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Help me understand - Wet vs Dry food

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Okay, I am lurking a bit here, and am confused, which may be a good thing. We have always fed our cats dry food, and wet occasionally as a treat. Nothing fancy, just Purina Indoor formula, figuring we don't need to add too many pounds to tiny kitties unnecessarily.

I am looking at your opinions about wet food (that it's good) but don't really want to abandon the dry. We have always been told by the vet that dry helps more with dental health than wet.

I am looking at the content of some cat food based on labels, but am getting a slight headache in doing so. What are the primary items I should be looking at - I am supposing it is protein and fat content for starters, and also to stay away from much grain. I agree that vegetable content doesn't make much sense for kitties, only for their vegetarian owners.

I am looking at Purina One as a good option to the Indoor Formula. We are not looking at "Cadillac" brand cat foods though. Maybe just a nice Honda.

By the way, I am surprised by the "no-fish" rule. They certainly sell a lot of food with fish flavors, and the companies seem to think this is a great thing to promote. Is fish something to avoid especially in dry food, or in both dry and wet?

(and my cats seem to think the fishies in the tank look especially yummy!)
post #2 of 29
I'll answer what I can.

Why dry doesn't clean teeth--most cats don't even chew dry food, they swallow it whole so it can't be cleaning. Second, does a hard pretzel stick to your teeth when you eat it? It does, it gets stuck all over your teeth--that can't be helping them, the same goes for cats dry food sticks to their teeth.

I good brand to look at would be Authority Brand which is a petsmart only brand. Both their dry and wet are pretty good quality and reasonably priced.

Dry food you want to look at the first 5 ingredients, you want to see animal protein (preferably no by products) in the first and second positions, and the less grain the better.

The no fish rule. Many foods are fish flavored but actually contain very little fish (very far down on the ingredient level). Fish is something that many avoid in their male cats, because they are more prone to UTI. I wouldn't say its fed often here but it's definitely not feared in our house and we have two male cats. Unless you have a cat that is prone to UTI, you are probably okay feeding it in both dry and wet occasionally. The dry we use contains fish, about 10-11 places down on the list and its not caused us a problem and a few of the wets we use contain fish, these are fed 2-3 times a week.

Leslie
post #3 of 29
The common dental dry thought was discussed ... A few drys actually are proven to clean teeth but of them MOST are RX or prescription...


wet food = dry food with lots of moisture

cats natural diet = mouse , bird , maybe reptile .... the first two are mostly moisture

I do NOT use animal by products in commercial foods unless it is specific like a can saying chicken liver , lamb kidney ... I worked in the pet food industry and do know what a chicken by product is via lab testing results ( ICCKKKKYYYY) .... My cats seem to do best with low to no grains , this is what one would expect as cats natural diets only have 3-5% carbs .... I avoid artificial colors or flavors due to possible allergens

what price range do you need and what stores can you shop at??? I ask as my mid priced may be your high priced and suggesting a food you cant get easily is not helpful to you
post #4 of 29
good thread i want to know more too.

My cat of 15 years passed away a month ago, we only fed him dry food mostly Iams. He never had a health problem in his life, he was also an outdoor cat who hunted a lot. We also as a treat would feed him tuna, about a can a month. He loved it, I know some say its bad because of the mercury content. We also fed him cat treats. He was healthy and lived a very long life but passed away suddenly due to a hart condition (clot in his heart, rear legs stopped working) I had to put him down.


NOW....I have two brand new 6 week old kittens on dry food which they like, they drink quite a bit of water too. Lots of people seem to say dry food is the best, and only to feed them that, but our local pet store told us we should give them wet as well as dry. Im just afraid of them liking wet food wayyy too much and they will never touch dry again. I personally want to feed them both, more so dry and wet maybe once every 3 days as a treat like 70% dry 30% wet???

Comments...?
post #5 of 29
This question was asked (and answered) in the February edition of Catnip. Can anybody find the article online. I only have the print version.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies. I will check out PetSmart for "Authority" this week. I have also seen something called "Chicken Soup" mentioned various times on this site as a reasonably priced higher quality food. Please correct me if I am wrong. We currently pay $12-$14 for a 20 pound bag of Purina Indoor Formula. We used to do Iams, back when we only had only one kitty and no babies, but backed off when life got more complicated. It seems Iams is not quite what it used to be anyway, or I've heard that somewhere along the line.

Thanks for explaining the fish rule to me. I think I simply won't worry about that one for the time being. It seems challenging enough to find something that's high-protein, high-fat, low by-product, low-carb, and low-grain. Do I have it down?

I checked some bags today, but I was only at the grocery store - Purina One has a protein content of 30%, which topped most of the others there by a mile. I'll check around this week for the others to compare.

