Is wet food necessary?

The best diet for your cat depends on their individual health condition and discussing with your veterinarian is probably your safest bet to feed your cat the most appropriate food. But while there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, wet food can be a wise choice to ensure that your pet remains well-hydrated.

Dry food offers some advantages that may appeal to pet owners. It is easier to store, it can be left out for hours without spoilage, and it tends to be cheaper. What is more, some brands are formulated to help clean your cat’s teeth. However, the single most important difference between dry kibbles and wet food is the moisture content. Dry food contains around 7 to 12 percent of water, while that proportion can go up to 80 percent in canned food.

Just like with humans, hydration is key to keep your cat healthy. Because our domestic cats are derived from desert-dwelling species, they don’t have a very strong thirst drive. Many cats don’t drink enough water on their own and therefore need an alternative to avoid dehydration and prevent health issues such as urinary tract disease. Wet food can help in providing sufficient moisture to your cat.

You might wonder how to choose the right canned food. The simple answer to that question is: read the ingredients! Meat should be the primary ingredient. Some canned products contain fillers like corn or rice, which don’t contribute to your cat’s health. If you’re not sure, ask your veterinarian for recommendations. To provide even more moisture, mixing the wet food with a bit of water is a good idea. Any leftover should be placed in the fridge. And the same rule applies for your cat’s food as for your own food: throw away any leftover that doesn’t look right or smells weird.

kitten-eating

If you are feeding your cat dry food and are considering introducing wet food in their diet, remember that cats can be picky about what they eat, and there is quite a difference in taste and texture between dry and wet food. A sudden change in diet may cause them gastrointestinal upset, which can result in vomiting, diarrhea, or a loss of appetite, so introduce the new food gradually. You can try to mix their old food with the new food, progressively increasing the proportion of the new food. Whatever you decide to feed your cat, make sure they always have access to clean and fresh drinking water.

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