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10 Best Cat Foods for Indoor Cats in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Indoor Cat Near Food Bowl_shutterstock_New Africa

10 Best Cat Foods for Indoor Cats in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

An indoor cat near a food bowl If your cat lives indoors, then it’s sometimes worth considering buying them food that’s specifically designed for indoor cats. Their needs can vary considerably from their relatives that roam outside. Typically, indoor cats aren’t as active, so they can put on weight quickly if they eat too much or if they don’t get enough exercise. If you’ve noticed that your indoor cat is getting a little rounder, now might be the time to act!

The good news is that there are plenty of cat foods formulated with the specific nutritional needs of indoor cats in mind. The bad news is that there are so many to choose from, that you might feel overwhelmed and be unable to make up your mind.

That’s where we come in! We’ve rounded up our favorite brands and provided you with our top picks for the best cat foods for indoor cats. Our reviews contain information about nutritional profiles, ingredients, and specific health issues that each food is designed to help combat.

A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Smalls Fresh Cow Cat Food Subscription Smalls Fresh Cow Cat Food Subscription
  • Packed with healthy vegetables
  • 90% lean beef content (of 68.32% overall)
  • Enriched with essential vitamins and nutrients
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Purina Cat Chow Naturals Indoor Cat Food Purina Cat Chow Naturals Indoor Cat Food
  • Chicken and turkey are the top ingredients
  • 34% protein content
  • Digestive health and hairball control
  • Third place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor
  • High protein
  • Antioxidants, and vitamins
  • Free from artificial colors
  • Iams ProActive Health Weight & Hairball Care Iams ProActive Health Weight & Hairball Care
  • Contains 10% reduced fat
  • Kibble texture helps clean teeth
  • Includes fiber for hairball control
  • Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Variety Pack Canned Cat Food Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Variety Pack Canned Cat Food
  • Good value for money
  • Extra vitamins and nutrients
  • Contains 30% protein and 9.5% fat
  • The 10 Best Cat Foods for Indoor Cats

    1. Smalls Fresh Cow Cat Food — Best Overall


    The Fresh Cow Recipe from Smalls is a great choice for your indoor feline. The recipe features a whopping 90% lean, human-grade, ground beef, which makes up 68.32% of the food total. It also contains 10% beef liver and beef heart, all of which give the food a 21.6% crude protein content overall. The food is also supplemented with vegetables like green beans, spinach, and peas, which provide your cat with essential vitamins and minerals. The food is available in a minced or pate recipe to suit your cat’s unique preferences.

    The only issues we found with this food are the high price and is subscription based, as well as the fact that some of the overall protein content comes from peas.

    • 90% lean beef content (of 68.32% overall)
    • Also contains beef liver and heart
    • Packed with healthy vegetables
    • Enriched with essential vitamins and nutrients
    • Available in minced or pate recipes
    • Expensive
    • Subscription format might not be suitable for all
    • A portion of the overall protein content comes from peas

    2. Purina Cat Chow Naturals Indoor Cat Food — Budget Buy

    Purina is a popular name in pet food, and their Cat Chow Natural Indoor formula starts from fresh ingredients with quality in mind first. Sustainably sourced chicken and turkey are the top two ingredients, with carefully blended grains added to aid digestive health and maintain a healthy adult weight.

    This dry kibble is already packed with 34% protein at a minimum, and it also brings essential vitamins and nutrients to the table to ensure that formulation is complete and balanced for pet cats. With no artificial colors, preservatives, or other added ingredients, your cat will love the delectable, fresh taste. On your end, you’ll love that they’re getting everything they need and nothing extra!

    This is a fantastic product, but it’s not perfect. Judging by user reviews, a small percentage of cats don’t tolerate this kibble well, suffering from vomiting or other gastric upset. We recommend asking your vet before switching to a weight maintenance formula like this one.

