Is Cat Wet Food Better Than Dry ?

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The following is an excerpt from’s FurKeeps Kickoff Ask the Experts Forum.


Q: Is Cat Wet Food Better Than Dry ? Our veterinarian strongly opposes dry food, but I’ve heard conflicting opinions from veterinarians at other friends’ homes.

Answer 1: Many people prefer dry food because it is less expensive, easier to store, and can be left out for the cat to nibble on throughout the day. It can also help with their teeth depending on the brand/type of dry food.

Canned wet food promotes the growth of strong bones and muscles.

My veterinarian requires both, but only half a can of wet food per day. Canned food is more expensive than dry food, but both are beneficial to my cats.

I’d talk to your veterinarian about it and find out why he or she is so passionate about it. It is critical to communicate with your veterinarian.

It is also critical to always have a bowl of fresh water available for your cat.

Debby Williams

Veterinary Services Manager at the Erie County SPCA

Tonawanda, New York

Answer 2: There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether to feed your adult cat canned or dry food (or both! ), and some people strongly disagree.

You should discuss this with your veterinarian, as Debby suggested, because he or she may have specific reasons for that recommendation based on your cat’s health and medical conditions (if any).

Both canned and dry foods are nutritionally adequate. The main difference is moisture content, with canned food clearly having a much higher moisture content.

Dry kibble is preferred by many people, and many veterinarians believe it is better for a cat’s teeth. Dry food, on the other hand, is not a substitute for dental care, and almost all cats, whether fed canned or dry food their entire lives, will require professional dental care at some point.


Many cats seem to prefer canned food when it comes to the benefits, which is especially important if you have a picky eater. Canned food also contains a lot more water, which is great for cats with kidney disease (it keeps them hydrated) or lower urinary tract disease (it helps produce more dilute urine that can alleviate or reduce the frequency of symptoms).

However, we don’t know enough about the causes of many illnesses in older cats to know if feeding a canned diet can prevent some common problems, such as chronic kidney disease, from developing in the future.

Finally, because most canned cat food contains roughly the same number of calories as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dry food, but in a larger quantity, the cat may feel fuller at mealtime.

So, in either case, there is a simple solution.

Overall, canned wet food helps cats develop strong bones and muscles.) Feeding decisions, however, should always be made in consultation with your veterinarian. He will be the most knowledgeable about the best diet for your cat based on his or her age, weight, lifestyle, and overall health.

Whatever food you choose, as Debby mentioned, your cat should always have access to plenty of fresh, clean water!

I hope this was helpful.

Stephanie Janeczko, D.V.M., Ph.D.

The Medical Director of Animal Care and Control in New York City

New York City, New York

Wet vs. Dry Cat Food: FAQs Chart

Common Questions:After noting tendency:
Does your cat prefer the crunchy texture of dry food?All in all, dry food may be the best cat food for your feline.
Does your cat enjoy the texture of semi-moist and moist food?By and large, offer your cat semi-moist and wet food. After all, this provides hydration.
Does your cat prefer smellier food?All things considered, warm wet food or dry food with a little water in the microwave. To be sure, the smellier the food, the more interested your cat will be in ultimately eating their meal.
What is your cat’s dental hygiene?If your cat’s teeth or gums are sensitive, in fact, you may find that wet food is more agreeable for your cat.

Try a variety of flavors and textures to see if your cat prefers wet or dry cat food. To illustrate, the following factors influence whether a cat prefers wet or dry cat food:

  • Odor
  • Consistency
  • Taste
  • Formed dietary habits

Wet and Dry Cat Food: Benefits and drawbacks

Finally, consult with your veterinarian to determine whether wet or dry cat food is best for your cat. Nutritional cat food is widely available in a variety of forms. To begin, a feline’s diet considers a cat’s preferences based on age, lifestyle, and health.

