Yes, even pet food needs to be gluten-free in a Celiac household. Your animal eats, then licks you, then you get a rash. Or, as a human being with a will to survive, you breathe while pouring the food and inhale gluten particles, and your insides shrivel. Or, your animal elects to paw her food from the bowl onto the floor, frolics about as cats as wont, you touch your bedspread/sofa/whatever surface hosted the frolic, you scratch your face/eat without washing your hands (yes, I forget sometimes, especially when grabbing a snack), and hello gluten.
That said, gluten-free cat food is not as expensive as I’d anticipated, though it is pricier than generic or Friskies fare. It’s generally not labeled as such (the ones with gluten-free labels on Amazon are by far the most expensive), but Cecilia’s Marketplace Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Guide to the rescue (I got a free copy with my care package from U. of Chicago, along with a bunch of goodies I can’t comfortably eat, namely grains and lactose (in bread mix! in soup! guh.))! I found several brands and varieties at Petsmart (signed up for a card for further discounts- extra $2 off a 7 lb bag!), and settled on Purina One Smartblend Salmon & Tuna. You can see from the ingredients list that no wheat, barley, or rye is present:
Salmon, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, whole grain corn, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), dried yeast, animal liver flavor, tuna meal, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, caramel color, salt, choline chloride, calcium phosphate, potassium chloride, taurine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.
And, thank goodness, my kitteh happily feasts on her salmon & tuna:
And by the by, humans are not the only ones susceptible to gluten-induced digestive issues- even legit research confirms.