Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats

Our pets are overweight! In 2018, a wide-ranging US survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention put a number on something vets and owners have long suspected: that an estimated 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs are classified as either overweight or obese.

While your cat may have developed certain expectations when it comes to the size and contents of their dinner, weight management should be a serious concern for owners, especially those caring for indoor pets.

A large number of veterinarians recommend an indoor lifestyle for most cats, as a way to ensure both mental and physical wellbeing. But despite the benefits, the truth is that indoor cats are far more likely to develop obesity, diabetes, and secondary conditions related to inadequate diet and exercise.

Best dry food for indoor cats

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food

Best dry food for indoor cats

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food
  • 40% protein

  • 17% fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Deboned Cod, Whole Peas
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Best high protein dry food for indoor cats

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food

Best high protein dry food for indoor cats

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food
  • 45% protein

  • 18% fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, Turkey meal, Chicken meal, Peas, Potatoes
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Best dry food for weight management/hairball control

Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

Best dry food for weight management/hairball control

Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

  • 30% Protein

  • 11% Fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken by-product meal, Corn grits, Corn gluten meal, Ground whole grain corn
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Best raw food for indoor cats

Instinct Raw Boost Indoor Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit & Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Pieces Dry Cat Food

Best raw food for indoor cats

Instinct Raw Boost Indoor Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit & Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Pieces Dry Cat Food

Instinct Raw Boost Indoor Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit & Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Pieces Dry Cat Food
  • 39% protein

  • 14.5% fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Rabbit, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chickpeas
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Best wet food for indoor cats

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

Best wet food for indoor cats

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

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe Canned Cat Food
  • 11% Protein

  • 4% Fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken liver, Chicken broth, Turkey broth, Chicken meal
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The best indoor cat foods of 2021

Best dry food for indoor cats

With its high protein/high-fat formula, and four sources of meat, Nulo Freestyle’s Duck and Lentil recipe is our pick for the best dry food for indoor cats.

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food
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Main 5 ingredients

  1. Deboned Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Turkey Meal
  4. Deboned Cod
  5. Whole Peas

We like how this recipe retains value for money while also putting cats’ health first, using a mix of whole poultry and oil-rich meat meals. This gives Nulo’s formula an impressive animal protein concentration of 82%, plus significant levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Added nutritional benefit comes in the form of probiotic supplements, dried chicory root, and dried kelp, all designed to support consistent digestion and nutrient absorption. Vitamin A and taurine provide essential components for maintaining eye and heart health.

What are owners saying?

“My cats were chewing through the bag before I even opened this to get to the food. They were already on Nulo but I like this formulation more for adult cats.”

“Bought this originally when my indoor cat had skin issues…I slowly introduced this and in the 6 months he’s been on it exclusively, he no longer has itchy, flaky skin.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 40%
  • Crude fat: 17%
  • Moisture content: 10%

Also Consider

Made in the USA by a family-run company, Taste of the Wild’s grain-free cat food mixes chicken meal and fat with low-sugar vegetables, to produce a formula that offers high levels of fiber as well as protein.

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
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First 5 ingredients:

  1. Chicken Meal
  2. Peas
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
  5. Pea Protein

Unlike less responsible producers, this recipe refuses to use grains, wheat, fillers, artificial flavors, meaning that the non-meat ingredients still contribute to your cat’s health through their vitamin and antioxidant content.

What are owners saying?

  • “I like to feed my cats a quality, grain-free food. This one is a great price and I’ve been happy. My two boys aren’t particularly picky eaters.”
  • “I have fed my cat who is now 4 years old 3-4 different dry food brands. This seems to be his favorite, and I feel confident in the quality.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 42%
  • Crude fat: 18%
  • Moisture content: 10%

Best high protein dry food for indoor cats

Animal protein is king when it comes to cat food. It’s written in the feline ancestral DNA. This grain-free recipe, with a high protein content of 45%, offers great support for building up your cat’s muscle tone and bone structure.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food
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First 5 ingredients:

  1. Deboned chicken
  2. Turkey meal
  3. Chicken meal
  4. Peas
  5. Potatoes

The first ingredient is real deboned chicken, and there is absolutely no meat by-products, fillers or artificial additives.

