Is It Better to Feed Your Cats Dry Food, Wet Food, or Both?

cat looking at food at the dining table

New cat parents might face a dilemma walking down the long cat food aisle inside the grocery store—what to feed their cats. They might be clutching a can of wet cat food in one hand and a pack of dry cat food in the other and weighing the pros and cons of each.

Wet cat foods appear to be winning, and cats adore their wet food, but can owners feed their cats only wet cat food every day?

Wet VS Dry Cat Food

The debate between wet versus dry food for cats has not reached a consensus yet, but experts agree that each has its benefits and drawbacks.

Wet Cat Food

  • Wet cat food is more expensive.
  • Wet cat food can spoil quickly and will need refrigeration once opened.
  • Wet cat food is less energy-dense.
  • Wet cat food is rich in moisture, with high moisture content.
  • Wet cat food is rich in fat and protein. 

Dry Cat Food

  • Dry cat food is more economical.
  • Dry cat food does not spoil easily.
  • Dry cat food is more convenient.
  • Dry cat food is energy-dense.
  • Dry cat foods have less moisture content.
  • Dry cat food contains more carbohydrates than protein.
  • Dry cat food only has a slight edge over wet food in preventing decay and other dental diseases.

What Do Veterinarians Recommend?

Most veterinarians believe that cats should and can be fed both as long as they are well-balanced diet to ensure that your cat gets the vitamins and minerals they need.

Carbohydrate concerns in dry cat food are frequently exaggerated because they are claimed to contain too much carbohydrate, promote obesity, and be harmful to cats. Such high carbohydrate levels are only found in research diets, not in commercial cat foods, and research clearly shows that dietary carbohydrates are not a cause of feline obesity. In reality, the nutrient and calorie content of the diet is far more important in ensuring that your cat's feeding bowl and most commercial dry food are formulated by expert nutritionists and veterinarians; and should not be eliminated entirely from your cat's diet.

There are many dry foods available today that cater to specific cat health and diet requirements, such as grain-free, urinary, skin and hair, weight management, gastrointestinal, or even diabetic cats.

Final Thoughts

The golden mean is to mix wet and dry cat food, but this will necessitate careful measuring on the part of both the cat parent and the veterinarian. Every cat is unique, and the amount you feed per day will vary depending on your cat's age, current body condition, and the presence of any underlying diseases. Your veterinarian can advise you on how much your cat should eat and how to divide the two food options.

Quick Note: Avoid feeding a home-cooked, homemade, or raw diet unless it is specially formulated by a veterinarian who specialises in making these diets and is certified by national food regulation.


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