Pardon me, Sophie is telling me in clear terms that it is time to play.
post #7 of 29
i just started using authority from advice on a previous post i made. its really not that much more expensive its 65 cents a can and i think friskies is around 50 cents. ive had my cats on wet food since one had a big problem with uti's and constipation, but now hes been having the runs and pooping all over so im going to allow them all a little bit of crunchies everyday.

Also, im alternating between friskies wet and authority wet to cut down on spending too much money on the food. im still going to check out some of the other higher end brands but im going to keep alternating with friskies.
post #8 of 29
I think a lot of people still believe in the myth that kibble cleans their teeth. Even if they did chew the kibble, it would only, at best, clean the tips of their teeth. The rest would get stuck in between their teeth and toward the gumline. Thus, more plaque is trapped near the gumline and tartar develops. A cat's teeth are designed to eat prey; to tear meat from bones.

Dry food can be too grainy or contain starches cats don't need. However, I know canned food is expensive but you may want to mix wet and dry. Which is what I do to keep the cost down. If I had more money, I'd feed canned or raw.

Cats don't have a high thirst drive so the moisture from canned food is good for them. Fish contains a high amount of magnesium which can lead to urinary problems in male cats. It is also a common allergen for cats and may contain high amounts of metals, like mercury. I feed my cats fish occasionally but I wouldn't reccommend it on a daily basis. I like to give my cats a variety of proteins so they don't get used to just one and plus, it may ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. With my 7 year old cat, I give him the dry and wet in the same bowl but don't mix it. With my kitten, I have to mix the canned with the dry. So you may have to experiment. At the animal hospital where I work, we feed most cats/kittens a 1/4 cup of dry and a 1/4 can (the 5.5 oz can) of wet per meal.

My sister-in-law's cats are all fed dry alone and so far, have had no problems. I guess they are the exceptions!
post #9 of 29
**side note** sweetpea--raw can be very inexpensive--I spend about $5.00 a week to feed two cats, thats a mere 35 cents a day per cat--couldn't do that with the best wet food--or the crappiet wet food for that matter.

Leslie
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
We decided to start using Purina One. Thank you for all your input. I looked at the content information, and it seemed exactly in line with the bag of Authority I was also looking at. Price was even about the same as Authority, but we thought maybe we could get it a greater variety of places if we need to. I picked up the type called Heathy Weight and Hairball formula.

I wonder this though: for cats that are generally healthy is it better to get the higher fat content and NOT get the "healthy weight" or "weight maintenance" formulas? I do notice Sophie gaining around the middle these days, but I wonder if we increase wet food and decrease dry food, whether that would help more than the weight formula, especially if kitties naturally need high fat content for general health.
post #11 of 29
IMHO NO cat should eat "healthy weight or lite or light foods " they are often too low in fat ( cats natural diet high in moisture , high in protein Moderate in fat (20-30%) low in carbs 3-10% depending on who your reading

I am surprised that purina one was at all close to authority ...
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well, I'll choose a different formula next time, but this is what we have at the moment. Check out Purina One for yourself. I was getting a little overwhelmed figuring out this formula and that, but for comparable formulas, I saw numbers that were either the same, or even a little better from Purina One. Anybody's second opinion would be most welcome.

But anyway either way it's an upgrade from what we were using before; and using more canned food too = happier kitties
post #13 of 29
Quote:
I am looking at your opinions about wet food (that it's good) but don't really want to abandon the dry. We have always been told by the vet that dry helps more with dental health than wet.
This is mostly a myth, if you are talking about store bought brands - cats barely chew their food. The prescription tartar control formulas have much bigger kibbles, forcing them to chew, which helps with cleaning their teeth. As Sharky stated, wet food = dry food + water. The magic is on the ingredients, when it comes to nutrition.

Quote:
I am looking at the content of some cat food based on labels, but am getting a slight headache in doing so. What are the primary items I should be looking at - I am supposing it is protein and fat content for starters, and also to stay away from much grain. I agree that vegetable content doesn't make much sense for kitties, only for their vegetarian owners.
Concentrate on the first 5-6 items. Make sure the first/second is a quality meat - no "meals" and no by-products. Stay away from grains, especially corn. Avoid artificial flavors, or meat flavor. Avoid artificial preservatives.
Quote:
I am looking at Purina One as a good option to the Indoor Formula. We are not looking at "Cadillac" brand cat foods though. Maybe just a nice Honda.
Purina one is more like a lemon chevy

Quote:
By the way, I am surprised by the "no-fish" rule. They certainly sell a lot of food with fish flavors, and the companies seem to think this is a great thing to promote. Is fish something to avoid especially in dry food, or in both dry and wet?
Avoid too much fish - some is ok, but not in the first ingredients...

