Do cats need wet food everyday? Well, every cat has a different metabolism, but I do know that cats should not be fed any food with grains in it. So you may think that do cats need wet food everyday? Cats have a short digestive system and are strictly carnivorous or obligate carnivores.
They can’t digest cat food with grains which means they need to eat meat, fat, bones but not plants and it is simply not possible to make kibble without using large percentages of plant-based ingredients so it can be extruded, dried and then kept on the shelf.
Before bringing my cat home for the first time I did a lot of research related to what kind of food or do cats need wet food everyday so that my cat can have a healthy life.
Here is something that I have learned which I want to share with you:
- Cats have a very low thirst drive. They evolve to get most of their water from their prey, from meat which is roughly 75% water. Dry cat food is roughly around 10% water, and no cat can ever make up for that 65% difference left from 75%.
- Adding water to kibble risks activating various mould toxins that are common in the plant ingredients, so it’s not a safe way while addressing the issue of dry cat food.
- If cats fed dry food only then they become chronically dehydrated, which puts a terrible strain on their kidney and bladder, and the sky-high incidence of kidney failure in cats occurred after dry food became popular for them.
- Kidney failure is the number one killer of cats today, but before the advent of dry food, it wasn’t all that common.
- Wet cat food is generally subjected to less heat while processing and thus suffers less nutrient and protein loss.
- Wet cat foods tend to have far fewer “fillers” in them since they don’t have to be formed into pellets.
- These are closer in composition to a natural cats diet. Cats haven’t been changed by the domestication process as much as some other animals (such as dogs) and their digestive tracts and nutrition needs are still much the same as their wild counterparts.
- High protein wet food supports strong muscles. It also helps maintain that muscle mass through adulthood and into a cats old age.
- A cats total body weight is comprised of lean body mass (LBM) and fat mass. Organs and muscles are the main sources of metabolic activity, helping to support many vital functions, like immunity, mobility and more.
- As cats age, they naturally lose LBM. Feeding them wet food with high protein content can help maintain good LBM in growing cats.
- After eating the same foods every day, cats can get bored with their food, too. Some cats don’t just like variety—they crave it.
- By including more wet food in your cats diet, you can satisfy her desire for new and exciting flavours and textures. Cans of wet food are small, it’s easy to buy a variety to see what your cat loves most.
- With so many flavours and textures to choose from, each meal will be a delightful adventure for your cat. Whether she’s drawn to seafood flavours in a creamy sauce, more traditional chicken pate or she likes her food in hearty gravy, feeding wet food will satisfy her desire for variety.
- Cats who have problems with obesity often do better on a wet food diet in comparison to a dry food diet. Wet cat food will provide better nutrition with fewer fillers than your average dry food available in the market.
- This combined with the fact that wet food feedings are generally more regulated than dry food (which is often offered on a “free feed”) means that obese cats may slim down if given wet food.
- Wet cat food is highly digestible. Moreover, it contains all the same essential nutrients as dry food, including vitamins and minerals.
Advantages of Wet Cat Food
- More water content
- Helps stay away from dehydration
- Similar to a natural cats diet
- High in Protein
- Contains Iron, vitamins and minerals
- Zinc, to help support the development of the immune system
- Maintain good LBM in growing cats
- Variety of flavour available
- Delightful adventure for your cat
- Helps in lowers weight
- Highly digestible
Why you might want to feed dry cat food?
Now let’s have a look which I found some
Advantages of Dry Cat Food:
- Cheaper than wet food
- More convenient for the owner
- Beneficial to oral health
- Easy to feed and easy to store
- Higher in energy ensure that the nursing mum is getting all she needs
Offering food on a “free feed” basis allows cats to regulate their food intake and eat according to their appetites. Free feeding is generally not practical with available wet foods.
In general, dry and wet food options these days are quite a on par in terms of nutritional quality. In the past, there could be complications from a few varieties of foods containing high quantities of ash that could lead to kidney failure.
It provides a source of moisture. Cats are often fewer drinkers and many will get their moisture only from food.
It allows you to control the food volume better to avoid overeating.
I’ve found no evidence to suggest that there are any adverse issues with feeding both forms of food to your cats as a part of a regular diet and it can be recommended in some cases. You can get the benefits of both forms of food if the cats are happy to eat them.
Do cats need wet food everyday? Or Can my cat survive only on dry cat food?
To answer this question you must understand the importance of cats diet and the effects it can cause to your cat. You need to know the facts and concerns before serving a single type of food to your cat.
It’s all about biological development which has molded their digestive structure which can be a concern if not provided with a suitable cats diet.
The first concern is water content. Cats have evolved to get water from their prey, they only drink a small amount. When cats are given dry food, they do not drink enough water to make up for the deficiency and become chronically dehydrated.
WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition (the science centre supporting Mars Petcare brands such as WHISKAS and ROYAL CANIN) performed a study that showed:
When cats were fed the 73.3% moisture diet they generated larger volumes of more dilute urine with a lower risk of stone formation than when they were fed the lower moisture diets.
When cats do not absorb enough water, they can be subject to the various health risks such as:
- Interstitial Cystitis in Cats (inflammation of the bladder walls).
- Urinary tract infection
- Cat kidney failure
The second major question is that dry foods have a high degree of carbohydrates, which is inappropriate for a cat’s digestive system. When cats consume too many carbohydrates, they can be subject to the following health risks:
- Allergies (many cats develop allergies to substances which they cannot digest)
- Other Concerns
I would, however, make every effort to prevent the sharing of food if you’re still medicating. As with humans, sharing meds is not a good thing to be doing or should happen.
Do Cats Need Wet Food Everyday?
There’s no right or wrong answer about whether you should use canned or dry food to your adult cat, and some people have very strong opinions either way.
Both canned and dry foods are nutritionally complete. The single biggest distinction between the two is moisture content, with canned food obviously having a much higher moisture content.
However, dry food is not an alternative for cats dental care – regardless of whether they have eaten canned food or dry food their entire lives – you will need a professional dentist at some point in their lives.
As for the advantages of canned cat food, many cats do seem to find it more palatable and this can be especially important if you have a cat with a finicky appetite.
Canned food also has much higher water content, and this can be of particular benefit for cats kidney problems (it helps keep them better hydrated) or lower urinary tract disease.
Finally, the higher water content may make it simpler to put your kitty on a diet (if necessary) because most cans of cat food contain roughly the same number of calories as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dry food, but in a larger quantity of food, so the cat may feel fuller at mealtimes.
So, not a straightforward answer either way. Some of the decisions will come down to personal preference (yours and your cat’s) but certainly feeding decisions should be made in consultation with your veterinarian. He will be in the best position to advise you on the optimal diet for your cat based on his/her age, weight, lifestyle, and overall health.
That is why I have chosen to feed a mix of wet and dry food for my cats. They get wet food twice a day and have dry food available on a “free feed” basis for the rest of the time.
Different cats may have different health problems and specific dietary requirements. However, in the common case, I believe that wet food as part or all of a cats diet is useful overall.
So, do cats need wet food everyday? Not necessarily, but feeding a combination of wet and dry food can give your cat the benefits of all. The wet food will increase her total daily water intake which will provide her with the variety she wants and the dry kibble will help keep her teeth clean.