The cat foods I’ll be sharing in this article are all special formulas created with indoor cats in mind – or at least they’re all branded and marketed as such. I’ll be discussing each one in terms of how it’s marketed – whether or not the end result delivers on the marketing, I couldn’t tell you, but I figured a list like this could be helpful to someone starting a search for a better cat food for their indoor cat.
There’s absolutely no way I could say which cat foods are best for you to try. I’m not a vet, and even if I was, I still don’t think I’d be comfortable saying that a specific cat food is the absolute best for all indoor cats. I don’t think there’s been enough scientific research to back up a claim like that, and even if there was research that said one specific cat food formula was overall better than others, I think each cat’s individual needs would also factor in to the best cat food for him or her. Breed, genetics, and temperament must play a role in a cat’s ideal diet. All this to say – take this list not as me vouching for any of these brands or specific indoor cat foods, but as a matter of fact list of many popular options out there that other pet owners regularly feed their indoor cats.
Yes, I know what you’re probably thinking. Absolutely, you are 110% right. Popular doesn’t always mean better.
But you’re smart enough to know this already, and if you keep that in mind while scanning this list, you’ll use it as it’s intended to be used – as an easy-to-scan-through tool that may lead you to a half-decent option that will then hopefully lead you to an option you feel might work out best for your pet.
What I’d recommend if you’d like extra guidance is to ask your vet what he or she would personally recommend for your cat. Thinking of asking your vet’s opinion? Be sure to let him or her know of any problems (like vomiting on an empty stomach) you’ve encountered with cat foods in the past, any issues (such as with hairballs or constipation) that you’d like remedied, and the type of lifestyle your cat leads (whether he or she plays a lot, a little, or is lazy as can be like my own resident cat, Avery).
Before buying any cat food, do your best to scan through as many reviews as you can – especially recent ones – to inform yourself on whether there’s been a recent formula change, to know if there are many pets that react negatively to the specific food, and to know which symptoms to watch out for if your cat does happen to be one of the ones who does react badly.
If, after all is said and done, you feel it’s worth a shot to switch to a particular cat food, monitor your cat very closely for the first couple weeks as you transition him or her to the new food, and if there are issues, inform your vet. Keep some of your old cat food on hand for at least a month or two in case you need to switch back – until you’re sure there’s no trouble for your cat on the new food.
For obvious reasons, I’ve split this article into wet food and dry food sections. Struggling to get your indoor cat to drink enough water? You can absolutely switch to wet food, but if for any reason it makes more sense for your cat to stay on dry, you can also give these techniques to get cats to drink more water a shot.
Also, in case anyone’s curious, I am currently personally using a specially formulated indoor cat food with Avery – Royal Canin’s Indoor Adult Feline Nutrition. Thus far, I’ve liked this cat food just fine, and feel it’s helped Avery stay regular even when he’s not getting as much exercise as I feel he should, but I know everyone’s mileage will vary, and each cat will react differently to even the same cat food, so do let me know if you’ve tried this one out for your pet and what your experiences were. Without further ado…
11 Popular Dry Cat Foods for Indoor Cats
This is the cat food I used when I first took in Avery, and is a very popular option amongst pet owners, from what I’ve seen. We were cat sitting for my friend when my cat, Avery, started crying at our window, so when we gave into his wiles and took him in, we had him on the same cat food Weiss was on – this very one. About a month in, I got sick of the terrible litter smells we had and tried switching from this chicken & brown rice version to the salmon & brown rice version. Continued using that cat food until years later, when we left Canada. Here in the UK, Blue’s not affordably available, so I switched to other cat foods and now stick to Royal Canin options. But if I never moved, I’m sure I would still be using Blue’s indoor cat food until today.
This formula is chicken and sweet potato, so if you’re in need of a grain free cat food for any reason, this is a good option. Note, however, that grain free doesn’t mean carb free, and in fact this isn’t a very low-carbohydrate pet food. Beware of this if you have a diabetic cat, as you’ll need to make sure carbs are low in the cat food you grab, not grains.
