Canned Or Dry Food: Which Is Best for Kitty?

August 14, 2013

Many cat owners prefer to feed their pets dry cat food, because it is easy and convenient.  Dry food can be left out for a cat to graze on all day.  However, that may not be the best decision for Fluffy.

A big negative to a diet of dry kibble is that it doesn’t contain enough moisture.  Because felines receive most of their water from their food, and with only 12% moisture in dry food, kitty could become dehydrated rather quickly.  That would lead to urinary tract infections or worse.

Cats in the wild do not eat kibble.  They don’t eat a lot of grasses or grains either.  They hunted for live creatures and their prey was fresh.  Why should we humans try to change the course of nature?

There is no question that canned – or wet – cat food should be at least part, if not all, of Fluffy’s diet.

Most popular dry cat foods include a lot of grains.  If you don’t see wheat, rice, brown rice or such, look for corn.  While pet food manufacturers like to use corn as a substitute for meat, it is still a grain, no matter what form they use.  Whole ground corn, corn gluten meal, or similar are all grains.

Dry kibble can contribute to feline health problems.  Diabetes would be my first concern.  Cats that live solely on a diet of high-carb-laced dry food risk contracting this disease that can wreak havoc with their lives.

Other health issues that relate directly to a diet of dry cat food include chronic diarrhea, renal disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.  Why take the chance?  Consider gradually switching your furry feline to a diet of wet food.  It’s a slow process, but it can be done.

If you feed dry food to your cat because it is cheaper, think about the cost of veterinary bills, should your cat develop diet-related problems.  Those medical expenses could cost a lot more than a switch to a diet of canned cat food.

Grain-free cat food is available and does address the obvious problem.  But it isn’t cheap and you will still face the question of Fluffy getting enough liquid in her diet.

Our own cats were addicted to their kibble diet and wanted no part of canned cat food.  It was a very slow process, but we eventually reached a compromise.  Lucy and Chico get a small amount of kibble topped with a generous amount of a popular canned food twice a day.  At bedtime, we put a little more dry food in their bowls, so they don’t begin the morning meows for breakfast too early.

Just before bedtime, they receive a couple of Zuke’s cat treats, which are soft and contain no forbidden ingredients.

You’ll have to experiment with your own cat to adjust her diet to what is healthy and also what kitty will eat.  It does no good to switch her to a healthy canned food, if she won’t eat it.

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