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Wet vs. dry cat food

Asking a vet to declare which cat food type is best – canned cat food or dry cat food – treads controversial waters. No matter what answer I give, I’m sure people will disagree.

Dry cat food is best for:

  • Cats with dental issues. Dry cat food, especially prescription dental dry foods, creates a bit of abrasive action on cats’ teeth when crunched, and thus slows down tartar accumulation rates on cat teeth.
  • Underweight cats. Cats who need to gain weight benefit from dry cat food, because dry food for cats tends to have more calories than canned food.

Canned, wet cat food is best for:

  • Nutritionally challenged cats who need to put on weight. Canned cat food smells more strongly and entices cats, so cats who need to eat more benefit.
  • Conversely from the above, overweight cats. Canned cat food has fewer calories and is better for weight loss when fed on a controlled cat diet.
  • Cats with urinary issues. When fed a canned diet, cats get more hydration out of canned food, which is wet. Cats with constipation issues also do better when fed a canned diet, as these diets contain more moisture.

Much has been written about dry cat food, carbohydrates and feline diabetes. Many people believe that cats on a mainly dry cat food diet face increased feline diabetes risk because of dry cat food’s common high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrate content, however, does not necessarily increase incidence of diabetes in cats. Dry foods could more likely lead to obesity in cats, therefore increasing the risk of cat diabetes.

Look for quality above all, in either wet cat food or dry cat food. Feeding a little canned cat food in the morning and evening, and having some dry food out for the cat to snack on during the day is a reasonable approach; cats like to eat multiple small meals throughout the day, and people who work all day are understandably reluctant to leave canned food out all day for their cat.

Talk to your vet if your cat’s health changes. For instance, cats that become overweight or develop urinary issues might need their dry food reduced. Cats with a predisposition for dental issues could require a prescription dry diet.

All statements and opinions in "Canned Cat Food Vs. Dry Cat Food?” are the sole opinions of the I-5 Publishing, publishers of Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy publications and not those of CareCredit. The content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual medical provider with respect to any professional advice presented. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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