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Hydrating Dry Food?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
i hear that hydrated / wet food is much more healthy for cats then dry food...

presently i feed my 3 kittens 'Innova Evo Cat and Kitten Dry.' i cannot afford wet. even if i feed a low quality wet food my cat food cost will easily double bringing me out of my budget range.

i was thinking of slowly hydrating the wet food. possibly starting with a lightly spraying it with a water bottle and working up from there.

do you think it would help? or am i taking this abit overboard?

thanks
post #2 of 18
Our kittens eat wet & dry, but on occassion i do wet our kittens dry food, just by putting a little water in (sometimes even a litter warm water) & mixing it up so its slightly softer.
Cats really don't get enough water. Especially if they are only eating dry food. So the more you can squeeze into their diet the better!
post #3 of 18
Actually I don't think this is true. Dry food is very good for cats because when they bite they also clean their teeth. Just make sure they drink water so they do not dehydrate.
post #4 of 18
Just keep in mind that wetted-down dry food will spoil just as fast as canned, so pick it up after half an hour.

I added warm water to my kittens' dry food several times a day for the first few days I had them. It was enough to make it soft with a little bit of "gravy" that they always licked up first. Lily must have been teething badly because she didn't want to eat the dry food for a couple of days even though it was the same brand she had been eating at the shelter.

I do think this is a good idea if you can't feed any canned. Like Evepie said, cats don't really get enough water and this can cause health problems.

Magi, from all the books and health articles I've been reading, dry food does not help clean teeth at all. Even the "dental" types of dry food aren't really very good and my vet said they didn't make enough of a difference to bother with. A good comparison that someone else on this site uses is it's like humans eating pretzels. Do you think pretzels clean human teeth? Now raw chunks of meat and chicken necks, those I can believe as good teeth cleaners.
post #5 of 18
someone just suggested wetting dry food to me ... I think it may be hard to get them to eat as it would be like wet rice puffs for us but I will give it a go /// Dry food is NOT good for teeth ...YES raw chunks are great teeth cleaners , you can verify that by seeing my two who eat all or some raw
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
someone just suggested wetting dry food to me ... I think it may be hard to get them to eat as it would be like wet rice puffs for us but I will give it a go /// Dry food is NOT good for teeth ...YES raw chunks are great teeth cleaners , you can verify that by seeing my two who eat all or some raw
Just realize this increases chance of spoilage...you'll have to treat the wetted dry like you would wet food in terms of removing it versus leaving it out for several hours for them to munch on. Not that this can't be done...feeding say half an hour before you go to work, pulling the wetted dry up, leaving a bit of dry-dry, feeding wetted dry again when you get home...or whatever schedule you want to set up.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingRecover View Post
i hear that hydrated / wet food is much more healthy for cats then dry food...

presently i feed my 3 kittens 'Innova Evo Cat and Kitten Dry.' i cannot afford wet. even if i feed a low quality wet food my cat food cost will easily double bringing me out of my budget range.

i was thinking of slowly hydrating the wet food. possibly starting with a lightly spraying it with a water bottle and working up from there.

do you think it would help? or am i taking this abit overboard?

thanks
You will find that by feeding a good quality wet food, your cats will actually eat less food so the costs will even out in the long term. The wet food is much healthier for them and because it is better nutritionally, they don't need as much.

And yes it's true that dry food does nothing to clean the teeth. Cats usually break any larger pieces with the tip of the tooth and swallow (they don't chew) so there is no actual benefit to dry food except that you can leave a bit out during the day for munching on if they feel hungry.
post #8 of 18
i disagree with the statement that cats dont get enough water even thought it seems to be the common opinion on this forum, my cats drink LOTS of water and eat only dry food and i am very confident that they get enough water. i would not suggest misting or wetting the dry food, it would be too easy for it to become spoiled.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
i disagree with the statement that cats dont get enough water even thought it seems to be the common opinion on this forum, my cats drink LOTS of water and eat only dry food and i am very confident that they get enough water. i would not suggest misting or wetting the dry food, it would be too easy for it to become spoiled.
When I was a volunteer nutrition advisor here, I took care to always post a link to back up a statement, or explain how I came to my opinion. I don't do so as much any more but...here is one link that explains why, in other threads, I've discussed the reason why cats on dry food only need increased water intake and why a wet food diet is preferable. Scroll down to the "water requirements" section.
http://maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm

I know there are more such articles that can be found, to show why, this isn't just a forum opinion.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix View Post
When I was a volunteer nutrition advisor here, I took care to always post a link to back up a statement, or explain how I came to my opinion. I don't do so as much any more but...here is one link that explains why, in other threads, I've discussed the reason why cats on dry food only need increased water intake and why a wet food diet is preferable. Scroll down to the "water requirements" section.
http://maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm

