The debate between choosing dry or wet cat food is one of the common thing in the community of cat owners. First thing first, before we judge our choices in the type of our cat food, it is important for us to know the cat’s physical characteristics. Different with dogs that is omnivorous, cats are carnivores that need muscle-based meats on their food. It is theoretically possible if they get their nutrition fulfilled from plant material, their body actually required amino acid taurine in order to thrive. Taurine commonly found in the muscle meats of animals. Carnivores also have a relatively short digestive system compared with herbivores and omnivores, this is because they are not wonted to break down the tough cellulose contained in plants. Thus, giving cats cellulose in their meal may cause digestive problems to them.
What the Cats Actually Need
In general, wet food, that primarily include meat or fish as their main ingredients, appear as a dietary option that is very suitable for a cat’s dietary needs. But even so, this do not make canned cat food is always better than the others. The best cat food is still the premium one. Therefore, the best dry cat food will overcome the worst wet cat food and cat would always thrive for the most premium cat food. There are several things that you should consider in choosing the foods for your cat, and they will be explained below.
Benefits of Wet Cat Food
A lot of cat owners have the constant supply of dry cat food all the time. Some accompanied them with wet food supplement, many others do not. If we can put human as an analogy, it is like feeding our kids junk food every day because we are too lazy to provide them the healthy cat food that they need.
Same with the junk food in the case of human, your cat will not get its adequate nutrition your cat desperately need from the dry food. In the case of low quality dry food, it contained a lot of fillers to substitute the main nutrient that the cat need. Back in the jungle, carbohydrates are only around 5 percent in the cat’s meal, which was mostly acquired when the cat digest the stomach contents of the prey. In the cheap dry cat food, fillers are needed for the extrusion process that created the dry food nuggets in the manufacturing process. The aim of the addition of the fillers in the cheap dry food is also to cut the production price since it is much cheaper than the main ingredient of meat.
Back in the wild, cats eat their prey that contained about 70 percent of water in their body. In modern days, canned cat food contained for about 78 percent of water, and 10 percent for the dry cat food. Therefore, we can see that canned cat food is more in line with the natural instinct of cat. Not only that, cats that consume dry food as their daily diet usually do not get the adequate water intake for a day. Thus, many cats that rely on dry food can become chronically dehydrated, which can cause to other health complications such as chronic renal failure (CRF) and urinary crystal.
Referring to one of the cat food producer, Purina, if you set dry food as the daily diet of your cat, it should drink around one cup of water per ten pounds of body weight in a day. In hotter weather, the cat need even more supply of water. This will not happen if you use wet cat food as your pet’s main consumption. Cats that consume canned cat food daily only need to consume around one-third to a half of the amount of water the cat that mainly eat dry cat food.
If you give your cat dry cat food, it is essential to give a clean and attractive fresh water source. Many cats do not like to drink form a static source of water such as from water bowl. Therefore, it is recommended for the cat owners that use dry cat food as their main diet to buy a water fountain that will attract cats to drink, as well as ensuring the adequate supply of clean fresh water to the cat.
Cats that eat the dry cat food as its main diet are slightly more prone to the health conditions such as obesity and diabetes, compared to the cat who eat wet food as their main consumption. This is caused by the high carbohydrate levels found in a lot of kinds of dry cat food. Another thing that cause such health problems is that the nature of dry cat food that is free-choice feeding that can grant cats 24-hours access to food supply. If your cat is getting a little fat, it is better to ration the dry food rather than giving the cat the food every time it wants. To prevent the condition of feline diabetes, cat owners should always pick premium dry food or shift their choice to wet food diet instead.
Another thing that can concern cat owners are the calories intake of the cat as well as the problem of dehydration. Wet foods could be appeared as a good source of water if your cat is the type of cat that is reluctant to drink the adequate water intake it needs. This also means that your cat can get a larger portion per meal without giving more calories to its diet.
Another benefit of wet cat food can be experienced by the older cat. Older cats mostly have lost parts of their olfactory senses. This condition will make them more interested in eating food that has stronger smell and taste, which is very suitable with wet food characteristics. The strong smell and taste of wet cat food can also effective to attract cats that are sick or experienced the lack of appetite to jump to the food. This make wet dry food a very suitable option to give the adequate supply of proteins, vitamins and minerals that our cats really need.
Drawbacks of Wet Cat Food
But even so, there are several things that you have to consider before choosing wet cat food as your option. There are surely several drawbacks from the canned cat food. First of all, many cats will make a mess when they are being fed with wet food, and those with a predisposition to increase the risk of developing the dental problems. This will make the cat owners that decide to use wet cat food have to give extra care for the cat’s dental condition.