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Dry vs Wet

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've heard a lot from both people who think dry food is better, and people who think wet is better. My breeder says that Cupid would like the variety of both, but she thinks dry food is better. She fed Cupid Royal Canin kibble and watered it down a few times a day. Well, Cupid will NOT eat it unless I water it down. She says she gave him more watered down b/c they like it more, but if he gets hungry enough (and he never will unless I purposely don't feed him) he will eat the kibble.

I was looking for canned kitten food and I thought I'd try the Chicken Soup for the Kitten's Soul brand b/c someone here raved about it in the food thread, and it's the only one [that I saw] that had canned food specifically for kittens. Well, I asked my breeder and she said that the canned food is fine and has good ingredients, but not to give it to him solely. I told her I planned on leaving out kibble and feeding the wet/canned food 3 times a day b/c I've heard canned food contains more meat and dry food is mostly carbs. So she said that the Soul food is 11% protein and the Royal Canin kibble is 34% protein. So now I don't know what to do!

What do you feed your babies?
post #2 of 16
When I got my Cornish Rex cat from a breeder she told me that she feeds her cats a mix of can food with try food together and more of the try food in there . So really I think both are fine , can and try food . Most of the time I feed only try food , due to the cost of feeding a lot of cats and only feeding them a good brand ( Nutro ).
post #3 of 16
Originally posted by Purr
...I've heard canned food contains more meat and dry food is mostly carbs. So she said that the Soul food is 11% protein and the Royal Canin kibble is 34% protein.
Hi Purr,

A quality dry food will be wet food that's been baked of moisture. Look at the ingredients list of wet vs. dry food from the same line of food, and you'll see how similar they are.

Dry food is 34% protein vs. wet food's 11% only because wet food has a much higher % of water. Those seem to be the standard %'s for kitten food; adult cats don't need as much protein for growth and youthful play, so adult food protein is usually at 29% for dry and 9% for wet. Aside from higher levels of protein and maybe fat, the only other difference seems to be that dry kitten food comes as smaller bits of kibble.

post #4 of 16
Both are very good foods.

I free-feed mine dry, and give them a couple of spoonfulls of wet every day.

Just a note- for a while I wetted down my dogs' food to encourage them to eat, but noticed that they seemed to be building up tartar on their teeth MUCH faster than they normally do. I've stopped doing that, and have gone back to giving them a little canned food with their dry instead. I assume wetting dry food may have the same effect in cats, so I'd be careful of that. Also, try to get him used to having his teeth brushed while he's young - that will help cut down on the worry about buildup of wet food on the teeth.
post #5 of 16
I leave out dry food and give them wet food as a treat or when they are sick. When they were baby kittens they got wet food twice a day and dry food was out all the time. My guys LOVE can food. Authority (petsmart brand) makes a kitten can food that my guys ate. They really liked it and it is a good quailty from what I read. Also I beleave max cat makes a good kitten canned food.
I think it is best to feed both. Dry food as the main food and wet food as a little treat but that is just me!
post #6 of 16
Originally posted by Purr
I've heard canned food contains more meat and dry food is mostly carbs. So she said that the Soul food is 11% protein and the Royal Canin kibble is 34% protein. So now I don't know what to do!

What do you feed your babies? [/b]
Because of the huge differnce in moisture content you have to look at the dry matter protein for a more accurate comparison.
Here is the formula:
protein% divided by (100 - moisture%) x 100 = DM protein

On a dry matter basis Royal Canin has about 38% protein and the canned Soul food has about 50% protein.

I free feed dry and give 1 - 2 oz. canned at night daily.
post #7 of 16
Hills has an interactive calculator on their site that lets you just type in the moisture level and the nutrient and it tells you the dry matter analysis. I've found it very helpful when comparing things like wet cat food, when one has 78% and one has 77% moisture... its surprising how a tiny bit of water can affect nutrient composition..