    • 34% protein content and 12% moisture content
    • Added grains for digestive health and hairball control
    • Chicken and turkey are the top ingredients
    • Complete and balanced recipe
    • May cause digestive problems in some cats

    3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken Recipe

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken Recipe

    Feed your cat’s inner wildcat with Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken Recipe, made with at least 38% protein and 16% beneficial fats. Together, these ingredients fuel your kitty’s growing muscles and brain and keep their coat looking sleek and healthy. There are no grains in this recipe (if that’s something you wish to avoid including in your pet’s diet), but there is a meticulous blend of vitamins and nutrients to give your cat all the nutrition they need on a day-to-day basis. There’s no byproduct garbage advertised as meat—Blue Buffalo is real meat, all the time.

    On the negative end, this premium product does come with a hefty price tag, which might not be in everyone’s budget. While Blue Buffalo is generally a safe pick (as it is complete and balanced for indoor adult cats), it’s worth asking your vet if this kibble would be the right fit for your cat’s health and lifestyle before ordering a bag. Furthermore, despite the hefty price tag, this diet is nutritionally insufficient for kittens and pregnant or lactating animals, as it’s intended for an adult indoor cat in maintenance only.

    • High protein and beneficial fat content
    • Grain-free
    • Enriched with omega-3 and omega-6
    • Not suitable for kittens and animals that are reproducing
    • Price point is somewhat high for a kibble

    4. Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care

    Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Adult Dry Cat Food

    Cats will love the crunchy texture and meaty taste of this Iams kibble, made with chicken to provide a hefty 30% protein content and an 11% fat content. This formulation is intended to be a dual product: beetroot and a special fiber blend are added to beat back hairballs before they can form, along with maintaining a healthier weight for your adult indoor cat.

    For an extra boost, Iams fortified this kibble with L-carnitine to aid your cat’s metabolism. Last but not least, an extensive blend of nutrients and vitamins tops your cat’s bowl off with everything they need to tackle their day.

    There’s only one drawback of note: the moisture content. Ten percent isn’t unusual for dry food, but it is on the low end. We recommend supplementing this kibble with a rich, moist wet food to help keep your cat well hydrated.

    • High protein content
    • Added beetroot and fiber to soothe hairballs and streamline digestion
    • Fortified with extra vitamins and nutrients
    • Low moisture content

    5. Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

    Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

    Every cat gets tired of the same old kibble, which is where juicy, irresistible wet foods like Fancy Feast come in. These gravy-laden packages of meaty goodness are made with chicken, beef, and turkey and no less than 82% moisture in every can. This Fancy Feast product does not include any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They do add a healthy blend of vitamins and nutrients to provide an extra nutritionary oomph to your cat’s diet, though.

    Fancy Feast is well-loved by cats everywhere, and the product itself is generally favorably received. However, user reviews are all over the place regarding shipping errors. Some people were missing cans, only had one flavor shipped, or received damaged products. Buyer beware!

    • High protein, taurine, and moisture content
    • Variety of flavors to suit any kitty’s palate
    • Fortified with extra vitamins and nutrients
    • Known shipping problems

    6. Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Pate for Indoor Cats

    Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Pate for Indoor Cats

    The Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Pate for Indoor Cats contains a blend of high-quality ingredients designed to help your indoor cat feel and look their best. The first three ingredients are real chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver, all providing plenty of protein to help your indoor cat build healthy lean muscle and control their weight due to the low fat content.

    With a moisture content at around 78%, this is a great choice if you want to offer your cat a little bit of “oomph” in the hydration department. The pâté texture is palatable, so it can be a good option for fussy cats. This provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats, so you can feed it on its own, but it can also be used as a topper for kibble. You can buy this wet pâté texture food in three can sizes: 3-ounce, 5.5-ounce, and 12.5-ounce.

    On the flipside though, the smaller cans create a great deal of waste, so we’d advise against those if you’ve got multiple cats to feed! In addition, it is worth mentioning that while a maximum moisture rating of 78% is indeed high, there are wet and canned food options that can offer more moisture when compared to this product.

    • Generally well received by cats
    • Real chicken as the first ingredient
    • Choose from three case sizes
    • Moisture not as high as other options
    • Small cans create a great deal of waste

    7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Dry Cat Food

    Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Dry Cat Food

    Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Dry Cat Food is packed with beneficial ingredients to help your indoor cat look and feel great. The small kibble size is specifically designed to be easy for your cat to eat, while delivering big flavor and plenty of crunch. This contains U.S.A. farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient, as well as a blend of superfoods, vitamins, and minerals to provide all the nutrition that your cat needs.