As far as comparing Purina One with Authority... Take a look at the ingredients: Purina: First Ingredient: Grain. Second Ingredient: not only grain, but the worst kind, as it is an allergen. Third Ingredient: Not only a by-product, but a by-product meal. 4th is ok, more grains, more corn... and even paper! Many artificial preservatives...

If you look at Authority, the first ingredient is a quality meat, second is a meat meal, and corn is 4th and 5th. There are no by-products, and much less preservatives...

I think you compared the "Guaranteed Analysis", and not the ingredients to get to the conclusion you got... Authority would be your Honda, for the price of a VW...

I hope this helps!!

Purina one Healthy Weight, Hairball Formula:
Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, turkey, soybean meal, whole grain corn, fish meal, dried yeast, powdered cellulose, soybean hulls, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), animal liver flavor, soy lecithin, calcium carbonate, soy protein isolate, phosphoric acid, salt, dried spinach, choline chloride, taurine, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.

Authority Adult Cat:
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Corn, Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Dried Cellulose, Canola Oil, Animal Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Frucooligosaccharides, Corn Oil, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2 Polyphosphate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamin Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols.
post #14 of 29
By the way: We are all trying to help, and all feel your pain . I think I can speak for a lot of people here who arrived thinking Purina and Iams were great, and dry food was better than wet... Our heads went for a spin just like yours - mine kept spinning for a while actually...
There are many myths out there, and unfortunately vets are much more knowledgeable about dogs than cats... So we are the one who need to do our homework... That's what so great about this site - there are thousands of people who loves cats, and are there to help us in what we need to know...
Don't be discouraged - you are going to have fun in your quest for better kitty health!!
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
This is mostly a myth, if you are talking about store bought brands - cats barely chew their food. The prescription tartar control formulas have much bigger kibbles, forcing them to chew, which helps with cleaning their teeth. As Sharky stated, wet food = dry food + water. The magic is on the ingredients, when it comes to nutrition.

Concentrate on the first 5-6 items. Make sure the first/second is a quality meat - no "meals" and no by-products. Stay away from grains, especially corn. Avoid artificial flavors, or meat flavor. Avoid artificial preservatives.
Purina one is more like a lemon chevy

Avoid too much fish - some is ok, but not in the first ingredients...

As far as comparing Purina One with Authority... Take a look at the ingredients: Purina: First Ingredient: Grain. Second Ingredient: not only grain, but the worst kind, as it is an allergen. Third Ingredient: Not only a by-product, but a by-product meal. 4th is ok, more grains, more corn... and even paper! Many artificial preservatives...

If you look at Authority, the first ingredient is a quality meat, second is a meat meal, and corn is 4th and 5th. There are no by-products, and much less preservatives...

I think you compared the "Guaranteed Analysis", and not the ingredients to get to the conclusion you got... Authority would be your Honda, for the price of a VW...

I hope this helps!!

Purina one Healthy Weight, Hairball Formula:
Brewers ricelow quality and NO cat food should have grain first , corn gluten mealokay but I prefer it lower, often used for UTI health , poultry by-product mealthiscan be head feet intestines of anything that flys , turkeyGreat but realize the wt after cooking falls to about soy lecithin, soybean mealhigh allergen , whole grain cornsee gluten... i prefer gluten as it is more digestible but really dislike both in one food, fish mealwho, dried yeast, powdered cellulose, soybean hullsfirst is often sawdust second is also a low end by product of an allergen, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E)who??, animal liver flavorcan be nearly anything, soy lecithinallergen not a high one but up there , calcium carbonate, soy protein isolate, phosphoric acid, salt, dried spinach, choline chloride, taurine, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.

Authority Adult Cat:
Chicken, Chicken Meal this in some views is perfect , the meal is the true first ingredient and the chicken falls around where beet pulp is , Brewers Ricelow quality , Corn Gluten Meal, Ground CornOne or the other IMHO is fine to balance calcium and phosphorus chicken based dry food , Beet Pulpprebiotic but it is a allergen via processing , Natural Flavorthis can be anything including msg , Dried Egg Product, Dried Cellulosecan be sawdust , Canola Oil, Animal Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)whose , Frucooligosaccharides, Corn Oil, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2 Polyphosphate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamin Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols.
ONLY one correction...NAMED meat ie chicken MEAL in dry food = good ... ie think beef and beef jerky ... meal is meat concetrated ... I ??? any wet food with a meat meal, it is already concentrated dry matter

pink = something IMHO to avoid or is known for problems

orange =IMHO fine for some cats but not other s

blue= IMHO very good for most cats
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
To follow up - Do you avoid all "indoor formulas" as well as others that claim to control weight?

