The Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats (Updated List) in 2021

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    Vicki Smirnova
    Vicki Smirnova

    Author: Vicki Smirnova

    Vicki Smirnova is a professional writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. She has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets. Vicki specializes in dog health and nutrition, cat feeding, dog training. She is an aquarium lover and is passionate to write about fish care at home. Also, Vicki headed several websites and worked as a news editor.

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    Dr. Michele King
    Dr. Michele King

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    by Dr. Michele King

    Michele has been worked for 20 years as a small animal veterinarian. Michele provides advice for an online community in the veterinary industry on a variety of topics.

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  • Updated on: 02/08/2021

Even though cats are naturally independent animals, like any living creature, they need constant affection, care, love, attention, and the best foods that you can feed them. For a pet to live a long, happy life, it is essential to take into consideration necessary care and maintenance conditions. It is crucial to think through and choose the right diet for your furry pet.

best food for indoor catsImage by @skeeze from Pixabay

Unlike street cats, animals that do not go outside use less energy – of course, even among pets, there are very mobile, hyperactive specimens, but for the most part, the indoor cat sleeps most of the day, lies on the bed, and rests in its cozy house.

Reduced physical activity leads to the fact that the energy that enters the body with food has nowhere to go. As a result, the animal begins to become overweight. Thus, diets should differ significantly from the menu of more active relatives.

When composing a natural diet, some owners include only meat food in it. Remember that tailed predators need nutrients, vitamins, micro – and macro-elements that are contained in natural plant food. The lack of these substances is reflected in the pet’s appearance: the cat’s fur begins to fall out, fall into tangles, and dandruff appears.

The diet must be balanced, it must include high-quality products containing proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals like taurine.[7]

What is the Best Food for an Indoor Cat? Our TOP-3 Picks

We have reviewed dozens of foods for determined what is the best wet food for indoor cats. We reviewed information about nutrition, ingredients, and common problems.

Products

Benefits

Links

Our Top Pick
purina beyond grain-free natural adult dry cat food

Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

This food does not contain grains, but only natural fibers and antioxidants that help digestion and support a healthy immune system.


It is unique formula for adult cats and supports healthy immune system.

Our Dry Pick
rachael ray nutrish super premium dry cat food superfood blends

Rachael Ray Nutrish SuperFood Blends Dry Cat Food

  • Fiber rich lentils help support healthy weight and metabolism.

  • The food contains natural prebiotics that promotes healthy digestion.

  • Berries rich in antioxidants help maintain a healthy immune system.

Our Wet Pick
blue buffalo freedom indoor adult chicken recipe grain-free canned cat food

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

  • Non-GMO.

  • Does not contain grains, gluten, corn, wheat, soy.

  • Made without the use of artificial flavors or preservatives.

*Ratings are formed by the Author of the article and based on own research and customer reviews.

TOP-15 Indoor Cat Food (All Reviews)

After all our research, we have narrowed our selection down to the TOP-15 products:

Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

purina beyond grain-free natural adult dry cat food
Our Top Pick

Purina Beyond Grain Free – natural dry food for adult domestic cats. This product contains salmon, eggs, and sweet potatoes. The feed formula is rich in protein, specially designed to maintain a healthy weight.

Key benefits:

  • Salmon is the # 1 ingredient.
  • A grain-free formula.
  • Unique for adult cats.

Pros

Cons

  • Protein-rich recipe.
  • Unique formula for indoor cats.
  • It supports healthy immune system.
  • None.

Rachael Ray Nutrish SuperFood Blends Dry Cat Food

rachael ray nutrish super premium dry cat food superfood blends
Our #1 Dry Pick

Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete is a natural food that meets the needs of a domestic cat. Chicken is the number 1 ingredient. This formula is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and taurine to help your pet be healthy.