I know there are more such articles that can be found, to show why, this isn't just a forum opinion.
all i got from that article is that cats eating dry food will drink more water and cats eating wet food dont need to drink much. there is nothing wrong with drinking water. the article did say that cats who eat dry food dont drink enough water to compensate, but their proof is that the cats urinate a little less? that doesnt mean they arent getting enough. i dont agree with the opinion of the person who wrote that article. thank you for providing the link though.
post #11 of 18
This is the part I find very pertinent: to quote from the article on water requirements section on Feline Nutrition from Max's House (see link in message above):

"Cats increase voluntary water intake when fed dry food but not in sufficient amounts to fully compensate for the lower moisture content of the food. In a recent study, cats consuming a diet containing 10% moisture with free access to drinking water had an average daily urine volume of 63 milliliters (ml). This volume increased to 112 ml/day when fed a canned diet with a moisture content of 75%. Urine specific gravity was also higher in cats that were fed the low-moisture food. Decreased urine volume may be an important risk factor for the development of urolithiasis in cats. Diets that cause a decrease in total fluid turnover can result in decreased urine volume and increased urine concentration, both of which may contribute to urinary tract disease in cats. Several studies have shown that dry cat foods contribute to decreased fluid intake and urine volume.

Homeostatic control of water balance in cats differs in some important respects from that of dogs Cats make less precise and rapid compensatory changes in voluntary water intake than dogs in response to changes in the water content of their food. Similarly, their compensatory drinking response to dehydration due to increased environmental temperature is less effective than dogs. This apparent weakness of the cat's thirst drive to respond to changes in her state of hydration has led to the conclusion that feeding canned food assures adequate hydration at all times.

The emphasis is mine. I'd do the research for you, but I honestly do not have the time. Check out Littlebigcat.com as well as www.catinfo.org (a vet written site) for more on cat nutrition, and I think touching on water requirements, value of dry food vs canned re moisture content etc.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix View Post
The emphasis is mine. I'd do the research for you, but I honestly do not have the time.
its not a matter of research, i just dont happen to agree with some of the opinions out there.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
its not a matter of research, i just dont happen to agree with some of the opinions out there.
As you also quoted above, you cats drink LOTS of water so it's easy to see why you would disagree with most of the rest of us since our cats DON'T drink LOTS of water and thus our concerns and recommendations re feeding more wet food.

As with everything else in this world, there are always exceptions to every rule and it appears you are the exception and that's not a bad thing - in fact, in your case it's a good thing. Having said that, because you are lucky and your cat does drink lots, be careful about making blanket statements about all cats.
post #14 of 18
Well you live and learn. Thank you for putting me right on that one
post #15 of 18
Polly needs extra water because of her cystitis, so I have started wetting down her dry food. Surprisingly, she really likes it. Try it and see if your cat likes it. I don't think it can hurt anything so long as you don't allow it to spoil.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
its not a matter of research, i just dont happen to agree with some of the opinions out there.
Jaycee, I think I didn't express myself well. I've seen you post a lot of questions, and know you really care about the health of your cats, the quality of vet care they get, etc. Opinions, to me, carry a lot less weight then published studies, research studies etc., that show why they've come to a particular conclusion. I figured that was what you wanted..something other than "so and so says all cats hate cheese".

Everything I've read to date leans toward dry kibble not being helpful over the lifetime of a cat re staying properly hydrated (an issue particularly important if you do have a kitty with crf, as I do), and I wanted those folks reading this thread to see why I have the opinion I do, so they can decide for themselves.

Regards, and back to work for me...
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
i've been adding 4oz of warm water to each of their bowls at night and 4oz to each of their bowls in the morning. that's 1 FULL cup of water per kitten per day, plus whatever is in the dry food and whatever they drink.

i have a timer that goes off in 1/2 hour and i take the bowls away when it goes off. it usually takes the cats 15-25 minutes to eat it all. and they lick the bowls dry.

do you think 1 cup of water is to much for a kitten weighing 5-6 lbs?
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingRecover View Post
i've been adding 4oz of warm water to each of their bowls at night and 4oz to each of their bowls in the morning. that's 1 FULL cup of water per kitten per day, plus whatever is in the dry food and whatever they drink.



i have a timer that goes off in 1/2 hour and i take the bowls away when it goes off. it usually takes the cats 15-25 minutes to eat it all. and they lick the bowls dry.

do you think 1 cup of water is to much for a kitten weighing 5-6 lbs?

That is definately on the high end but I am not a vet ... if a normal cat drink 4-6 ounces and is not all the way hydrated due to dry food eating you would seem to be on the right track .. Hopefully an expert or two will show up
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