Best Cat Food For Indoor Cats: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

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Taking care of your precious little cat can be a tough job. Cats crave attention and can be quite moody. And even though they come off as being indifferent at times, they are adorable and really the best pet to have around. So when it comes taking care of your cat, you need to be wary of a whole host of important things, from the food they need to the amount of activity they require.

It’s a long list of things that must be done and, most importantly, what needs to be avoided. But the most important decision you can make is perhaps to do with your furry friend’s diet. Not a lot of people know this, but when it comes to food, it can vary a lot depending upon your cat’s age, health, level of activity, as well as whether your cat is an exclusively indoor cat or not.

We will examine how indoor cats differ from outdoor cats and what it means for the diet they require. We will also make recommendations regarding the best cat food for indoor cats in 2019. So read along to learn more about what your cat needs specifically.


In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks…


Overall Best Cat Food For Indoor Cats

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Hill’s Science Diet dry cat food is an excellent choice for your cat. This cat food boasts a limited ingredient formula which is perfect for preventing diseases.

Limited ingredients does not mean that the cat food is limited in nutrients; in fact, many pet owners are going for limited ingredient cat foods since they are high in nutrients but limited in preservatives and additives. It is especially perfect for pet owners who are not sure what their cats may be allergic to.

More and more pet owners are preferring a limited ingredient diet for their pets. Not only are limited ingredient diets better for pets but are also much more environmentally friendly. You can read more about the reasons why limited ingredient foods are better for pets in this scientific study.

Aside from providing your cat with a simplified diet, Hill’s Science cat food formula provides a balanced, protein-rich diet for your little pet. Both pea and duck are extremely good for your cat and, along with the other ingredients, provide for a complete meal for your cat.

The Hill’s Science cat food is full of minerals and vitamins essential for cats, specifically for indoor cats as they require more in terms of healthy calories. The dry food comes in different packaging, ranging from 1 pound to 10 pounds. So you can buy the smaller pack to test out the suitability for your cat and then get the larger pack once you are happy with the results.

What we like:

  • Great value for money
  • Limited ingredients limit exposure to additives and preservatives
  • High in proteins
  • Extremely delicious

What we don’t like:

  • Picky eaters may not prefer this particular flavor

This is our favorite overall cat food for indoor cats. It helps your kitty stay happy and healthy while protecting your wallet.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

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Best Cat Food For Indoor, Overweight Cats

Nulo Grain Free Dry Indoor or Adult Trim Cat Food

The Nulo Grain Free cat food is another excellent choice. It is grain free, which is consistent with cats’ ancestral food.  The kibble size is just perfect for your cats to chew on easily and consume the food without any difficulty. Needless to say, the food is also easy to consume and digest.


Like Hill’s Science cat food, the Nulo one is also grain free. This means that the cat food is limited in the amount of carbohydrates it contains. Carbohydrates are not natural to cats, who happen to be innately carnivorous.

The limited amount of carbs also ensures that your cat does not get overweight. We already know that indoor cats get much less exercise than their outdoor counterparts, so limiting the amount of carbs helps to manage their weight.

High in protein content, the Nulo cat food consists of 83% of animal-based protein which supplies your cat with the perfect amount of amino acids needed for good health.

Another great thing that the Nulo cat food contains are probiotics which assist the growth of beneficial microbes. Indoor cats are more likely to encounter digestion related problems as they do not get as much physical activity as free-ranging cats.

Probiotics help with digestion and keep your cat from getting digestion related issues which can be quite painful as well. Probiotics for pets have been proven to prevent digestive problems and may even help deal with cancer.

Overall, it’s a great choice of food for indoor cats.

What we like:

  • Contains 83% proteins
  • Grain free
  • Has PC30 probiotic which helps digestion and boasts the immune system
  • Extremely delicious

What we don’t like:

  • Slightly more expensive than competing brands
  • Some cats may not like the taste

This is our favorite option if your indoor critter is a bit on the overweight side. This food helps keep your cat in shape while maintaining a healthy weight.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

Best Wet, Grain Free Cat Food For Indoor Cats

Purina Beyond Natural, Adult Wet Cat Food

The Purina Beyond Natural formula is another great grain-free option. It is low in carbs, so it helps regulate your cat’s body weight well. The ample amount of protein, along with limited carbs, prevents lethargy in cats and makes for a much healthier diet.

