Whether you’re a newbie cat owner or you’ve kept a furry companion for as long as you can remember, your cat’s health is probably one of the most important things to you. Cats are like humans: they require the right nutrition to live healthy, happy lives. And while it could be tempting to take that on-offer product to save on expenses, it might not always be the best option for your feline friend.
When it comes to cat food, there are two main options to choose from: wet food and dry food. It’s never really clear, if you’re looking down a supermarket aisle, which is supposed to be used when (if any). One thing’s for sure; you want to make sure you’re making the best choices for your pet. It can just feel a little tricky with no direction.
Some people might stick to one type. Others – and this is the more likely option – feed their cats a mixture of both wet and dry for a more varied diet. But which option is the best for your cat? And does this vary from cat to cat, or apply to all cats in general? Keep reading to find out the answer to these questions and more…
Let’s start with dry food first. Dry cat food is called so because it contains no moisture, and is usually crunchy in texture. You’ll most likely see dry cat food being sold in bulk bags, and it often comes in a number of different meaty flavours. The main advantages of dry cat food are:
- Convenient for storage
One reason why dry food is the favourable option for many cat owners is that it can easily be stored in bulk, and for long periods of time. Dry cat food tends to have a really good use-by date, making it ideal for storing without immediate use. It can also last a good while out of the bag, so you can deposit it in a bowl and leave it for days if your cat just isn’t hungry enough!
- Low-cost alternative
Cost is a big factor when considering which cat food to buy on a long-term basis. New cat owners might be surprised at how much food their cat gets through on a daily basis – aside from vet bills, it’s one of the most costly expenses to come from owning a cat. Dry cat food can be bought in large batches for a relatively low price, making it the most wallet-friendly alternative for owners on a budget.
- Great for cats’ teeth
Want to save out on future vet bills? Dry cat food can go some ways to help. It’s good for maintaining the tooth health of your cat, as it removes plaque and other bacteria off the teeth during eating. If your cat is eating dry food quite regularly, it’ll prevent a build-up of tartar on the teeth for a sustained period of time. For more information on the best dry food for teeth health, read my (insert link here).
- Keeps cats fuller for longer
If you’re a busybody who often has to spend lengthy periods of time away from home, the best way to ensure that your cat is well-fed while you’re gone is to feed it dry food. Generally, cats stay fuller for longer after they’ve eaten dry cat food, meaning they’re less likely to be nagging for food the moment you’ve fed them! Dry cat food can also be the best option for cats with a little extra weight, especially if you’ve been advised by the vet to control their diets.
Onto the next popular meal option for your cat: wet cat food. Usually found in smaller tinned batches, wet cat food is classified as having a high moisture content (normally around 70% or over). Wet cat food can usually only be left out for a couple of hours before bacterial growth may occur – so it’s best fed to hungry cats! The main advantages of wet cat food are:
- High protein content
Obviously, the protein content of wet cat food varies from brand to brand, but you can generally expect the stuff to contain a higher amount of protein than dry cat food. Protein is important for cats to continue living an active life, as it is used for energy and to sustain muscle mass. Take a look at my top picks for the highest protein cat food (insert link here).
- Source of hydration
Cats, like all animals, require plenty of water to keep them hydrated and healthy. While their best way to stay hydrated is obviously to drink water, wet cat foods also provide a great source of moisture content to keep cats hydrated too. Cats with kidney problems or diabetes are recommended to switch up their dry food intake for wet food, which is much lower in carbohydrates and more easily digestible.
- Better for older cats
Older cats require a little more nutritional support than younger cats, which is generally why wet cat foods are the preferred option for them. Rich in moisture to support kidney and urinary tract health, wet foods can offer a higher-quality nutrition on the whole. Wet cat food doesn’t offer the same dental benefits as dry food, but it is kinder to teeth in cats that find chewing a challenge. If you want more information about the best type of wet food for senior cats, please read my (insert link here).
- Appealing to picky eaters
As cats get older, it’s quite normal for them to slightly lose their appetites. This is not usually a sign for concern, but it can make getting them to eat their previous favorite foods more difficult. Wet foods tend to be the more palatable option for cats, so if you’re having trouble getting your cat to eat, it might be worth switching them over to wet food.