Why is cat food available in a wet form? Why use wet food and not just dry food? What are the benefits of wet food for cats?
There are many misconceptions regarding the use of wet food for cats, and cat feeding in general, due to misinformation. Wet food has many purposes and benefits, and knowing what these are is important when it comes to feeding your cat a nutritionally balanced diet.
Let’s take a look at the facts regarding wet cat food and the benefits it can offer your pet.
When it comes to feeding time, some cats simply prefer the aroma and texture of wet food.
Fortunately, wet food can be just as convenient to serve as dry food when provided in single-serve formats that contain the equivalent of one meal per pouch.
They ensure a fresh, easy-to-serve meal each time.
Cats fed on a wet food diet will often eat more in one sitting rather than going back and forth, and will generally drink less water due to there being higher water content in wet food than in dry food.
As with dry food, it is imperative to follow the feeding guidelines to the wet food you are using.
A high water intake can be particularly useful for the management of constipation and can help reduce the formation of urinary crystals/stones. Therefore feeding wet food can be especially beneficial for cats with these conditions. It is important to discuss nutritional management with your vet if your cat has a specific condition.
Learn more about introducing new food to a cat’s diet by reading our cats and fussy eating article.
Quality wet food provides the same depth of nutrients as quality dry food. There are wet-food formulas available for many feline diets including diabetic, weight management, sensitive digestion and many more.
Wet food boasts some unique benefits too:
- It may lower the chance of urinary-tract problems
- Wet food is often more appetising to finicky eaters due to the aroma
- Wet foods can be highly effective when addressing obesity due to increased meal size, which can help with hunger issues
- Wet food has high moisture content, which increases hydration
Whether your cat eats wet or dry food, it’s imperative that they have access to clean, fresh drinking water at all times. Plenty of water is especially important if you are not using wet food. If your cat is reluctant to drink, try a bigger bowl (some cats don’t like it when their whiskers touch the sides) or a water fountain as some prefer running water.
Ideally, water should not be positioned directly next to food as cats generally prefer some separation between their various resources.
Also keep in mind that milk is not a substitute for water. Cats don’t need milk after weaning and many are intolerant of lactose.
Even specially formulated ‘cat milk’ should be recognised and treated as a food and not as a drink – with meal preparation for ideal food intake adjusted appropriately.
When given a choice, many cats have shown to prefer a mixture of both wet and dry foods compared to either dry or wet only. Wet food has been shown to increase enjoyment and provide the texture preferred by many cats. Dry food is uniquely beneficial as it satisfies the cat’s natural tendency to eat many small meals throughout the day – and provides more dental benefits.
More and more owners are starting to serve their cat a mixture of dry and wet food; some cats prefer wet food in the morning and to have dry food available throughout the day.
If you also decide to provide your cat with a mix of wet and dry foods, be careful to feed only the total amount of food that they need in order to avoid excess weight gain. If you are in any doubt of the amounts of wet and dry food that you need to use, you can contact our helpline.
Remember, always speak with your vet about your cat specifically if you have any questions or concerns regarding their nutritional needs, the best type of diet for them, or wet cat food in general.
We hope this article has helped you learn the facts and about, and benefits of, wet cat food. If you have another question about cat nutrition, general cat health, or any other questions about cats then we’d like to help. Submit your question below.