Sunday, May 22, 2011

Canned vs. Dry Cat Food

It seems the biggest difference between canned vs. dry cat food is the water content.  Cats need water and many cats do not drink enough.  Canned food is an important source of water for cats.

Many cat owners prefer dry cat food over wet food simply because it is convenient.  Dry food can stay out all day and not spoil and is generally less expensive than canned.  But canned cat food is closer to raw food and contains a lot of water, which helps cats get the hydration they need. Canned food also generally contains less filler and carbohydrates, though reading the labels carefully is key. 

For certain health issues, wet food is preferable.  For cats with kidney or bowel problems, dry food can exacerbate the condition, and if your cat has urinary issues, the water content in canned food can be especially valuable.

 Experts, including's Franny Syufy, the ASPCA, and and Pets/ emphasize that wet food should be your cat's main food.  Some, such as veterinarian Lisa A. Pierson at, go even further, saying that dry food should be eliminated altogether. "I would much rather see a cat eat any canned food versus any dry food -- regardless of quality level of the canned food," she writes, going on to include supermarket-grade foods in that assessment. 

Still, most experts say that small amounts of dry food can be used for variety, convenience and cost savings. Feeding half-dry, half-wet is still better than feeding only dry. Small amounts of dry food may be a slight help in keeping cats' teeth clean, though some experts say this is a myth.

Sources:,,, Pets/


Deb said...

I agree with all of this. My cats are on canned holistic food and it helps to keep them at their proper weight. I do leave a bit of dry out but they just nibble on it and wait for the moist food.

Katnip Lounge said...

Same with my crew here! They get canned food, and a few kibbles for treats. Everyone is now at a good weight and Grayce's dandruff is 100% cleared up.

aliecia said...

We feed our cats a combination of wet, premium grain free dry and fresh cooked protein. Cats are carnivores, so the majority of their diet should be protein, and not meat by-products, but real meat. Dry food does have some positives, that's why we incorporate it in their diets. Wet food is good to leave out for only a couple of hours, then it become dry and unattractive to your cat, so if you need to be out for a bit longer than you expected, or even have to go somewhere overnight, dry food can be left out for your cat. The important part of dry food is which one your feeding your cat, those cheap bags of food are packed with fillers like grains and meat by-product, you should only feed your cat premium dry cat food. Here's a great article on how to choose the healthiest dry cat food,

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