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Feed my kitten wet and dry food?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a 4 month old tabby who was eating canned food 2x a day at the shelter I got her from. Both the shelter and the vet said to continue w/the wet, as it's supposedly better for cats than just dry (more realistic to what they would eat in the wild, lo-carb so weight gain isn't a huge problem, etc.). I would like her to get used to dry food, so that she can have both, but I don't know how to introduce it. She gobbles down the wet food like she hasn't seen food in days and won't see it again for days. (she gets fed 2-3x a day, up to 2 1/2 cans of NutraMax kitten cans, which are smaller than adult cans). I'm worried if I put out dry food (like I did w/my previous cat), she'll eat it all in one sitting. Thanks!
post #2 of 9
Unlike dogs, cats will usually stop eating once they're full.

I give my kids both wet and dry
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
That's what I figured. I usually gave my previous cat dry food all the time and wet food as a treat. She always seemed to eat in moderation. But before she died (she developed heart disease at only 7 years), the vet told me that we should switch her to wet, as it was better as the main food for cats than dry. A different vet agreed when I asked about it for Ally.

post #4 of 9
Well I guess vet knows best! I think dry food with wet food as a treat a couple times a day is ok though. I give them a little more than just a treat, rather a large spoonful.
post #5 of 9
Okay, I'll just put in what I think here.

She's from a shelter and was one of many other cats. She's probably learnt that if she doesn't eat everything in one sitting, she will never get enough. With time, this passes as she adjusts to being in a forever home. You may need to reduce the size of the meals and feed her more often if she does vomit after gorging.

Wet food is better than dry food because it is richer than dry and contains a lot of nutrients. This is especially good for kittens and cats that have missed out on nutrients due to poor diet. However, by the same token, if your kitten or cat is not used to food rich in nutrients, diarrhoea can occur. So it's best to start with dry food and gradually introduce wet food. This can be done by slowly adding small amounts of wet food ever increasing to their diet. And vice versa for the introduction of dry food. This can be done in separate bowls or in the same bowl but dry food tends to absorb moisture from the wet food.

And if you do feed your cat or kitten wet food only, this can lead to dental problems as their teeth are not rubbing against anything, nor are they doing as much work as they would in the wild. An occasional chicken wing with the bone, (UNCOOKED!), can be given as a treat to encourage chewing and gnawing action that would occur in the wild.

You can decide to have dry food as a treat for your cat. Nothing wrong with that. Also, just because it's higher in carbohydrates than wet food, it doesn't neccesarily result in weight gain as cat's metabolisms and physiological make up is different to ours. There are other factors to weight gain like lack of excercise, high nutrient intake and so on.

I think I've covered all of it.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the great info! She started w/wet food and has had no diarrea yet. She hasn't gorged herself so much that she vomits, and she actually does seem to have slowed down a bit. So I'm sure you're right about her figuring out that she doesn't have to gorge as she's the only one and in a "forever" home. And excellent point about needing something like the dry food or the chicken bone for her teeth. Thank you!!

post #7 of 9
Mine was given wet food at the shelter also. After she gained a little weight, I mixed a little dry into the wet and she learned to like it. She eats both now. At least I don't have to rush home after work at night to feed her. I can leave dry out.
post #8 of 9

You're welcome. I love being able to help when it especially come to kittens. I had to leave Russell with two wonderful carers and missed a lot in his kittenhood. So instead of feeling guilty, I try to help where I can. I even play with my neighbour's kitten helping in burning off the extra energy he has. And that tires me out mentally.
post #9 of 9
I've had some vets tell me that there's nothing wrong with giving a cat dry food only, and others have said canned food is preferable. I feed both (roughly 50/50 now), though JC definitely seems to prefer dry food. I give him dry food in the morning, which he can nibble on over the course of the day, and canned food in the evening. You could stick mainly to canned food, and give kibble as a treat for your kitten's dental hygiene.
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