Many cat owners keep their cats inside, which is the safest situation for them. But indoor cats are susceptible to potential weight gain and hairball issues. A cat food with the right balance of fats, proteins, calories, and fibre is crucial for these cats.
You want your cat to stay healthy but also enjoy eating the food that you’ve chosen. So, we picked 10 different cat foods available to Canadians that have been formulated specifically for your indoor-only cat. We hope that these reviews will guide you to the best food for you and your cat.
Disclaimer: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favourites in 2023
|Best Overall||Purina ONE Indoor Advantage||
|Best Value||IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Cat||
|Premium Choice||Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Cat||
|Vet's Choice||Nulo Freestyle Indoor Cat||
|Crave Indoor Adult Cat||
The 10 Best Cat Foods for Indoor Cats in Canada
1. Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Dry Cat Food — Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Turkey, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal|
|Fat content:||9 – 13%|
The best overall cat food for indoor cats in Canada is Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Dry Cat Food. It addresses both the weight and hairball problems that many indoor cats struggle with. It’s high in protein, lower in fat than many other products, and uses natural fibre sources to reduce hairballs. It has four antioxidant sources for a strong immune system and omega-6 for healthy skin and coat. It’s also affordable.
The only flaw with this food is that it has made a few cats experience an upset stomach.
2. IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Dry Cat Food — Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn grits|
|Fat content:||11 – 13.5%|
IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Dry Cat Food is the best cat food for indoor cats in Canada for the money. This means it’s affordable, and it also helps cats with hairball and weight issues. It has L-carnitine, which is effective at burning fat and helps maintain a healthy metabolism, and beet pulp, which is a natural fibre to minimize hairballs. It also includes omega fatty acids that make your cat’s coat shiny and skin healthy.
However, finicky cats out there might not like this food, and it won’t necessarily help all cats with hairballs.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food — Premium Choice
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, whole-grain wheat, corn gluten meal|
Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food is our pick for premium indoor cat food. This diet supports a cat’s digestive system with high-quality ingredients and natural fibre, which helps with hairballs and makes cleaning the litter box easier. The fibre combined with high-quality protein can make your cat feel fuller for longer, aiding in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s a balanced diet that supports a healthy heart and lean muscles.
But it is expensive, and the kibble size is fairly large, so some cats might have trouble eating it.
4. Nulo Freestyle Indoor Dry Cat Food — Vet’s Choice
|Main ingredients:||Deboned duck, chicken meal, turkey meal|
Our vet chose Nulo’s Freestyle Indoor Dry Cat Food for its high-quality protein sources and how well it manages a cat’s weight. Nulo doesn’t contain most of the fillers found in many other products or any artificial preservatives, flavours, or colours. It’s low in carbohydrates to help with weight management, and 82% of the protein is from animal sources. In fact, the first four ingredients are animal protein. Nulo uses a patented probiotic to promote digestive health, and it’s grain free for any cats sensitive to grains.
The cons with this cat food are that it’s expensive, and some cats just don’t like it.
5. Crave Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein|
Crave’s Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food has chicken as the main ingredient, making this food high in protein. This is a grain-free cat food, so check with your vet before switching your cat to it. It contains no fillers, artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives.
However, it is expensive, and cats with sensitive tummies might get an upset stomach with this food.
6. IAMS Perfect Portions Indoor Adult Wet Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, water, salmon|
IAMS Perfect Portions Indoor Adult Wet Food is available in one-serving trays, which you peel and feed to your cat without any leftovers to refrigerate. It contains prebiotics and dietary fibre, which support a healthy digestive system, and vitamin E, which is for the immune system. Omega fatty acids help nourish a cat’s skin and coat, and there are no artificial preservatives.
Unfortunately, it is pricey, and for some cat owners, the single-serve trays can be challenging to open.
7. Cat Chow Naturals Indoor Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, corn gluten meal, brewers rice|
Cat Chow Naturals Indoor Dry Cat Food is affordable, includes chicken as the main ingredient, and uses natural fibre for those unpleasant hairballs. It’s also formulated to keep your cat at a healthy weight, and it doesn’t contain any artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives.
That said, the food doesn’t necessarily help all cats with hairballs.
