Choosing the Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats
Are you an owner to an indoor cat? Then believe it or not, their dietary needs are unique compared to outdoor cats.
Unlike outdoor cats whose major risks revolve around the outdoor environment, indoor cats are far more likely to develop lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes. So, while all cats have the same dietary requirements, indoor cats need to meet these dietary requirements with fewer calories because of their lower activity levels.
With the continuously growing variety of cat foods, it can quickly become confusing to figure out which indoor cat food fits the needs of your cat best. That’s why we’ve broken down the specifics you can look out for to make your cat food shopping less overwhelming.
The nutritional requirements of every cat boils down to a combination of:
This list is a good thing to reference when evaluating dry food. When it comes to wet food, it should also have a high amount of animal protein.
Essential fatty acids for cats are generally broken down into omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. All of these fatty acids help maintain the health of your cat’s skin and coat as well as other essential biological functions.
All of these nutritional requirements must be met to ensure the health of your cat on a relatively low amount of calories. This typically means a low carbohydrate diet with large amounts of protein and natural fats. The recommended dietary allowance for proteins is roughly 12.5 grams for an adult cat weighing about nine pounds.
Dry or Wet Food?
For most indoor cat owners, canned cat food made for indoor cats makes for the simplest way to ensure your cat receives all of the nutrients and water they need in their diet. In fact, one of the largest risk factors for obesity in cats is a dry food diet.
Given that dry foods usually contain higher amounts of carbohydrates, this makes sense since cats cannot properly digest carbs. Feeding your cats canned food also helps you portion out their meals appropriately instead of allowing your cat to graze on dry kibble throughout the entire day.
But you may find dry food is easier to serve and more cost-effective long term. If you decide to purchase mainly dry food for your indoor cat, look for dry kibble made primarily of proteins and fats.
Provide for Specific Health Needs
Ultimately, the amount and type of food you feed your indoor cat will also depend on their needs, age and health conditions. Perhaps your cat also struggles with hairballs or needs to incorporate specific vitamins. That’s why it’s imperative to advise with your vet to confirm the needs of your cat.
Top Cat Food for Indoor Cats
The most important factor in feeding your indoor cat the best cat food is more or less watching their calories and ensuring that most of their calorie intake is from animal protein. Remember that indoor cats are more stationary, so they need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.
Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Fish Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
With whole, high-quality ingredients, Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free wet food for adult, indoor cats, features real fish as the first ingredient. By utilizing cod and whitefish for a protein-rich formula, pet parents can rest assured their cats are being fed a well balanced meal. Omega fatty acids, DHA and added taurine support muscle maintenance, vision and overall feline health.
Because it doesn’t contain worrisome ingredients such as gluten, grain, preservatives, corn, wheat, soy, by-products and artificial flavors, adult cats will receive wholesome nutrients, and no filler. Adult cats of all ages will appreciate Blue Buffalo’s pate, featuring a smooth texture even seniors can enjoy.
Fish, Fish Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Fish Oil, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Powdered Cellulose, Guar Gum, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Blueberries, Salt, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Choline Chloride, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.
1,000 kcal/kg, 85 kcal/3 oz can, 156 kcal/5.5 oz can
Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
As a canned cat food, blended with only the finest ingredients, Blue Buffalo Freedom’s Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe packs in all the nutrients with a taste cats love. Formulated without worrisome ingredients, you won’t have to worry about sensitive kitties reacting to artificial flavors, artificial coloring, grains, gluten, corn, soy, wheat, peas, preservatives or by-products.
Made with the intent of providing muscle maintenance and real energy, Blue Buffalo began with whole sources of protein, and followed with fruit and veggies. Cats will enjoy this pate-style wet food, crafted with only the finest ingredients. Plus, pet parents and felines alike will especially appreciate the BPA non-intent cans Blue Buffalo uses for all of their canned wet cat food products.
Purina Beyond Simply Indoor Wild-Caught Salmon, Egg & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Pet parents concerned with the overall health of their indoor cat, will appreciate the benefits Purina Beyond Simply Indoor dry cat food has to offer. Featuring a boosted, natural blend of fiber, Purina Beyond’s wild-caught salmon, egg and sweet potato recipe controls hairballs, while preventing compaction.
Made without the hassle of added preservatives or artificial flavor, adult cats enjoy bites of real chicken and turkey. In order to promote a healthy lifestyle, this dry kibble encourages optimal weight maintenance through balanced nutrition. Added taurine improves vision health, while omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals support overall feline health.
New: Salmon, Pea Starch, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Canola Meal, Cassava Root Flour, Dried Egg Product, Powdered Cellulose, Dried Yeast, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Natural Flavor, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Whole Cranberries, Salt, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, MINERALS [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], VITAMINS [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product. C424319.
Original: Salmon, Chicken Meal, Pea Starch, Pea Protein, Canola Meal, Cassava Root Flour, Dried Egg Product, Powdered Cellulose, Dried Yeast, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Beef Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Natural Liver Flavor, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Bisulfate, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Taurine, Salt, Whole Cranberries, Calcium Carbonate, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement], Vitamin E. B-4243.
