The Real Truth About Dry Cat Food

The daily feeding of our house cat is a major question that usually comes up after adopting one.

They need, as all animals do, the correct amount of cat food and quality food in order to provide the energy required for the correct functioning of their tiny bodies.

But here is the question that we will address today: Is it better to give them Dry or Wet food?

Is it enough to give them just a good amount of dry food to satisfy their energy and alimentary needs?

by Jackson Galaxy interviewing an expert on cat nutrition

The cat food brands have evolved greatly during the last few decades, so there are different possibilities in order to meet the specific requirements for your cat, if they need light food, if they need food to counterattack a disease, if we want to take special care of their teeth or if our cat is suffering from diabetes or kidney failure or just because they are a senior cat in need of extra nutrients for their body. 

But, is this dry food, enough?

The experts in feline nutrition say that the answer is a definitive and emphatic no!

The dangers of dry food 

According to Lorie Huston and also Lisa A. Pierson's guide about the basics of feline nutrition, dry food has 3 negative issues: 

  • The water content is low
  • It has a lot of carbohydrates that are not healthy for the cats
  • The type of protein is a factor to be considered

Besides that, when dry food is manufactured it is exposed to high temperatures and that causes a destruction or alteration of the original nutrients of the food. That means that what you read on the label is usually not what comes in the package.

Of course, there is also the storage problem: You usually buy large quantities of food to save money and probably time going to the market, but here is the thing that we usually forget, if dry food is not stored well it can cause contamination with bacteria, dirt and even mites or cockroaches and that is something that we surely want to avoid at all cost.

Are you aware of the place where you store your cat's food? 

Besides that, it's demonstrated that dry food as the one and only thing you feed your cat is responsible for a lot of health issues than most owners realize, so, what should we do? Should we consider wet food as the only source of nutrients? Is it safe to say that is totally better than dry food?

So, what's the importance of wet food for our cats? 

Cats and water. The importance of wet food is precisely that it stays fresh because it comes in small cans that are stored safely without being exposed to contamination and because it comes in small portions that will not be subjected to environmental difficulties.

On the other hand, the most important factor to consider wet food over dry, besides the fact that is fresh, is the fact that it is tastier for the cats and it has more nutrients. This is something that we usually don't even consider: The amount of water your cat is having during the day.

Feeding your cat with wet food insures that your cat will receive more water. 

Why is that so important? Water is extremely important for cats since they don't have a strong thirst drive just like any other animal. That means that they probably take less water than they should. That's the main reason why you should pay attention to the amount of water your cat is drinking during the day and the real importance of wet food in a cat's diet to prevent dehydration and kidney problems. A cat that feeds only on dry food will need more water than if you feed them with wet food only or if you start mixing some wet food with their usual plate.

Pay attention to the labels 

According to the Cornell Feline Health Center at Cornell University, our felines need a balanced and complete diet and that is something that is standardized in cat food, but if you really want to know what nutrients you are feeding your cat and how much water you are giving to your cat.

That means that you should start reading the labels and start thinking about the possibility of complementing the dry food diet with enough nutrients in the canned food to keep your little ones going. You should look for food that has a high amount of water, that is low in carbohydrates and that has enough animal protein in order to keep their little bodies healthy.

Try the best of both worlds! 

Now, there is a factor that must be considered: dry food for cats has undeniable advantages such as its price (which is lower than the price of canned food), and the fact that, if it is stored properly, it can last for a long time, but the truth is that its not enough for your cat's needs.

That means that if you are thinking about their health you will need to implement a diet that has enough water and nutrients to complement what is offered in major brands of dry food. Besides that, your cats will love the texture of some canned food added to their diet.

So why don't you try mixing the best of both worlds?

According to the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition, an institution with more than 50 years of experience taking care of animals and their diets, it's better to implement a diet that has both kinds of food since it will help your cat to have a good weight, metabolism, teeth, and overall health.

But, the last word will always be in the paws of your cat and his particular needs and taste. Have you thought about the possibility of combining the two types of food? What do you think?

The discussion is open and this incredibly overlooked topic should be on top of your head the next time you decide to buy cat food.

 

Lindsey Browlingdon
 

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