There are numerous advantages of keeping your cat indoors. While out there, cats are at an increased risk of getting stuck in dangerous places, getting hit by a car, or getting into a fight with other cats. Despite this, cats that stay indoors for too long have their own health issues just like humans. These health problems are related to eating a lot and minimal exercise.
Indoor cats that get a poor diet have the potential to cause health issues such as obesity, and also issues with the skin, urinary tract, and teeth. To avoid these problems, you need to find the right food for your indoor cat.
Quality nutrition is very important for indoor cats. For optimal health, they require food with a lot of protein, low carbohydrates, and moderate fat content.
If you are wondering “what is the best cat food for indoor cats,” this ultimate guide will help you pick the right food to ensure a happy and healthy kitty.
What Are the Nutrients Required by All Cats?
Before we can talk about what is the best cat food for indoor cats, it is good to note that all cats require lots of proteins. They are obligate carnivores, meaning that they have a natural desire for meat. Your cat might be able to digest plant products in small amounts. However, proteins should me the major focus of your cat’s diet. This protein ought to come from premium animal sources.
Due to this, a top-notch cat food will always have protein as the major ingredient. Due to this, it is usually not a good idea to buy cat food for your indoor cat that is made with wheat, corn, or soy ingredients, or one with artificial additives such as flavors, colors, and artificial preservatives. This is because they not only offer limited nutritional value, but are also likely to trigger food allergies.
Other than high-quality animal proteins, cats require healthy fats in their diet too. Fats are responsible for offering cats with lots of energy. This is because a gram of fat contains about 9 calories while carbohydrates and proteins offer 4 calories per gram. Just like proteins, fats used in cat food should be sourced from quality animal sources. For instance, chicken fat and salmon oil offer quality animal fat sources while canola oil and flax-seed would be incredible supplementary sources of fat. Although plant-based fats are not bad for cats, animal-based ones are preferred as they are biologically valuable. Apart from offering your cats with energy, fats boost their immune system and promote a healthy skin and coat.
What Should Indoor Cat Food Contain?
Since indoor cats get very little exercise, they require a special diet different from that of active cats. One major difference here is that indoor cats require minimal calorie intake. This assists to promote a healthy weight. This is important as overweight cats are at a huge risk of having serious health issues. When selecting cat food with low calorie content, you ought to be very careful as some manufacturers usually minimize calorie content by adding non-nutritive fillers. You should look for a product that contains enough proteins to support your kitty’s lean muscle mass with an average calorie content.
Another thing to pay attention to is the amount of fatty acids available in the cat food you want to get for your indoor cat. A lot of indoor cat foods contain fish oils or fatty acid supplements meant to meet the nutritional demands of your cat. Again, you want to ensure that you strike a balance between enough fat content and too much fat. This is because you don’t want to have too much calorie content in the food.
Quality indoor cat food should have good fiber content to help reduce hairballs. Indoor cats spend a lot of time grooming and lounging themselves than outdoor cats. This means that your indoor cat ingests a larger volume of hair. At most times, the digestive system of a cat is usually able to handle this hair and eliminate it through excretion. However, if the hair is in excess, the digestive system will have a hard time getting rid of it. This can lead to health complications. Ensuring that your cat is getting enough fiber not only helps to boost digestion, but also assists to minimize hairballs. Increasing fiber intake shouldn’t mean that you switch to foods with lots or proteins. There are a lot of options with high proteins but high fiber too.
One last thing you should consider when getting food for your indoor cat is the amount of moisture available in its diet. Naturally, cats don’t have the sensation of thirst. However, this does not mean they do not require water to survive. If you are offering your cat with exclusive dry food, it is a good idea to consider adding moisture to it to ensure your pet does not get dehydrated.
Dry Food vs. Wet Food
Depending on your cat, it is up to you to make the decision whether you want to feed your cat with dry or wet food. There are advantages and disadvantages of these two options. Therefore, you need to do a lot of research in regards to this.
