or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Canned vs Dry
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Canned vs Dry

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just read an article that said dry food isn't good for cats because it is high carbs and also, cats teeth aren't made for eating dry food. The bits of dry food stay in the pouch above the teeth and contribute to tartar formation.

They said cats are meant to eat meat and their teeth are made for that. Also, that the canned is higher protein, low carbs and more water that is beneficial to keeping hairball problems down and helping to prevent diabetes.

Anyone with a comment please. I have always fed dry because it is convenient and cheaper but if it is bad for my cats, I don't want to do it. Don't really know how to feed canned to prevent obesiety.
post #2 of 24
I've fed my cats dry only for most of their lives, but recently discovered that they have less problems with hairballs if I supplement with canned. I free-feed the dry food, and give each cat a tablespoon of canned every day - that seems to have cut down on the barfing a lot! I think they need the moisture and oils in the canned food, but you don't have to give them a lot of it.
post #3 of 24
I don't know if you could say that dry is bad for cats. Ferals in colonies have existed on dry food for long periods of time, with no ill effects.

The way I had it explained is that as you say, Cats are carnivores. They would eat their food in the wild, rats, mice, gophers, birds, insects, whatever they could catch which is about 70% water and the rest protein and minerals.

Here comes man, domesticates cats to bring them indoors to take care of the rodent problem. Rodent problem is gone, now what? Feed tinned meat, or make something that stores better, and lasts longer and doesn't make for smelly feces?

So dry food is introduced, and now the cats have to eat the dry kibble which doesn't have much moisture inside. Without moisture to lube the internal passage, problems start to occur and cats do get sick. There are studies out to see if dry food leads to kidney failure and other problems, but these studies are still ongoing.

There are also studies that are trying to link canned food only diets to certain oral cancers- so really you can just be floating around in this sea of indecision regarding which food is better. I try to feed a combination of both just for balance, and when I feed dry in the winter time I add chicken stock or beef broth I have stored in my freezer.
post #4 of 24
For inside cats (non feral) I believe in feeding both. Just a little bit of wet in the morn and eve and dry food for the day. I think both are beneficial to the cat, not just one or the other.
post #5 of 24
You read so many different opinions, it's difficult to judge. I feed both - dry, which JC prefers, in the morning, and canned in the evening. I just hope the advantages of both types offset the disadvantages.
post #6 of 24
I would'nt say that dry food is "bad" for cats but I do feel that canned food better matches up (high moisture, low carb) with their natural diet.
I feed both and my cats seem to do well on both. Besides,I could'nt afford to feed canned only to all six of them.
post #7 of 24
I agree with the others. I think both is best. My Smokey would only eat dry food she refused to eat wet & she developed CRF but at age 15 & lived to be 17 so that's still a long life for a cat. Her teeth were in very good shape for her age & I had someone tell me that was because she ate dry food & that the dry food helps reduce plaque build up (not sure if it's true or not). I think balance is the best so when I get new kitties they will get both.
post #8 of 24
I feed canned in the morning with dry available all day. I have Hissy to thank for the "heads up" about the sale and stocked up!
post #9 of 24
My cat Lucky LOVES his dried food, would rather not eat anything else. He's 16/17 and has wonderful white strong teeth. His brother Toby who died a couple of weeks ago, always wanted canned food...he had horrible teeth. So I'd support the statement that dried food helps teeth at least...
post #10 of 24
I feed my guys dry only as i'm afraid they will become to rely on canned food and not eat dry food.
post #11 of 24
I was also told by my vet that its good to feed them canned food even if its just as a treat, so that they are used to it in case they ever need to have medication put in their food.
post #12 of 24
I feed both my cats both canned and dried - canned during the day and dried at night or when I am going to be gone for more than a few hours.

Sphinx needs the extra water in the canned due to his age (17 years plus) at the vets suggestion - same for Kuce.
post #13 of 24
I agree with the theory of free-feeding dry all day and then supplement their diet with wet at night.

Anyone have any opinions on "supermaket" cat food (Friskies, Chefs Blend, etc) as opposed to the more high end cat foods (Iams, Eukaneuba, etc). I'd prefer to feed my guys the higher end stuff but my wallet won't allow for it. Should I be concerned?
post #14 of 24
I wouldnt be too concerned. My parents cat chichi has been eating friskies her whole 15 years and she's fine.

It's kinda like if you ate McDonalds everyday.. not too good for you but its not going to kill you.

