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Why Is My Cat Addicted To Wet Food?

If your cat is addicted to wet food you may be wondering why exactly this is and if it should be considered a problem or not…

Why is my cat addicted to wet food?

It’s not so much that your cat is ‘addicted’ to it, your cat simply prefers wet food over dry. While dry food is full of vitamins and nutrients that your cat needs, just like wet food, the wet food is soft, moist, and often includes real meat in it. It’s a little more like the meat that they would be eating in the wild.

So, now you know. But, what is better, wet or dry cat food? Does wet food keep them hydrated? How much wet food should they be consuming daily? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Is wet food better than dry cat food?

A cat feeding from a food bowl.

A cat feeding from a food bowl.

Many argue that wet cat food is better. But, that is subjective. Wet cat food costs more, but it does come with some benefits.

For cats that have problems with their weight or issues such as constipation, wet cat food is easier to consume and digest and can help to minimize health issues. Some brands also have a higher quality of meat content, which is also important for your cat.

Dry cat food is easier to store and some cat toys will even allow you to put it inside to dispense as a ‘reward’ when your cat ‘solves’ how the toy works.

Serving the two at alternating times is a good way to ‘mix up’ your cat’s diet if you’d like to make mealtime a little more interesting but ultimately your cat can get all of their vitamins with either of these food options.

Just imagine it from your own perspective. You like a little variety and so does your cat!

Do cats appreciate wet food because of their historical origins?

Keep in mind as well that cats evolved in desert environs, getting their water mostly from the prey that they ate. With dry foods, you can try adding a small amount of boiled water, which the kibble should absorb. This will make it warm, moist, and also raise the water content for your kitty so that it will be more like store-bought wet cat food.

Does wet cat food help to keep cats hydrated?

Wet cat food definitely helps with hydration, just like it does with us. Water is water, so when your cat ingests wet cat food they are getting all of the nutrients from it as well as the water content. Remember that cats are often found in desert environs, so they tend to get a lot of their water from their prey rather than a direct source.

That said, cats do love fountains, as it mimics a nice freshwater source. If you are worried about keeping your cat hydrated, then a drinking fountain is an excellent option to consider.

How much wet cat food should a cat eat per day?

With wet cat food, it will depend on the cat’s age and size. Unless a kitten is fairly large, 1 – 2 ounces per day is a good amount to help them get proper nutrition without running the risk of them gaining too much weight.

An adult cat under 5 pounds should consume 3 ounces of wet cat food per day, while a cat that is 5 – 10 pounds (but is still lean) should have around 7 ounces a day.

Finally, an adult cat on the heavy side should have about 5 ounces of wet food per day if they are under 5 pounds, but kitties at 5 pounds and above should have about 8 ounces a day. Feline obesity is a problem when you get around these amounts, so be sure to check with your vet for the best possible diet for your particular cat.

Is it bad to feed your cat wet food everyday?

Not at all, but you need to research a little about the brand that you are using. On average, it is recommended that you serve your cat one three-ounce can for every three and a half pounds of their body weight.

Some brands will vary, however, and might include leaner meats, extra vitamins, and such, so this has to be factored in. Overall, wet cat food is a great option for your cat’s meals and they tend to prefer it to dry, so you can serve it up with confidence!

Do older cats prefer wet food?

For older cats and kittens that are being weaned from their mothers, wet food is definitely preferred. It is easier to consume, to digest, and to pass. This can be especially important with older cats who are having problems with constipation, urination, and other health conditions.

While dry kibble is good for cats, it’s definitely harder to digest and it’s not like what they would be eating ‘in the wild’. A cat is an apex predator, even if it’s a tiny and cute one, and they are designed for eating smaller animals. The wet cat food is closer to what is most natural for them and so it’s really the best choice.

When should you stop feeding your cat wet food?

A cat on a wooden table feeding from a bowl.

A cat on a wooden table feeding from a bowl.

If you want your cat to like dry food, it is best to start when they are a kitten. If not, when you stop is really up to you. Your cat will adjust to dry food quite quickly, although whether they ‘act out’ or not is going to depend on the cat.

Wet food can’t be left out for more than 4 hours, so this is certainly a consideration. If your cat has started leaving the wet food alone for longer periods of time, then switching to dry food will lower the risk of bacterial infection or you might simply switch the type of wet food (Click here if your cat is refusing wet food now) that you are using.

Should I add water to wet cat food?

If your cat doesn’t like to drink water, especially if it’s a kidney condition or another health-related issue, then adding water to wet cat food sometimes works a treat. While it looks a little ‘soupy’ to us, the wet cat food makes it a little more like a broth and many cats love this.

It will depend on your particular cat, of course, and you need to make sure that it doesn’t stay out for over 4 hours, but watering wet cat food can definitely help to ensure that that your cat is getting proper hydration if they dislike their water bowl.

A fountain is also worth considering, as they are attracted to running water, and you can even leave the faucet dripping a little if you like. It’s all going to depend on your cat and their personal preferences.

Is it OK to mix wet and dry cat food?

You can and it’s a good idea to do so! When you mix wet and dry cat food together, your cat gets all their nutrition but they also get a healthy workout for their teeth from the dry food. Furthermore, they get extra hydration from the wet food!

It saves you a bit of money if an all-wet cat food diet is cost-prohibitive on a tight budget and your cat genuinely likes the variety. After all, we love foods that are soft and foods that are crunchy… your cat is no different, so don’t be afraid to ‘mix it up’!

Do cats get bored with the same food?

Cats get bored of the same old food every day, just as you would. There are certainly exceptions – just as some of us could have pizza every day, your cat will have preferences to certain foods, but it’s important to mix up their diet to help make sure that your cat gets all of their nutrition without getting ‘bored’ with it.

Mixing wet and dry food is ideal and you can let them have some of your food, of course, just be mindful of what you are adding into their diet and keep portions small.

Even better, cooking some independent low-fat, healthy options such as tilapia fish, boiled chicken, or lean burger meat can help if you want to spice up your cat’s diet – just try to keep them away from prepared ‘human foods’.

Much of our diet is tasty and bad for us, but it can be especially bad for your cat, so just be sure to observe the rules of moderation.

Lindsey Browlingdon