Most cats love dry food. It lasts longer in their bowl, is less prone to spoilage and a kibble diet encourages chewing which helps strengthen teeth and reduce plaque.
Look for a kibble formula that lists meat as the first ingredient as these are high in protein, while also offering a good source of fiber. This can help prevent obesity.
Keeps Cats Hydrated
A key to your cat’s health is keeping her hydrated. She needs water to cleanse her urinary tract, promote gum health and aid digestion. Often cats are dehydrated, especially if they have digestive issues that lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Cats who are overweight, have kidney or urinary tract problems, or are aging, also have an increased risk of dehydration.
The high moisture content of wet food can help your cat meet her daily hydration needs, particularly if she eats only dry kibble. It can also help dilute urine, which can prevent the formation of bladder stones. Wet foods are also more appealing than dry kibble and come in a variety of flavors and textures, so you can offer your cat a choice to find her favorite.
The downside of wet food is that it can be messy and requires a lot of cleanup. It can also spoil quickly, so you’ll need to keep it refrigerated and discard any uneaten food. In addition, many cats who are fed wet food may have trouble transitioning back to a diet of dry kibble.
Helps Maintain Teeth and Gums
Cat dry food is less perishable than canned, so it can be left out for cats to graze on throughout the day. It also promotes chewing, which helps prevent tooth decay. Canned foods, on the other hand, may not be easy for some older cats to chew or eat because of painful teeth or gum disease.
The abrasive surface of the kibble is a great way to control tartar buildup. However, many cats that eat kibble swallow it whole, which doesn’t help their teeth. They don’t clean their teeth like carnivores in the wild do by physically ripping meat off bones to rub against their teeth and gums.
Some dry cat foods are softer and easier to chew than other varieties, such as Hills t/d or Friskies Dental Diet. These foods are made by combining and cooking meats, vitamins, minerals, and fats to ensure the absence of foodborne pathogens.
Even so, daily brushing and regular veterinary cleanings are the real keys to keeping cats’ teeth healthy. Low-end dental treats and chews that claim to reduce plaque and gingivitis don’t work (and often have harmful ingredients). They can actually cause damage by wearing down your cat’s delicate gum tissue. For best results, feed your pet a combination of wet and dry food. This will ensure she consumes enough water to keep her urinary tract healthy while promoting the benefits of a well-formulated dry diet.
Helps Keep Cats Healthy
Many cat owners ponder whether wet food or dry cat food is healthier but it is not so clear-cut. In fact, both wet and dry foods can provide your cat with all the nutrients they need as long as the diet is nutritionally complete and balanced for the cat’s life stage.
The main difference between wet and dry cat food is the water content in the food. Wet foods contain higher levels of water which makes them more nutrient-dense. On the other hand, they also have more calories per ounce than dry foods which could lead to obesity in some cats.
As a result, wet foods may be more appropriate for young kittens, pregnant or nursing cats and senior cats. Cats with dental disease or health issues such as inflammatory bowel disease may benefit from wet foods as well since they are easier to chew and promote good oral hygiene.
One drawback of wet foods is that they are typically more expensive than dry cat foods. In addition, since they are usually “free fed” and left out all day for unlimited snacking, it can be easy for your cat to overeat which could result in obesity. This is especially true in older cats and should be avoided to maintain a healthy weight. Fortunately, most wet and dry foods can be supplemented with water to increase the calorie density if needed.
Both wet and dry foods provide your cat with a species-appropriate diet, but different feeding methods may be more convenient or necessary for some owners. Wet food offers more variety and can be more palatable for picky eaters, but can also require more frequent feeding since it spoils quickly if left out.
One downside of wet food is that it contains a higher proportion of water and can increase the risk for constipation. This is a concern for some cats, particularly elderly or those with health conditions. Fortunately, there are many wet foods available that contain less water to help reduce this risk.
A major advantage of dry food is that it can be left out indefinitely, making it more convenient for some cats who prefer to graze throughout the day rather than eating at specific meal times as would be required with wet food. It also allows for more controlled calorie intake, which can be important for some cats who are overweight or at risk for obesity.
Providing your cat with both wet and dry foods in equal portions can help them meet their energy needs more evenly. It can also help prevent boredom and increase palatable options for picky eaters. Just make sure the food bowls are separate and not located next to each other, as most cats dislike their water being contaminated with the food they eat.