It is a wet formula, which means that even though it is more expensive, it is easier for your cat to consume. While free-ranging cats are used to hunt and scavenge for food, indoor cats are not and may not have their teeth developed for biting and chewing. This makes the soft, wet formula a more convenient option for your cat. Kitten specifically find it easier to consume than kibble, which can be quite hard.

The canned cat food is higher in moisture content as well, which significantly helps with the digestion. Overall wet cat food has a lot of benefits which you can read up in detail here. Wet food is more popular among cats as they find it better tasting as well.

Aside from being high in moisture content, Wellness core cat food is low in fats and has a considerable amount of fiber in it. This makes it perfect for indoor cats for the same reasons as mentioned above (preventing obesity and helping digestion). Fiber also keeps your cat feeling full for longer, which means they are satisfied for longer and are more relaxed and contented.

You can even use Purina for your overweight cat to help lose weight since it has a limited amount of carbs and fat while being high in proteins and fiber. All ingredients are 100% natural, and there are zero additives and preservatives.

What we like:

  • High in proteins and fiber
  • Moisture content helps with digestion and prevent dehydration in cats
  • Extremely delicious
  • Low fat
  • No additives or preservatives

What we don’t like:

  • A little on the pricey side
  • Being wet can be inconvenient and requires more cleaning up

This is our favorite cat food if your cat needs grain free meals. Cats tend to enjoy wet meals more, so this is also a good pick for picky eaters.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

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Best Cat Food For Indoor Cats With Hairballs Or Vomiting

IAMS Proactive Health Adult Hairball Care

Coming in packs of 7 pounds, 20 pounds or 45 pounds, the IAMS Proactive is a catered to adult indoor cats specifically. The kibble is reasonably sized to help your cat eat and digest the food easily.

The IAMS Proactive cat food is high in protein content, which excellent for your cat’s muscles and for supplying energy throughout the day without causing your cat to gain weight. In fact, the food is designed to help cats lose weight. It contains L-Carnitine, which helps break down and use excess fat in the body.

The formula also contains fiber to help with digestion. Cats generally get indigestion due to hairballs. Fiber helps digest food easily and prevents hairballs from developing, which can be quite painful for your cat.

The addition of Omega fats also means better skin and hair for your cat. So overall, your cat gets a healthy, well-balanced meal with much less fat, which helps lose weight while keeping your cat healthy and energized.

What we like:

  • Great value for money
  • Low in fat
  • High in proteins
  • Contains Omega fats

What we don’t like:

  • Taste may not be to your cat’s liking

This is our favorite food if your cat struggles with hairballs or vomiting. I also love the fact that you can buy the 40+ pound bags for ultra bulk.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

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Best Budget Wet Food For Indoor Cats

Halo Purely For Pets Cat Food, Spots Stew Succulent Salmon

Looking for a more organic option then the Halo Spot’s Stew cat food is really the best one in the market. The cat food is high in protein content and has much low carb content. In addition to this, having L-Carnitine as well helps your cat lose weight.

The unique feature of this cat food is the way it is made. The brand boasts supporting farms which implement humane methods to make the food. So if you care not just about what is in your cat’s food but also how it was made and where it comes from, then the Halo Spot is the number one choice.

It is also GMO (genetically modified organism) free. So you can rest assured that the food you provide your pet is completely natural and free from any unnatural processing and toxins. This means that your cat is not exposed to as many chemicals and may remain safe from allergies and diseases which are so common nowadays.

For pet parents looking for a healthy, yet a humane option for their animals, the Halo Spot is a perfect option which is readily available.

