Top 7 Best Cat Foods For Indoor Cats

Posted in: Cat Food - Last Updated: May 24, 2022 - Author: Rebekah Carter
Posted in Cat Food 
Last Updated: October 8, 2021  
Author:  Rebekah Carter

Choosing the right food for your cat is one of the best ways to make sure they remain fit and healthy throughout their lives. 

Cats need access to specific nutrients and minerals to fuel their active lifestyle, whilst at the same time avoiding anything harmful to them. While all feline friends deserve a high-quality meal plan, indoor cats do have slightly different requirements to their outdoor counterparts. So it is important to think careful when deciding on the best cat food for indoor cats.

grey cat with yellow eyes eating kibble

It’s generally a good idea to buy any cat a diet high in protein, because cats need protein more than practically any other substance. However, you’ll also need to be cautious about how much fat is available in a feline’s diet. Indoor cats tend to be less active than their outdoor alternatives, which makes weight gain and obesity more of an issue.

Hill's Science Diet Adult Indoor Cat Food

Our choice is the Hill's Science Diet Adult Indoor Cat Food, the best Indoor Cat Food for your cat!

Hill's Science Diet Adult Indoor Cat Food, Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food, 7 lb. Bag

Why Buy Indoor Cat Food?

Indoor cat food is a meal chosen specifically for the felines who spend most of their time indoors. In general, cats who spend most of their time indoors have a few advantages over outdoor kitties. Keeping your cat indoors will mean they’re less likely to be exposed to various dangers. You won’t have to worry about an unexpected traffic accident, or a cat getting into a fight with other animals. 

Keeping your cat indoors will also reduce its exposure to various parasites, fleas, diseases, and other issues. Indoor cats appear to lead healthier lifestyles overall than their outdoor counterparts. However, this is only the case when you care for your cat properly – which means choosing the best cat food for indoor cats.

Because your cats can’t hunt outdoors, they won’t be finding extra sources of protein and fiber on a daily basis, so you need to make sure you’re giving your kitty the exact dietary support it needs. At the same time, you’ll need to think about how much you should be feeding your cat, as portion control can be tougher for an indoor animal.

ginger cat eating from white bowl

Quick Questions about Indoor Cat Food (FAQ)

Are there any ingredients in indoor cat food I should avoid?

All cats thrive best on a diet high in protein, and healthy fats, with a little fiber thrown in at times. However, your feline friend doesn’t need carbohydrates to thrive. Avoid any foods high in grains and vegetables which might not give your cat any extra nutritional value. It’s also worth staying away from meals using excessive artificial preservatives like BHT, BHA, and TBHQ. Artificial flavors aren’t ideal for your kitty either.

Is wet or dry indoor cat food best?

This is a topic of significant debate in the cat ownership world. Both wet and dry indoor cat foods have their pros and cons to consider. While dry indoor cat food is easy for your cat to nibble on through the day without the risk of it going bad, it’s not great for giving cats essential moisture. Wet indoor cat food has moisture, but it’s not as long-lasting. A combination of both wet and dry indoor cat food is usually the best choice for most cats.

How are indoor cat foods different?

Most cat foods have a similar selection of ingredients, indoor cat foods may be slightly more nutritious than a regular cat food, to ensure your feline gets the right vitamins and minerals. Protein is usually extremely high in indoor cat food, and you may find extra digestion helpers included within the food. Because cats indoors have a more leisurely lifestyle, they can struggle to process food easily without a little help.

Most cat foods have a similar selection of ingredients, indoor cat foods may be slightly more nutritious than a regular cat food, to ensure your feline gets the right vitamins and minerals. Protein is usually extremely high in indoor cat food, and you may find extra digestion helpers included within the food. Because cats indoors have a more leisurely lifestyle, they can struggle to process food easily without a little help.

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How much should I feed my indoor cat?

Finding exactly the right portion size for your indoor cat can be a little tricky. Most experts recommend speaking to your vet about how to choose the right portions. Most indoor cat foods will also come with some guidance on the box for how much your cat should eat. However, different kitties have different requirements. Be particularly cautious with portioning if you have a specific breed of cat more likely to grow large (like a Maine Coon).

How do I know if my indoor cat is getting fat?

A more sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest concerns facing indoor cats. It’s important to play with your cat regularly and keep them active, so they’re less likely to pack on the pounds. Your vet will be able to advise you on what to do if your cat starts to look a little too big.

Keep in mind, different cats are more likely to require higher amounts of calories. A 5-pound cat might be at a healthy weight if you’re raising a Siamese. On the other hand, Maine Coons can weigh anywhere up to 20 pounds, and they wouldn’t be classed as “obese”.

two cats sniffing around a bowl being handed to them by human

What to Look for in a Best Indoor Cat Food

Ideally, an indoor cat food diet will be a varied, well-balanced menu of foods, both wet and dry. The most attractive indoor cat foods are rich in protein but won’t necessarily include a lot of carbohydrates. Although vegetables and fruits aren’t necessary, a small amount may help your kitty to access more nutritional substances, vitamins, and minerals.

