Hill’s Ideal Balance Cat Food – Grain Free Goodness?

Hill's Ideal Balance Cat Food

Hill’s Ideal Balance cat food may not be the very best thing to feed your favourite feline, but it comes pretty close. Hill’s make a range of high quality cat food to suit the individual and provide support for various health conditions; Ideal Balance is their entry in the natural food category, and while they don’t win first prize, a random survey of cat food fans at my house give it a very close second.


At a Glance

Hill's Ideal Balance Cat Food - Grain Free Goodness



Hill’s – They’ve Been Feeding Cats For a Very Long Time

Hill’s Pet Nutrition has been making quality pet food since 1939. Created by visionary vet Dr Mark L Morris Sr to help address various health concerns through carefully crafted nutrition, Hill’s Science Diet, Prescription Diet and Ideal balance provide sound nutrition for your pet through every life stage.

I’ve reviewed Hill’s Science Diet for Cats, too – check it out here.

Hill’s range of both wet and dry foods have been tailored to provide the correct nutrition for a number of different lifestyle or health issues. Whether your cat has a small issue with hairballs or a large issue with a nasty illness, Hill’s have a food to support your kitty and promote general good health.



What is The Best Food For Cats?

Cats are what’s known as obligate carnivores, which means they need meat and that’s about it. It is biologically necessary for cats to consume meat and biologically impossible for them to digest carbohydrates.

In the wild this is all well and good – cats just hunt and kill small meat packages like birds and rodents. Pet cats, especially the indoor types, don’t always have this luxury so they rely on us to give them what their bodies need.

There really isn’t one best food your can feed your cat, but you do need to make sure you’re feeding plenty of variety in a species appropriate diet. As with all things, the closer to nature the better.Cat Eating Fish - Hill's Ideal BalanceRaw food diets are the best nutritional fit for any pet, however, cooking for your pet can be time consuming and tricky to get the right balance of essential vitamins etc. Pre-prepared raw foods are available from smaller boutique style pet stores and are designed to include all that your cat needs for good health.

High quality canned food is next best in terms of nutrition and is my personal preference – mainly because raw diets are gross to deal with and I can’t handle it. I know many of you are thinking ‘suck it up and feed the Sparrow what’s best, Shirley’ (and to be honest, so am I) but it’s really not best for either of us if I’m retching every time I feed my cat now, is it?

But enough about me.



…And The Best Food For Cats With Asthma?

Asthma cats have the same nutritional requirements as all cats, but there are a few extra things to take into consideration. The wheezy need to be kept in tip top health and it all starts with the diet, so making sure your cat is eating an excellent quality, natural food is a good start.

Corn, wheat, rice and other grains are not only harder for cats to digest, they are also no good for the inflammation that causes feline asthma. A grain free diet has been reported to help keep inflammation at bay and my own personal experience agrees with this.


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What’s Good About Hill’s Ideal Balance Grain Free?

Hill’s have been making quality pet food for a really long time – they know what they’re on about.

  • All natural ingredients with optimal levels of more than 50 key nutrients.
  • Made in the USA using ingredients sourced from North America & Europe.
  • Nothing fake – no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
  • Grain free – corn, wheat, soy and rice have been left out.
  • Available in canned or dry varieties to suit your cat’s individual fussiness.



What’s Questionable?

Potatoes. They’re the second ingredient listed on the bag of dry food I’m looking at and there better be a hell of a lot of chicken in there for me to be happy about that. As far as I know, cats don’t need potatoes in their diet, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.Questionable Cat - Hill's Ideal Balance Cat FoodThere’s also the matter of the canned food – through all of my searching I’ve only been able to find it in one flavour – Gourmet Tuna. Variety plays a part in good health so while Hill’s grain free canned food is great, gourmet tuna is not the only thing I want to be feeding my feline.



Does Sparrow Approve?Relaxing Sparrow - Hill Ideal Balance Cat Food

Sparrow is a picky eater, but so far he’s liked all of the Hill’s products we’ve tried and this is no exception. The bonus from my side is that feeding him a grain free diet is one of the easiest ways to help keep his asthma under control. Hill’s have a long history of healthy, happy pets under their belt and with all natural ingredients, this one might be a winner in my book.


What do you think of Hill’s Ideal Balance? Head to the comments and share your thoughts…

Hill's Ideal Balance Grain Free


Trusted Brand


Asthma Cat Friendly


Cat Approved


All Natural


Quality Manufacturin


What's Good?

  • Natural Ingredients
  • Grain-Free
  • No Artificial Anything
  • Made in The USA

What's Questionable?

  • Potatoes
  • Limited Flavours

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  1. This is really good to know. I had no idea that the dry food that I feed my kitty could be bad for him! He eats plenty of raw meats but he does eat the dry stuff too. I will definitely keep this in mind for when I switch his food. He is going to love you! lol

  2. I own a ferret, which is also an obligate carnivore, and cat food is sometimes suggested instead of ferret food, which does often have a lot of corn in it. I’m always on the lookout for all natural products to try. I’m just curious, does the package say anything about a percentage of protein to fat? That’s something that matters with ferrets, but I don’t know if it matters with cats, so maybe they don’t mention it.

