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Wet Food or Dry Food? Which Food is Best for My Cat?

Let’s get started with another cat discussion topic for May: Which type of food is better for cats, dry food, or wet food?

When first adopting a cat, new owners must gather a surplus of supplies to comfortably care for their new kitty. A cozy bed, an infinite number of toys, and a bonanza of kitty food and treats. These days, many pet owners are obsessed with the nutritional value of pet foods and the wellness of their cat’s physical health. A thousand food questions fill the minds of loyal cat owners: which ingredients are the best, which brands are typically bad, and how do I make the right decision for my cat?

But the big debate among cat owners lately is whether dry food or wet food is best for cats. Do dry kibble pieces benefit my cat’s overall well-being more, or does wet food take first place?

Both dry food and wet food are commonly used by cat owners around the world. But at Garlic City Cat Rescue, it’s advised that wet food is the ultimate champion for your cat. Wet food should be the main part of your cat’s diet. If you haven’t made the switch to wet food yet, do so right now! If you already have your kitty friend on wet food, you’re steps ahead of the rest of the clowder.

First, there are some definitions. Wet food can be best described as cooked and blended food preserved in a can. It contains an excess of water as well, giving it the name “wet food.” This is different from “dry food,” which is just small food particles stuffed into processed materials. This kibble is cooked at a high pressure.

Wet foods and dry foods may both be processed, but the pros of wet food as a main staple overpower even the consideration of dry food. Wet food is not processed as often as dry food typically is. Wet food retains more water, which allows cats of all ages to be better hydrated throughout their day. More water leads to a lower rate of illnesses in cats, such as kidney issues. There is a noticeable amount of protein in wet food, which can keep your cat fuller for longer and help cats to have energy for playtime and other daily activities.

Wet food is made with less carbohydrates, which means that your wet cat food will not contribute to obesity in your cat. Carbohydrates, as humans expertly know, do not add much nutritional value, and can lead to increased weight. Wet food also retains a more attractive odor for most cats, versus the stale smell of dry kibble in a bag. This will encourage your cat to eat more frequently and stay nice and healthy.

On top of that, wet cat food is more friendly for cats with any kind of dental problem or sensitive teeth. Its soft, moist texture allows for easier eating for cats. This is also a benefit to consider for any pet owner with a senior kitty, as wet food aids senior cats with consuming their food.

Wet food does have a short shelf life. It needs to be used either immediately or within the expiration dates. The moisture will spoil the cat food if it is left out in the open. However, wet food does have a longer shelf life than dry food when it is left unopened. This is preferable for cat owners who prefer to buy in bulk and save food for the future.

If you are feeding strictly wet food, please break the meals into 2-4 daily servings. Cats can get very stressed waiting 8-12 hours between meals. Feeding small meals more often is ideal.

A small amount of dry food or treats daily is okay. If you are going to feed dry food to your cat, make them work for it. Don’t just put down a bowl full of dry food and let them eat to their heart’s delight. This will cause obesity, which is unhealthy.

Marilyn Krieger, a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant, and author, recently noted ways to enrich your cat's eating behavior.

“Toss and roll dry food or treats for the cats to chase and catch,” Krieger said. “Also, hide dry food on vertical territory in toys, boxes, etc., for them to hunt. When cats crunch dry food or treats, neural transmitters are released.”

In the end, however, wet food is recommended more for pet cats. There are just too many benefits of wet food to ignore. At Garlic City Kitty Rescue, it’s encouraged that your cat has a nutritious brand of wet food stored away in your home. Whether it’s to ease your cat’s dental issues or give your cat an extra boost of hydration, wet food will showcase its effects in good time. The results will be noticeable to you and your kitty. Stop by your local pet store or visit your online website for specific wet food options and prices.

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