Typically, wild cats prey upon mice, snakes, ground squirrels, rabbits, birds, insects, and sometimes larger animals, including raccoons. Cats that live outdoors eat the same type of food as wild cats. However, it is critical to provide them with balanced nutrition by feeding them high-quality commercial cat food specifically formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of outdoor cats.

Providing your outdoor cat with a balanced diet is extremely important. Cats are carnivores, which means they require meat in their diet. Although they may hunt outside, it is difficult to ensure they receive adequate nutrition solely from fresh prey. You should supplement your outdoor cat’s diet with some form of commercial food.

6 Best Cat Food for Outdoor Cats You Have to Try!

While cats require high amounts of protein, they only require moderate fat and minimal carbohydrates. Vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, and minerals are important factors in a cat’s diet. If you’re unsure where to start to find the best cat food for outdoor cats, this list will help you break down the information you need to make an informed decision.

1. Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription

Smalls Fresh Cat Food

Smalls Fresh Cat Food is our overall top choice for outdoor cats. You can skip the wet mess using this healthy, fresh, human-grade alternative to dry kibble.

Each Smalls recipe is made from scratch using ingredients sourced sustainably in the United States or Canada. Ingredients in the food are USDA-certified, high in protein, and free of grains and fillers.

The price of this option might be a bit higher than other options. However, it is a great, healthy option for outdoor cats that you won’t have to worry about spoiling too soon.


  • Better shelf-life than dehydrated foods
  • Free from fillers, grains, artificial additives, and by-products
  • Made from USDA-certified ingredients approved for human consumption
  • Retains more nutrients than dehydrated food


  • Expensive

2. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Cat Food

Purina Beyond Grain

Purina Beyond’s Gluten-free Cat Food is formulated to provide all the nutrition outdoor cats need. With its nutrient-rich, all-natural formula and recognizable ingredients, you can be certain that your cat is receiving the finest possible nutrition.

The most significant ingredient in this formula is a combination of protein-rich hake fish, chicken meal, and eggs, which provide your cat with adequate protein. To ensure that the cat receives a balanced and complete diet, this formula is enriched with vitamins A, B-12, D-3, and E, as well as biotin, folic acid, and zinc.


  • Gluten and green-free
  • High-quality protein from hake fish and chicken meal
  • Does not contain empty calories in the form of wheat, soy, or corn
  • No added flavours, colours, or preservatives
  • Enriched with minerals and vitamins
  • Great value proposition


  • Contains starchy ingredients that might cause bloating

3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Our third cat food option is Wilderness by Blue Buffalo, a tasty, grain-free, and protein-rich meal. It is cold-formed cat food. Cold formation limits the amount of heat used during the preparation of ingredients to prevent them from losing their nutritional properties.

Approximately 38% of the protein in Blue Wilderness is sufficient to meet your cat’s nutritional requirements. The protein in this product is derived from natural, real chicken. Furthermore, this food contains no soy, wheat, or artificial colours or flavours and is grain-free. This way, you can ensure that your cat does not experience any adverse reactions.


  • Cold-formed to retain nutrients
  • Minimum of 38% protein content per serving
  • High-quality protein
  • Has no harmful ingredients or additives


  • Pricey

4. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Hill’s Science Diet Dry

For good reason, Hill’s Science Diet is one of the most reputable companies in the pet supply industry. With prebiotic fibers that promote healthy gut function, this formula is designed specifically to support the digestive system of elderly cats.

It is also grain-free, ensuring that these readily digestible kibbles do not compromise your pet’s health. Your cat may be adversely affected by plant-based ingredients. Chicken is the primary source of protein in this cat food.


  • Chicken protein
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for a healthier immune system, stronger vision, and a more luscious coat
  • Enriched with prebiotic fibers for better gut health


  • Requires adjusting to the new product
  • Pricey

5. Instinct Original Real Chicken Natural Dry Cat Food

Chicken Natural Dry Food

With 81% ingredients from real animals, essential fats, and 19% healthy fruits and vegetables, this dry cat food by Instinct Original is a tasty, nutritious formula. Meat derived from free-range chicken is used in this formula.

Due to its high protein content, Instinct Original cat food is ideal for active felines, such as outdoor cats. Additionally, it contains various essential ingredients, including probiotics, antioxidants, and natural omegas.

A potential issue with this product is that it contains peas, which can cause bladder and kidney stones in some cats.


  • High-quality protein from free-range chicken
  • High protein content
  • Enriched with probiotics, antioxidants, and natural omegas
  • Does not contain filler ingredients
  • Freeze-dried to maintain the nutritional value and taste


  • Contains peas

6. Food Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food

Natural Dry Cat Food

Wellness Complete Cat Meal is a balanced cat food designed to meet active outdoor cats’ energy requirements. Protein-rich salmon is this product’s main ingredient, which fuels your pet’s adventures and helps them build lean muscle. There are no traces of corn, soy, wheat, or other fillers in this product.

This product contains flaxseeds, a natural source of omega-6 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and coat. A rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and taurine makes Wellness Complete’s Dry Cat Food a healthy choice for outdoor cats. This product also contains prebiotics, probiotics, and fibers to ensure your cat digests their food properly and avoids hairballs.


  • High protein content
  • Contains omega-6 for healthy skin and coat
  • Enriched with numerous minerals and vitamins
  • Does not contain filler ingredients


  • Kibbles in the new formula can be difficult to digest for some cats


Due to their active lifestyles, outdoor cats have a unique set of needs. While they may be out hunting, they are more often than not unsuccessful, and any unsuccessful hunt results in wasted energy. Thus, it is important to provide them with a diet that is high in protein since they need it for fuel, as well as for the construction and maintenance of tissues.

  • For optimal health, they require at least 30% protein in their diet.
  • It is best to choose a food that has meat-based first five ingredients.
  • Make sure that the label of the food states that it is intended for active cats when feeding an outdoor cat.

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Can I give stray kitten milk?

It is not recommended to give cow’s milk to a kitten, except in an emergency. In the event that you are unable to obtain KMR immediately, you may use the following emergency recipe for up to 24 hours only. During an emergency, you may wish to contact a veterinarian or consult a local pet store for kitten formulas.

Can cats eat canned tuna?

It is not recommended that tuna make up a large portion of your cat’s diet since it is not nutritionally balanced. It is possible to develop health problems even when giving canned tuna as a treat, especially if it is given in excessive amounts or frequently.

Can I give cat food to a stray cat?

It is safest to feed stray cats ready-made cat food available in pet stores. Despite the availability of wet food packets and cans on the market, dry kibble is the least expensive and most convenient form of commercial cat food. This is because it can be readily stored and distributed.