- This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Your indoor cat is safe from the dangers of traffic, predators, and potentially toxic plants, but they still face the challenge of keeping their weight in check. An outdoor cat can easily trek over a mile a day to burn calories! So even if your indoor kitty has great workout equipment (including a cat tree and cat toys), they most likely have a much slower metabolism than their risk-taking cousins outdoors. Keep them trim and healthy with an indoor cat food that is specifically designed for their lifestyle.
Why Special Food for Indoor Cats?
A key component in cat wellness is maintaining the proper weight. Though an indoor cat and outdoor cat will have similar basic nutritional needs, their activity levels will likely be quite different—which means they’ll burn calories differently. A cat food made for indoor cats will usually have fewer calories per serving than outdoor cat food. It might also have a higher fiber content to help offset an indoor cat’s tendency to experience more frequent hairballs than their outdoor counterparts.
The back of your indoor cat’s food bag will offer a guide to how much you should feed based on your cat’s ideal weight, but it will typically be a range—which means you’ll want to check your cat’s weight periodically. If they’re a little heavy, scale back your cat’s portions toward the smaller end of the range. If they’re a little underweight, move toward the end of the spectrum.
Your vet is a great resource help you figure out the best daily calorie intake for your kitty based on current body conditions, breed, and age.
Fortunately, most of the major cat food brands offer a tempting variety of professionally formulated cat foods to keep your indoor cat satisfied and healthy. These include wet foods, dry foods, grain-free foods, and even limited-ingredient diets.
How to Transition Your Indoor Cat to New Food
Making adjustments to the food your indoor cat eats is important for their health and wellness. It’s great to switch them to an indoor cat food, but be cautious about suddenly presenting them with an all-new diet. Cats are suspicious of change—plus, sudden dietary changes can upset your cat’s stomach. The experts recommend shifting them to the new food slowly over the course of one to two weeks. Start by mixing just a quarter portion of the new food into your cat’s current diet, then slowly increase the amount of new food in the mix as your kitty adjusts.
Try One of These Top-Rated Indoor Cat Foods
According to online reviews—and our own very picky indoor kitties—these are some of the best indoor cat foods on the market.
This chicken and turkey dry food recipe is crafted for indoor cats who need to watch their weight. Will your kitty take to it? Try a 3.5-pound bag to find out. If this food (which includes beet pulp to reduce hairballs) is a hit, you can purchase the kibble in sizes as large as 22 pounds.
Hill’s is known for foods that are customized for different life stages, breeds, and lifestyles. This chicken-based dry food is for adult cats (ages 1 to 6) living indoors. This kibble, made in the U.S., has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
This dry food is formulated with fresh salmon as the main ingredient and several supplemental proteins, including salmon meal, turkey meal, and ocean fish meal. A delicious blend of superfood ingredients delivers balanced nutrition while pre- and probiotics support healthy digestion. This recipe also contains added fiber to help with hairball prevention in indoor cats.
Packed with protein from chicken and salmon, this dry food is completely free from corn, wheat, soy, and animal by-product meals. It is a grain-free recipe formulated to support a lean, healthy body type in indoor cats as well as the energy to play. It also has a rich flavor and crunchy texture that cats love.
With deboned chicken, chicken meal, and herring meal as the top three ingredients, this dry food contains plenty of species-appropriate protein. This formula contains 65% small prey ingredients, including chicken cartilage and organ meats to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. It also offers a balanced calorie content to support your indoor cat’s healthy weight and lean body composition. This healthy food is a Petco Pick!
This affordable dry food is designed for indoor cats and is excellent for the less-active adult kitty. Chicken, lentils, and salmon head up the recipe, along with pumpkin, dandelion greens, berries, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. If you want to try it out, they have a 3-pound bag; it’s also available in 6- and 14-pound sizes.
This limited-ingredient food for indoor cats is rich in protein from fish, with easy-to-digest carbs from potatoes. It includes LifeSource Bits—the company’s combination of selected antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins necessary for feline health.
If you’re looking for a premium option, this indoor recipe from Halo is a great choice. Packed with animal-based protein from chicken and chicken liver, this formula supports lean muscle maintenance and is highly digestible. It’s made with holistic natural ingredients and is completely free from fillers, animal by-products, and artificial additives.
A healthy, holistic recipe featuring chicken as the main ingredient, this indoor cat formula also contains a blend of natural fibers to prevent hairballs and support regular digestion. Contains no grain, gluten, by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Note that there is also a version of this recipe for mature (senior) indoor cats.
This premium indoor cat food is a favorite at our house! Try out a 2-pound bag of these easy-to-chew tiny bits. This high-protein, low-carb recipe is 82 percent animal-based proteins (including deboned duck, chicken meal, turkey meal, and deboned cod). It also includes lentils, dried chicory root, and dried kelp, along with vitamin C and vitamin E.
Consider a Cat Food Delivery Service
Not seeing what you’re looking for here? Some cat parents have had success with subscription or delivery cat food services, which send packages of fresh, freeze-dried, or wet food straight to your door on a weekly or monthly basis. There’s a wealth of delivery services out there to choose from and a wide variety of recipes. One especially popular subscription is Smalls, which Rover kitties personally checked out and gave two paws up.Shop Smalls Cat Food