Your cat is part of the family. Which means that you need to feed your feline the best food available. For many cat owners, the choice between wet cat food and dry cat food is a difficult one. Because most people are not all that familiar with the similarities and differences between wet and dry cat food, making sure that the one you select is the right one means arming yourself with a little knowledge.
It starts with understanding that all members of the cat family are carnivorous or meat-eaters. Unlike dogs which have a wider tolerance for foods that are not meat, cats are almost exclusively meat-eaters. And while you may have seen your cat munch on non-meat products, meat is primarily what they desire for their meals.
In a perfect world, you would prepare your cat a meal of fresh meat such as chicken. But most pet owners do not have the time to make such a dish. So, your next best bet is to choose the most nutritious food that your cat will enjoy.
What to Consider Before Making Your Purchase
Every cat is different, so you will need to make the best-informed decision by taking the following factors into account.
- The Health of Your Cat
- The Weight of Your Cat
- The Budget for Purchasing Cat Food
If your cat has any health conditions, including obesity, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure that the cat food you purchase does not create even more problems. It’s possible that you may need a specialized cat food.
However, if your cat is healthy and does not require any special food, then you can focus on your budget. This means what can you comfortably pay for in terms of purchasing your cat the food that provides the best in good nutrition.
Wet Cat Food
The most obvious difference between wet and dry cat food is that wet cat food has plenty of moisture. It comes in cans or packaging which seals in the moisture. When it is served, package is opened and the food itself is wet or soft.
Wet cat food normally comes in packaging that is single-serving size. Which means you open the can or remove the top and serve. There are cans of wet cat food that contain several servings, so you will have to seal the top to preserve the freshness and moisture of the food.
Pre-Measured: Arguably the biggest benefit of wet cat food is that it mostly comes in pre-measured portions that makes serving it easy. Just pull the top, drop the food into the bowl, and throw the container away. From a convenience perspective, it’s a no-brainer.
Taste: But it can be argued that just as important a benefit is that cats love wet food. Perhaps because cats are instinctively drawn to eating raw meat, wet food simulates that experience quite well.
Addresses Certain Health Issues: Another advantage is for cats that suffer from certain health issues such as urinary or kidney problems. The additional water helps to flush away crystal formation which means healthier kidneys and bladder. In addition, the additional moisture helps keep your cat properly hydrated.
However, with all the attributes of wet cat food, there are a few issues to consider. Keep in mind that the downsides are rather small and will have no negative effect on the health of your cat.
Expensive: There is little doubt that wet cat food costs considerably more compared to the dry versions per volume. If you are on a budget, then it will be more difficult to ensure that you can pay for this type of cat food.
Staying Fresh: For those who purchase larger cans or cannot serve the entire portion at once, keeping the contents fresh is more of a hassle. Simply placing the lid bad on top is not enough. You’ll need to refrigerate the contents and most likely apply plastic wrap to seal in the moisture.
Cold Food: Cats may in general be finicky, but many cats do not like cold cat food. If you must refrigerate the cat food, then you may need to heat it up first before serving. That can be a problem with microwaves as your cat can burn the inside of their mouth if the food is too hot.
Food in the Bowl: If wet cat food is left in the bowl for more than four hours, it will have to be tossed out unless the directions on the container say otherwise.
If your cat is not as meticulous in terms of cleaning themselves after a meal, then you might have to deal with the sight and odor of stale cat food around their mouth and whiskers. You can try serving the food on a flat plate which may help.
Of course, wet cat food is not the only option. You can consider dry cat food as an alternative to purchasing wet cat food. But is dry cat food a proper substitute?
Dry Cat Food
Dry cat food is not identical to wet cat food save for the moisture, there are certain differences in the ingredients and how the food is processed. This means that you face some real choices when selecting between wet and dry cat food.
Many cat owners prefer feeding their felines dry cat food. There are good reasons to consider why dry cat food is the right choice for your cat.
Less Expensive: Arguably the most popular reason so many pet owners choose dry cat food is that it is less expensive to purchase. Quite often, you can find dry cat food for a fraction of the price in terms of volume compared to wet cat food.
Storage: Dry cat food is much easier to store and will last for far longer even if the bag or container has been opened. Simply shut the opening and the dry cat food will stay fresh for a long time. That longevity works in concert with your budget as you can purchase more dry cat food less often for a fraction compared to wet cat food.
Servings: Because you can easily control the serving amount, you can choose to feed your cat a few larger meals or several smaller ones during the day. It also helps in cutting down the calorie count if you want your cat to lose the extra weight while still eating a healthy amount.
Variety: While there is plenty of variety in wet cat food, dry cat food has a wide variety of flavors, sizes, and volume.
Of course, dry cat food is not perfect and does have some issues. To make the best-informed decision, here are some of the disadvantages of dry cat food.
Dehydrated: Because the food is dry, it lacks the moisture that is beneficial to cats who do not drink enough water during the day. Plus, cats with kidney or urinary tract issues will not benefit from eating dry versions of cat food compared to wet.
Age: The older the cat, the more likely they may have gum or dental issues that make chewing dry cat food more difficult. Even if their teeth and gums are fine, the greater effort required to break apart the dry food can be taxing on older cats.
Another potential advantage is that dry cat food helps scrape plaque from the teeth. It cannot replace using a brush to remove plaque, but dry food can also help strengthen the gums which makes them more resistant to disease.
Is Wet Cat Food the Best Choice for Your Cat?
If you have the budget, then wet cat food is arguably better overall compared to the dry version. The moist nature of the food combined with exact servings makes it marginally better.
If you really want to serve your cat the best type of food, then freshly made chicken is arguably the best. It contains a high amount of protein, no grains, and is low in fat. Of course, not everyone has the time to make fresh chicken for their cat. So, you can turn to wet cat food as the best alternative. Purchasing the right cat food is better than most homemade options unless you consult with your veterinarian.
You can also choose a blended option, mixing dry with wet cat food for the best of both worlds. The additional moisture helps the cat in terms of their hydration while the dry food can scrape away unwanted particles from the teeth and gums. The downside is that you may wind up paying more and not less when blending wet and dry cat food.
Overall, wet cat food has the advantage over dry cat food. However, if you want to serve your cat dry cat food, be sure to choose a trusted brand that contains the maximum number of proteins while limiting the grains. It works just as well as the best wet cat food when you choose the right dry food brand.