Pros

Cons

  • Chicken is the number 1 ingredient.
  • Vitamin D3 supplement.
  • It includes biotin.
  • It includes corn gluten.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Food for Adult Indoor Cats, Chicken Recipe

hills science diet dry cat food for adult indoor cats chicken recipe
Our #2 Dry Pick

This Hill’s food is specially designed to meet the needs of domestic cats. It contains high-quality protein as the first ingredient and antioxidants. Additionally, the product is made from natural ingredients with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The formula does not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or chicken flour.

Key features:

  • Specially created to meet the energy needs of adult cats living indoors.
  • The feed contains natural ingredients that promote healthy digestion.
  • No.1 veterinarian recommended.

Pros

Cons

  • No.1 veterinarian recommended.
  • Unique formula for indoor cats.
  • Made in the USA.
  • It made from organic ingredients.
  • Some users said that tiny kibble not helpful for keeping teeth clean.

Halo Grain Free Natural Dry Cat Food, Indoor Recipe

halo grain free indoor healthy weight dry cat food
Our #3 Dry Pick

The quality feed manufacturer Halo uses real whole meat, poultry, or fish for food preparation. There is no “meat flour” in the feed. Grain-free pet food with reduced calories and fat is designed to support the weight control. This product is produced without GMOs. The diet is enriched with vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Key features:

  • Contains L-carnitine to speed up metabolism.
  • Consists of a whole chicken and chicken liver, chickpeas, and vegetables.
  • Non-GMO.

Pros

Cons

  • Non-GMO.
  • Uses whole meat (no meals) with 32% crude protein.
  • Highest digestibility.
  • Formula made without artificial colors, preservatives.
  • Contains potatoes and soy.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Food

blue buffalo freedom indoor adult chicken recipe grain-free canned cat food
Our #1 Wet Pick

Blue Buffalo formula does not contain gluten. The feed contains chicken, as well as fruits and vegetables. The food is also enriched with vitamins and minerals. This delicious product is designed to meet the nutritional needs of adult cats. The menu is created exclusively from healthy ingredients and does not contain artificial flavors or preservatives.

Pros

Cons

  • Low-calorie, high-protein formula.
  • Made from the highest quality ingredients.
  • ormula support healthy and strong muscles.
  • It contains some carbohydrates from sweet potatoes.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe Canned Cat Food

wellness core grain free small breed healthy weight
Our #2 Wet Pick

Wellness CORE food with chicken and chicken liver as the main ingredients is rich in nutrients. This grain-free recipe contains the protein your pet needs to maintain strong and healthy muscles. The product is enriched with omega-acids from flaxseed or salmon oil, which help keep healthy skin and coat. Also included in the feed are antioxidants, taurine, and other vitamins and minerals to support immunity and well-being.

Key features:

  • 100% grain-free recipe.
  • The feed contains cranberries rich in antioxidants.
  • Contains vitamins, minerals, omega-acids, and taurine.
  • Helps keep your pal hydrated.

Pros

Cons

  • 100% grain-free recipe.
  • It supports urinary health.
  • Low in carbohydrates.
  • Contains pea protein.

Hound & Gatos 98% Chicken & Liver Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

hound and gatos 98% chicken and liver grain-free canned cat food
Our #3 Wet Pick

This food is explicitly created for domestic cats. The food is made from healthy homemade chicken and chicken liver as the only source of protein. Hound & Gatos food is enriched with vitamins and minerals without adding carbohydrates or artificial preservatives. Due to its abundant protein and water content, this product can help prevent kidney disease.

Key features:

  • Food enriched with vitamins and minerals.
  • The only source of animal protein-ideal for cats with allergies to protein other than chicken.

Pros

Cons

  • Made from high-quality chicken.
  • Made in USA.
  • Completely free of vegetable protein.
  • It does not contain grains.
  • Some cats don’t like the taste.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats

natural balance lid dry cat food for indoor cats grain-free
Our #1 Grain-Free Pick

Natural Balance feeds are made from high-quality ingredients and high-quality animal proteins. There is no grain in this product. The # 1 ingredient is top quality salmon, which contains prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion. This food supports the health of the coat and healthy skin.

Key features:

  • Formula included balanced omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Contains prebiotics for healthy digestion.
  • It contains vitamins and minerals.