For specific breeds of cats, there’s a good chance you’ll need to look for specific ingredients, like higher amounts of taurine, or foods designed to reduce hairballs. If you have an exotic cat, rather than just a standard moggy, it’s worth talking to your vet about their suggestions for potential diets.

Some points to look out for include:

  • Animal protein: The majority of your cat’s calories should come from animal-based protein sources, including meat, and organs. Cats are obligate carnivores and simply won’t be able to thrive on a routine of eating vegetables and grains alone. Cats must get their protein intake from meat, so this should be the number one ingredient you look for.
  • Taurine: One of the most important compounds from animal protein, taurine cannot be found in plants. The substance is essential to protecting your cat and giving him or her the strength required to thrive in everyday life. A good regular dose of protein in your cat’s diet will help to prevent eye and heart problems, as well as issues with energy.
  • Water: This is something you’ll only really get in wet indoor cat foods, but it’s an important part of your cat’s diet. Cats generally don’t spend a lot of time drinking from bowls. Your feline friends will eat the majority of their water through moisture-rich protein and foods. If you’re feeding your kitty a mainly dry food diet, you’ll need to ensure you top this up with plenty of regular access to water.
  • Fats: While we usually avoid fats in our diets, they’re an important source of energy for cats, and a necessary part of their meals. Essential fats also include fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, which help the body heal and grow over time. Make sure there aren’t too many fats in your cat’s foods unless they get plenty of exercise.
  • Fiber: A small amount of fiber is often a good option for pet parents seeking the right indoor cat food. While most cat foods don’t need a lot of excess fiber, an indoor cat could benefit from additional support for its digestive system.
tabby cat eating dry indoor cat food

Our 7 Best Indoor Cat Food Picks

Now that we’ve covered some of the most important features to look for in indoor cat food, let’s start exploring some of the most effective options on the market. We chose these indoor cat foods for their excellent nutritional structure, and their ability to support cat health.

1. Hill's Science Diet Adult Indoor Cat Food, Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food, 7 lb Bag - Best Overall Indoor Cat Food

One of the most highly commended names in the cat food world, Hill’s Science is best-known for creating amazing-quality cat foods for all kinds of felines. This Hill’s Science cat food is specially made for indoor cats. The indoor cat food is formulated specially to fuel the needs of adult cats without the most active lifestyle. The natural fibers help to promote healthy digestion too, which means you shouldn’t have to dread cleaning out the litter box as often. 

With protein as the number one ingredient, Hill’s Science dry indoor cat food will support your kitty’s energy levels and keep them feeling their best. The fiber also helps to reduce the need for snacking in between meals, which should help with weight control.

Hill's Science Diet Adult Indoor Cat Food, Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food, 7 lb. Bag


  • All natural ingredients made in the USA
  • Vet recommended with high-quality protein
  • Good for weight, and hairball management thanks to natural fiber
  • Excellent for indoor cats with limited exercise options
  • Easy to digest kibble


  • Only one flavor available

2. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food - Best Weight Control Indoor Cat Food

Affordable and effective, the IAMS Proactive health cat food tackles two issues with one meal. This indoor cat food will help to maintain your cat’s weight, and prevent overeating, while simultaneously minimizing hairballs. The food, available in both chicken and salmon flavors, comes with animal protein as the number one ingredient to support healthy muscles for your cat. 

The IAMs solution comes with L-carnitine for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and extra fiber prevents hairballs by keeping the digestive system working perfectly. The high-quality protein in this dry cat food is great for your kitty, and you can benefit from 10% less fat than alternative cat foods too. There’s even Omega 3 and 6 acids included.

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Indoor Weight Control & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food with Chicken & Turkey Cat Kibble, 22 lb. Bag


  • Fortified with Omega fatty acids
  • High-quality protein with 10% less fat than IAMS adult
  • Controls weight and reduces hairballs
  • Burns fat and maintains healthy metabolism
  • Protein as the number one ingredient


  • Not the best at eliminating hairballs

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

One of the better wet indoor cat food on our list for the top indoor cat foods, the Wellness CORE grain-free cat food is delicious, easy to eat, and ideal for indoor cats. With protein as the number one ingredient, you know your kitty is getting the ingredients necessary for strong, healthy muscles. Superior ingredients include lean meats, fruits, and healthy fats to keep your cat in great condition too. 

