the food’s sole protein source.

In addition to meat, the food contains peas, tapioca, canola oil, coconut oil, and montmorillonite clay. Along with a few other trace supplemental ingredients, the food contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make it nutritionally complete and balanced.

This food is approximately 24% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis. – Buy It


  • Limited-ingredient diet made for cats with allergies and food sensitivities
  • Made primarily from nourishing rabbit meat
  • Single-species protein source
  • Lower carbohydrate content than most dry foods
  • Primarily made with animal proteins


  • Contains plant ingredients not necessary for carnivorous cats

Wild Calling Western Plains Stampede Rabbit & Sweet Potato Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Rabbit Meal, Rabbit, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Turkey Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)

Most Wild Calling foods are made with single animal proteins and intended for a rotational feeding plan, so they’re a good choice for cats with suspected or known food allergies.

This recipe features rabbit as its sole animal protein source, with rabbit meal and rabbit as the first two ingredients. It doesn’t contain any fish, fish meal, or fish oil.

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The ingredient list includes several plant ingredients, including sweet potatoes, lentil, tapioca, and dried peas. All of these plant ingredients contribute to the food’s 40% carbohydrate content. While it’s high compared to a cat’s natural eating patterns, this percentage is typical among dry foods.

If you’d prefer to give your cat a low-carbohydrate canned food, you might consider Wild Calling’s line of wet foods, which include a range of single-source and novel proteins. With the exception of a few fish-based foods, their foods are free from fish oil and other fish ingredients. – Buy It


  • Made with a single protein source
  • Uses rabbit, a novel protein perfect for elimination diets
  • Ideal for cats with food sensitivities and allergies
  • Primarily animal-sourced protein content


  • High carbohydrate content at approximately 40%
  • Expensive

Best Wet Cat Foods Without Fish

Smalls for Smalls Fresh Chicken Pate

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Thigh, Chicken Breast, Chicken Liver, Green Beans, Peas

Smalls for Smalls makes fresh cat food that is carefully formulated for your cat based on a profile you create when you sign up. Smalls for Smalls recipes have high protein content because cats are primarily carnivores and get most of their nutrition from meat. Cat owners also love that Smalls for Smalls recipes have a high water content, because cats get a lot of their hydration directly from their food.

Smalls for Smalls says that if the ingredients wouldn’t be good enough for humans to eat, then they don’t deem it good enough for your cat, either–something you can feel great about! They gently cook all their recipes so the nutrition is locked in, and the benefits are numerous.


  • Fresh ingredients
  • Human-grade
  • High protein


  • More expensive than other foods
  • Subscription service

Tiki Cat Koolina Luau Chicken with Egg in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sunflower Seed Oil, Dried Egg, Tricalcium Phosphate

Tiki Cat Koolina Luau Chicken with Egg in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Those familiar with the Tiki Cat lineup know that the brand includes fish in many of their recipes. This chicken and egg food is an exception. It’s made with chicken and dried egg as the sole protein sources, set in chicken broth and sunflower seed oil. It doesn’t contain any fish, fish meal, or fish oil.

Tiki Cat states that this food is entirely carbohydrate-free.

Though it’s an exceptionally simple recipe, Tiki Cat Koolina Luau Chicken with Egg may not be the best choice for cats in need of an elimination diet. Chicken and egg are not traditionally novel proteins and are common food allergens. – Buy It

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  • Simple, meat-rich ingredient list
  • Carbohydrate-free
  • Rich in species-appropriate protein


  • Contains chicken and egg, which are common cat food allergens
  • Expensive

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Duck Pate Canned Cat Food

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Pork Liver, Turkey Broth, Duck, Cranberries

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Duck Pate Canned Cat Food

This paté-style food is made primarily from turkey, pork liver, and duck as animal protein sources. It’s thickened with guar gum, cassia gum, and xanthan gum.

In addition to the primary ingredients, the food is supplemented with cranberries, ground flaxseed, dried kelp, chicory root extract, and a small amount of alfalfa meal.

These plant ingredients contribute to the food’s total carbohydrate content of 6.5% on a dry matter basis. Overall, it’s a meat-based food with low plant and carbohydrate content. – Buy It


  • Primarily made from animal protein sources
  • No fish ingredients
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Carrageenan-free


  • Contains multiple gums as binders

Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Pumpkin Lickin’ Chicken in Pumpkin Soup

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken (Boneless, Skinless Breast), Pumpkin, Tapioca Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil

Overall, this food has a simple, meat-based recipe and is free from fish, fish meal, and fish oil. The only protein source is chicken, which is a leading cat food allergen and therefore may not be appropriate for cats on an elimination diet.

Boneless, skinless chicken breast is shredded and set in a pumpkin broth.

This Weruva food has the highest carbohydrate content of any wet food on this list. Tapioca starch and pumpkin contribute to the food’s approximately 17% carbohydrate content. – Buy It


  • Single protein source
  • Rich in animal protein
  • Fish-free
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Carrageenan-free


  • Higher carbohydrate content than some other canned foods

Remember that this is a tiny taste of the world of fish-free cat food.

Most of the best cat food brands offer at least a few fish-free recipes.

These foods exhibit the qualities you’d look for in any other cat food. They’re rich in nourishing animal protein, contain minimal plant ingredients, and are free of any additives that might cause harm over time.

Once you find a brand that you and your cats like, avoid becoming reliant on a single formula. To prevent intolerances and avoid making mealtime boring, vary your cat’s diet. Move through a rotation of fish-free formulas featuring chicken, pork, rabbit, quail, and other protein sources.

If you need more ideas for your sensitive or allergic cat, check out our list of the best limited-ingredient foods.

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