Made up of primarily turkey, chicken, & cranberries and is marketed as having 20% less fat than their original formula in case a less fatty cat food is what the vet ordered.
Marketed as having prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion and easy litter box clean up, as well as having hairball control. Turkey & chickpea formula with high fiber, and again, is grain free.
Marketed as having lean protein that will help indoor cats maintain a healthy weight, and containing a blend of vitamins to support a healthy immune system. Main ingredient is chicken, and has a 100% money back guarantee, at least as of the time I published this post.
Marketed as being a recipe made of de-boned chicken & chicken meal with no wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Also has a 100% money back guarantee as of this article’s publishing date, and surprisingly boasts packaging that can be recycled, unlike most cat food bags.
Boasts 42 g of protein per cup with no added fillers. Main ingredient is turkey, contains omega-6 for healthy skin and coat, and is marketed as helping minimize hairballs and help keep cats at a healthy weight. This one also has a money back guarantee, though I’m starting to see enough of a trend that I think I’ll stop mentioning this as a feature. If it’s important to you – definitely check the back of the packaging because it looks like a lot of companies offer this.
Nutro has a quality pledge that states “Natural ingredients carefully sourced from our trusted network of farmers and suppliers; no chicken by-product meal, no soy, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives.” This particular cat food’s main ingredient is chicken. Marketed as supporting healthy skin, coat, and fur health, a strong immune system, and healthy digestion, as well as hairball management.
Chicken by-product meal, and cornmeal are the top two ingredients of this indoor cat food. Marketed as encouraging healthy weight amongst indoor cats, encouraging healthy skin * coat, hairball care, and strong muscles due to high quality protein.
Chicken and salmon recipe that’s marketed as being a complete and balanced nutritional meal, supporting hairball control, healthy weight and metabolism, and easy litter box clean up.
A chicken and whole grain brown rice cat food with no soy or wheat. Marketed as providing the type of carbohydrates that will keep an indoor cat active and playful, formulated to help control hairballs, and containing an antioxidant blend for a strong immune system.
7 Popular Wet, Canned Cat Foods for Indoor Cats
Made of chicken, this cat food is marketed to help indoor cats maintain lean muscles, healthy weight, reduced hairballs, and easy litter box clean up. It has no artificial flavours or preservatives, and like with many of the dry foods, contains a 100% money back guarantee.
A grain free formula containing chicken, turkey, peas, and cranberries. The pate is marketed as being protein rich, low in calorie count to help with maintaining a healthy weight, containing premium, all-natural ingredients with no meat by-products, artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives.
Marketed as supporting hairball control, healthy weight, balanced nutrition for adult cats and being an ocean whitefish recipe that’s a savory gravy cats love the taste of.
A chicken based recipe that claims to be made with real whole chicken, no meal meat, like chicken meal or fish meal. The formula is supposedly highly digestible, tasty for cats,is grain free with no artificial colours or flavours, no preservatives, and in BPQ free cans.
This Natural Balance LID formula is made of turkey and turkey live, boasts being 100% grain free, having prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion and litter box clean up made easy. Marketed as being a lean cat food to help indoor cats maintain ideal weight, and hs omega fatty acids to help support skin and coat health and shine.
The Ultra Premium Natural Balance indoor cat food boasts having no artificial flavours, colour, or bleached ingredients, supporting digestion, helping maintain muscle tone, and supporting healthy skin and shiny coat. Natural Balance claims to do 9 safety tests on each batch of food and treats to ensure quality.
A chicken pate recipe that claims to have no chicken or poultry by-product, no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavourings, colours, or preservatives. Grain free, marketed as protein-rich, including cranberries to help keep the urinary tract functioning properly. Claims to minimize litter box odour thanks to its blend of beneficial natural dietary fibers.
Your Thoughts on the Best Cat Foods for Indoor Cats?
Do you have an indoor cat? Have you ever bought a pet food specifically formulated for indoor cats? Which one was it? How did you like it? Do you still use it today?
Do you have any indoor cat foods to recommend? Any you think other pet owners should be staying away from?
Please take a moment to share your experiences in the comments below – you’d be a huge help to other pet parents who stumble across your post!