It is crucially important that owners realise the nutritional needs of an indoor cat are quite different to one with outdoor access.
There are several considerations when it comes to their diet, including calorie content, mineral content and protein levels that should not be overlooked.
Providing your loved ones with the best dry cat foods for indoor cats can prevent the occurrence of several health conditions, including obesity, urinary stone formation and diabetes.
In this article, we’re going to review the following dry cat foods for indoor cats:
- Royal Canin Indoor 27 Complete Cat Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Adult Cat Food
- Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Dry Cat Food
- IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Cat Food
- Hill’s C/D Urinary Care
Indeed, feeding an indoor cat an inappropriate diet that is rich in carbohydrates and high in calories will likely result in a poorer quality of life and a reduced lifespan.
The feeding of dry food offers several benefits, including improved dental health and less mess around the house and on the fur of longhaired cats.
For cats with increased hydration demands, such as those with ongoing urinary issues or kidney disease, it may be necessary to supplement their dry kibble with canned food or to add water to the dry biscuits.
Alternatively, a cat’s water intake can be increased by ensuring they always have fresh, palatable water on offer and through the use of items such as automatic water fountains.
As many cats prefer the taste and texture of canned food to dry kibble, it’s essential that the dry food offered to them be highly palatable and easy to eat.
When introducing a new diet, the food should be introduced over the course of several days, as to suddenly feed a brand-new diet will likely result in gastrointestinal upset.
For particularly sensitive cats, the whole process may take a week.
It is always advisable when feeding a kibble diet to weigh out the portion on offer before each meal using a kitchen scales.
Even the use of measuring cups can result in inaccurate results.
Even worse, is the ‘eyeballing’ approach; simply guessing how much to give when pouring the food into the bowl.
Failing to correctly measure out the amount fed each time will potentially result in obesity as dry kibble is so calorie dense that feeding even a few extra biscuits each day could result in significant weight gain over time.
The 5 Best Dry Cat Foods for Indoor Cats Reviews
1. Royal Canin Indoor Complete Cat Food
Recognised by many in the veterinary industry as the best dry cat food for indoor cats that is out there right now, Royal Canin Indoor 27 is specifically tailored to meet the needs of adult indoor cats aged between one and seven.
This dry kibble has a moderate calorie content, recognising the need to not over-feed indoor cats who will inevitably be less active than their adventurous outdoor counterparts.
The average 4kg cat requires just 56g of this food, which may be split into two 28g meals in a day or can be left down for the cat to graze feed from.
This is the ideal feeding option for cats who leave ‘smelly presents’ in the litter tray.
It is well-known that less active cats tend to have slower gut transit times, resulting in worse smelling poops.
Royal Canin have worked hard to combat this issue by using only highly digestible protein which should help to reduce both the amount of poop produced and the associated bad smell.
On top of regulating stool quality, this food helps to prevent fur balls; another of those ‘delightful’ gifts our furry friends like to leave for us to pick up.
The specific fibre content and addition of an ingredient called psyllium ensures that fur ball production is kept to a minimum; something which benefits both owners and pets alike!
As well as feeding this diet, owners can reduce the occurrence of fur balls by regularly grooming medium to longhaired cats at least once a day.
With ingredients including rice, maize and wheat, this diet is not suited to those felines with pre-existing food allergies, who should instead be fed on a specific hypoallergenic diet.
However, for the typical cat this is an easily digested and well-tolerated cat food.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Adult Cat Food
Aimed at adult cats aged between one and six, this dry food diet from Hill’s is thought of by many owners as the best indoor dry cat food and is a real hit in the moggy world.
Cats go wild for the meaty taste with chicken being the first ingredient on the list.
This high-quality protein allows for the maintenance of lean muscle and prevents obesity.
The easy-to-digest ingredients such as the chicken, beet pulp, chicken liver and whole grain wheat are well-digested by most and should mean that the litter tray contents are solid and easy to pick up and dispose of.
Packed with anti-oxidants form natural ingredients such as apples, cranberries, carrots and broccoli, your kitty’s immune system is supported, keeping them safe and healthy.
While this diet is free from any added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives it does contain the likes of pork fat, soybean oil and corn gluten meal so may not be a good option for a cat that suffers with food allergies
Thankfully, the incidence of true food allergies in the feline world is relatively low so this diet is suitable for the vast majority.
A diet that is low in calories as well as fat, Hill’s have allowed for the reduced activity levels of indoor kitties when designing this product.
Even the most playful indoor cats will burn less calories than the average outdoor cat, who spends a lot of their time on the go, hunting and prowling.
As well as providing a low-calorie diet, owners of indoor cats can reduce the likelihood of them becoming overweight as they age by increasing their activity levels.
Hiding their dry food around the house is a great way of getting them to move and also provides them with a fun and stimulating game, allowing them to use their natural scenting ability.
3. Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Dry Cat Food
Blue Buffalo are well-liked for the healthy pet food that they create and their delicious ‘LifeSource Bits’ which add texture and flavour to their diets, making them some of the most popular on the market.
Their LifeSource Bits are unique; a nutritious and anti-oxidant rich combination of vitamins and minerals which maintain a healthy oxidative balance and support a functioning immune system.
The added omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are beneficial to both fur and skin health and can reduce the incidence of skin irritation or infection.
They help to create a sleek and glossy coat, preventing dandruff or dry, lacklustre fur.
Owners should also groom their cats daily to assist in the spread of the natural oils produced.
The calories within this diet are carefully balanced and come from high-quality ingredients to ensure your cat puts on lean muscle rather than fat deposits.
A quality product, Blue Buffalo refrain from using any poultry by-product meal, instead using deboned chicken as the first ingredient.
With other ingredients including wholesome and nourishing foods such as brown rice, peas, sweet potato and parsley you can be happy that you are providing your cat the best.
As with other dry diets, this food is low in moisture (only 9%), so owners must ensure their cat stays hydrated through the provision of water sources.
4. Iams Proactive Health Indoor Cat
A popular and inexpensive pet food brand, Iams have produced this indoor cat food which helps to regulate weight and reduce fur ball production.
The fibre blend with added beet pulp helps to reduce fur ball production by preventing their formation in the first place.
This is not only important because coughing up a fur ball is unpleasant but also because fur balls have the potential to cause serious health problems such as gut impactions.
Iams have added L-carnitine to their formulation, a naturally occurring amino acid that may help obese cats to lose weight or healthy cats to maintain lean mass.
In humans, this ingredient is often touted as a weight loss supplement.
This product also contains 10% less fat than their ‘Healthy Adult Original’ food, allowing for the decreased calorie consumption of indoor cats.
The added rosemary extract is a powerful antioxidant and recent studies have indicated that rosemary may even have cancer preventing benefits.
Chicken is the first ingredient listed and this diet also contains delicious turkey and garden greens, ensuring carnivorous cats will love the flavour.
For those who initially seem unsure of their new diet, consider adding a few tablespoons of warm water to the bowl, which will create a tasty gravy and help to release the natural aromas and tastes of the meal.
Adding water can also prevent dehydration and aid in the flushing of the urinary tract.
Owners should be aware, however, that by softening the kibble any of the dental benefits are no longer provided as the food loses its ‘crunch’.
5. Hill’s C/D Urinary Care
Our final dry food diet is specifically targeted at those indoor cats who are prone to lower urinary tract disease.
A prescription diet, owners should always consult with their vet before starting their cat on C/D.
It is the sad truth that indoor cats are far more likely to suffer from Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) than outdoor cats and can suffer from chronic recurrences of painful cystitis and even the dreaded ‘blocked bladder’.
While there are a number of things that can be done to maintain a healthy urinary tract, such as reducing stress levels within the home and increasing your cats water intake, providing them with a tailored diet is one of the easiest and best things that we can do to care for their urinary health.
Amazingly, Hill’s claim that using this diet can reduce the risk of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis by a staggering 89%.
Many diets have an excess mineral content which can lead to the formation of crystals and stones, which is why the mineral content within C/D is closely regulated.
Not only can this diet prevent crystal formation, it actually has the potential to dissolve stones that have already formed.
As well as limiting potentially harmful ingredients, Hill’s add items such as L-tryptophan and milk protein hydrolysate to control stress levels (a well-known risk factor for urinary issues).
Unlike many other urinary diets, Hill’s C/D is appropriate for long-term feeding and is safe to use in multi-cat households.
A 4kg cat requires around 60g of this dry food each day, though this does depend on their age and activity levels.
Many owners will opt to feed C/D dry alongside C/D wet pouches, which is a great way to improve hydration.
Feeding one 85g pouch reduces the amount of kibble needed to just 40g.
The specific dietary needs of indoor cats are often overlooked by owners but need to be addressed in order to combat and prevent a long list of health issues.
The best dry foods for indoor cats will have the ability to prevent a long list of conditions including obesity and Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.
Dry foods are not only easy to store, measure out and clean up after, but they also prevent dental decay when fed long-term.
Many cats prefer the texture of dry kibble and will refuse any wet food offered.
For others, they enjoy having some canned food mixed in with their kibble, though owners must be cautious to not over-feed when this is done and should check the manufacturer’s guidelines for mixed feeding.
Many pet cats like the option to nibble and graze, returning to their food when they desire.
This is a natural way for them to eat and can even reduce the risk of obesity.
While it is fine to leave the dry kibble down in a bowl, it is worth switching it up from time to time and hiding some of the meal around the home.
Cats enjoy searching for their kibble, sniffing it out and acting like the ‘hunters’ they are at heart.
This fun game helps to burn off the calories and provides good mental stimulation.