Aside from being rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, this pack is also fortified with antioxidants, probiotics and omega fatty acids. For an indoor cat with relatively low activity levels, these nutrients are extremely helpful in giving that extra boost in digestion and immune functioning. The omega fatty acids are there to enhance kitty’s skin and coat health – and it seems like they’re working great based on the raving reviews.

What are owners saying?

  • “My 2 picky cats love this food. It has made my biggest cat’s fur – that always matted- smooth and mat free!”
  • “Since I adopted my cat 9 years ago, she has only eaten 1 type of wet food. I’m so happy that I tried this food. She loves it! Leaving me to believe, it is both healthy & delicious! Thank you, Wellness!!!”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 45.0%
  • Crude fat: 18.0%
  • Moisture content: 10.0%

Best dry food for weight management/hairball control

Designed for indoor cats, this recipe contains 10% less fat than the original formula. It includes fat-burning L-Carnitine and a special blend of carbohydrates that promote a sense of fullness and satisfaction.

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First ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken by-product meal
  3. Corn grits
  4. Corn gluten meal
  5. Ground whole grain corn

The wholesome roster of whole grains, beets, and rice will ensure good digestion while reducing hairball issues and litter odors. This nutrient-dense formula comes in crunchy kibbles that can help eliminate tartar buildup to ensure teeth and gum health. If you have an adult cat over the age of one, this may just be the bag you need.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 30.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 11.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 8.3%
  • Moisture (max): 10.0%

Best of the rest

Look no further if you’re looking to chop off extra weight and see some muscle growth in your feline friend. Designed specifically for indoor cats, this veterinarian-recommended recipe is low-fat and high-protein.

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First ingredients:

  1. Turkey
  2. Brewers rice
  3. Corn gluten meal
  4. Poultry by-product meal
  5. Soybean meal

The first ingredient in this meal is real turkey meat. Besides, this pack contains a special fiber blend for hairball control, antioxidants for an immune system boost and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health. The crunch texture eliminates tartar buildup for oral hygiene. Each ingredient in this nutrient-dense pack is thoughtfully chosen to serve a specific health goal, so kitty can dive into this delicious meal for 100% complete and balanced nutrition.

What are owners saying?

  • “After trying many different dryer foods for my kitties Purina One has made one that they really enjoy. The salmon flavored Purina One is gone over as a big hit which I’m relieved about because they are really a finicky bunch of four of them are really finicky. I would recommend this to people that are having problems with their cats eating certain dry Foods a little bit of at a time as well as cats too but they do really enjoy it”
  • “Purina One Indoor Advantage is a very good quality dry food with chicken as the #1 ingredient which means a lot. I discussed it with my vet. For the price, the ingredient level was very good and she was totally on board with this choice of food for my indoor cat. My cat loves it and he acts and looks great.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 38.0%
  • Crude fat: 8.5%
  • Moisture content: 12.0%

Best of the rest

For nose-to-tail wellness, you know a grain-free choice won’t let you down. With a low carb content, this high-protein recipe is packed with real chicken and Blue Buffalo’s signature LifeSource Bits – a meticulous mixture of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that support immune system functioning.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
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First 5 ingredients:

  1. Deboned chicken
  2. Chicken meal
  3. Pea protein
  4. Peas
  5. Tapioca starch

With zero grains, corn, soy, wheat, meat by-products or artificial flavoring, this delicious pack is full of wholesome nutrients that closely mimic the feline ancestral diet for optimal muscle tone, bone strength and easy digestion. Give this hearty meal a try if you’re looking for something new for your finicky ball of fur – the raving reviews suggest this recipe to be a favorite among picky eaters.

What are owners saying?

