Should You Feed Your Cat Wet or Dry Food? Here’s What Veterinarians Say

Timothy Hill


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Ensuring that your cat is healthy and delighted is any pet parent’s best priority, and 1 of the most effective techniques to do so is by feeding them the best meals on the market place. There are two major choices to opt for from: moist and dry meals. It goes without having saying that wet meals has significant drinking water content, while dry foods is a dry, shelf-steady option. Equally are prevalent and come veterinarian recommended—but is a person in the end improved for your cat? Listed here, veterinarians weigh in on the subject and share the pros and cons of each food style so you can make the finest decision for your four-legged friend.

Relevant: How Much Ought to You Be Feeding Your Pet?

The Distinction Involving Wet and Dry Cat Food stuff

The most significant variation amongst wet and dry cat foodstuff is the drinking water content, claims Catherine Barnette, DVM, a Florida-primarily based veterinarian and contributor to pet father or mother useful resource Covetrus’ Excellent Pet Care. “The water material of dry cat food is normally around 10 p.c, which signifies that 90 % of the foodstuff is providing nutritional worth for your cat,” claims Dr. Barnette. “Canned meals, in contrast, generally has about 75 % drinking water.” This dampness material differs, depending on how just about every variety of food items is created.

How Soaked Food stuff Is Manufactured

Soaked pet food items are made by mixing components and cooking them inside a container like a can, tray, or pouch, states Athena Gaffud, DVM at “Although no extreme heat is applied, the food items in the container remains sterile right up until opened,” she suggests.

How Dry Food Is Manufactured

Dry pet food items is built by baking or extrusion, says Dr. Gaffud. “Dry and damp components are combined collectively to variety a dough,” she says. “The extrusion approach involves thermal and mechanical treatment plans, where the dough is heated under tension and pushed as a result of a dye equipment that cuts the kibbles.” From there, the kibbles are dried, cooled, spray-coated, and packaged.

cat looking at hand holding food

cat looking at hand holding meals

Cris Cantón / GETTY Pictures

Pros of Moist Food items

Higher moisture content material is damp food’s assert to fame. Discover why this can reward cats.

Assists Wellbeing Ailments

If your cat has sure health and fitness situations, these types of as reduce urinary tract ailment, kidney disease, megaesophagus, or dental complications, feeding them damp meals could aid. The additional water will flush out their devices, which will help reduce renal or urinary situations, gurus say. “In the case of megaesophagus, there is problems passing the food items from the mouth to the abdomen, so a softer diet program would be extra great,” says Dr. Gaffud. “Since moist meals has a softer consistency, this is simpler to chew for cats with dental challenges.”

Smell and Flavor

Soaked food stuff ordinarily has a potent aroma, which is interesting to cats. As well as, these foodstuff occur in a huge array of flavors, which implies there are more options for picky eaters, states Dr. Barnette.

Excess weight Management

Moist foodstuff can also aid your cat reduce pounds. “The humidity information will make cats really feel a lot more satiated and stops recurrent having,” states Dr. Gaffud. “In addition, greater-moisture diet programs are ordinarily less calorie-dense, creating them perfect for bodyweight decline in obese cats.”

Cons of Wet Food

According to veterinarians, there are some negatives affiliated with this foodstuff style.

Shorter Shelf Lifetime and Much more Routine maintenance

The large water content material tends to make moist cat food expire more quickly. “When a damp cat food container is opened, it should be consumed within just 24 hrs,” says Dr. Gaffud. “At the time uncovered, wet cat food stuff has a larger danger of contamination that could result in gastrointestinal upset when cats unintentionally consume it.”

Because soaked food stuff are unable to be left at room temperature for far more than two hrs, cats also need to have to eat it promptly. “Furthermore, your cat’s meals bowl should be carefully cleaned just after every food to avoid bacterial advancement,” suggests Dr. Barnette. “Lastly, open up containers of soaked meals should be refrigerated and should really be discarded soon after five to 7 days.”

Better Price tag

Total, damp cat food stuff is commonly far more pricey than dry food—and is significantly less value efficient than purchasing baggage of dry foods in bulk, states Carly Fox, DVM, senior veterinarian at Schwarzman Animal Health-related Center in New York Town.

Execs of Dry Food items

Even though not a hydrating possibility, there are quite a few pros to feeding your cat dry food stuff, in accordance to the veterinarians.

Cleans Their Tooth

Cats have to chew dry food items much more than soaked, which actually cleans their tooth and retains tartar at bay. “A dental certain (or Rx) dry meals also aids in stopping periodontal disease in your cat,” says Dr. Fox. “Chewing larger sized parts of kibble helps boost their dental overall health.”

Lengthier Shelf Everyday living

Dry meals lasts for a longer period and is much easier to keep, professionals say. “There is no possibility of spoilage when dry cat food stuff is still left at area temperature, so there is considerably less meals wastage,” claims Dr. Gaffud. “This is also preferred for enrichment, mainly because it is more manageable with gradual feeders.”

Disadvantages of Dry Food

Dry food stuff has one most important con—and it revolves all-around nourishment.

Significantly less Healthy

Dry foods is fewer nutritious than soaked food. “The heat all through extrusion also leads to undesirable consequences on nutrient bioavailability and digestibility,” states Dr. Gaffud. The better carbohydrate material and a lot less-rationed feeding (moist food stuff is ordinarily packaged by single-serving portions) can also lead to excess weight obtain in cats.

Which Variety of Food items Should really You Feed Your Cat?

There just isn’t a easy respond to to no matter whether you should really feed your cat moist or dry foodstuff. “Offered the option, the health and fitness and needs of cats need to be the best most consideration when picking out what to give them,” claims Dr. Gaffud. Hold your life-style in thoughts, as very well. “As described, soaked foods is additional costly and must be properly saved in a refrigerator,” states Dr. Gaffud. “Dry meals is much more reasonably priced and simpler to retail outlet and use, specially if cats are free of charge-fed.”

You can also feed your cat a blend of these two styles of meals. “Soaked food, dry food, or a mixture of both of those are all practical alternatives for your cat, as very long as they are fortunately consuming and protecting a lean human body condition,” says Dr. Fox. And if you have issues about what your cat is presently eating? Be positive to simply call your veterinarian.

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