While dogs are the most popular pets in Indian households, cats aren’t far behind, and pet ownership is on the rise in India. In fact, India’s $430 million pet care market is one of the fastest-growing in the world.
As the pet care market in India expands, demand for high-quality pet food will continue to increase. What cat food brands are currently available in India and what should Indian cat owners be looking for when choosing a nutritious diet for their feline friend?
After many hours of research and testing, we’ve uncovered the best cat foods available in India. In this guide, we’ll discuss what your cat needs in terms of nutrition and introduce you to our top cat food picks.
At A Glance: Best Cat Food To Buy In India
Want a quick look at the best cat foods reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Two of three main ingredients are animal-based
- Packed with species-appropriate animal protein
- Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
- Made with a single source of high-quality animal protein
- Contains fresh chicken and chicken liver
- Salmon oil provides animal-based omega-3s
- Three of first five ingredients are all animal-based
- Made with a single source of animal protein
- Supplemented with prebiotics to support digestion
Why Trust Cats.com
Having studied feline nutrition for over four years, I’ve tested and evaluated hundreds of cat food products made around the world. Because I was unfamiliar with the Indian pet food market, however, I relied heavily on reader recommendations as a starting point for my research. I started with research to understand how pet food is manufactured and regulated in India.
From there, using reader recommendations as a guide, I worked to identify the most popular pet food retailers in India and explored the product types and brands they carry. From there, I delved into specific products and their nutritional merits. By comparing these products to the Cats.com standard, I narrowed down the list to the recommendations provided below.
What Does Balanced Nutrition Look Like For Cats?
All felines have a biological requirement for meat in their diets, but that doesn’t mean a standalone diet of chicken, lamb, or other meat will sufficiently meet your cat’s nutritional needs. All animals require a delicate balance of nutrients.
While humans are omnivores able to obtain those nutrients from meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables, cats are not. They’re obligate carnivores.
Simply put, your cat’s body is designed to eat other animals. They have higher protein requirements than many other animals and they are better able to digest animal-based ingredients than plants. In fact, an article published in Scientific American notes that cats get a lot of their key nutrients from meat including taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin B12.
In the wild, a cat’s diet is primarily made up of small pretty like rodents and birds which provide the protein and fats cats need. While some cats will snack on grass and other plants, these foods don’t provide much in the way of nutritional value and likely only serve as roughage.
It’s entirely possible to feed your cat a nutritionally balanced homemade diet, but pieces of chicken and bread won’t cut it. You need a recipe formulated by a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist to make sure your cat’s needs for essential nutrients will be met.
The alternative is to purchase a complete and balanced commercial cat food.
In the United States, most commercial cat foods are formulated in accordance with nutrient profiles researched and established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These profiles suggest that an adult cat’s diet should be comprised of a minimum of 26% protein and 9% fat.
Fortunately, many pet food manufacturers outside the U.S. use AAFCO guidelines in formulating their own recipes. Any cat food exported from the United States will also be formulated accordingly.
In choosing a healthy diet for your cat, it’s best to stick with a recipe that meet’s AAFCO’s requirements for completed and balanced nutrition. This ensures that your cat’s minimum nutritional needs will be met, but it’s still your responsibility to choose a high-quality product. And remember, minimum does not mean ideal. Most cats can benefit from higher than minimum levels of protein and fat.
Now that we’ve touched on the subject of feline nutrition, let’s take a closer look at the pet industry in India to determine what options are available and how they measure up in terms of quality.
The Pet Industry In India
According to a 2018 survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the United States tops the pet ownership charts with more than 94 million cats (and over 90 million dogs). FEDIAF data suggests that European pet ownership had reached 90 million by the end of 2021 – that’s roughly equivalent to 46% of households.
Pet ownership is on the rise around the world and India is no exception.
Indian pet ownership was estimated around 15 million in 2016 but it’s growing rapidly. In fact, market research conducted by Euromonitor International suggests that India has the fastest rate of growth for dog ownership among 53 countries surveyed. Some estimates put India’s pet ownership rate of growth as high as 600,000 households per year.
While pet ownership is increasing quickly in India, federal regulations to protect those pets are still lacking in some areas. There are laws in place to encourage the ethical treatment of animals, but pet food regulations remain undeveloped.
In 1960, Article 51A of the Constitution of India, Chapter 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA) was passed. This article states that, “It shall be the duty of every citizen to have compassion for living creatures.” Article 51A is similar to legislation that has been passed in other nations.
For example, the European Union (EU) adheres to the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals which governs the treatment of companion animals. The UK in particular has the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 which specifies the duties owners and keepers have to meet the needs of their animals. In the United States, the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 helps protect animals kept in zoos and labs, but federal legislation protecting pets is limited.
In India, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) provides guidelines for the vaccination and sterilization of pets and for pet-related nuisances like excessive barking. Even these limited guidelines, however, are not consistently enforced. Some reports suggest that even existing national regulations have little effect in the absence of city-specific legislation.