Here's the calculator link:

Comparison Calculator
post #8 of 16
I leave out dry food and then give them all canned cat food in the morning and evening. Although, Stinkie won't eat the canned cat food. He will only eat dry (usually only Purina Hairball treatment and every once in a while a bite or two of the indoor formula dry). The only other thing he will really eat is tuna, but we only give it to him once or twice a week as a treat. My cats are very picky (in their case, that's means spoiled).
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow, I had no idea about the moisture! Thanks for a link to the calculator! I guess it makes sense when you think about it. I was wondering why the canned food listed so much more meat in the ingredients but had a lower protein percentage.
post #10 of 16
My wet food comes out to 50% protein and my dry about 38%. I feed mostly wet and a little dry. I am a firm believer that cats evolved to eat small wet animals like rodents and birds etc, and that their natural diet is therefore wet, and very high in protein so I do not believe in feed large quantities of dry food. Cats did not evolve to eat cereal. Also, in my experience I've seen many gets become obese on "dry food only" diets.

But regardless of the protein content by percentage, one should also pay attention to the bio-availability of those proteins. Not all proteins are fully digestible - in fact the only one that is 100% digestible is the lowly egg. Quality meats may be as much as 90% digestible, but low quality proteins (which still contribute to the percentage of protein on the label) can be as low as 50% to 60% digestible. Does this mean if you cat gets this bad quality food its going to be malnourished? Not necessarily - what usually happens is that your cat will not be satisfied with a "normal" portion of food and will become hungry again sooner. Then you feed the cat more, and by the time it gets its protein needs met, its consumed more carbs and fats than were needed. So a high quality food = cat eats less, is healthy and doesn't get fat.

We've taken cats out of their natural environment, "domesticated" them, in most cases removed their sex drive as well, so the least we can do is feed them quality food that attempts to replicate food that they evolved to eat in nature(and not just the nutrient level, but the taste and texture as well). Dry food is not as tasty in general to cats as wet food, and for obvious reasons. Pet food companies spray fats and flavorings on the outside of kibbles in an attempt to make them more appetizing. But for all those people out there who only or mostly feed dry food only, do you really feel ok forcing your cat to go through its 15+ year life eating only "Captain Crunch"? Is that their reward for coming into your home?

Is wet food more expensive than dry? You bet it is. Are my cats worth the expense? You bet they are. Are yours...??
post #11 of 16
Axl has mostly dry food now, my dad says he prefers it. Jeepers has wet food in the morning and dry food in the evening (or whenever she's scoffed all the wet food!!!) What I'd like to know is what dry foods are good? I've seen a few mentioned but we don't always have the same brands here, she generally has iams or whiskas, anyone have any suggestions?
post #12 of 16
I have no idea what foods are sold in the UK, but you could either ask your local cat rescue group foir advice, or read the ingredient labels. Look for meat (chicken, chicken meal, beef, etc) in the first 2 to 3 ingredients, avoid foods with a lot of corn, and avoid food that have the phrase "by-product" if they use that term there. Good american foods include, Wellness, Precise, Natural Balance, Ianova, Nutro to name a few. As a rule of thumb, if you can get it in a grocery store, its no good, with the possible exception of Iams.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Stephen, what brand of food do you feed your cats?
post #14 of 16
Purr, I feed Natural Balance wet and dry. All the meat comes from USDA approved plants. For more info visit http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/

I used to feed Nutro which while I don't think is as good, is still a quality brand.

post #15 of 16
There seem to be pros and cons to both dry and canned foods. If JC had his way, he would only eat dry food, but I worry about him getting enough fluid, so he gets 50% dry (in the morning) and 50% canned (in the evening). Free feeding dry food is out of the question with him - he weighs 13.5 lbs. already, which my vet says is the upper limit for "normal weight" in a cat his size.
Jeeperscat, I'm assuming that what's available in Germany is also available in Britain. Other than Iams, medium qualities that are widely available (often sold by vets) would include Hill's, Eukanuba and Royal Canin - all of which, IMO, are preferable to Whiskas. Higher quality dry foods would be Felidae, Solid Gold, California Natural, Innova,Nutro, Eagle Pack, Pinnacle, First Choice (all from North America) and Almo Holistic (from Italy). There are others, of course. You could probably get more info on a British Web site, for example at
post #16 of 16
If not mentioned already, dry food is best to maintain cupid's dental health!

PS: We love cupid too!
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