I always ask my customers whether they feed their cat wet food or dry food. I'm not trying to be nosy, but I am genuinely interested in what we are feeding our cats. The pet food industry is just as controversial as human food so making sure what we are feeding our cats is important to their overall health.
Feeding your cat primarily dry food can lead to a number of health issues such as diabetes and/or obesity. Dry kibble has a high amount of fillers such as starches and carbohydrates which therefore lead to these potential issues. The high amounts of carbohydrates in dry cat food is necessary for the formulation of the product, but cats naturally do not eat carbohydrates. Cats are obligate carnivores and require protein. Their small digestive systems are designed to handle protein, fats, minerals, vitamins and water. As you can see, carbohydrates are not on the list even though a large portion of cat foods currently on the market are made up of that ingredient.
If you can, try to feed your cat a premium wet food that contains all of the essentials: proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water. Wet food helps reduce the potential of feline diabetes and obesity, but it also prevents other potential issues such as renal failure, kidney disease, pancretities as well as any of the other urinary illnesses. Especially if you have male cats, a wet food diet can be more beneficial because it contains higher amount of water than dry or dehydrated food does.
Many people have a preference when it comes to feeding their cats. Whether it's an all wet or dry food diet or a mix of both, feeding the right kind of food is the most important. As cat parents, many of us think that wet food should be given as a treat, but it should be the other way around. Dry and/or dehydrated food should be given sparingly and as a treat versus wet food. If you can, try to give your cat wet food twice a day. It’s also important to note that the quality of food is important. If you give your cat a wet food that contains fillers, carbohydrates and a poorly sourced meat, it’s as if you are giving dry kibble.
When it comes to how you should feed your cat, free feeding is not encouraged. In the wild, cats naturally hunt and don’t always have access to food so when we allow our cats to eat whenever they want, we contribute to their potential health issues. Try to limit the amount of times you feed them every day and eliminate the habit of leaving dry food out for them all day. Designated meal times will help with portion control and also reduce their chances of feline obesity.
If you decide to switch your cat’s food from dry to wet, make sure to safely transition them using the 10/10 rule - 10% increase over a period of 10 days of the new food. This allows their stomachs to ease into the new food slowly and prevent any type of digestive disruption such as vomiting or diarrhea. So the verdict is out - several small meals everyday of a premium wet food is ideal over 24/7 access to dry kibble for your cat to maintain a healthy lifestyle!