I think also the higher quality foods make their coats shinier, teeth healther, poops less smelly... that kind of thing.
post #15 of 24
I've found that feeding premium food isn't more expensive than feeding supermarket brands, because you feed much smaller quantities. As my cat can't have soy, I basically must avoid the cheaper brands. I had this argument with my mother recently - she was feeding the dogs Alpo (canned), because it was cheaper than Nutro, but after I sat her down with a calculator and the feeding recommendations for both brands, she had to agree that the Nutro was actually roughly the same price - and the dogs prefer it!
Sicy made a very good point about having cats used to eating canned food in case they need medication at some point. I'd add that some of the special diet foods are only available in cans.
post #16 of 24
The main thing to watch out for is really cheap brands can sometimes cause urinary problems, but I imagine that most of them have recognized and corrected that problem by now. Just stick with better-known brands and stay away from generics and store brands.

I started feeding premium food after discovering the same thing that jcat pointed out. If you compare the price per serving, it's about the same cost b/c of increased digestibility, plus with the premium food I noticed improvement in coat quality and reduced litterbox odor. All of my current cats have been given premium food as long as I've had them, and they have beautiful shiny fur.
post #17 of 24
Hmmmm... interesting. Any recommendations of permium food that won't put me in sticker shock?
post #18 of 24
I feed mine Science Diet, but IMO any 'premium' food should be good - you can go crazy if you start listening to different opinions on which brand is best. As long as it's a well-known premium brand it should be fine - just take a trip to the pet store & compare price per serving. If you do decide to change brands, be sure to mix it with your old in gradually increasing amounts to avoid upset stomachs.

Also, the Petsmart website has a food calculator that shows cost per serving of their premium foods - it might be useful to you.
post #19 of 24
I feed my 2 cats and foster cat, who are indoor only, a combination of premium dry foods (Innova Lite, California Natural, Wellness Lite, and/or Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul Lite). I'll usually mix 2 or 3 different ones at a time so they won't become finicky. I feed lite food because one of my cats could afford to lose a couple of lbs but also because as they are indoor only cats, they don't expend as much energy as an outdoor cat might. I free feed - to a point. I'll only put out so much food in the morning, probably about a 1/4 cup for all 3. I know that seems like nothing, but there is still some left when I get home from work.

At night I put out 6 oz. of moist food for all 3. I've tried all types, but none of them are really into moist food. So far their favorite seems to be Purina Pro Plan (Total Care) Sardines and Tuna Entree. It's the only one I'll get from Pro Plan because it's the only one I found without by-products. All that's in it is sardines, water, tuna, and vegetable oil (in that order). I also give them another 1/4 cup of dried food for the night. I think being on the moist food, though not much, has helped in less regurgitation <sp?>.

post #20 of 24
Some brands that you can check out that I think are reasonably priced are Authority, Chicken Soup & Premium Edge. Good luck.
post #21 of 24
Seriously check out that petsmart food calculator thing that tuxedokitties suggested! It reduces the amount of poop too! as well as being better for the cats nutrition wise. I just today, bought my first bag of Max Cat Lite by Nutro that cost 24 bucks!!!!! But you just don't have to feed them as much.

Getting back to your original question...Cat out in the wild would eat all kinds of animals, and they would eat the WHOLE animal, bones skull, all of it. Thier teeth are narurally designed to crunch bone, and dry food is nothing compared to that. About the tartar, I believe it all depends on each cat. How good they lick and clean their mouth by swallowing after they eat and how they eat. I would imagine that the best thing to do is feed them wet food in the morning, (and it doesn't have to be alot), and free feed them dry all day if they arn't overweight. The carbs in the food help with the digestion if it's the right kind of carbs, like found in the high end foods.

As for the protien being higher in canned food....look at the analysis on the canned vs. the dry food. It is usually 3x higher in the dry.
Sorry for the long post! Got carried away!

post #22 of 24
Originally posted by fsttrk
As for the protien being higher in canned food....look at the analysis on the canned vs. the dry food. It is usually 3x higher in the dry.
You must compare on a dry matter basis to compare canned vs. dry accurately. Canned food does have higher protein than dry. The most accurate way that I have found is to compare on a grams/100 kcal basis. Calories directly affect the amount of nutrients that are actually consumed.
post #23 of 24
Patches won't touch canned food - she's been eating dry
food all of her life
post #24 of 24
My kitties eat both, I've read that feeding canned only can lead to tartar build up where as chewing the kibble helps to knock off some of the tartar. They each get 1/2 cup (sometimes a little more) of dry food a day and they split a 3 oz can of wet food. I also bursh their teeth, I try to do it once a week but sometimes I forget.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Nutrition
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Canned vs Dry