Cat Feeding Guide: Wet, Dry or Mixed Cat Food
Diet and Nutrition
Many cat owners find choosing the best cat food daunting. One of the most common questions is whether wet or dry food is better for cats?
One is not better than the other. Both have great benefits, so many cat owners find mixing wet and dry cat food gives their kitty a well-balanced diet.
Like all animals, cats should eat a complete and balanced diet with all the nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life. But with so many great options available on the market it can get a little confusing when it comes to choosing the best cat food and feeding method for your pet.
We’ll explore the pros and cons of both wet and dry cat food, and mix feeding your cat to help you make an informed decision - Let’s take a closer look.
What are the benefits of wet cat food?
Wet cat food comes in a variety of flavors, sizes, and textures - in both convenient single-serving pouches and cans. With a high amount of water content, it helps increase your cat’s moisture intake and overall hydration, especially if your pet is the type that is reluctant to drink adequate amounts of water.
6 benefits of wet cat food:
- High water content to help with hydration
- It has a soft texture making it easier for cats to consume
- Strong scent and flavour
- High in protein content
- Fewer calories than most dry food (and can help overweight cats)
- Easily portioned by packaging
With these benefits, wet cat food is a great choice for cats who are fussy eaters who regularly turn their nose up at their food, mature cats, those lacking in appetite, are overweight, or struggle to chew dry food. Although each brand has its own formula, the soft texture and rich flavours tend to be more enticing, while still getting a complete meal and the important nutrients for a healthy diet.
What are the cons of wet cat food?
Although having some great benefits, wet cat food has several drawbacks too. Depending on your cat’s eating habits, wet food can become messy during mealtime.
Unlike dry food, wet food can't be left out in your cat's bowl for more than 60 minutes because it can spoil quickly when it is not refrigerated and has the potential for bacteria growth. This means it is not suitable for grazing and has little shelf life once it has been opened. This is the reason why it is generally packaged in single servings, so although the single serving is convenient, it is not as economical or the most environmentally friendly.
What are the benefits of dry cat food?
Tip it into your cat's bowl and you are ready to go.
Dry cat food is the most popular of the two because of its ease and convenience for the pet owner while still containing all the important nutrients for a complete meal for your kitty. Each brand is different but most formulas are calorie-dense, so a small amount goes a long way and makes it a cost-effective option.
5 benefits of wet cat food:
- Practical - ease and convenience for pet owners
- Denise nutrients
- Doesn’t spoil easily (great for grazers)
- Often more cost-effective
- Many formulas will be beneficial for dental health (helping slow down tartar build-up)
Kibble is a great option for cats that graze or eat slowly throughout the day, as it is safe to leave out throughout the day without gathering bacteria. With many formulas higher in calories, dry food is a good option to help cats who need to gain weight.
What are the cons of dry cat food?
Although the most popular of the two, dry food has some cons too.
One of the most common is over-eating or unwanted weight gain. Most formulas are packed with goodness and nutrients, but higher calories mean the amount you feed your cat should be less. Portion control is important in maintaining a healthy diet for your little friend.
The texture is also a common drawback, especially for older cats or those who find it hard to chew.
TIP:_ Narrow down your search results to find the best cat food for your kitty. Filter by breed, life stage, food type, dietary requirements, brand, price, and more._
Mix feeding - Is it OK to mix wet and dry cat food?
Both are great options, so mixing wet and dry food is a great way to add variety to your cat’s diet and helps make mealtime exciting.
Sometimes referred to as combination feeding or blend feeding, there are three common ways to mix feed your cat.
- Mix dry and wet food together
- Alternate days (one wet food, one dry food)
- Alternate meals (morning or night wet food, and dry food for the other meal or grazing)
Mealtime and mix feeding must suit you and your cat’s preference, daily routine, and, most importantly, support your pet to eat and maintain a healthy diet.
If you are planning to mix feed your cat, consider the different calories in each to avoid any excess weight gain. Use appropriate feeding guidelines and food labels to understand the amount of food you should be feeding your cat. The ratio of wet and dry food is about maintaining portion control. Measuring the number of calories, rather than the amount of food, is key to getting the portion right and supporting a healthy diet for your cat.
So, how do you choose the best food to feed your cat?
Some people decide which cat food and method to feed to their pet based on previous experience, others base their decision on what their breeder or vet recommends, and then there is the influence of advertising and your personal schedule.
The best thing you can do to find the perfect meal and feeding method for your fur friend is research. Consider your cat’s age, weight, and specific dietary requirements, and then understand the nutrients they need for a balanced diet. Read the labels of the different formulas - choosing the best quality food within your price range.
However, what it really comes to is whether your cat is getting nutrients daily and eating the meal. Your little fur friend will quite happily indicate their eating habits, likes, and dislikes when it comes to food - whether it’s the texture or flavor, or they may just prefer grazing over set meal times. It might require some experimenting and at times changing!
Whilst there is no right answer, the key takeaway is to ensure your cat is getting the right micronutrients from its food each day. Whether it is dry cat food, wet cat food, or both, do what works for you and your kitty!