The Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats
Keeping your cat indoors can guarantee her safety and reduce her chance of injury and illness. With that being said, indoor cats do have potential health risks. Indoor cats have a higher chance of becoming over weight due to less exercise. Also, they tend to have more time to groom which can cause more hairballs. Therefore, it is important to give your indoor cat a high quality diet.
Finding the best cat food for indoor cats can be confusing. The choices are endless and there is no shortage opposition when it comes to the best way to feed indoor cats. Read on to see some of our top picks for feeding your indoor cat.
Quick Links: Our Picks for The Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats
- Best Dry Food – Natural Balance Indoor Cat Food
- Best Grain Free – Blue Freedom Cat Food
- Best for Digestion – Nutro Indoor Cat Food
- Best for Hairballs – IAMS Proactive Health Dry Cat Food
- Best Budget Price – Crave Indoor Cat Food
What to Look for
Cats are carnivores which means that she is a meat eater who gets all the nutrients and proteins she needs from her prey. Finding a way to replicate a diet as close to this as possible is best for your cat’s health. This means as cat owners we must look for quality cat foods with a high meat content. The first ingredient listed should be meat. The higher the meat content the better. There are many healthy pet food companies that specialize in providing high meat content food for cats, which makes it a little easier to choose.
Fats – Cats use fats as their primary energy source instead of carbohydrates.
Protein – This should be the first ingredient on the label, and the meat used is fit for human consumption. If the meat is organic, that’s even better.
GMO Free – GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism”. Look for a product that has the “Certified USDA Organic” on the label.
Taurine – Taurine is an amino acid that cats need as a dietary source for good health.
Moisture – For indoor cats, adding moisture to their diet is a necessity, since they will almost never drink enough water from a bowl to be completely hydrated. Feeding your cat dry cat food will leave your cat in a constant state of dehydration.
Vitamins and Minerals – Vitamin C and/or Vitamin E are often added as preservatives, along with other vitamins and minerals.
What to Avoid
Contrary to popular belief, fish is not the best source of protein for a cat. Although most cats love to devour anything from salmon to sardines, it’s best to steer clear from feeding it to your indoor cat regularly. A lack of meat proteins can cause your cat to become sick and could also cause blindness, so it’s crucial that your indoor cats diet includes a varied source of vitamin A, something they cannot get from an all fish diet.
Make sure your cats food is grain-free, meaning no rice, barley, or any other grains. Even though these are considered healthy for a humans consumption, a cats’ digestive tracts is not designed to digest the unnecessary carbs. The cat food of choice should also not contain by-products such as corn, soy, or any other fillers. The most common food fillers found in cat foods are listed below.
- High vegetables and fruit content
- Rice powders
- Animal fat
The Top 5 Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats
Best Dry Food
Best Grain Free
Best for Digestion
Best for Hairballs
Best Budget Price
Indoor Ultra Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal Dry Cat Formula offers complete and balanced nutrition for all breeds of indoor cats. It is made with premium quality ingredients and has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. This cat food targets the unique needs of indoor cats, such as weight management and digestive health support which helps maintain healthy weight in cats. This formula is loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which help support healthy skin & shiny coats.
- Manages weight
- Clears up hairballs
- No artificial flavors or colors
- Kibble size is small
- Price on the high side
For cat owners who want to feed their kitty’s a diet without grains, there’s few other choices than BLUE Freedom. It’s free from the grains and gluten’s that can trigger allergic reactions in some cats. Made with natural ingredients and features de-boned chicken, whole carrots, sweet potatoes and peas, blueberries and cranberries. It contains no chicken by-product meals, no corn, wheat or soy and nothing artificial. It is also made with high-quality protein and natural fiber sources, meaning the BLUE Freedom recipe is made to support gentle digestion in cats. With the addition of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this cat food formula is made to support your cat’s healthy immune system no matter the age or breed.
- 1st ingredient is chicken
- No by products, corn or wheat
- 100% grain free
- Price on the high side
- Some cats do not like the taste
NUTRO Indoor Cat Food is a natural cat food that provides natural fiber for healthy digestion and essential antioxidants. Contains vitamin E for a healthy immune system, plus vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. This cat food also is made with Omega 6 fatty acids, to promote healthy skin and a soft, shiny coat. NUTRO’s philosophy is all their food is made with Non-GMO ingredients and has no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. This dry cat food is made with natural fiber to promote proper digestion and contains antioxidants for a strong immune system making it a good choice for your indoor cat.
- Non GMO ingredients
- Helps with digestion
- Promotes healthy skin and coat
- Price on the high side
- Some complain cats hate it
- Contains “meal”
IAMS is veterinarian recommended. It is formulated with essential nutrients including calcium & potassium to help keep your cats heart strong. This cat food is made for indoor cats and controls weight and reduces hairballs. High quality protein from chicken helps maintain healthy muscles and provides the amino acids essential to carnivorous animals. The high fiber blend, including beet pulp, not only helps reduce hairballs but a mix of protein and carbs contribute to healthy energy levels for your cat.
- Helps control hairballs
- Contains no fillers
- High in fiber
- Sensitive stomachs may not handle well
- Contains grains
- Contains by products
Crave Indoor Grain Free Dry Cat Food contains protein from chicken and salmon. Real Chicken is the first ingredient and these protein-rich recipes provide cats with energy and supports their lean bodies. Cats can enjoy the taste and nutrition of a diet that’s rich in animal proteins, not soy or grains such as corn or wheat. The grain free formula has 40% high-protein ingredients to accommodate a cats’ natural diet, Real Chicken 1st ingredient giving this food a rich meaty flavor.
- Chicken is 1st ingredient
- Grain free
- Large size kibble
- Strong smell
- High in carbohydrates
It can be confusing to choose a quality cat food and in many ways, pet food manufacturers intend to confuse. With time and research, you can become expert at reading labels and understanding the nutritional value of the cat food you feed your indoor cat. Making informed choices will help to keep your furry friends on the right path.
Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a life long cat lover. She also writes for various other pet related websites. She is passionate about helping pet parents create a healthy and happy lifestyle for their fur-babies.