New: 3,250 kcal/kg, 322 kcal/cup
Original: 3,301 kcal/kg, 357 kcal/cup
Cat Chow Hairball & Healthy Weight Indoor Dry Cat Food
Indoor cats require nutrition specifically catered to their needs, which is exactly what Purina had in mind when they created Cat Chow Hairball and Healthy Weight Indoor dry cat food. Taking into consideration an indoor feline’s activity level, environment and weight management needs, this hairball and healthy weight formula contains fewer calories and increased fiber.
Blended with 25 vitamins and minerals, Cat Chow supports your four-legged friend’s health, while providing balanced nutrition. This pea free dry cat food provides antioxidants in order to boost the immune system. Essential fatty acids and protein work together to provide appropriate energy, and a healthy skin and coat.
There are 25 vitamins and minerals present to help your cat reach its nutritional requirements
Chicken By-Product Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Soy Flour, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Liver Flavor, Chicken, Powdered Cellulose, Soybean Hulls, Calcium Carbonate, Phosphoric Acid, Salt, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Parsley Flakes, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K)], L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Red 40, Blue 2, Yellow 5. M450018.
3,372 kcal/kg, 358 kcal/cup
Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food
Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Care is an easily digestible dry cat food, formulated especially for indoor kitties. Indoor blends are special, because they are created to control hairballs, maintain a healthy weight, and even reduce odors in the litter box. Adult cats will benefit from the fat reduction, as well as the blend of carbs to keep them feeling full.
As a dry cat food, the crunchy texture provides oral care, in order to clean teeth and prevent tartar. Whole ingredients such as rice, grains and beets, reduce hairballs while supporting the digestive system. Beet fiber also plays an important role in digestion, as prebiotics feed bacteria in order to maintain a healthy gut biome – a crucial step in overall feline health.
Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Turkey, Powdered Cellulose, Natural Flavor, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Egg Product, Caramel Color, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Bisulfate, Choline Chloride, Fish Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharides, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid], Taurine, Minerals [Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide], Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (Preservatives ), L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract.
3364 kcal/kg, 302 kcal/cup
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
With whole, real chicken listed as the first ingredient, Blue Wilderness Indoor Hairball and Weight Control dry cat food is a great choice for indoor adult cats. Offering both weight, and hairball control, this grain-free dry cat food provides boosted nutrition in every bite. With additional fiber to support digestion, prevent hairballs and feed a healthy gut, pet parents can rest assured their feline is getting a well-rounded meal.
Ingredients such as L-Carnitine, taurine and omega fatty acids nourish skin, coat, vision, and heart health, as well as support your cat’s metabolism. Formulated without worrisome ingredients, in order to provide kibble to sensitive kitties, Blue Buffalo Wilderness left out: corn, soy, wheat, by-products and soy.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Pea Protein, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Powdered Cellulose, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Potato Starch, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Psyllium Seed Husks, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Caramel Color, Potassium Sulfate, Salt, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, L-Carnitine, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Cranberries, Blueberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Turmeric, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Oil of Rosemary, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.
3,667 kcal/kg, 410 kcal/cup
Indoor cats and outdoor cats are the same though…no? The short answer is yes. But when it comes down to it, indoor cats aren’t as active as outdoor cats, so they’re not burning as many calories.
In theory, they can eat the same diet because they have the same nutritional requirements. However, if you own an indoor-only cat, you may want to consider purchasing an indoor cat food that is specifically formulated to have fewer calories per serving than regular cat food. Most targeted indoor formulas are designed to regulate a cat’s healthy body weight and help with problems that indoor cats often encounter, such as hairballs. You may also find other products that are labeled as ‘light’ cat food.
Ultimately, as long as the food is nutritionally complete and balanced, your cat can enjoy both wet and dry food. In fact, a combination of both is ideal. What’s most important is that the food contains a high amount of crude, real animal protein, healthy fats and low carbohydrates.
Wet food helps with increasing water intake and most cats prefer the taste. Then dry food is more affordable and helps with preventing plaque build-up. Occasionally mixing the two will just keep your feline friend surprised if he or she refuses to eat one or the other.
While being an indoor cat is a factor that certainly affects the type and amount of food you feed, so will other factors, including age, breed, and any specific health conditions. A recommended feeding guide for a healthy, active, 10 lb indoor cat is 270-320 calories per day.
If you’re going to feed a wet and dry food combo, then you should feed them about ¼ of an eight ounce cup of dry food and 2.5 ounces of canned food (the equivalent of half a can of cat food).
Most indoor, domestic cats should weigh around 10 pounds. But this can also vary depending on the breed. For example, a Maine Coon cat can be healthy at about 25 pounds while a Siamese cat can be healthy at 5 pounds. Always double check with your vet to make sure your cat is at its right weight.
You can feed your indoor cat any food product that maintains a balanced nutritional profile and includes the following key components:
- Crude-Protein Heavy: at least 30% of real animal protein
- Healthy Fats: animal-based fat (at least 15-20%)
- Fiber Rich: aid in digestion, weight maintenance and hairball control
- Vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and fatty acids
- Water and moisture-rich