A major thing to consider here is the closeness of the food to the normal diet of cats. Wild cats feed on what is referred to as a whole prey diet. This diet has a lot of water (about 70%) plus raw meat, bone, and organs.
Dry cat food has moisture content of about 10%, which is quite low. Additionally, most dry cat foods contain a lot of carbohydrates, making them quite hard for your cat to digest well. Also, dry food tends to be high in calories, something that could lead to obesity.
On the other hand, wet food contains a moisture content of about 78%. This amount is similar to what wild prey contains. Additionally, a lot of wet cat foods have a fairly higher fat content compared to dry foods. As earlier mentioned, fat is key for boosting your cat’s immune system and ensuring a healthy skin and coat. At most times, you will find wet foods having lower carb content than dry foods. Moreover, a lot of cats find wet foods more palatable. Wet food is also easier to chew for kittens and older cats.
In the end, it will be your decision to make on which type of food you want to get for your indoor cat. Many cat owners opt to mix the two to achieve more efficiency.
What is the Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats?
When it comes to selecting quality food for your indoor cat, you need to know what you are looking for. To assist you with this, we have compiled some of the best indoor cat foods. Have a look at them below:
Hill’s Science Indoor Cat Food
Promote the health of your indoor cat by feeding it with this high-quality cat food from Hill’s Science. This feed is specifically made to meet all the nutritional requirements of indoor cats. It contains a significant amount of protein, which helps to promote both muscle and body condition. Added to this is fiber, which ensures a smooth digestion process and great overall health.
Hill’s Indoor cat foods come in both wet and dry varieties. In addition to this, the food is available for all cats’ life stages. Therefore, you have a wide array of options to select from depending on your cat’s age and nutritional needs.
The main ingredients include: chicken, pork fat, whole grain wheat, powdered cellulose, fish oil, apples, chicken liver flavor, dried beet pulp, and many more.
Wellness Core Indoor
Having been in the pet industry for decades now, the Wellness brand has managed to make a great name for itself. When it comes to high-quality cat food, Wellness has a variety of product lines to offer. However, it is the Wellness Core Indoor cat food that happens to resonate well with indoor cats.
This product is free from corn, soy, wheat, and does not contain preservatives, colors, or flavors. It is specifically designed to promote the health and wellness of indoor cats.
It comes with four different cat food recipes – one indoor formula, one original formula, one for kittens, and the fourth one made with multiple protein sources.
The two major ingredients in this product include turkey meal and chicken meal. Additionally, this Wellness Core formula has 20% fewer calories than the Original formula. This makes it ideal for indoor cats that get very little exercise.
Purina Cat Chow
Your cat might hunt hair ties instead of mice and birds, but he/she will still find the taste of natural ingredients like chicken to be appealing.
This is the main reason why each bag of Purina Cat Chow has been uniquely formulated to bring out the incredible taste of natural ingredients in a product designed to promote your cat’s nutritional desires. Use this product to give your indoor cat a healthy and happy life.
As earlier stated in this article, indoor cats have the tendency to consume more hair than outdoor cats. Due to this, it is always a good idea to get food that will help eliminate such hair from your indoor cat’s digestive system. Well, Purina Cat Chow is rich in fiber, which has been known to help control hairballs in a cat’s system.
Some ingredients used to make this cat food include: chicken, turkey, corn gluten meal, corn meal, brewers rice, among others. Purina Cat Chow does not use artificial preservatives or flavors.
Nutro Natural Choice Indoor
The Nutro Company works hard to offer cats with a healthy diet sourced from various fresh and wholesome ingredients.
This manufacturer realized that indoor cats possess unique nutritional needs, different from outdoor cats. This is why they came up with Nutro Natural Choice Indoor, a product with low calorie content that is specifically designed to offer optimal nutrition to indoor cats.