    The fiber content in this diet is intended to help your cat feel fuller longer so that they may avoid putting on weight. This kibble also contains blueberries and cranberries, which are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also further fortified with ingredients, such as pumpkin, to help control hairball issues.

    We’re not entirely on board with this diet though, which is why it’s not higher up in our ranking. For one, this kibble does contain a small amount of coloring. Furthermore, the ingredient list, while extensive, might not be for everyone, especially those who prefer to have their cat eat something more naturally appropriate for a carnivorous species.

    • Choose from three bag sizes
    • Contains at least 34% protein and 12% fat
    • Real chicken as the first ingredient
    • Contains coloring
    • Extensive ingredient list might not be to everyone’s preference

    8. Iams Perfect Portions Indoor Turkey Recipe Pate Wet Food

    Iams Perfect Portions Indoor Turkey Recipe Pate Wet Food

    The Iams Perfect Portions Indoor Turkey Recipe Pate Wet Food is a great option if you’re looking for a convenient way of feeding wet food without having to leave cans open. With chicken, turkey, and poultry liver as the first three ingredients, this tasty pâté is designed to provide all the protein that your indoor cat needs, with the portion control that could hopefully mean they will avoid putting on a bit too much weight.

    This wet food is made in the U.S.A., and besides plenty of meat, it contains other beneficial ingredients, including fiber and prebiotics, to help support your cat’s digestive system. It’s also enriched with vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to help boost your cat’s immune system. While these single-serve trays are undoubtedly convenient, they do also create plastic waste, especially if you’re feeding multiple cats.

    • Grain-free
    • Veterinarian approved
    • Contains 9.5% protein and 5% fat
    • Plastic trays create waste
    • Expensive

    9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food

    Hill's Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food is specifically designed for adult indoor cats aged 1 to 6 years old. It includes real chicken as the first ingredient, supplemented with natural fiber from beet pulp. This helps support digestive health, helps reduce the chance of your cat suffering from hairballs. It also contains a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all designed to help your cat’s immune system function at its best.

    This kibble isn’t grain free and does contain peas, which might be an issue for some concerned owners. It’s also expensive, which can soon add up if you’re feeding multiple cats. It contains powdered cellulose as the fourth ingredient, which is considered by many as a filler and doesn’t provide any nutritional benefits for your indoor cat.

    • Chicken as the first ingredient
    • Contains around 31% protein and 13% fat
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Expensive
    • Not grain-free
    • Some cats may not like the flavor

    10. Friskies Indoor Variety Pack Canned Wet Food

    Friskies Indoor Variety Pack Canned Wet Food

    Friskies Indoor Variety Pack Canned Wet Food is a great choice if you’re looking for a value pack of large cans to keep your indoor cats stocked up on wet food for a good amount of time. This pack contains three flavors: chicken and turkey casserole, saucy seafood bake, and homestyle turkey dinner. They’re all designed to provide plenty of flavor and have lower caloric content to help your indoor cat maintain a healthy weight.

    As a budget canned food, this contains a few lower-quality ingredients that you might want to be aware of. This does have real meat, but it also has meat by-products, which some cat owners prefer to avoid. It also contains powdered cellulose, which is a filler with no real nutritional value. Some of the recipes also contain artificial flavors. All varieties contain rice grains, which some cats are known to pick out rather than eat.

    • Good value for money
    • Contains 9% protein and 2% fat
    • Meat as the first ingredient
    • Contains meat by-products
    • Contains powdered cellulose
    • Contains artificial flavors
    • Some cats pick out the rice grains

    cat paw divider

    Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats

    If you’re wondering what indoor cat food is going to suit your cat the best, we’re here to help! Our guide has all the information you need to figure out exactly what you should be looking for when choosing the best food for your cat’s needs. An indoor cat fed excess calories and not offered enough opportunities for exercise may put on weight and be in danger of becoming obese.

