The Best Cat Foods for Indoor Cats

If you have an indoor cat, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make sure he is healthy and enjoying life. Your home is probably littered with cat toys, you always keep the best cat treats on hand, and more than likely, there is a dedicated place where he sleeps. It’s no different when it comes to choosing what to feed your indoor cat, but the options can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of types of cat food and each one claims to be the best for a variety of reasons. If your cat is an indoor cat, his nutritional needs are different than that of an outdoor cat, which necessitates that you purchase food made with his specific needs in mind.

We reviewed dozens of cat foods for indoor cats to identify the best of the best. We looked at nutritional information, ingredients, common cat problems such as hairballs the foods could help clear up, dry versus wet food, and more. After all of our research, we narrowed our picks to the top 25 cat foods for indoor cats.

Top Pick
Buy Now
Purina Beyond Grain Free

The natural choice to meet your indoor cat’s nutritional needs.

buy now
$18.99 USD

We’ve identified Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Adult Dry Cat Food as the best available cat food for indoor cats. With recognizable ingredients, the first being salmon, you can feel good about feeding your indoor cat this protein-rich cat food that’s specially formulated to help maintain your indoor cat’s healthy weight.

The 5 Top-Rated Cat Foods for Indoor Cats

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallPurina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Adult Dry Cat Food4.5
Runner UpNutro Max Indoor Cat Adult Dry Cat Food4.4
Best Budget Buy9Lives Dry Cat Food4.4
Best Wet Cat Food for Indoor CatsPurina Friskies Indoor Adult Wet Cat Food4.2
Best Hairball Control Cat Food for Indoor CatsIAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Care Dry Cat Food4.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Adult Dry Cat Food

Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Adult Dry Cat Food has been formulated with your indoor cat’s unique nutritional needs in mind. Ingredients are real, recognizable foods, including salmon, egg, and sweet potato. This food is protein-rich and grain-free and contains natural fiber and antioxidants to aid in digestion and support a healthy immune system. It has 10% less fat than the white meat chicken and whole oatmeal variety to support a healthy indoor weight. It also contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, so you can feel good knowing you’re giving your indoor cat the healthy nutrition she needs.

With over 1200 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, this indoor cat food was an easy choice for our top pick. If you want the best for your cat, look no further than Purina Beyond.

Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Adult Dry Cat Food Key Features:

  • Grain-free and protein-rich.
  • Specially formulated for indoor cats.
  • Contains real, recognizable ingredients, such as salmon, egg, and sweet potato.
  • Contains natural fiber and antioxidants.
  • Aids in digestion and supports a healthy immune system.
  • Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Our Runner Up Pick: Nutro Max Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

Runner Up
Buy Now
Nutro Max Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

Indoor cat food for your cat’s total health.

buy now
$26.99 USD

Nutro Max Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food was a very close second to our top pick. It is made with all the nutritional benefits you look for when purchasing food for your indoor cat. Made with high-quality ingredients, it provides antioxidants for a healthy immune system that boosts your cat’s vision and heart function, fiber to aid in digestion and the passing of hairballs, and omega fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin.

With over 800 reviews and a 4.4 star rating, Nutro Max Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food is an excellent choice to meet the nutritional needs of your indoor cat. 

Nutro Max Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food Key Features:

  • Made with high-quality ingredients.
  • Contains omega fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin.
  • A blend of antioxidants contribute to a healthy immune system and are essential to your cat’s vision and heart function.
  • Easily digestible, fiber-rich ingredients aid in digestive health and help with hairball management.
  • Contains no artificial preservatives or flavors.

Best Budget Pick: 9Lives Dry Cat Food

Best for Budget
Buy Now
9Lives Dry Cat Food

Nutritionally complete indoor cat food at a price point you can afford.

buy now
$12.98 USD

Specially formulated to provide complete nutrition for indoor cats, 9Lives Dry Cat Food earned the Best Budget Pick. With a targeted nutrient system full of essential vitamins to keep your cat healthy and at his ideal weight, this cat food is a great choice for those on a budget. 

With a 4.4 star rating and over 1000 reviews, 9Lives Dry Cat Food offers balanced nutrition for your indoor cat for under 70 cents a pound. It’s a great choice for the cat owner who wants to stretch their dollar.