  • “I have 3 indoor cats and 2 outdoor that aren’t really mine but they show up for food. I bought a 2 pound bag to see if the cats like it before spending the money for a bigger bag. Well, as soon as I opened the bag, all 3 indoor cats came running and when I poured the food into their bowls they started to wolf it down.”
  • “We have found that the only pet food our cats will eat is this Blue Buffalo Wilderness indoor chicken. They come running when they hear the bag being opened. They are thriving on this product.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 38.0%
  • Crude fat: 16.0%
  • Moisture content: 9.0%

Best of the rest

With farm-raised chicken listed as the first ingredient and chicken meal listed as an additional protein source, your cat will be spoiled with Nutro’s great tasting, protein rich diet.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food
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Key features:

  • Contains real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Contains fiber to support digestion
  • Free of artificial ingredients

Its formulation is supplemented with essential antioxidants like Vitamin E for a healthy immune system, a natural fiber mixture for healthy digestion and Omega 6 fatty acids for a healthy and shiny coat.

Ingredients such as pea protein and whole brown rice make it higher in carbohydrate content than other foods. However, brown rice is an easily digestible, nutrient rich grain that provides your cat with energy. And while there’s more carb content, there’s still relatively low calories at around 378 calories per cup, making it ideal for indoor cats.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 33.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 14.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 7.0%
  • Moisture (max): 10.0%
  • Carbohydrates: 35.1%

Best raw food for indoor cats

Formulas containing freeze-dried meat are a great way to introduce your cat to all the benefits of a raw diet, without the risks of bacterial contamination and stomach upset. This raw recipe from Instinct Raw is appropriately carnivorous, with its first 5 ingredients offering a diverse array of animal and chickpea proteins.

Instinct Raw Boost Indoor Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit & Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Pieces Dry Cat Food
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First ingredients:

  1. Rabbit
  2. Turkey Meal
  3. Salmon Meal
  4. Menhaden Fish Meal
  5. Chickpeas

Instinct Raw is a brand who prioritizes sustainable practices, using farm-raised rabbit in this recipe, along with live probiotics to help encourage healthy stool odor. Overall, an awesome combination of fresh ingredients and fewer calories to support a less active, indoor lifestyle.

What are owners saying?

  • “We had so many issues with our two cats having diarrhea and vomiting. We were going crazy when even expensive prescription foods weren’t working. I decided to give a partially raw diet a try and WOW. After fully transitioning to it for a whole week the digestive issues in our cats are gone.”
  • “They are picky, I tried to switch them years ago and they would not eat the blue buffalo, but they love this one!”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 39%
  • Crude fat: 14.5%
  • Moisture content: 9%

Best wet food for indoor cats

Our next product is a protein rich product, which is packed full of omegas from flaxseed and salmon oil for your cat to maintain a healthy skin and coat. There are no grains in this recipe, and having chicken and chicken liver as the top ingredients make this product easy to endorse.

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

  • Smooth pate texture for palatability
  • First 5 ingredients meat based
  • Made in the United States
  • No grains or artificial preservatives, carrageenan, colors or flavors

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken liver
  3. Chicken broth
  4. Turkey broth
  5. Chicken meal

With a relatively low 74 kcal/can this is an ideal wet food to give to indoor cats with sensitive stomachs. Your cat will still be getting valuable nutrients with 11% protein, and 4% fats. This product is specially formulated to support urinary health as well, the product that keeps on giving!

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 11.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 4.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 2.0%
  • Moisture (max): 78.0%

Also Consider

Market leader Blue Buffalo has created this smooth textured indoor formula to balance protein with hydration and fiber. Using salmon as a primary ingredient means that your cat will have access to one of the most nutritious sources of omega fatty acids available.

Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Pate Salmon Entree Indoor Adult Canned Cat Food
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First 5 ingredients:

  1. Salmon
  2. Fish Broth
  3. Chicken Liver
  4. Chicken
  5. Brown Rice

While we recommend this product, it is important to acknowledge that Blue Buffalo does have a reputation for creating a potentially misleading brand image. In other words, their ingredients and recipes are not always as sustainably made as it might seem from their marketing. With its composition of four meat-based ingredients, however, the Healthy Gourmet Pate Salmon Entree is one of Blue Buffalo’s best.

What are owners saying?