Nutro guarantees proper maintenance of your cat’s weight. The major ingredient in this product is usually real meat or fish. It is also rich in natural fiber, which helps minimize hairballs.
This product has four options: two indoor senior recipes and two indoor adult recipes. Whichever option you decide to go with, it will still feature high-quality proteins such as white fish and chicken. These formulas are loaded with animal proteins and also digestible carbohydrates such as brown rice.
Meow Mix Indoor Cat Food
With wholesome ingredients and a great taste, Meow Mix Indoor Cat Food is specially designed to help boost the health of indoor cats while maintaining their weight too. Your indoor pet will love the various flavors offered. As an indoor cat owner, you will love the fact that this product offers a 100% balanced nutrition for your beloved pet.
For years now, Meow Mix has been providing cat owners with food varieties to delight their cats during mealtimes. By offering your cats with tasty treats from Meow Mix, you are able to strengthen your bond with them.
Some major ingredients in this product include: chicken, corn gluten meal, beef tallow, brewers rice, ocean fish meal, turkey meal, salmon meal, and many more.
Natural Balance Indoor Formula
This high quality cat food is designed to offer cats with a lifetime of good health and happiness. Natural Balance is different from the competition as it uses nutritional truths and sound scientific principles.
Although they offer a wide array of cat foods, Natural Balance Indoor Formula is formulated with top-notch ingredients meant to offer optimal nutrition.
Natural Balance comes in two options – Indoor Ultra Rabbit and Salmon Meal, and Ultra Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal. Both of these are rich in proteins, but have 22% less fat than that contained in the Original Ultra formula. This is meant to help support weight maintenance in indoor cats.
Natural Balance has natural fibers that help minimize hairballs and support healthy digestion. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that ensure a healthy skin and coat.
The main ingredients in Natural Balance formulas include: chicken, duck, tuna, salmon, and turkey. They come with optimal levels of carbohydrates and no additives.
What to Do To Promote the Health of Your Indoor Cat
As you now know “what is the best cat food for indoor cats”, let us have a look at how you can take care of indoor cat for ultimate health and happiness.
Before we get into it, it is good to note that by keeping your pet indoors, you ought to ensure his/her safety and reduce those chances of injury and illness. Indoor cats are at a higher risk of developing health issues mostly due to boredom and lack of exercise. These two have the potential to cause both emotional and physical stress.
Here are some things to pay attention to when looking to promote the health of our indoor cat:
Healthy Diet Diet is key to ensuring your indoor cat remains healthy and happy. You need to note that by keeping your cat indoors, you are creating a sedentary situation for him/her. Indoor cats hardly get any exercise as they don’t have to look for food. Due to this, they end up having too much calories in their bodies, leading to weight gain and obesity. This puts them at a risk of feline diabetes.
To minimize your cat’s risk of such health complications, it is important to feed him/her with low calorie food with a lot of moisture. Canned food offers a great choice for this purpose.
Environmental enrichment is very important for a cat’s well-being. It usually entails bringing the outdoor environment into your home. This involves doing simple things such as offering your cat with window perches, scratching posts, cat trees, food puzzles, and interactive toys. You should also consider sparing some time to play with it on a daily basis. Doing this will help ensure you have a healthy cat.
Offer a Quiet and Comfortable Sleeping Area
Cats require a quiet, safe, and cozy area to sleep. Most cats love sleeping alone and enjoy curling up in a blanket. Most of them love sleeping in high areas where they are safe and can watch what is happening around them.
Keep your cat happy and healthy by offering various cozy napping spots around your home.
You now have a lot of knowledge in regards to what is the best cat food for indoor cats. Whatever kind of indoor food you decide to go with, it is good to note that cats need a diet with high protein content and low in fats and carbohydrates. If your indoor cat is not active, we advise that you get low calorie foods and reduce its portion size. Also, it is always a great idea to go for foods that offer extra ingredients. For instance, having more fiber will help boost digestion and minimize hairballs.