9Lives Dry Cat Food Key Features: 

  • Specially formulated to provide complete nutrition for indoor cats.
  • Contains essential vitamins to keep your cat healthy.
  • Provides balanced nutrition.
  • Affordable price point.

Best Wet Cat Food for Indoor Cats: Purina Friskies Indoor Adult Wet Cat Food

Best Wet Cat Food for Indoor Cats
Buy Now
Purina Friskies Indoor Adult Wet Cat Food

Balanced nutrition with the taste cats love.

buy now
$13.99 USD

Whether simply for preference or due to dietary or health concerns, if you feed your cat wet cat food, we recommend Purina Friskies Indoor Adult Wet Cat Food. Its blend of ingredients features flaked ocean white fish that is full of high-quality protein. Rice, garden greens, and gravy finish off the food, making it a complete and balanced meal for your indoor cat.

With nearly 700 reviews and a 4.2 star rating, this wet cat food was the best of the best out of all the wet cat foods we reviewed. 

Purina Friskies Indoor Adult Wet Cat Food Key Features:

  • Made with protein-rich ocean white fish.
  • Offers complete and balanced nutrition for indoor cats.
  • Has a taste that cats love.

Best Hairball Control Cat Food for Indoor Cats: IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

Best Hairball Control Cat Food for Indoor Cats
Buy Now
IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

Reduce hairballs with the proprietary blend of fibers in this cat food.

buy now
$13.99 USD

If your cat struggles with hairballs, IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Care Dry Cat Food is the best choice for you. Its proprietary blend of fiber-rich prebiotics and beet pulp helps reduce hairballs before they start. It also features protein-rich chicken to improve health and strength and amino acids to aid in weight loss and maintenance.

With 500 reviews and 4.4 stars this hairball control cat food for indoor cats is the best of the best.

IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Care Dry Cat Food Key Features:

  • Protein-rich chicken improves the health and strength of your cat.
  • Proprietary blend of fiber-rich prebiotics and beet pulp helps reduce hairballs.
  • Amino acids help your cat maintain a healthy weight.

Who Should Buy Cat Food for Indoor Cats

While the simple answer is obvious- anyone who has an indoor cat should buy cat food for indoor cats- the reasoning may not be quite so clear. Why do indoor cats need special food? Isn’t all cat food basically the same?  

If you think about how indoor cats spend their time versus how outdoor cats spend their time, it becomes a bit more clear. Indoor cats do not usually get as much exercise as outdoor cats. They therefore need a lower calorie food option to maintain their proper weight. Furthermore, indoor cats tend to have more trouble with hairballs and many indoor formulations of cat food offer hairball control.

Top Pick
Buy Now
Purina Beyond Grain Free

The natural choice to meet your indoor cat’s nutritional needs.

buy now
$18.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

A cat food for indoor cats should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting cat food:

  • It should be protein-rich. Cats need protein to maintain a healthy life. Protein from natural sources, like salmon or chicken, is the best bet when choosing a cat food.
  • It should be fiber-rich. Fiber-rich cat food aids in digestion, helping both with hairball and weight control, which are two areas where indoor cats often need help.
  • It should provide for your cat’s specific health needs. If your cat has constant trouble with hairballs or needs to lose weight, look for a cat food that is specially formulated to meet those needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is indoor cat food different?

The main difference between indoor cat food and regular cat food is that indoor cat food is specially formulated to have fewer calories than regular cat food. Indoor cats tend to be more sedentary and thus need fewer calories than cats that regularly go outdoors. Some indoor cat food is also specially formulated to help with the health problems, such as hairballs, that indoor cats often encounter.

How much should you feed an indoor cat?

There is not one right answer to this question because the answer for your particular cat depends on a number of factors. Some of these factors include your cat’s size, age, and the amount of exercise it gets. To further confuse things, different cat foods have different caloric totals, so the amount you might feed your cat of one brand could be completely different than the right amount in another brand.

Your best bet is to check the label on the food you purchase. Most cat food labels include a serving size guide. Although it provides a range, it gives you somewhere to start. For the most accurate answer, we recommend checking with your veterinarian. 

Do indoor cats need wet food?