Pros

Cons

  • Salmon is the # 1 ingredient.
  • It helps maintain healthy skin and shiny fur.
  • Contains vitamins and minerals.
  • The ingredients support a healthy metabolism and immune system.
  • Some customers complain that they were delivered expired food with mold.

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Cat Food

honest kitchen grain-free turkey recipe dehydrated cat food
Our #2 Grain-Free Pick

This food contains 70% turkey. A product with high moisture content has a natural taste of whole foods. The formula provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats of all breeds.

Key features:

  • Unique formula for adult and elderly cats.
  • Made from the highest quality ingredients.

Pros

Cons

  • Made in the USA.
  • High-calorie.
  • Prepared with dehydrated Turkey.
  • Many users note their cats love the taste.
  • Contains potatoes.

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE

canidae grain free pure ancestral diet chicken dry cat food
Our #2 Grain-Free Pick

The grain-free formula of Pure Ancestral Diet from CANIDAE contains pieces of natural meat and fish. The ingredients are freeze-dried raw and have an amazing taste that cats love.

Key features:

  • This supports the development of the immune system.
  • Made with high-quality ingredients.
  • Contains vitamins and minerals.

Pros

Cons

  • Protein-rich recipe.
  • Non-GMO.
  • 100% grain-free recipe.
  • Somewhat high-priced.

Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food

ziwi peak venison recipe canned cat food
Our #1 Soft Pick

ZiwiPeak Venison is made from healthy foods. It includes fresh meat and Newzealand mussels as a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine.

Key features:

  • Made with 93% meat, organs, and bones.
  • A complete and balanced formula with organic ingredients.
  • Contains chondroitin and glucosamine to support joint health.

Pros

Cons

  • Unique formula for indoor cats.
  • Protein-100% beef.
  • Low in carbohydrates.
  • Relatively expensive.

Royal Canin Kitten Health Nutrition

royal canin kitten health nutrition thin slices in gravy
Our #2 Soft Pick

Royal Canin food in sauce provides your kitten with all the necessary substances for healthy development and growth. high-quality protein helps a young pet form healthy muscle.

Key features:

  • Different diets for different life stages.
  • Promotes healthy growth and digestion.
  • The product is enriched with fiber and prebiotics.

Pros

Cons

  • Supports the development of the immune system.
  • The formula is suitable for feeding a kitten.
  • Contains antioxidants.
  • A recipe with an optimal ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
  • Some users say there was missing food when first opened.

IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food

iams proactive health adult indoor weight and hairball control dry cat food
The Best #1 for Weight Management

If your cat is struggling with hairballs, then THE IAMS Proactive Health product might help. A mixture of fiber-rich prebiotics and beet pulp improves the condition of the coat and helps prevent hairballs. This food also contains protein-rich chicken and amino acids to help maintain a healthy weight. 

Key features:

  • Suitable for indoor cats with hairballs.
  • The formula helps maintain strong muscles and provides healthy energy for the pet.
  • The formula contains L-carnitine to maintain a healthy weight.

Pros

Cons

  • High-protein food improves a health.
  • Chicken is the # 1 ingredient.
  • Part of a balanced weight control diet.
  • A recipe change occurred with this product mid-2018. The new recipe may cause cats to vomit.

Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Weight Management

hills prescription diet metabolic weight management chicken flavor canned cat food
The Best #2 for Weight Management

According to research, almost 50% of Pets are overweight. Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians have developed a recipe for dietary food to maintain the weight. 88% of Pets lost weight at home in 2 months, eating this food, in the right quantities

Key features:

  • Naturally works with an individual metabolism.
  • Helps avoid weight regain after weight loss.
  • Helps your pet feel full & satisfied between meals.

Pros

Cons

  • Helps your pet feel full & satisfied between meals.
  • Features multiple sources of protein.
  • Supports the excellent health of your pet.
  • Somewhat expensive.

