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Best Cat Food For Indoor Outdoor Cats

What Is The Most Practical Way To Feed A Cat

Indoor Cat Vs. Outdoor Cat?

With the unique nutritional requirements and feeding behavior of the domestic cat in mind, it is easy to appreciate practical recommendations for feeding. In all cases, your cat should have access to fresh, clean drinking water.

Feeding kittens

Young kittens need to eat frequently. Although they need relatively large quantities of food because they are growing rapidly, they have limited space in their tiny stomachs.

  • At eight weeks of age, they need to be fed about 5 meals a day.
  • By 6 months, the need for food is decreased as kittens are about 75% of their adult size and can be fed 2 meals a day.

A good quality kitten food has advantages over adult cat food since it has been specially formulated for a kittens demanding nutritional requirements. Because of their rapid growth, any nutritional mistakes made during kittenhood will have severe, even irreversible, consequences. For most kittens, growth is almost complete by six months of age. They can be changed to adult cat food at 8-10 months of age.

Kittens and adult cats do not need milk.

Contrary to popular myth, kittens and adult cats do not need milk. In fact, by about 12 weeks of age most kittens lose the ability to digest milk sugar . Therefore, while small amounts may be tolerated, too much milk can lead to intestinal upset and diarrhea because the cat cannot digest it properly!

Feeding the adult cat

What Is Crude Protein

Crude protein can sound legit and/or cause confusion depending on how you look at it but its actually pretty simple really. Crude protein just means that the protein has gone through a process in a laboratory that chemically measures the amount of protein present in the protein source, food, etc.

It doesnt mean that the source is better or worse for your cat. It doesnt really say anything about the quality of ingredients.

If you want to learn more about the crude protein, fat, or other ingredients in your cats food be sure to look for the Guaranteed Analysis section that is usually on or near the nutritional facts label.

The 7 Best Cat Foods For Indoor Cats

Author WCF Staff

01.04.2022.

Every product and service on World Cat Finder is independently selected by our editors, contributors, and experts. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a referral fee. Learn more

If you own an indoor cat, you are aware that it has different requirements than an outdoor cat. Outdoor cats spend a lot of time hunting and patrolling their territory. These cats burn far more calories than indoor cats, who spend the majority of their time sleeping and lounging.

As more cats spend their entire lives indoors, as they should, more people are wondering what type of food is best for them. We’ve chosen several different brands to review for you so you can see how they differ. We’ll go over the most essential information we encountered while testing them since this is crucial for you to make a great decision. Continue reading as we examine ingredients, vitamins, omega fats, taurine, and other factors to help you make an informed purchase.

Here is a list of the 7 best cat foods for indoor cats.

The recipes are inspired by your pet’s ancestral hunting diet and contain high-quality protein and carbohydrates for healthy muscles, energy, and immunity support.

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Ziwi Peak Provenance Canned Wet Cat Food

Ziwi Peak East Cape is a wet food suitable for all cat breeds and life stages. Ingredients are sourced from New Zealand and follow the companys requirements for PeakPrey recipes that are high in meat and low in carbs and preservatives.

Key Features:

  • Made to match a whole prey diet, with recipe containing 97% meat, organs, seafood, and ground bone
  • Made with mutton, goat, and wild-caught fish
  • Grain-free and low-carb
  • Includes superfoods, such as New Zealand green lipped mussel for joint health, and organic kelp for antioxidants

Pros:

  • 100% of all ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced from New Zealand farms and oceans
  • Low in carbs for cats on special diets
  • Suitable for all life stages, from kittens to senior cats
  • Can be used as a complete meal or a food topper

Cons:

  • Quality ingredients mean a more expensive price tag
  • Only available in 4.5 and 12 ounce bags

First We Looked For Foods With Low Carbohydrate Content

Best Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats 2020 Latest Reviews &  Full Buyer Guide

Cats use a process called gluconeogenesis to convert protein into glucose. Unlike in people, it is protein, not carbohydrate matter, which is the main type of fuel used to maintain a cats blood glucose concentrations.

Cats can metabolize carbohydrates instead of protein, but its not ideal. Cats are mildly insulin resistant, similar to a person with diabetes. And sustained carbohydrate intake could make your cat more likely to develop diabetes over time.

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Best Dry Cat Food For Indoor Cats Buying Guide

Of course, the lifestyle of indoor cats is much different from an outdoor cat. That is why we need to feed them the right diet to fulfill their nutritional needs. Generally, we consider a high-quality protein diet to satisfy our felines cravings.

But its not a good idea to buy the same food for overweight cats. Moreover, its better to feed a diet that is low in macro-nutrients like fat and proteins. Finally, We know its challenging to find the best dry cat food for indoor cats.