Has anyone done that comparison yet? I looked and the protein / fat / fiber / moisture (etc.) listings. I don't really know what else to use to evaluate them.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by yelloweyes View Post
To follow up - Do you avoid all "indoor formulas" as well as others that claim to control weight?

Has anyone done that comparison yet? I looked and the protein / fat / fiber / moisture (etc.) listings. I don't really know what else to use to evaluate them.
For the most part yes I avoid ... the time I use them is instead a of a wt control as most have more protein and fat than wt control yet fewer calories and often ADDED fat metabolizes than adult foods
post #18 of 29
If you just look at guaranteed analysis yes, Purina looks better than authority

purina healthy weight....

protein 38%
fat 8.5%
fiber 5.0%
moisture 12%

authority regular dry food

protein 32%
fat 16%
fiber 3.0%
moisture 10%

BUT if you look at the ingredients already posted, the protein in purina is coming from grains and the protein although less in authority is actually coming from meat--cats are carnivores they need meat protein not grain.

authority is the better food!

Leslie
post #19 of 29
Charlie had a UTI and so he has to be on Royal Canin for Urinary. Sharky has helped me pick out canned foods and I trust her judgment.

We stick to canned Wellness (chicken), Avoderm (beef/chicken), Iams (beef/lamb), Max Cat (chicken/lamb), Blue Spa (beef/chicken), and Natural Balance (venison/duck). Charlie has not had another UTI on this diet and he's very healthy and at the proper weight.

We feed one meal of dry, one meal of canned. My cats don't like the fish flavors like tuna or salmon, so they never get that.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your replies. If Authority is really that much better, maybe that is our next step, though since we're already making a "switch" we'll have to go slowly. I'm not quite sure why I thought of Authority as the comparable alternative, though the price did seem more reasonable on the shelf. - I'll keep an open mind to other possibilities too.

Since we are still in our early years with these two cats, it seems like it's not a bad time to consider a long-term change for the good of their health.

Our good old cat, Hannah, died at 13 years just over a year ago, and I still wonder if we could have done better for her in some of those long-term decisions. At the time she died, she had hyperthyroid, high blood pressure and had become blind. It seems she should not have been this "old" when she was only 13. In many ways I am really on this forum for Hannah, since we thought we knew plenty at that time, but really didn't.

I am trying to do my research and am reading the threads and information on this site. I hate to waste time on questions that have been answered elsewhere, so thank you for your patience with me so far.
post #21 of 29
As someone who never bought the same bag of food twice I can tell you that as long as you do a gradual switch from one to the next over a week your cat should do just fine.

As for asking questions that have already been asked, dont' worry about it, there are always new members here that are able to give new opinions and viewpoints so sometimes even after reading past information its still worth your while to ask the question again.

Thats the great thing about TCS everyone is here to better the lives of their cats!

Leslie
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
**side note** sweetpea--raw can be very inexpensive--I spend about $5.00 a week to feed two cats, thats a mere 35 cents a day per cat--couldn't do that with the best wet food--or the crappiet wet food for that matter.

Leslie
Does that price include the additives needed to make the raw a complete and healthy diet?
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
FYI, I have sent the link to this thread to my husband so we can make a family decision about this. For the fish, I just change stuff whenever I want to, for the cats, it's better to get the committee involved. Thanks for all your input!
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
As someone who never bought the same bag of food twice I can tell you that as long as you do a gradual switch from one to the next over a week your cat should do just fine.

As for asking questions that have already been asked, dont' worry about it, there are always new members here that are able to give new opinions and viewpoints so sometimes even after reading past information its still worth your while to ask the question again.

Thats the great thing about TCS everyone is here to better the lives of their cats!

Leslie
This will actually depend on your cat. Most folks recommend a gradual changeover for dry food - wet food usually isn't a problem.

I've been fortunate in that I've switched dry food for Bijou and Mika abruptly with no issues whatsoever.
post #25 of 29
Your post is very helpful. I have 3 cats, a short-coat, a med-coat and a long-coat. I've been feeding them a mixture of 1/2 Felidae and 1/2 Whatever-is-on-sale Purina.
Could you please recommend something in between price-wise. Thanks.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassyfull View Post
Your post is very helpful. I have 3 cats, a short-coat, a med-coat and a long-coat. I've been feeding them a mixture of 1/2 Felidae and 1/2 Whatever-is-on-sale Purina.
Could you please recommend something in between price-wise. Thanks.
what are you paying for Felidea ??? and what size
post #27 of 29
$15 for 8lbs.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassyfull View Post
$15 for 8lbs.
chicken soup

nutro max

premium edge

some areas solid gold
post #29 of 29
Thank you. I'll look for them tomorrow.
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