With less fat, to help keep your kitty lean, the Wellness CORE cat food also has the added benefit of offering plenty of access to healthy hydration for your furry friend. The recipes in this cat food come from passionate nutrition experts, and you can even choose from a range of flavors, to ensure your cat doesn’t get bored.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Cat Food, Natural Canned Food for Cats, (Indoor, Chicken, 3 oz Cans, Pack of 12)


  • High-quality wet cat food with lots of moisture
  • Superior ingredients, including lean meat and animal protein
  • Fortified with nutrition for healthy skin and fur
  • Range of great flavors
  • Urinary health support included


  • Quite a small packet
  • Strong smell

4. Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food - Best Amazon Rated Indoor Cat Food

The Purina ONE Indoor advantage indoor cat food can tackle a range of issues quickly and conveniently for your cat. This impressive product can help with everything from weight control to hairball management, while keeping your indoor kitty as healthy as possible. The number one ingredient of this food is real turkey, so you know you’re getting the right dose of protein.

The Purina ONE antioxidant blend means you can get all kinds of immune system support for your cat too, which is great if you’re worried about any potential ailments. The well-formulated cat food has excellent reviews on Amazon, and promotes a stronger, healthier heart for your cat too.

Purina ONE Natural, Low Fat, Weight Control, Indoor Dry Cat Food, +Plus Indoor Advantage - 16 lb. Bag


  • Supports a healthy heart and strong muscles
  • Minimizes hairballs
  • Helps promote a strong immune system
  • Natural fiber blend for digestion
  • Real turkey as number 1 ingredient


  • Can go stale quite quickly

5. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Indoor Wet Cat Food Pate & Flaked - Best Wet Indoor Cat Food

Like most high-quality indoor cat foods, the Blue Buffalo Freedom grain food features protein as its number one ingredient, in the form of real chicken. There are also many extra fruits and vegetables placed into the mixture to give your cat access to crucial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The pate-style food is wonderfully easy to eat for cats of all ages, and you can rest assured that the locally sourced ingredients are always excellent quality.

Completely wheat-free, the Blue Buffalo cat food has no by-products and extras to worry about. There aren’t any artificial flavors or preservatives, but this also means the food may not last long after you put it out. The pate is available in both fish and chicken versions.

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Cat Food, Chicken & Rice Recipe, 7 lb Bag


  • No Glutens
  • Natural ingredients selected by animal nutritionists
  • Zero meat by-products
  • Useful for managing tooth plaque


  • Low carbohydrate content
  •  Some cats find the smell off-putting
  • Can be difficult to digest for cats with sensitive stomachs

6. Purina Cat Chow Hairball, Healthy Weight, Indoor, Natural Dry Cat Food, Naturals Indoor - Best Furball Control Indoor Cat Food

Many of the top indoor cat foods focus on addressing specific problems indoor cats might have, like hairballs. The Purina cat chow hairball mixture specifically supports indoor cats by giving them the fiber they need to process food correctly. Aside from handling furballs, the Purina Cat Chow mix also comes with ingredients to support a healthier weight, such as high protein and low fats. Real chicken is the number one ingredient, and there’s turkey included too. 

For extra peace of mind, Purina ensures there are no artificial flavors or preservatives included with their dry indoor cat food. The mix comes with access to omega fatty acids for improved skin and hair health, and you can rest assured your cat is getting full and balanced nutrition here.

Purina Cat Chow Hairball, Healthy Weight, Indoor, Natural Dry Cat Food, Naturals Indoor - 13 lb. Bag


  • Great for reducing furballs with fiber
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Excellent access to vitamins
  • Suitable for weight management
  • Complete dry cat food


  • Not completely grain-free

7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food, Chicken - Best Dry Indoor Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness cat food is a fantastic choice for indoor cats. Free from grain and packed with real chicken, this comprehensive dry food will help cats to maintain and build lean muscle mass, while keeping fat levels low. The Blue Buffalo Wilderness cat food comes with special “Life Source” bits, which include vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants chosen by veterinarians. 

Completely natural, this Blue Buffalo cat food includes only the finest natural ingredients, with no artificial preservatives or flavors, no by-products or unnecessary carbs. Though a little more expensive than some alternative cat food options, Blue Buffalo does offer good value.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food, Chicken 11-lb


  • Real chicken is the number one ingredient
  • Totally grain free and free from artificial substances
  • LifeSource bits for extra vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • All natural and high-quality ingredients
  • Available in a range of bag sizes


  • Can be a little costly

Best Indoor Cat Food: Final Verdict

Finding the best food for your indoor cat is likely to be a personal journey for you and your feline. You’ll need to consider the specific needs of your kitty, as well as things like budget and portioning. For value and quality, we prefer the Hill’s Science Diet Adult indoor cat food. This amazing recipe is a huge hit with cats and comes with everything your feline needs to stay fit and healthy. You can even combine your indoor cat food from Hill’s Science with an accompanying wet food

Good luck finding the indoor cat food perfect for your indoor kitty.

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About the author

Rebekah Carter is a dedicated animal lover. Her Savannah cat, Roscoe, has a lot of attitude, while her Maine Coon, Dukino, is full of love. When not writing, she’s looking after her cats and researching ways to help them live their best possible life. Her passion for animals and natural skill for writing led her to pursue pet blogging.