Feline ANALLERGENIC: a dietary breakthrough for food-allergic cats

This article is sponsored content brought to you by Royal Canin.

Since its inception in 1968, ROYAL CANIN® has pushed the boundaries of science and innovation. A true testament to this, is the 16-year dedication to the formulation of ROYAL CANIN® ANALLERGENIC. Extensive hydrolysis and strict manufacturing processes makes this unique diet the gold standard for food elimination trials.

Adverse Food Reaction (AFR) refers to an immunological reaction to an otherwise harmless dietary component. AFRs usually produce dermatological signs (including non-seasonal, pruritic dermatitis), GI signs, or a combination of both.

Diagnosing an AFR

A food elimination trial is the gold standard for diagnosing AFRs and one of the most effective ways is to utilise a diet formulated with ‘protein hydrolysates’. Protein hydrolysis reduces the molecular size and three-dimensional structure of proteins in the food, reducing cross-linking with IgE receptors on mast cells. This helps prevent mast cell degranulation and reduces clinical signs, and sometimes complete resolution.

All currently available hydrolysed diets in the veterinary market have a molecular weight between three and 15 kiloDaltons (kDa). Within this molecular weight range, although antigenicity is reduced, allergic reactions are still possible. Between 25-50 per cent of dogs and cats that are sensitive to a protein source still show clinical signs when fed a hydrolysed diet containing that protein.

Pushing the frontiers of protein hydrolysis

Inspired by human medicine, ROYAL CANIN® strove to develop a diet with the lowest molecular weight protein on the market (targeting a molecular weight < 1kDa). In fact, 88 per cent of the protein source in ROYAL CANIN® ANALLERGENIC are free amino acids.

Enzymatic hydrolysis, similar to that used in the production of pure amino acids for pharmaceutical use, produces a stable protein source composed exclusively of free amino acids and very low molecular weight oligopeptides (see figure 1 below).

An innovative ingredient: feather protein

In recent years, the shortage of various protein sources has become a concern for ROYAL CANIN®. After 10 years of searching for the ideal protein, feather protein hydrolysate is not only extensively hydrolysed, but also a sustainable and responsible alternative protein source, not competing with the human food industry.

Feather protein hydrolysate has virtually no allergenic potential, as shown by the study in figure 2 below.

This complete and balanced diet also contains purified maize starch and hyper filtrated fats, as severely allergic pets may also react to trace proteins associated with these macronutrients.


In a 2016 study, 15 cats clinically stabilised with dedicated diets for AFR, but still displaying clinical signs, were placed on ROYAL CANIN® ANALLERGENIC for four weeks. A significant improvement in lesions was seen as early as two weeks into the study (see figure 3 below).

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