Purina Pro Plan Natural Chicken & Salmon Entree in Sauce Wet Cat Food

purina pro plan natural chicken and salmon entree in sauce wet cat food
The Best Natural

Purina Pro Plan TRUE NATURE contains natural chicken and salmon meat. The product is enriched with all essential nutrients for Pets. This recipe contains high-quality protein sources. Each ingredient is carefully selected. This formula does not contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

This natural recipe includes essential nutrients for healthy muscle development and growth. Purina Pro Plan TRUE NATURE contains 25 essential vitamins and minerals, as well as taurine, an amino acid that helps maintain her overall health and well-being.

Key features:

  • Provides 25 essential vitamins and minerals.
  • The formula includes real chicken and salmon.
  • Features multiple sources of protein.

Pros

Cons

  • It contains taurine, an amino acid.
  • The formula includes real chicken and salmon.
  • Natural recipe, plus essential nutrients.
  • Optimized for lean muscles, strength and energy.
  • Made without any added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • Some reviews don’t like a combinations Chicken & Salmon.

Cat Food Brands for Indoor Cats

Purina

Purina cat products are explicitly created for pets of different ages and fit perfectly into your family’s lifestyle.

Purina’s composition the best dry options for indoor cats and canned food is produced to meet the daily needs of kittens and cats older than a year in nutrients, micro-and macroelements, vitamins, and amino acids. Premium and super-premium products ensure the excellent condition of the coat, skin, teeth, and oral health.

The company offers a range of different feeds that combine all the necessary natural elements while meeting your cat’s nutritional needs. All the company’s feeds are developed by experts in veterinary medicine and dietetics. Each feed includes an optimal combination of nutrients and energy value and are suitable for indoor cats with sensitive stomachs.

Among the many Purina products, you can find that it is suitable for your pet. Purina products with an optimal combination of quality and price often occupy high feed ratings and receive positive customer reviews and approval from veterinarians.

In the Purina feed line, you can choose both dry and wet food suitable for your pet. At whatever stage of your cat’s life, from a kitten to an older animal, selecting the right is one of the most important parts of caring for your furry friend. [1]

READ MORE: Signs of Nutritional Deficiency in Cats

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd . is an American company that produces a wide range of dry and soft food for cats and dogs under the same brand (Blue).

Blue Buffalo dog and cat food include the best natural ingredients to ensure complete nutrition for your pets. Also, Blue Buffalo feeds contain a mix of nutrients and antioxidants.

Some of the company’s product lines are made with high protein content and do not contain grain. The company also creates these dietary products with a limited number of ingredients that contain natural sources of animal protein, such as turkey or salmon. The company’s prescription diet, BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet, offers hydrolyzed protein and new protein formulas to treat animals with hypersensitivity.

Some of the company’s feeds provide natural nutrition with clinically proven ingredients to meet specific health needs through digestive care, skin and hair care, and loss weight formulas[2].

Wellness Core

Wellness CORE feeds are produced in the USA, France, and Thailand. On the company’s official website, there is all the essential information for the consumer (compositions, feeding standards, etc.). 

The manufacturer makes it a priority to use meat ingredients, grain-free formulas, hypoallergenic feeds that do not contain dairy products, soy, cereals, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Wellness CORE also claims that the recipes include a complex of useful antioxidants, vitamins, Pro – and prebiotics.

Fat in the feed is represented by chicken and salmon fat. Also present in the composition of non-fat Flaxseed – a useful component rich in useful omega fatty acids. All feeds contain a complex of natural antioxidants.

Some feed formulas contain glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate, which may have a positive effect on our pets’ joints, but their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven. [3]

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray Nutrish line of canned, dry food and treats super-premium for dogs and cats of all breeds and ages from the American company Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, LLC.

The company’s specialists are working with researchers in the field of food products, to carefully choose the ingredients and make the recipes. The company has a team of licensed veterinarians in the state to maintain strict safety and quality standards.

Rachael Ray Nutrish’s pet experts are constantly exploring new methodologies based on trusting relationships with colleagues, industry associations, and third-party quality assurance organizations[4].

