If cats wrote this article, the answer would simply be yes! There’s no doubt that when it comes to dinnertime, most cats go crazy for wet food. But pet parents face many nutritional choices, and many wonder is wet food better for cats than dry food? Which type of food is best.
Read on to learn the pros and cons of wet and dry food, and which diet is generally best for your furry friend.
Table of Contents
- Wet Cat Food: What’s Good?
- Wet Cat Food: What’s Not So Good?
- Dry Cat Food: What’s Good?
- Dry Cat Food: What’s Not So Good?
- What Does the Vet Say?
- Ready to Switch From Dry to Wet Food?
Wet Cat Food: What’s Good?
Low Carbohydrates and High Protein
Did you think wet food makes furry felines grow sidewise? Think again! It’s actually a standard recommendation for overweight kitties because it’s less calorie-dense than dry food. Though cats typically indulge more in wet meals, they have fewer carbs per serving.
Why does it have fewer carbs? Well, it’s mainly because wet food has a higher percentage of protein and water. This ratio is fantastic news for our feline friends because, as carnivores, they need lots of protein to survive and thrive.
The high protein content also supports muscle maintenance and growth. Protein is key for maintaining healthy skin and a shiny coat. Check the protein content on the label, as it varies by brand and formulation.
Wet food’s high water content helps keep kitties hydrated. In fact, they get most of their necessary water intake through a wet food diet. Wet food contains 70-80% moisture, while dry cat food only contains around 10%.
Guaranteed hydration prevents dehydration and a mountain of potential health issues. Vets may recommend wet food diets to help cats suffering from constipation, kidney disease, or urinary tract issues. As a bonus, cats tend to feel more satisfied with the hydration wet food offers.
Every cat parent knows cats come running when wet food cans crack open! No doubt, wet food’s flavor and scent beat dry food’s by far. If your kitty has a stuffy nose or respiratory issues, it may be hard for her to smell. Thankfully, wet food should still reach your cat’s scent receptors.
Picky eaters also benefit more from wet food. It’s more palatable, so the juicy contents should make even the pickiest eater’s mouth water. If your cat ignores kibble, it’s time to crack a can.
Some cats have missing teeth or teeth issues that prevent them from chewing properly. In these cases, soft wet food may be the only option. It can provide a comfortable eating experience and encourage proper food intake.
Wet Cat Food: What’s Not So Good?
Limited Shelf Life After Opened
Unfortunately, wet food doesn’t benefit grazers like dry food does. Why? Because it can’t be left out for more than 24 hours. If you have a slow eater, this time cutoff can lead to food waste. Also, it prevents the use of automatic feeders since owners can’t pre-stock wet food for days on end, as with dry food.
Of course, neither type of feline food is free! While prices vary for wet and dry food, wet food generally costs more. For instance, a 5.5-ounce can of wet cat food costs $0.50 to $2.00 per can, depending on the brand and ingredients. On the other hand, a 5-pound bag of dry cat food can range from $5 to $30. Per feeding, the price difference is significant.
Dry Cat Food: What’s Good?
Dry food allows owners to serve and store their cats’ meals with ease. What’s more, pet parents can use dry food with automatic feeders. It’s perfect for families who want to ensure their cat gets her food on schedule regardless of whether they’re at home.
For cats who need to gain weight or have trouble maintaining weight, calorie-dense kibble could be their best bet. Vets may recommend energy-rich dry food to senior felines to prevent muscle mass loss.
No matter what, brushing your cat’s teeth and getting regular dental check-ups are most important to her dental health. However, some Veterinary Oral Health Council-approved brands of dry food are designed with teeth-cleaning in mind.
Dry Cat Food: What’s Not So Good?
The calorie density of kibble is a double-edged sword. If your cat is overweight, dry food may cause further weight gain. It may be more difficult to monitor and properly maintain a weight-conscious diet using dry food.
Weight gain may cause issues such as feline diabetes, so avoiding calorie-dense food or closely managing such food is critical. Heaping kibble scoops might seem generous, but it could spell disaster for your kitty.
Carbohydrates are used in dry cat food to bind the kibble together and provide a consistent texture. That’s why dry food has a much higher carb count than wet food. The carb profile doesn’t align with the recommended feline diet.
What Does the Vet Say?
As you can see, wet food usually has more health benefits than dry food. However, the best food for your cat will be specific to her needs. As mentioned, dry food may be best for underweight cats. Wet food may be best for dehydrated or overweight cats.
A discussion with your vet will help you decide the best course of action. Also, some pet parents choose to get the benefits of both types of food by mixing or alternating them. Overall, however, wet food has a better nutritional profile.
Ready to Switch From Dry to Wet Food?
If you decide to switch to wet food, take it slow! Introduce the new food by mixing a little into the old cat food. Day by day, increase the amount you’re adding.
Do this over the course of a week to avoid an upset stomach. Eventually, you’ll completely swap your kitty’s meals for the new grub!
Summary – Is Wet Food Better for Cats than Dry Food?
In short, wet food offers a better nutrition profile for cats, while dry food has practical benefits that owners enjoy.
But, to give your kitty the best dining experience, it’s crucial to get recommendations from the vet. With a bit of research and some trial and error, you can find the purrfect meal to keep your fur baby happy and healthy.
Is wet food better for cats than dry food? What’s your view? Please tell me about your thoughts and experiences in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
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