How Is Pet Food In India Regulated?
Though developed nations like the United States may not have much in the way of national protections for pets, there’s one area in which regulations are bountiful: the pet food industry.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the safe manufacture and labeling of pet food. Any pet food imported into India from the United States is subject to FDA regulations. But what about pet foods produced domestically in India?
According to a blog published by Sathguru, a global management consulting firm, the animal feed industry is not stringently regulated in India. There are no regulatory standards in place regarding animal feed safety except in a few cases and, in those cases, the regulations only partially address the issue.
It was only in 2018 that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) mandated that commercial feed companies comply with relevant Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) regulations after a survey revealed concerns levels of aflatoxin in dairy samples.
While the FSSAI has plans to work with the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries to make improvements in the animal feed sector, the current lack of regulation leaves companies to create their own standards. Without regulations to encourage a scientific approach to voluntary standards, the potential for food safety issues is high and pets could pay the price.
In researching the pet food market in India, I uncovered a stark difference in quality among cat food products manufactured in India and those imported from elsewhere.
What Cat Food Brands Are Made In India?
The biggest domestic manufacturers of cat food in India are IB Group and Abis Exports.
PurePet and Drools both fall under the IB Group family of brands while Abis Exports is responsible for Meat Up and Let’s Bite. These four brands are incredibly similar in formulation and all of them offer low to moderate protein content along with low fat and very high carbohydrate content.
In fact, I evaluated the label for numerous dry cat foods from these four brands and the ingredient lists were nearly identical. All four were fish-based and loaded with cereals like corn and wheat. The lowest carbohydrate content of the four recipes was roughly 44% (dry matter) – two were 55%.
These India-made cat foods might be popular for their price and availability, but they won’t provide your cat with the protein- and moisture-rich, animal-based nutrition he needs to thrive.
Fortunately, I was able to find several cat food brands that are headquartered or manufactured in India. Bruno’s Wild Essentials and Kennel Kitchen are Indian pet food brands that offer an assortment of high-quality wet cat foods that outperform the dry foods mentioned above in terms of quality and species appropriateness.
The 8 Best Cat Foods In India: Our Top Picks
It’s easy to find cheap dry cat food in India, but responsible cat owners are more concerned with what’s actually good for their cats than what’s good for their wallets. This isn’t to say, of course, that you can’t find a decently priced high-quality cat food, but inexpensive foods like the Indian brands previously mentioned don’t tend to meet the Cats.com standards.
I’ve assembled a list of eight high-quality cat foods that appear to be readily available in India (at least online). These foods span the spectrum in terms of food type and texture, but they’re all brands I feel comfortable recommending.
Here are our top 8 picks for the best cat food in India:
Your cat deserves the most species-appropriate nutrition you can consistently afford which generally means a meat-heavy wet cat food. If you’re working with a limited budget and dry food is the most economical option, consider supplementing your cat’s diet with a high-protein, moisture-rich wet cat food topper. Complementary cat foods typically come in small portions so they’re easy to feed and you can mix up the flavors to keep your cat guessing.
Here are a few of our favorite complementary cat food brands available in India:
Where To Buy Cat Food In India
As is true virtually anywhere, you can find cat food both online and in stores in India. You can even find popular cat food brands on Amazon.in. If you live near a bigger city like New Delhi or Mumbai, there are plenty of brick-and-mortar pet stores to choose from.
One of the largest national chains with a dozen locations across India is Heads Up for Tails. In Uttar Pradesh, PUPS Pet Care Store, Creche & Grooming is a popular choice. New Delhi offers nearly two dozen options like NAPPETS India, Value Pets India, and King Pets World. In Mumbai, pet owners seem to like Dogs World India, Ohh My Dog, and Chew Central.
Unless you live near a major metropolitan area, the best place to shop for pet food in India may be online. While international retailers like Amazon do sell in India, you’ll find the best selection from domestic pet retailers.
Heads Up For Tails offers a generous selection of pet foods and accessories – this is the primary resource I used to compile my list of recommendations. Chew Central is another great option. Based in Maharashtra, India, Chew Central carefully selects products from reputed manufacturers to ensure safety and quality.
Other online pet food retailers in India include:
If none of the commercially available options seem quite right, you always have the option to make your own cat food.
Homemade cat food can be incredibly nutritious when properly formulated by a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist. It’s not always the most economical option, but if you have the time and financial resources to give your cat a biologically appropriate raw food diet, he’ll thank you for it.
While it may be challenging to find a high-quality, species-appropriate cat food manufactured in India, there is no shortage of options for commercial cat foods.
Take the time to learn the basics about your cat’s nutritional needs and how choosing a nutritionally balanced and species-appropriate diet will impact your cat’s long-term health. If you’re shopping for cat food in India, one of the recipes reviewed above might be a good place to start.
If you want to support your cat’s health for the long-term, choose a cat food made with high-quality ingredients, specifically quality protein from animal sources.
Want more? Check out our guide to the best cat food brands here.