Royal Canin 

Royal Canin has prioritized food value and product safety. This attention to the smallest details helps the company provide a carefully balanced and most effective healthy food for pets.

When choosing ingredients, experts pay special attention to the content of valuable nutrients and the benefits they can bring to animal health. In this regard, Royal Canin uses only meat and fish suitable for human consumption. Royal Canin makes every effort to purchase raw materials from accredited suppliers in farms located near factories. This contributes to the development of the local economy, ensures the freshness of raw materials, and reduces the number of harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

The company requires that when selecting suppliers, it follows the strictest criteria to ensure that the supplier really meets the best quality and safety standards. A mandatory part of the selection process is a thorough assessment of raw materials’ quality, including their nutritional value, compliance with traceability rules, and compliance with sustainable development principles.

100% of incoming raw materials are analyzed, and a sample of each raw material is stored for two years. Thanks to this, the company’s specialists can track each type of raw material’s origin during the entire shelf life of the product. [5]

best brands of cat food for indoor catsPhoto by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Buying Guide

Food for an indoor cat is selected on an individual basis. To prevent possible health problems, it is necessary to use high-quality, diverse feed.

Ready-made food is divided into types (dry and wet) and into classes:

  • economy
  • premium
  • super-premium
  • holistic

The difference between feed in the raw materials used and the packaging itself. For example, economy class may contain offal. This reduces the cost of the product.

However, this does not mean that you can not feed the pet with cheaper food. It is much more important that it be fully balanced.

The package must indicate that the food is full-ration. This means that it has the necessary amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, trace elements, and vitamins. They provide your pet with health and activity.

Also, you should consider the breed and age of the animal. Individual feeds are developed for all these cases [6].

how to choose best food for my indoor catPhoto by Nick Page on Unsplash

READ MORE: Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Cats

FAQ

🐱 How much should you feed your Indoor Cat?

It is the best to consult a veterinarian before determining the frequency of feeding or read the instructions on the feed package.

In most cases, cats need to be fed frequently, but in small portions. However, if the cat eats wet food or your lifestyle does not allow you to feed too often, then two times a day should be enough.

🐈 How many calories does an Indoor Cat need?

The energy value of the diet is calculated individually based on the following factors:

  • From the general physiological state of the animal (pregnancy, lactation);
  • Level of fatness, body weight;
  • Health status, presence/absence of chronic diseases;
  • Age, breed characteristics;
  • Conditions of detention;
  • Activity level.

🐾 Why is Indoor Cat food different?

There are no constant rules in the composition of the diet. It all depends on the individual characteristics of the feline. For male indoor cats and for female feed can be different. Some cats like variety in food; others prefer one or two types.

😺 What ingredients to look for in Indoor Cat food?

The diet of indoor cats should be varied, balanced in protein, carbohydrates, fat, and nutritious. In the food, essential acids, vitamins, macro, and microelements necessary for healthy growth, development, and physiological state should be present in the required concentration. An unbalanced diet and feeding pets with low-quality ready-made food and products lead to a violation of metabolic processes, hormonal changes, obesity, and failures in the work of organs and systems of the body.

Article Sources:

  1. “Purina: Dog and Cat Food and Treats for Pet’s Unique Needs and Preferences.” Purina, . purina.com/.
  2. “About Us.” Blue Buffalo, bluebuffalo.com/why-choose-blue/blue-story/.
  3. “CORE® Natural Cat Food.” Wellness Pet Foodwellnesspetfood.com/natural-cat-food/core.
  4. “Natural Pet Food.” Rachael Ray Nutrish, nutrish.com.
  5. “Cat Food, Nutrition Care.” Royal Canin, royalcanin.com/us/cats.
  6. Negron, Vladimir. “How to Choose the Best Cat Food.” PetMD, 27 Sept. 2012, petmd.com/cat/slideshows/nutrition-center/choosing-best-cat-food.
  7. Schuller‐Levis, Georgia, et al. “Immunologic Consequences of Taurine Deficiency in Cats.” Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 1 Apr. 1990, https://jlb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jlb.47.4.321.

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

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