So this buying guide and FAQs below will help you to solve this problem.

Caring For Your Outdoor Cats

If youre a cat lover who adopted a stray cat, or youve decided to let your tabby explore the outside world and now find it hard to keep her indoors, you must at least do your best to protect her from the elements.

Cats do love the everyday adventure, which they cant seem to get enough of. Cat parents can minimize the risks by applying some safety measures.

Keep your outdoor cats safer with these tips:

Food And Water

Outdoor-dwelling cats sometimes skip regular meal times because they are preoccupied somewhere. Always leave filled food bowls near their favorite feeding spot nonetheless. To avoid spoilage, dry cat food is a better option to leave out for her.

It’s equally important to always leave fresh drinking water too.

During the cold season, keep her water bowl warm.

Build An Outdoor Cat House

Its best to keep your cats inside the house during the night, and just let them out the next morning. But if thats a challenge, build an outdoor house to keep them safe from the weather and predators. You can leave a blanket inside that they can snuggle in during the cold months.

Never Declaw

Cats, especially outdoor cats, need their claws to function well. Cats are defenseless against a number of threats without their claws. They also need their claws when climbing and jumping.

Microchip Your Kitty

Name Tag, Collar, And GPS Tracker

Neuter Or Spay

Get Your Cats Vaccinated

Regular Visits to the Vet

The regular flea and worm treatments must always be administered to all cats.

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What Not To Feed Your Cat

Outside of standard dry, moist, and wet cat foods, Dr. Simpson cautions cat owners against feeding cats all-raw or homemade diets. The former, she explains, offers no benefits over regular commercial cat food in terms of nutritional needs, and can even lead to nutritional deficiencies and food-borne illnesses. Meanwhile, the latter also puts cats at risk of deficiencies. If youre interested in making your cats food at home, Dr. Simpson recommends getting in touch with a veterinary nutritionist through the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.

Speaking of getting in touch with an expert, that is the best route to take if youre completely unsure what might be, say, the best dry cat food or canned food for your kitty. With hundreds of different brands and potentially misleading advertising and online information, it can be confusing and frustrating to choose the best diet for your cat, Dr. Simpson says. The best way to choose an appropriate diet is to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Consider Your Cats Medical Needs

The Best Foods For Indoor Cats | Chewy

All cats have individual dietary needs, and some cats may require special diets due to certain medical conditions or digestive issues. Machell explains that a medical diagnosis from your veterinarian may bring about a dietary change. This is common in the management of certain conditions such as kidney disease or allergies. In these cases, its important to work with your veterinarian to find the best cat food for your pets specific needs.

Also Check: Is Wet Or Dry Food Better For Cats

A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites

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Package Size: 12 ounces

The Smalls Human-Grade Fresh cat food is our choice for overall best cat food for indoor cats because it allows you to feed your kitty with a diet that closely resembles a cats natural diet . It has at least 15% protein as fed, and 49.6% of the metabolizable energy comes from this basic nutrient. With this food choice, your cat will get all the protein it needs from a reliable source and in a natural form.

What sets Smalls Human-Grade Fresh recipe apart from other commercial cat foods is the high quality of its natural and wholesome ingredients. This species-appropriate diet has exactly what your tiny carnivore needs to thrive. Naturally high in protein and low in carbohydrates, this amazing product is also rich in moisture, helping to prevent some of the common issues with indoor cats: obesity and hairballs. Thats a very significant plus for indoor cat owners! In addition, Smalls food is all-natural meaning it does not contain unnatural colors, flavors, or preservatives. The natural preservative in this food is actually an antioxidant that protects your kitty from free radicals, promoting health at the cellular level.

We know, its like a dream come true for your cat but guess what? This amazing food is also delivered right to your doorstep automatically so you will be saving time and gas on pet store trips. If you are interested in this amazing fresh cat food, you can get a trial offer just beware, your kitty will LOVE it!

Indoor Vs Outdoor Cat Diets

While indoor and outdoor cats essentially require the same nutrition , the amount of food each one needs is different. Indoor cats spend most of their days lounging around the house, so feeding them the same as a highly active outdoor cat that expends energy throughout the day will only lead to the indoor kitty gaining weight. Indoor cats also tend to get more hairballs, as their natural hair growth doesnt follow the seasonal cycle that outdoor cats experience, leading to constant shedding.

Thats where cat foods created specifically for indoor cats come in handy these normally have fewer calories and contain increased fiber content to help move hairballs faster through the GI tract. Just be sure the indoor cat food is still a good source of animal-based protein. Sometimes, in order to lower calorie count, manufacturers will swap meat for vegetables.

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Instinct Original Recipe With Real Chicken

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas

This grain-free cat food is surely among the best dry cat food formulas you can ever give your furry friends.