Although there are differing opinions on whether indoor cats need wet food or are fine with only dry food, the general consensus is that while indoor cats can be just as healthy eating only dry food, there are benefits to including wet food in their diet.

The main benefit of wet food is that it provides the water content that dry food doesn’t. However, if you provide your cat with plenty of fresh water to drink, she should be able to get what she needs from drinking instead of eating. The other benefit of wet food is that cats often prefer the taste. If you have a picky eater that isn’t getting enough to eat because she refuses dry food, adding wet food to the mix can help.

How many calories do indoor cats need?

Just as the amount you feed your cat depends on a number of factors, so too does the amount of calories your indoor cat needs. On average, a cat needs about 20 calories per pound, but this can vary based on if your cat is over or under weight, how active your cat is, and what your cat’s metabolism is like.

Other Cat Foods for Indoor Cats We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Purina Beyond Grain Free

The natural choice to meet your indoor cat’s nutritional needs.

buy now
$18.99 USD

We looked at 20 other cat foods for indoor cats. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat foods for indoor cats list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Dry Indoor Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

blue buffalo indoor hairball and weight control natural adult dry cat food

If your cat has trouble with hairballs or needs to slim down a bit, this Blue Buffalo blend is the perfect choice.

Key Features:

  • Real meat is always the first ingredient
  • A blend of fiber sources helps control hairballs
  • An optimal combination of protein and calories helps your cat achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Supports immune health and strong muscle growth

Cost: $22

Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

blue buffalo indoor health natural adult dry cat food

For natural nutrition with just the right blend of ingredients, vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants, Blue Buffalo’s indoor cat food is a great choice.

Key Features:

  • Real meat is always the first ingredient
  • Contains high-quality proteins and wholesome whole grains, fruits, and veggies
  • Omega fatty acids maintain your cat’s shiny coat and healthy skin
  • Exclusive blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals enhances immune system health
  • Contains no by-products, preservatives, or artificial flavors

Cost: $34

Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Cat Food

diamond naturals real meat recipe high protein dry cat food

For a high quality cat food made with sustainably sourced ingredients and no fillers, Diamond Naturals is the go-to choice.

Key Features:

  • Quality protein comes from cage free chickens
  • Amino acids help build lean, strong muscles
  • No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or fillers
  • Easily digestible prebiotic fibers promote a healthy GI tract

Cost: $26

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food

hill's science diet dry cat food

Specially formulated to meet the needs of indoor cats, Hill’s Science cat food is sure to please both you and your cat.

Key Features:

  • Promotes healthy digestion with natural fibers
  • Uses quality proteins
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Supports healthy coat, skin, and stool

Cost: $35

Meow Mix Dry Cat Food Indoor Health

meow mix indoor health dry cat food

Specially formulated to help maintain your indoor cat’s healthy weight, Meow Mix’s cat food provides complete and balanced nutrition for indoor cats.

Key Features:

  • Specially formulated to help your indoor cat maintain a healthy weight
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition
  • Provides essential vitamins and minerals
  • Has an irresistible taste

Cost: $11

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Adult Cat Food

nutro wholesome essentials indoor adult natural dry cat food

If a fully natural cat food is high on your list of priorities, look no further than Nutro. This all-natural, non-GMO cat food will meet all your requirements.

Key Features:

  • Rich in nutrients
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients
  • Sourced from trusted farmers and suppliers
  • Supports healthy digestion, skin, and coat

Cost: $32

Purina Cat Chow Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

purina cat chow hairball, healthy weight, indoor dry cat food

This specially formulated indoor cat food provides complete nutrition and helps cats with hairball and weight control problems.

Key Features:

  • Complete and balanced nutrition for indoor cats
  • Contains all 25 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Includes fiber to help with hairball control
  • Provides the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight

Cost: $23

Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Natural Dry Cat Food

rachel ray nutrish indoor complete natural dry cat food

With a superfood blend designed especially for indoor cats, Rachael Ray’s cat food offers balanced nutrition to meet your cat’s needs.

Key Features:

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Ingredients support healthy weight, metabolism, digestion, and immunity
  • Includes natural fibers, prebiotics, and antioxidants
  • A portion of sales help animals in need

Cost: $20

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

royal canin feline health nutrition indoor adult dry cat food

For an indoor cat food that provides the nutrition your cat needs along with hairball control, weight management, and oral health, look no further than this one from Royal Canin.