    What Makes Indoor Cat Food Different From Regular Cat Food?

    Indoor cat food tends to contain fewer calories than standard cat food. This is because most indoor cats are less active than their outdoor counterparts, so they burn fewer calories than cats who go outdoors regularly.

    Indoor cat food formulations also tend to contain a higher level of fiber, which can help decrease the chance of your cat suffering from hairballs and keep their digestive system functioning as effectively as possible. However, it is important to keep in mind that cats do not have a strict fiber requirement in their diet, and though this addition is viewed positively by some people, it isn’t necessarily essential for your cat.

    It is also just as important to seek veterinary help to ascertain the cause of your cat experiencing issues with excessive amounts of hairballs instead of solely relying on their diet to help manage such problems.

    How Many Calories Does My Indoor Cat Need?

    The answer to this question will depend on the following factors:
    • Your cat’s breed
    • Their activity levels
    • Their age
    • Their health conditions
    • Their weight
    • Their reproductive status
    • Their neuter status

    On average, indoor cats need fewer calories than outdoor cats. However, this assumes that an outdoor cat is in fact exercising. Many cats may venture outdoors, only to nap in their favorite tree all day and therefore not exercise as much as one might hope.

    The best place to start is to look at the feeding guidelines of the particular brand that you’re looking to buy. You can then adjust your cat’s rations up or down from this, depending on their condition. Your vet will be able to help you calculate how many calories your cat should be getting, as well as assess their body condition score. These are important factors to consider when it comes to figuring out a meal plan for your pet.

    Cat Lounging
    Image Credit: Neko412, Pixabay

    Should I Feed My Indoor Cat Wet or Dry Cat Food?

    That’s up to you and the preferences of your cat! Some cats love wet food, and it can be more palatable for fussy cats. It also adds moisture to your cat’s diet, helping them stay better hydrated in some circumstances. Please do remember that no food is a replacement for fresh, clean drinking water, which your cat should have access to at all times. Wet food is generally more expensive and takes up more room to store. It’s also best not to leave it out all day, as it can spoil.

    Dry kibble is cost-effective and easy to store. Many owners claim that their cats are quite satisfied eating a mainly dry food diet. However, dry kibble is, as the name suggests, dry, and therefore, many owners fear that offering their cat dry kibble is increasing the likelihood of dehydration. Strictly speaking, though, a cat that’s offered access to water should be able to adjust their needs as needed.

    One compromise that many cat owners settle on is to feed a combination of both wet and dry food. You can leave dry kibble out for your cat to graze on throughout the day and feed them a small portion of wet food once or twice a day. However, this too is controversial, as shuffling between dry and wet foods doesn’t sit well with all cats.

    In addition, cats aren’t great at self-regulating their food intake, and providing your cat access to kibble in your absence may result in a cat that overfeeds. Finally, though some cats are fine accepting both dry and wet foods, they often eventually find themselves biased toward one thing over another.

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    How to Change Your Cat’s Food to the Best Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats

    Once you’ve decided on a new brand of food for your indoor cat, make sure to buy it before your old brand completely runs out. It’s best to introduce a new food over about a week or two, to give your cat’s digestive system a chance to adjust.

    We recommend mixing the two foods, starting with 5-10% of the new food and 90-95% of the old food and gradually increasing the amount of new food by around 10-20% and decreasing the amount of old food by the same amount every other day (depending on how well your cat seems to be adjusting). Keep an eye on your cat’s overall behavior, as well as their litter box habits. If they seem to be tolerating the new food as its percentage increases in their diet, then eventually, you’ll be all good to make a switch.

    Cat ball divider 1

    Final Thoughts

    Your indoor cat deserves the best food you can give them, and ideally, it should be a long-term mainstay in their life. When you’re looking for the cream of the crop, the Smalls Fresh Cow Cat Food Subscription is definitely your best bet. For a more solid backup choice or all-around great kibble, Purina Cat Chow Naturals Indoor Cat Food is just purr-fect. However, pick from any of our reviews and we’re confident that you and your kitty will be satisfied!

    Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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