The kibbles are coated with crushed, freeze-dried raw food for absolute nutrition and flavor. It is made of 81% real animal ingredients and nutritious oils.

The first of this products ingredients is cage-free chicken. The remaining 19% is made of fruits and vegetables.

This dry food has no grains, corn, potatoes, or soy. It is free from artificial enhancers such as flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Pros
  • No more puking. Owners claim that is highly digestible and does not upset the kitties tummies.
  • High quality ingredients. Recipe contains no artificial enhancers or fillers such as grains, potatoes, soy, or corn.
  • Guaranteed levels of probiotics for better digestive health.
  • Natural omegas and antioxidants to promote healthy coat & skin, and immune health
Cons
  • Smaller bag size. Some customers have noted that the bag sizes have recently gotten smaller, but the price remains the same.

What Should Cats Eat

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Cats are obligate carnivores and require nutrients found in animal products to live a long and healthy life. That means finding cat foods that are high in protein, contain moderate amounts of fats, as well as minimal carbohydrates is important to ensure your cat is getting adequate nutrition.

Animal Based Proteins

Most of the protein in a cats diet should come from animal based sources instead of plant based sources . Animal based proteins contain a full amino acid profile while humans can produce the missing pieces not supplied by a plant based diet, cats cannot, and therefore need their proteins from meat.

Taurine

Taurine is one of the most important compounds cats get from animal protein, as it isnt found in plants. Taurine is crucial to healthy body functioning in a cat, with a deficiency having the potential to cause blindness, heart problems, or even death. Most pet food manufacturers now add taurine to their food formulas because of this.

Water

Another essential element cats should be eating is water. Yes, you read that right! Cats should be eating, rather than drinking, a majority of their water. Prior to domestication, a cats wild prey would normally contain about 70-75% water, leading to cats not having a very high thirst drive. Without a water filled diet, cats can develop bladder and kidney issues.

Fats

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What Is The Healthiest Food For An Indoor Cat

There are a couple of specific cat food formulations that are often recommended as the best of the best by vets. These include Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food and the Hills Science Diet Adult Indoor Chicken Recipe Dry Food. The best cat food recipes are easy on your cats digestive system and offer the correct ratio of fiber and protein that they need to stay healthy.

Wet cat food is a more expensive type of cat food than dry food, but it is often recommended to indoor cats with weight problems as it can keep them from gaining too much weight. Dry cat food is much easier to dispense as it can be loaded into an automatic cat feeder if you are not home to feed your cat, but it usually contains more calories than wet cat food options. Often it is suggested to feed your cat a blend of both wet and dry food in combination to keep your cat at its healthiest weight.

Best Budget Indoor Dry Cat Food : Purina Cat Chow Hairball And Healthy Weight Dry Cat Food

If your cat is in good shape, doesnt have any issues with sensitivities or hairball and price matters, then the best choice for your cat could be this offering from Purina.

This is a low cost cat food for indoor cats. The low cost is because the ingredients are cheaper than you will find in other foods. The food does include grains, does include meat by products and cheaper fats but lots of cats like the flavor and happily get on with this food. There is no point being snobby about it this is a cheap but enjoyable cat food for indoor cats.

The food if formulated with fiber to help control hairball that indoor cats suffer from. The calorie count per portion is also reduced to make sure your indoor cat doesnt get weight issues.

If you have a home full of cats this is a good choice for you. If you are on a restricted budget this is a good option. If your cat just needs feeding and seems to get by happily enough then why not give this a go?

Pros

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A cat was the first pet my husband and I ever got our first baby, so to speak. We rescued Romeo while we were living in Japan in 1998 and we rescued Scarlett in Missouri a few years ago. Although I dont share that much about our cats, they are important members of our family, and we were really sad a few months ago when Romeo disappeared. He was almost 16 years old and I had been dreading his death for about a year now. After all, nothing lives forever, and the closer he got to 16, the more I looked out for him. Our cats are indoor / outdoor animals and Ive often heard that old cats just disappear.

Sadly, earlier this summer Romeo disappeared and we havent seen him since. It was a very sad day when we realized he was gone, but all in all, he was a happy cat who had a great and long life. Interestingly, when Romeo disappeared, Scarletts behavior changed a bit. Romeo was very aptly named and was a real lover of a cat. He always wanted to be around his people and was tolerant of everything that was thrown at him in his almost 16 years multiple puppies, multiple babies, and even new cats. Scarlett, though, has never been as friendly and has always been pretty aloof. Since Romeos death, she has become friendlier, though, and we see her a lot more. I think she misses her buddy.

I avoid junk meat, artificial flavors, and preservatives in food I feed my own family, and it only makes sense to feed my animals a healthy diet as well.

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