Key Features:

  • Formulated for healthy indoor cats from 1-7 years old
  • Contains highly-digestible proteins to increase nutrient absorption
  • Optimal blend of fibers reduces hairball problems
  • Promotes oral health

Cost: $16

Wet Indoor Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food

blue buffalo healthy gourmet natural adult pate wet cat food

The natural choice for cats who prefer wet cat food and need the complete nutrition of an indoor cat food.

Key Features:

  • Contains protein-rich salmon
  • Includes healthy vegetables and antioxidant-rich fruits
  • No by-products
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cost: $25

Halo Grain Free Indoor Wet Cat Food

halo grain free natural wet cat food

This grain-free wet cat food provides the protein and nutrients your cat needs with the added benefit of the extra hydration he may be missing.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free
  • Made with real, whole chicken and no by-products
  • Contains omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cost: $20

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food

hill's science diet wet cat food

Made with high-quality protein from responsibly sourced ingredients, you’ll feel good feeding this wet cat food to your indoor cat.

Key Features:

  • Contains high-quality protein
  • Delivers precise nutrition to support healthy skin, coat, and stool
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Irresistible flavors your cat will love

Cost: $30

IAMS Perfect PORTIONS Grain Free Wet Cat Food Pate

iams perfect portions grain free wet cat food pate for indoor cats

Take the guesswork out of how much to feed your cat with these perfectly portioned meals from IAMS. Each pack contains two perfectly portioned meals of wet cat food pate.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free
  • Perfectly portioned so no measuring is needed
  • Formulated for indoor cats
  • Complete and balanced nutrition to support a healthy immune system and digestion

Cost: $22

Purina Friskies Indoor Adult Wet Cat Food Variety Pack

purina friskies indoor wet cat food variety pack

Keep your cat interested in eating with this flavorful variety pack of wet food for indoor cats.

Key Features:

  • Specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of indoor cats
  • Made with real poultry or seafood
  • Moist and tender
  • Comes in three delicious flavors

Cost: $12

Grain-Free Indoor Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

blue buffalo freedom grain free natural indoor adult dry cat food

Made with high-quality ingredients and Blue Buffalo’s exclusive blend of Lifesource Bits, you’ll feel good about feeding your cat this grain-free food.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains no by-products
  • Lifesource Bits support immune health and life stage requirements

Cost: $34

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food

blue buffalo wilderness high protein grain free natural adult indoor dry cat food

This grain-free cat food is packed with protein instead of gluten to promote a healthy life for indoor cats.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free
  • Packed with real, high protein chicken
  • Supports healthy weight and digestion
  • Includes a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support a healthy immune system

Cost: $36

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food

crave grain free with protein dry indoor adult cat food

For a complete and balanced diet your cat needs, CRAVE offers a grain-free food your cat will love.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free
  • High in protein from real chicken and salmon
  • Contains no by-products
  • Essential nutrients aid in digestion, muscle development, and healthy immune systems

Cost: $31

Halo Spot’s Stew Cat Formula Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe

Halo grain free natural dry cat food

With animals raised without antibiotics and non-GMO vegetables, this cat food from Halo is a healthy choice for your indoor cat.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free
  • Contains real whole chicken with no fillers
  • Made with animals raised without antibiotics and non-GMO vegetables 
  • Reduced calories and fat promote a healthy weight

Cost: $28

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food Indoor Formula

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats

This limited ingredient, grain-free cat food ensures your cat gets only the best and only what she needs. 

Key Features:

  • 100% grain-free
  • Salmon is the number one ingredient and the only protein source
  • Prebiotic fibers aid in healthy digestion
  • Lean formula supports a healthy weight
  • Omega fatty acids improve skin and coat health

Cost: $30

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Cat Food

wellness core natural grain free dry cat food

This grain-free blend provides complete, balanced nutrition for your indoor cat.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free
  • All-natural ingredients with no fillers
  • Protein-rich indoor formula has less fat to meet an indoor cats needs
  • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Cost: $41

Products You May Be Interested In:

Lauren Cormier