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Cat food – Wet or Dry?

We all want to feed our cats the right food.  What’s the healthiest food?  Are there some brands of cat foods that are just not good for our pets?  The pet food industry certainly doesn’t make our decision any easier.  There are hundreds, if not thousands of different types of cat food and treats.  Starting with the basics, we will review the pros and cons of wet food versus dry food.

Advantages of Dry Food

  • Can be left out all day without growing crud.
  • Kitty will always have something to eat, even when their owner is away for hours.
  • There are specialized dry foods for particular cat’s needs.  For example, Hill’s Prescription Diet cat food is reputed to treat a variety of ailments such as kidney failure, or obesity.
  • Dry food has come a long way.  There are pure protein varieties of dry food, and some dry food is packed with nutrients and essential vitamins.

Disadvantages of Dry Food

  • Also known as “kitty crack”, there are still many dry food brands (we won’t name them here) that have little to no nutritional value.  Their number one ingredient is corn, and that much corn is not good for anyone.
  • Kitty will be getting older, and may no longer have her teeth.  As a cat ages, it is quite likely they may lose a tooth or two.  An older cat will have difficulty eating a diet comprised of dry food only.
  • Little water content.  Cats need water.  It helps stave off a variety of ailments such as kidney problems.  Unless your cat is unusual she is probably not drinking enough liquid from her water bowl and needs to supplement her moisture intake.  Dry food won’t do that.

Advantages of Wet or Canned Food

  • As mentioned in the disadvantages of dry food, moisture is critical to a cat’s diet.  Canned food is loaded with essential liquids that your cat wouldn’t otherwise get.
  • Wet foods usually offer more nutritional value.  By reading the label of whatever canned food you happen to purchase, you can easily see what the main ingredients are.   Is protein listed first?  Is there enough fat?  Does the food have essential vitamins and minerals added?
  • There is greater diversity in wet food compared to dry food.  Dry food comes in a large bag, in a single flavor.  Once you and your cat decide on your favorite brand of canned food, you will likely discover that the brand comes in an assortment of flavors.  Your cat can enjoy beef, chicken, pork, fish, and turkey.  Cat’s like to mix things up!

Disadvantages of Wet or Canned Food

  • Some vets claim that by eating a diet of wet food only, a cat may be more susceptible to dental problems.
  • Gets crusty pretty quickly.  Unless your cat gobbles up all his food in one sitting, by the end of the day your cat will be eating something that is akin to swill.
  • Wet food doesn’t stay fresh once opened.   Unlike dry food, which has a shelf life comparable to potato chips, wet food will not go the distance.  If you’re feeding your cat using 6 ounce cans, chances are a lot of the food is going in the garbage.

So what is a cat supposed to eat?

When we add up the advantages and disadvantages of wet and dry cat food, there seems to be only one likely conclusion.  Our kitties need both varieties.  They need a healthy dry kibble that will stay fresh all day, and a premium wet food which will supply valuable nutrition and variety.  Now that we’ve solved that problem, the next problem awaits.  What brands of cat food are best for my kitty?

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