The debate around whether or not canned cat food is better than dry food has been an ongoing facet of the veterinary community for several decades now. There have actually been studies conducted aimed at figuring out which type of food is better for cats (with a lot of the conclusions pointing towards canned cat food).
In order for you to determine which type of food is the best option for your cat, you’re going to need unbiased facts about both canned and dry cat food. Both food types have their benefits as well as drawbacks, all of which are covered in the following sections. We also cover the basics of feline nutrition standards (which is an important consideration to keep in mind – especially when it comes to choosing food for your cat).
The Drawbacks of Dry Cat Food
Many cat owners might be surprised to learn that dry cat food has developed a fairly poor reputation among veterinary nutritionists. There’s actually a fairly big portion of that community that explicitly recommends feeding your cat canned food over dry. Why? Below are some of the main reasons:
- Not a high level/volume of water
- Far too many carbohydrates (felines are hypercarnivores)
- Protein and fat ingredients aren’t animal-based
Hypercarnivores are animals that have a diet that consists of mostly animal proteins/fats. Lions, sharks, and yes your pet cat are all examples of hypercarnivores.
This is why most dry cat foods simply cannot provide the nutrition that cats require. They’re too carb-heavy, utilized far too many plant-based ingredients, and generally are just not formulated for the genetic dietary requirements that cats have.
Another problem with dry cat food is that it’s essentially dehydrated (which means there isn’t much water). This can lead to your cat developing UTIs or even kidney disease in some cases.
Why Canned Cat Food Is Better Than Dry
Like we already mentioned above, cats are considered “hypercarnivores.” This means that the large majority of their nutritional needs must be sourced from animals (i.e animal fats and proteins). This is the primary problem with dry cat food; it just isn’t natural for cats to eat the ingredients found in it.
High-quality canned cat food brands, such as Blue Buffalo canned cat food online, contain much higher levels of animal proteins and fats (in addition to containing much less plant-based ingredients). This benefit alone is one of the major reasons why so many nutritionists in the veterinary world recommend canned food versus dry.
Another one of the main reasons why canned cat food is better is because of its large water volume. Why is this so important? Cats aren’t like dogs (who seem to drink water whenever they get the chance). They don’t have the same instinctual drive to consume water (like dogs do).
This can become a problem and lead to the development of several types of diseases. One of the best ways for your cat to stay hydrated is by consuming wet canned cat food.
Of course, if a cat’s diet mainly consists of dehydrated (dry) food, they will have a much more difficult time staying hydrated (and can actually be chronically dehydrated as a direct result of their diet). The question that most owners have at this point is how they can successfully switch their cat over to canned (wet) food (which is covered in the following section).
Making the Switch From Dry to Canned
Many cats become accustomed to eating dry food, and trying to get them to even try canned food can be a challenge (let alone switching their entire diet overnight). Making the transition from dry food to canned involves some basic planning, patience, and of course – time.
The best way to transition from dry to canned cat food is by slowly incorporating the new food into your cat’s current diet. Most cats will not be able to handle an abrupt switch in their diet, which is where having a transition plan can come in handy. By slowly incorporating canned food, one bite at a time, your cat will be less likely to resist.
Most feline nutritionists recommend feeding your cat anywhere from three to five meals per day in order for them to receive a proper level of calories. One thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t complicate your cat’s dietary schedule. If your cat has some extra weight, feed it less than usual. If your cat is on the skinny side, feeding it a bit more than usual will help it bulk up.