What we like:

  • Is GMO-free
  • Contains L-Carnitine and less fat
  • High in proteins
  • No artificial flavorings or additives

What we don’t like:

  • Ingredients include potatoes and soy

This is about the most budget-loving wet cat food you can buy, so it’s a good treat for picky eaters and budget shoppers.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Budget Cat Food For Indoor Cats (And Cats With Skin Allergies)

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient

Unlike its competitors, Limited Ingredient from Natural balance isn’t overdosed with too many ingredients. This ingredient restriction works to reduce the chances of an allergy. It’s grain-free and includes high-quality chicken meat, which is superb for giving your cat a shiny coat. To provide your cat with the best natural diet, it’s produced with no flavorings or artificial color.

natural balance limited ingredient

Natural balance always ensures that their products go through rigorous testing and safety standards to ensure transparency to thousands of its customers. Their main source of protein is chicken, which your cat will love to eat.

To provide only the healthiest and most nutritious, this product is also loaded with healthy minerals, vitamins, omegas, and essential taurine.

It’s also packed in the USA so you shouldn’t have any doubts regarding the quality and standards of the product. One thing that we love about this food is that it’s so affordable.

What We Like

  • Very Affordable
  • A healthy simplistic formula
  • Quality ingredients
  • Safety and quality tested

What We Don’t Like

  • Some cats may not like the taste


This is a simple diet that’s packed with a whole lot of goodness. The simple formula can be a very big advantage for cats with high sensitivity.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Things To Know Before You Buy…

How Indoor Cats Differ From Outdoor Cats:

There are some major differences between cats that are live indoors with their owners and get to go out only occasionally, as compared to cats that roam about freely. The different lifestyles mean that both types of cats have special needs in terms of the food they eat. The main differences include:

Longer life span:

Cats have strong survival instincts, even so, indoor cats outlive cats that roam around freely outside. Cats that live outdoors are more susceptible to getting attacked by other animals or getting into an accident. Indoor cats, on the other, hand live a much more sheltered life and thus have a longer lifespan.

Indoor cats shed more frequently:

When it comes to shedding their fur, indoor cats do it more frequently than the cats that live outdoors. Generally speaking, outdoor cats get a thicker fur during the winters and shed this extra fur once spring arrives. To the frustration of many cat owners, though, indoor cats shed throughout the year, not just during springtime.

Indoor cats are bulkier:

Simply because they are better looked after and get less activity than their outdoor counterparts, indoor cats happen to be heavier as well. This means they require more nutrition and may not fill up as quickly as outdoor cats.

Indoor cats are neutered:

Indoor cats are mostly neutered. Being unable to mate makes them behave differently as they are less aggressive and much less self-sufficient.

How different cats have different needs

As pet parents, you need to be aware that different types of cats have different dietary needs. For example, if you have a cat suffering from kidney disease, then they require a specialized diet, the same is true for overweight cats. When it comes to indoor cats, they need more calories since they usually are larger than outdoor cats.

In addition to this, since they live longer than other cats, indoor cats also require more nutrients to deal with complications linked to age. Finally, because their activity is limited by the confined space they live in, cats’ diet needs to be such that they do not gain too much weight or they are in danger of becoming obese.

Having all these important points in mind, we have compiled a list of cat foods available in the market which are most suited for indoor cats.

Key things to keep in mind when selecting cat food for your cat

Domesticated cats spend most of their day indoors, which means that they differ quite a bit when compared to free-range cats. They have their own routine and lifestyle, which also means that their dietary needs are specific to their lifestyle.

Indoor cats do not get much exercise, and neither are they adapted to hunting or looking for food. This is why a lot of indoor cats may end up suffering from being overweight or constipated. The fact that cats lick their fur and swallow their own hair which ends up collecting in the stomach as hairballs does not help at all.

When selecting the cat food for your cat, make sure to look out for a few key things:

High in proteins:

The food should be high in proteins and must supply your cat with the daily recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. Cats need higher amounts of proteins since a lower protein intake has been linked to a reduction in lean body mass, which in turn reduces immunity and increases morbidity in cats. Additionally, the cat food should have the recommended daily levels of minerals and vitamins to ensure good health.