    1. Hi Shanna,

      I couldn’t find anything about that on the Hill’s food I have here, but I know that different countries have different standards as far as pet food labelling goes, so it might be different where you are. Interesting that ferrets can eat the same food as cats, this stuff is pretty good for dry food, especially if you’re looking for grain free.

  3. Hi Shirley,

    Your article is helpful and constructive as usual. I heard positive remarks about Hill from my friends before though they were all dog owners. This just confirms it for me as far as cats go. Thank you very much.

  4. Hi there
    I love my cats and always like to learn more abut all sides of taking care of them.
    Seems a good brand, I’ll try it.

  5. Hi there, thanks for this great review well written and very easy to read! Very enjoyable.
    Well, I have a cat, his name is Garfield he’s from Norway, the thing is I live in Italy and not sure if Hills cat food is available here in Italy.

    Not comfortable asking this question but do you know any good cat food brand that might be available on the Italian Amazon?

    Thanks again for the review and have a great day!

    1. Hi Anis, thanks for stopping by. I had a quick look on amazon.it and there seems to be a large variety of quality cat food available, including Hill’s. My Italian is a bit rusty so you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking at but from where I’m sitting it seems to be there. Hopefully Garfield likes it!

  6. Thanks for the advice. The cat I had would not eat dry food for some reason. I had to mix it with a canned food in order for her to eat it and she still picked around it and left some in the bowl. Is that okay to do mixing the two?

    1. Hi Ronnie, your cat’s a picky princess! There’s no need to feed dry food if your cat doesn’t want to eat it…if you’re feeding her a quality, balanced diet she’ll be fine without it.

  7. Hello,

    Nice blog on asthma cats!
    You learn something new everyday, I didn’t know cats suffer from asthma.
    My nieghbour has lots of cats, and I always suggest food for the cat from costcos as there is sometimes deals you can get.
    The Hills brand is something new to me as I’m not sure it available in UK, but I will mention it to the neighour in question.

  8. Hi Shirley, this is great information to know. I’m an animal lover and I’m still surprised that there is so much pet food out there with grains and such. Dogs and cats are both carnivores and, as you said, don’t need anything else. Feeding cats and dogs natural food that works with their digestion is very important for their health and longevity. Thanks for sharing this information.


    1. What surprises me more is that people don’t realise these things and end up feeding their pets…well, junk food. I’m glad found something useful in here, thanks for stopping by.

  9. I’ve been thinking about getting a cat, so this is good information on feeding.
    I used to have a dog and always feed him top quality organic dry food without fillers/grains. He seemed to do a lot better on it.
    You mention that potato is the number two ingredient. I would imagine that it means there is a lot of this ingredient. I’m not sure that is a good thing for a cat?
    We found that a good diet with our dog actually improved his behavior. Do you find any difference in behavior with your cat depending on what he is eating?

    1. Absolutely, Stella. I don’t feel Sparrow a lot of dry food, it’s more like a snack in between meals when he’s being particularly yelly. When I switched from feeding him canned food from the supermarket to a more natural diet I noticed almost immediately more energy and just a bit more…pep in his step, I guess.

      I’m not so sure about potato either, but he seems to do better eating this stuff than the Hill’s Science Diet – you can check out my review of that stuff here if you’re interested…

  10. I used to have a cat, but I sadly had to give him up because I found that me and my daughter were allergic to him. It took two years to realise what was causing the problem.
    I’m a big fan of grain-free living for myself and my pets. I always fed my cat grain-free applaws. My daughter has a dog and she’s also doing the grain-free feeding. I don’t think cats or dogs should be fed grains or rice at all, but that’s my view.

    1. Sharon that’s really sad, I hope you found him a good home. You’re right, it makes no sense to feed dogs and cats rice – can you imagine them eating it in the wild? Me neither. I’m glad we share the same views.

  11. This post is really amazing and helpfull, I can see how much you love and care about cats! I love cats too. I know Cats should not eat grain at all. I like that this product is totally natural, it’s also important! This product can help cats to live a longer life. Thank you for this info! 🙂

  12. If sparrow approves means is good and also means Sophie will approve too:)))
    I will let her try it and I will tell you our opinion 🙂 From my point of view( pocket point of view is ok 🙂 Let s see the taste 🙂
    really thanks for sharing and I have learned many things reading your post. It matters the age of the cat when choosing the food?
    Have a nice day and waiting for more updates:)

    1. Ah Cristina, nice to see you back here again – you know Sparrow and his pickiness well by the sounds of it!

      To answer your question, yes. Kittens have different nutritional needs to adult cats, so it’s good to get the right food for what ever stage your cat’s at. Hill’s make a range of different food for all different life stages, so no matter what you’re good to go.

  13. Hello, I have spent pretty much all day looking at dry food for my cats that dont contain grains etc, am stumped, can you suggest a good make/brand as one of my cats has asthma and the other one has allergies? Thanks..

    1. Hi Sara, this one that I’ve reviewed here is pretty ok, but if your cats have major problems you might want to consider cutting out the dry food altogether and focusing on a more natural diet to help with the asthma and allergies. Here’s an article with a bit more information about what cats do and don’t eat, you might find some inspiration in there. Good luck!

  14. Hill ideal balance is discontinued
    Amazon claims that – suggested good replacement is hills science diet.

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