As loving pet parents, one of the most important questions we ask is: what to feed my cat? We all want our pets to have the best cat food possible, but with all the options available, it can be a confusing trip to the pet food aisle for some. Pet parents would need to choose from an array of different, brands, and flavors among other factors. Where do you start? The easiest step would be to consider the basic question, is wet or dry food better for my cat? Here are some factors to consider that can help narrow down your choices on your next trip to the pet food store.
Wet Cat Food
- Higher moisture content. Wet food has water content of at least 60% compared to dry food, which has about just 3 to 12%. Wet food would be beneficial for cats that don’t drink enough water as they may get some of their hydration requirements from the wet food. But it is always encouraged to get cats to drink as much fresh water as possible, especially in the Philippines where the temperatures may get too warm for comfort.
- More variety in texture, flavors, and portions. Cats are known to be picky eaters, and may often get bored eating the same type of food over a long period of time. Wet food comes in a variety of sizes in cans and pouches. With these portions, it’s easier for pet parents to provide different flavors for their cat in controlled portions. With canned cat food, they get more options available to make their mealtimes more exciting.
- Less processed. Wet food goes through less processing stages compared to kibble, which means that it more closely resembles proteins in their natural state.
- Shorter shelf life. If left out, wet cat food can spoil quite quickly because of its higher moisture content. If there are any leftovers, they should be refrigerated immediately and consumed as soon as possible.
Dry Cat Food
- Higher Calorie Content. Kibble is more nutrient dense than wet food. Dry food contains more carbohydrates and proteins so cats can consume higher calories in small quantities. Just make sure that you will feed your cat the recommended amount per day to avoid cases of overeating and obesity.
- Due to the high energy and nutrient content of kibble, cats only need to eat smaller quantities ofdry food to meet their basic nutritional needs. Hence, dry cat food is of the more cost-effective option.
- Longer Shelf Life. Kibble doesn’t go bad as quickly when left out compared to wet food. Cats tend to graze with their food, meaning they eat a little bit at a time, sleep and do their own thing, and come back and eat when they feel like it. Since dry food has less risk of spoiling fast, you can leave it out all day for your cat to feed on while you’re away at work.
- If you have a messy eater, dry food would be easier to clean up after meals. Since dry food doesn’t spoil as fast, it’s often the more suitable choice for cats that tend to graze on their food.
The verdict on wet vs. dry cat food:
There's no definite answer as to exactly what type of food is best for your cat. Both wet and dry dog food are excellent choices for your feline. While some cats and their owners may prefer one over the other, but one good option is to choose both wet and dry; combining them together in the same bowl, or giving the wet food as an occasional treat or food topper whenever your cat decides to get fussy over his food.
Most cats prefer variation in their meals, so it is often better to mix wet and dry cat food together for each meal, or feed wet food in the morning, and dry food at night to give them the variety they need.
A good quality pet food should be made up of around 70% premium, high quality meat protein and approximately 30% vegetables, and should be complete and balanced according to their age and life stage. You should also consider if the pet food has high-quality fats and oils included in the ingredients. Too much grains, chemical preservatives, artificial ingredients and colors have no place in your cat's diet and may cause health problems in the long run, so it’s also better to look out for natural or organic cat food.
What it all comes down to is giving your pet the high quality food that would provide your cat with all the important nutrients, vitamins and minerals for optimum health. It’s just a matter of which one will be best for your cat’s specific nutrient needs and preference, and course, which would fit your lifestyle.
Remember that every cat is different, thus each cat needs different food. Certain factors like their age, weight, activity level and specific health or nutrient needs should definitely be considered when it comes to choosing the best cat food. You know your cat best, but you should always check with your veterinarian before switching up your cat’s diet immediately, especially if they have any food allergies or sensitivities.