Low fat and low carb:

The fat and carbohydrate content should be low. As indoor cats can become overweight and suffer from ailments linked to obesity, it is much better to choose foods which encourage weight loss. Since indoor cats are not as active, they must consume much less fats and carbs.

Kibble size should be appropriate:

Dry cat food kibble should be small enough for easy consumption and large enough, so it does not get stuck in your cat’s teeth. For kittens, it is better to go for wet cat food as it is more suited for their small teeth.

Pay attention to the ingredients:

Look out for any ingredients your cat may be allergic to. Do not just look at the information provided on the front of the box; study the ingredients in detail. If in doubt about an ingredient, then check with your vet. Remember to take the ingredients very seriously, especially if your cat requires a special diet due to an illness.

Avoid artificial flavorings:

Try to avoid foods with artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Having so many chemicals can be harmful, and your cat may have a reaction as a result of consuming any of these. Also, it can be hard to identify exactly what is causing the reaction, so it is best to be careful and go with the most natural option.

Consult your vet:

Always remember to consult your veterinarian first before switching to a new cat food. This is especially true if your cat has a pre-existing condition, like urinary or kidney conditions. Certain ingredients, which are generally harmless, maybe a big no-no for your cat. Your vet knows what is best for your cat as they are the experts in the field.

Make a slow transition:

Also when you think of switching, do it slowly. Try to introduce the new food little by little, so your cat can get used to the new flavor and the changed ingredients. So remember to get a smaller pack first.

Getting a large-sized bag can be a waste if your cat refuses to eat the new food. If your cat is rejecting the new cat food, then do not try to force the consumption. Maybe your cat is not eating it because there might be an ingredient that does not suit your cat specifically. So your cat refusing to eat certain cat foods can actually be a good thing.


Q: What are common problems indoor cats face when it comes to health?

A: Indoor cats live much longer than free-range cats, so they face health problems related to old age. They also get less activity and are more prone to digestive issues and getting overweight.

Q: Do indoor cats require a special diet?

A: Indoor cats require a high protein diet which is low in fats and carbs. The diet must also include fiber to help with digestion.

Q: Is it alright to switch cat food all at once?

A: Any drastic change in your cat’s diet is not recommended. Changing your cat’s food should be a slow and steady process.

Best Brands:

The brands mentioned above are some of the best brands of cat foods for indoor cats.

Hill Science Diet

Hill science is another notable pet food brand that’s known for manufacturing high-quality cat food worldwide. The company was established in the 1960s.


Nulo wants to provide nutrition and love (Nu + lo) in every bite of their cat food. Nulo started when a man named Michael realized that pet foods were filled with empty calories. Dogs and cats could eat the foods, but these animals would never know their best health. Michael’s goal is to challenge the status quo and give animals the nutrition they deserve.

Purina Pro Plan

For over 120 years, this iconic brand has been committed to providing wholesome care for your pets.

They have many high-quality products that’ve been developed by experts and scientists. They were actually the first ones to invent kibble as well as the first to use meat as the No.1 ingredient.


Your lovely cat deserves only the best. You must be wary of their needs and wants in every way. Diet is a huge part of taking care of your cat, so when it comes to indoor cats, the process should involve a lot of thought and research.

Not all cat foods are alike, and you need to aware of your cat’s individual needs. Indoor cats need more pampering and special care, so they do not develop any diseases and live a long, healthy life.

The article provides a list of recommendations to help you navigate the difficult process of selecting the best cat food. There is simply too much choice in the market, and it can be very difficult to compare and contrast the different cat foods. You now have a slight idea regarding how each product differs from the other and what things you need to look for when making your selection.

Our top pick for you indoor cat happens to be the Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Cat Food. It is natural and provides a complete meal for your furry friend. If you want a more budget buy or a good pick for allergies, we recommend the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient cat food.

Good luck with your cat and be sure to check other articles on our website if you have any other cat-related questions or queries.

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