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The Right Balance of Dry and Wet Food?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was reading another thread here that mentioned a purely "dry" diet of cat food could cause potential health risks to my babies. When Penelope was a kitten and a young cat, she had a mix of dry and wet. Then, when she was about 2 1/2, the vet said she was overweight and that I needed to stop giving her the wet mix with her dinner, so she has been for the past 2 years on a totally dry cat food diet.

Her current food: Iams Weight Control Indoor Cat.

What do you recommend I do? I don't want to place her health in jeopardy by barring her from wet food as the vet had recommended, but I also want to make sure that she does not gain any more weight. She has a constant battle with her weight and she is currently 11lb 6 oounces. The vet says she needs to lose another pound. Any food solutions will be greatly appreciated by both me and Miss Penelope!!
post #2 of 14
One make sure there is good protein and fat in your dry food... I AVOID wt control food they are carb filled and not great for kitty s that only are a little cuncky...

50 dry 50 wet is what I have always done... today one eats no dry and one eats very little wet so my balence is off ...
post #3 of 14
is the only reason your vet doesn't want your cat to eat wet because of the weight issue? if so then just feed less of it but what ever you do do not mix wet and dry food. cats have a very short digestive tract and dry food takes a long time to digest whereas wet food digests quicker. if you mix the two then the dry food will cause the wet food to ferment in the belly as it waits to digest which can cause bloating, gas and discomfort. the concensus is stay far away from dry food if you can as there is no 'good' dry food just some are worse than others. top quality canned food is next with raw as the best food you can feed your sweetie.

read the ingredients on the canned food. go for high protein and no carbos like corn, wheat or rice...some indicate 'grain free' that is what is best. a specially formulated raw food diet of 90% protein and 10% veggies slowly introduced into the diet is the best choice. doesn't it make sense? cats in the wild eat mice that are mostly protein and they get the veggies from the contents of the stomach...the diet should closely match their natural diets and this is it. as well cats are not grazers like cows or horses they are gorgers and sleepers so you should not have a bowel of food out for them be it crunchies or wet where they can eat all day...that is how they will gain a lot of weight as well.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for the insight. The vet advised me to have dry food because it was better initially for her teeth, or so she said. So then I had been mixing her dinner with an Iams gravy packet and then she said take that away, the gravy was too fattening and the dry was better for her. But since I've noticed no change, I was getting frustrated.

I'll try a can of wet at night at dry in the morning for now. I've always been careful to measure their food and I never leave it sit out as Penelope would just eat and eat all day if I did!

I had been mixing her brother's dry food with wet (another suggestion by my vet due to his overbite problem, sigh, my vet has led me astray it seems). I didn't realize what harm that could do to the digestion! Thanks again.
post #5 of 14
hi nellers...

another thing to think about is if dry food would help 'clean' teeth the cat would have to chew it for a certain length of time to be effective. cats mostly gulp their food and spend little time chewing so i think that dry food cleans teeth is a myth... in specially formulated raw cat food the bone is left in (again to mimic their natural habits) and it acts in much the same way as dry food would...but again...they don't really chew their food so the bone is more for calcium it would seem...

personally, i feel a lot of the weight gain comes from carbos in the dry feed. cats just don't need em and they of the best indications that the food you are feeding your littles is good for them is how big their poops are. if they are quite big, then the cat is most likely not assimilating a lot of what you are feeding. on raw food diets the poops are very small and they tend to drink less because they use most of what they eat...
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
LOL - that is right on the money with their poop! I'll be going to the store this week to make some changes. Thanks again!
post #7 of 14
just a caution...any changes in the diet should be very gradual or it can cause distress...good luck!
post #8 of 14
Umm... advocating only wet or only dry is bad. Neither are perfect but then again, their natural diet isn't perfect either...

Follow your vet's advice until your cat's weight is under control.. if you're concerned, consult a nutritional expert for animals, go to the Iams website and consult directly with them for advice, they produce both wet and dry foods so they're unlikely to be biased in one direction or another and from memory, they also have a pet nutrition course (one they provide to trainee vets and vet nurses etc)

Hills Science Diet also has a pet nutrition course (as above) you may feel more comfortable with... Purina also has one... and I'm sure that Whiskas or GoCat or whatever food brands are available in your area have websites you can go to for more information to help soothe your concerns.

Research is always good to do if you have any concerns, and then make up your own mind.
post #9 of 14
First of all, cats are pure carnivores. You don't see any cats in the wild digging and scratching out roots and vegetation like canines. They eat grass purely for fiber and digestive aid for hair balls and constipation. They simply need good food and the weight will drop. The problem with most dry is the use of grains, meals and by-products which are simply not good food sources no matter what the "experts" tell you. Is it healthy for humans to eat food out of a box all the time? No! There are now dry brands of pure protein diets like that are FABULOUS for dry, whole meat formulas in wet (no meat loafs) such as and controlled feeding times verses leaving the food out are best. Be well.
post #10 of 14
Cats are much more likely to gain weight on dry food than on wet so if your cat is overweight I'd increase the amount of wet in her diet rather than get rid of it. Frankly, I'm not very impressed with your vet if he suggested that wet food would make her fat - that's nonsense. Not saying your vet is a bad vet in general, just that I think that nutrition advice is bad advice. Over feeding will make her fat and that's much more easy to do with dry food. When I switched Jaffa from half and half to mostly wet he lost a bit of weight (which I didn't want him to - he's not overweight) even though I calculated the dry matter of both foods to make sure I was giving him the right amount of wet to replace the dry.
post #11 of 14
Since bring our cat home she has been a diet of pure dry (except for the first 2-3 weeks) and seems to be doing fine. She does get the wet for every now and then, but she doesn't ever really eat it. I've tried every possible brand I can find and she won't really touch it.

She is eating Felidae right now and I'm going to start supplementing her with a raw treat probably 2 times a week. Is this going to be bad for her?
post #12 of 14
i think what you need more than the advice of a vet or a manufacturer is common sense...
the difference between feeding dry and wet is living a longer healthier life.
your cat may be just doing fine on dry but do you really know what's going on inside the tissue cells? when they're 8 years old and their kidney's start failing...

common sense...
post #13 of 14
if you're concerned, consult a nutritional expert for animals, go to the Iams website and consult directly with them for advice
Iams is not the place to go for unbiased nutrional advice.
post #14 of 14
NO PET FOOD manufactur site will give unbiased info ... some will give better facts than other s... but look for non Pet food company based sites ... then go to the pet food sites
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