  • “He loves this! No more trying this or that. This was the ticket for my 12-year-old flame point Maine Coone.”
  • “Both of my cats think this salmon food rocks. They clean the dish every time.”
  • “Bought Buffalo because I saw an ad on TV that it was good food. Both my new cats ate it for about 2 days and then refused to eat it again.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 10%
  • Crude fat: 5%
  • Moisture content: 78%

Also Consider

Halo’s cat food is free of meat meal—an immediate indicator of a brand’s commitment to producing nutritious cat food.

Halo Turkey & Duck Recipe Pate Grain-Free Indoor Cat Canned Cat Food
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First 4 ingredients:

  1. Turkey
  2. Turkey Broth
  3. Water Sufficient for Processing
  4. Turkey Liver

Instead, this formula is packed full of turkey, using a combination of turkey, meat, broth, and liver to create an L-carnitine-rich recipe. Halo cat foods are made in the USA from ingredients that never come from factory farms.

What are owners saying?

  • “My 4-year old cat has taken to eating primarily only pate, and Halo makes healthy options!”
  • “My cats loved this formula, even my very sensitive kitten…however with the last package received, the formula has obviously changed.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 10%
  • Crude fat: 6%
  • Moisture content: 78%

Best of the rest

Just like a fine wine, a fine feline ages with grace. Senior cats have specific health needs, while they don’t require the same amount of protein and fat that growing kittens do, they require a solid balance of nutrients, and most likely a little less of some to keep their weight in check.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
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Key features:

  • Quality ingredients
  • Enhanced with vitamins and minerals for aging cats
  • High in fiber

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken Broth
  3. Chicken Liver
  4. Carrots
  5. Sweet Potatoes

Cats also need adequate hydration as they age, and their teeth become more delicate. As such you’ll want to get your senior cat wet food, with high fiber, moderate protein, and fats if they are dealing with constipation.

Blue Buffalo offers a quality product for mature aged cats. With its protein and fat coming from chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, and it;s fiber coming from quality vegetables.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): %7.0
  • Crude fat (min): %4.0
  • Crude fiber (max): %2.5
  • Moisture (max): %78.0

Best of the rest

Lots of feline friends are allergic to seafood, so make sure your cat isn’t one of them before you proceed. Now, it’s a known fact that some cats have an almost exclusive penchant for fish. While there aren’t enough high-quality fish-based cans out there, this one here is a gem.

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First 5 ingredients:

  1. Ocean whitefish
  2. Fish broth
  3. Chicken
  4. Liver
  5. Pork lungs

With ocean whitefish as the first ingredient, this recipe is packed with high-quality protein that will help shape up your cat’s muscles. Its soft rich pate texture promotes hydration for a healthy urinary system. And although this pack doesn’t highlight its hairball-control fiber blend, the overwhelming reviews from customers make it obvious that this is the pack you should consider if your cat is coughing out hairballs.

What are owners saying?

  • “My Siamese kitty has had about 90% improvement with her dry coughing, and other two cats love it.”
  • “Thx to this wet food, my Charlie finally stopped puking hairball!”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 8.0%
  • Crude fat: 3.0%
  • Moisture content: 78.0%

Best of the rest

For those looking for options and convenience, here’s the answer to your prayers. Made in the USA, this moisture-rich meal is a playful bundle of flavors. It’ll make sure your cat stays well hydrated for a healthy urinary system.

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First 5 ingredients:

  1. Water sufficient for processing
  2. Chicken
  3. Wheat gluten
  4. Meat by-products
  5. Liver

With real chicken, antioxidants and omega fatty acids, this tasty can will give your cat lean muscles, soft skin and shiny fur. The delicious texture and aroma are approved by fussy feline eaters, and the easy-open containers will make mealtime neat and hassle-free.

What are owners saying?

  • “Both cats loved the flavors in this variety. They eat the entire can mixed with a couple tablespoons of warm water to make more gravy.”
  • “Punkin, who is a fairly picky eater, really enjoys this food. It has gravy and greens, both which she enjoys. Easy to open cans.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein: 9.0%
  • Crude fat: 2.0%
  • Moisture content: 78.0%

Preventing weight gain