8. Purina Pro Plan Indoor Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Salmon, rice, corn gluten meal|
Purina Pro Plan Indoor Dry Cat Food has real salmon as the primary ingredient, making this a high-quality protein source. The protein combined with natural fibre can control hairballs and help cats maintain a healthy weight. The natural prebiotic fibre additionally aids in the digestive health of a cat, and the antioxidants and live probiotics are good for the immune and digestive systems.
However, it is relatively expensive, and not all cats want to eat it.
9. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control Adult Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice|
Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control Adult Dry Cat Food has deboned chicken as the main ingredient and includes several healthy grains, fruits, and vegetables. It contains natural sources of fibre, which combined with high-quality protein, aid in the absorption of nutrients and reduce hairballs. There are omega-3 and -6 fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat, and Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits include a balanced blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. There are no artificial preservatives or colors or any fillers.
However, as healthy as the LifeSource Bits might be, some cats tend to reject them, and some might experience stomach upset with this food in general.
10. Purina Friskies Indoor Canned Cat Food Variety Pack
|Main ingredients:||Water, chicken, ocean whitefish|
|Protein content:||7 – 9%|
|Fat content:||2 – 3%|
|Calories:||133, 138, 148 kcal/can|
Purina Friskies Indoor Canned Cat Food Variety Pack gives you three flavors in three textures: pâté chicken, flaked ocean whitefish, and chunks of chicken and turkey in gravy. It’s affordable and has been formulated for indoor cats to control hairballs and maintain a healthy weight. Friskies has been around for a long time because most cats love it!
The issues are that while variety packs are a handy way to vary your cat’s diet, some cats might reject one or more of them based on the texture or flavour. This food also has added artificial ingredients, and the chunks in the chunky food might be too big.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Food for Your Indoor Cat
Now that you’ve gone through this list of indoor cat food, here are a few more points that will give you important information on the kinds of ingredients and nutrients that an indoor cat needs.
Most indoor cat foods tend to be high fibre and high protein because they can help with the cat’s digestive system. Fibre works particularly well on hairballs. Indoor cats don’t usually get the same amount of exercise as outdoor cats, so they can sometimes overgroom, which leads to more hairballs.
Fibre helps make the digestive system healthier, and it can push the swallowed fur through the gastrointestinal tract and out the other end, which is how hair should leave the cat’s body. It can also make cats feel full for longer, which can help them with weight issues. High-fibre food should be between 2% and 4% in wet food and 8% and 10% in dry food.
A diet high in protein is essential because cats are obligate carnivores and require high-quality protein. It also works well to keep your cat full for longer, and it supports their muscles and provides them with the energy that they need.
Look for dry food with at least 30% protein. Check the ingredient list for real meats listed as the main ingredients. The first five ingredients make up most of the food, so you’ll want more meat than other ingredients, like corn or wheat.
For the most part, by-products and meals are fine as long as they are a named meat, like chicken by-product, but avoid anything simply listed as meat by-product.
Omega-3 and -6 are fatty acids that are added to pet food because of all the benefits that they provide. Fatty acids can help your cat’s skin, which can also make your cat’s coat healthy. This can mean less shedding. If your cat isn’t swallowing as much hair, hairballs are less likely. Fatty acids can also help move the swallowed fur through the digestive system.
Indoor cats are more sedentary than outdoor cats, so they are more likely to pack on a few pounds. You should aim for around 300 calories per serving for an adult cat. Also, try not to feed your cat too many treats.
Another tip is to decrease the amount of dry food that you feed your cat and add in wet food. Wet food is naturally lower in calories and carbs, so cats can lose weight or maintain a healthy weight with canned food. It also has extra moisture, which is a great way to ensure that your cat is consuming enough water.
Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Dry Cat Food is our favorite indoor cat food for addressing both the weight and hairball issues. It includes four antioxidant sources for a strong immune system. The affordable IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Dry Cat Food includes L-carnitine for healthy weight and beet pulp for reducing hairballs.
Our premium choice goes to Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food, as it has high-quality protein and natural fibre, which can make cleaning the litter box easier. Our vet chose Nulo’s Freestyle Indoor Dry Cat Food for using high-quality protein sources that make up 82% of the protein sources in the food.
We hope that by reading through these reviews, you have found a food that you want to try out and that your cat will scarf down!