Semi-Moist Cat FoodCanned Wet Cat FoodDry Cat Food
Semi-moist food, on balance, contains 16 – 25% protein, 5-10% fat, 25 -35% carbohydrates, and 25-34% water.Canned wet cat food contains altogether, 10 – 20% protein, between 2-10% fat, and 72 – 78% water.Dry cat food usually contains 28 – 36% protein, 8 – 22% fat, and less than 12% water.
High-quality semi-moist foods are especially palatable, user-friendly, and altogether, they’re ultimately storable without refrigeration.Canned wet foods are certainly great for pet parents who in short, surely want their cat to have variety.Pet parents often prefer dry cat food because it is more convenient, cheaper, and in any event, easier-to-store.
Corn syrup keeps the food semi-moist and prevents drying out. On the negative side, these ingredients can also make a cat thirsty.Overall, canned wet food ultimately helps cats develop strong bones and muscles.Another key point about dry cat food is that depending on the type and brand, on the positive side, it can benefit a cat’s dental hygiene.
As can be seen, semi-moist cat food is usually more expensive than canned wet cat food and dry cat food.Canned wet cat food can frequently be pricier. On the positive side, canning specifically helps preserve food indefinitely.Dry cat food can be fed free choice, that is to say, pet parents can leave the food out. Dry diets are chiefly 8 to 10 percent moisture. In other words, dry cat food is more energy-dense!
Semi-moist foods are significantly convenient. Especially for travel, since after all, they come in individual servings.To point out, canned foods have the same calories as 1/3 cup of dry cat food. Plus, in any event, canned foods keep cats better hydrated.By all means, some cats prefer crunchy dry cat foods over soft ones. Overall, palatability is influenced by flavor and smell. To put it another way, how the food feels in their mouth.

Super – Premium, Premium, and Low-Cost: Food Table

There are semi-moist, canned wet, and dry cat foods, but there are also three kinds of cat food. Cat food is classified into three types: super-premium, premium, and low-cost. To clarify, whether wet or dry, your cat’s food should be specifically designed to provide a complete and balanced diet.

Super-Premium Cat FoodPremium Cat FoodLow-Cost Cat Food
To be noted, super-premium cat food is significantly higher in nutrient density and digestibility than other cat food.First and foremost, premium cat food is not as nutrient-dense. For this reason, your cat must eat more of this food to obtain the same calories.To emphasize, low-cost cat food uses the most inexpensive ingredients.
More expensive as a result of the higher-quality ingredients.This is a more economical choice than super-premium cat foods.To point out, this is the most inexpensive category of cat food.
Higher fat content obviously makes super-premium cat food taste great.Generally speaking, review premium cat food by reputable manufacturers. All in all, who test by feeding trials. Altogether, ensuring consistent quality and balanced nutrition.Low-cost cat food is in fact, not as tasty or digestible, as more expensive cat food.
Nutrient density ensures not only that the cat doesn’t eat as much volume but also makes sure they still get the same nutrition.Altogether, pet parents who choose quality over quantity significantly ensure their cat receives the best possible nutrition.It’s important to realize, a cat may need to eat more low-cost cat food to obtain adequate nutrition, on balance.
In effect, a cat may need to eat more low-cost cat food to obtain adequate nutrition.In the long run, the average cat tends to do well when eating the premium cat food diet.There’s low digestibility in low-cost cat food. For this reason, the amount of stool in the litter increases.
Super-premium cat food is available ordinarily at specialty stores, veterinary clinics, or some grocery stores.Overall, premium cat food is sold in grocery stores, large pet stores, and department stores.Low-cost cat food is commonly sold in grocery stores. It is also known as the “store brand.”

Suggestions for Wet or Dry Cat Food

  1. Attractive Cat Palette Elements: Finally, smell, texture, and taste determine whether or not a cat will eat their food.
  1. What if the food does not have the words “Complete” or “Balanced” on it? With this in mind, select a cat food that claims to provide a complete and balanced feline diet.
  2. Make certain that your cat’s diet contains the six nutrients listed below:
  • Because it lubricates tissues and distributes electrolytes, water is the most important nutrient.
  • Protein aids in the maintenance of bones, blood, tissues, and the immune system.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide energy and aid in the absorption of nutrients.
  • Fats: Aids in the maintenance of healthy skin and fur. When compared to carbs or proteins, provides twice as much available energy per unit weight.
  • Minerals: These are necessary for nerve conduction, muscle contraction, acid-base balance, fluid stability within cells, and a variety of other bodily functions.
  • Vitamins: Small amounts of vitamins are undeniably beneficial to a cat’s health. The water-soluble B-Complex vitamin, for example, as well as the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  1. Buy Tried and True Wet or Dry Cat Food: Test trials result in complete and balanced diets. These tests determine not only whether the nutrients are tasty, but also whether they are viable to a cat.
  2. Investigate the Manufacturer’s Reputation: It goes without saying that a manufacturer’s track record in nutritional research is essential. Especially when deciding between wet and dry cat food quality control testing.
  3. Changing Diet: A cat’s diet can change over time. In any case, canned foods keep cats more hydrated. To be more specific, a cat’s diet is extremely restricted. Their age, health, level of activity, and living conditions, in particular.
  4. Choose Appropriate Food: Cats get their nutrition by eating foods that are appropriate for their life stage. Kittens, for example, have higher protein, fat, and calcium requirements than older cats. As a result, adult cats who are fed high-calorie kitten food may gain weight.

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