Why Wet Food?
Whether to feed dry, canned, or a mixture of both is a decision that you and your veterinarian can make together to provide the best health for your cat.
Here’s some insight on wet vs. dry cat food.
The main difference between dry and canned cat food is the amount of water that the food contains.
Dry cat food contains approximately 10% of water, and the other 90% consists of dry matter such as carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. Canned food contains much more water—approximately 70%—compared to dry matter.
This can be important to consider when choosing which to feed if your cat has certain health conditions that may benefit from more water intake.
Given the higher moisture content in canned foods, these foods are typically made with fresh or frozen meats in combination with a protein source that comes from grains. The meats are blended with water, fats, and vitamins and placed in a can, where a heating process ensures that foodborne pathogens are destroyed.
Dry food is made by combining and then cooking meats, vitamins, minerals, and fats at a high temperature and pressure, which makes the starches more digestible. Fat may then be sprayed on the food to ensure that it’s palatable.
Dry cat food typically contains more carbohydrates than canned food. The protein and fat in canned vs. dry can vary based on the type of diet. Certain formulations of dry cat food may also contain probiotics.
Should I Feed My Cat Dry or Wet Cat Food? Or Both?
Whether to feed your cat dry food, canned food, or a mixture of both depends on several factors. Here are some benefits and drawbacks of both types of food.
Canned Cat Food Benefits
The largest benefit of feeding a canned diet is the higher water content. Cats with certain health conditions that require a higher-than-normal water intake, such as kidney disease, diabetes, or lower urinary tract disease, may benefit from the additional water in these diets.
Canned food is also highly palatable, and some cats will eat a canned diet over a dry diet, particularly if they are picky eaters.
Dry Cat Food Drawbacks
Studies have shown a correlation between obesity and feeding dry cat food. This could be because a lot of cats that eat dry food are often free-fed, and owners do not realize how much their cats are actually eating in a day.
It can also cause the opposite problem because it’s hard to notice that your cat is not eating when they are free-fed. The amount your cat eats in a day should be monitored or measured out for both reasons.
Older cats with dental disease or those who have had some of their teeth removed may also have a harder time chewing dry food.