Ask Seth: Is wet or dry cat food best for a cat?

Every few years this question comes up. What is better, wet or dry cat food? The answer is that it is a matter of preference and convenience. Here are my thoughts on this topic:

With wet cat food, this is the closest to a cat pouncing on its prey and eating it. Because the animals they catch in the wild are about 75% water, this is closest to the regular diet of your cat’s ancestors. There is some belief that wet food is bad for the teeth; however, I feel that this is not true. It is thought that dry cat food will help remove any tarter by being abrasive to the surface of the teeth. This may be true, but cats do not chew their food enough for this to be truly effective.  For example, the human digestion process begins with enzymes in the saliva that begin to break down food when we chew it. Digestion does not occur in the cat until it reaches the digestive tract, so from a digestive system view, it makes sense that very little chewing actually takes place. The quicker the food can make its way down the esophagus, the sooner the body can begin extracting nutrients from the food.

Dry food tends to have doubled the amount of carbohydrates than wet food. Dry foods can be as high as 50% carbohydrates while wet food tends to be approximately 20% or less. Ancient cats received only a small portion of carbohydrates (vegetable matter) from what was in the stomach of the prey they ate. In my opinion, I prefer to lower the amount of carbohydrates.

For most cats, wet food is perfectly fine. There is the exception that includes cats that will not eat wet food or are on a prescription diet. There is no point in denying that dry food is very convenient and resistant to spoiling. I have fed my cat a mix of dry food with wet food and he has lived a very long and healthy life. If you have concerns or question whether or not the food you are feeding is the right one for your pet, I suggest you contact your veterinarian to discuss how to achieve optimal nutrition for your pet.

Do you feed wet or dry cat food? Let us know in the comments!

Seth Mayersohn

About Seth Mayersohn

Have a question about your pet’s health or behavior? Readers can submit questions to askseth@petassure.com. Seth Mayersohn has a B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Sciences and a M.S. in Agriculture from West Virginia University. He has 12 years of experience as a veterinary technician and draws upon that experience to help our readers!

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