Originally Posted by urbantigers
I used to feed about half and half (slightly more dry if truth be told), but now feed mostly wet with just a tiny amount of dry as I believe wet to be much better for them.
I prefer wet for the following reasons:
1. Water content - approximates to a cat's natural prey (75-80% water) and ensures they take in enough water - difficult to achieve with dry food. Even if they appear to drink lots of water alongside dry food, they still tend to take in less water than if fed wet food. Water is important in preventing formation of urinary crystals, esp in neutered males.
2. Carbohydrate content - even good dry foods contain a high % of carbohydrate (usually 25-30% in the better foods, may be a lot more in poorer quality foods). A cat's natural prey only contains about 5% carbohydrate, derived from the stomach contents of the prey. I've read several articles that indicate that cats can't metabolise large amounts of carbohydrates too well. I believe the carb content of dry food is major contributor to obesity for that reason.
3. It's very easy for cats to overeat dry food for the same reasons we overeat junk food - to make it palatable to cats they spray it with animal digest or fat and cats tend to like that a lot. I believe cats can become addicted to dry food.
The only advantages to dry food that I can see are convenience and cost. It can be left down during the day. Many people feed wet morning and evening, and leave some dry down for them to snack on during the day. I can't do that with my cats as Jaffa would overeat. If you can afford it, I think all wet or predominantly wet is best, although it can be useful to feed a small amount of dry to get them used to eating a variety of textures.
I agree, accept about the dry food being useful. I think some dry snacks are ok in moderation, but I will never feed dry food to my boys again as part of their main diet. My Trixter is diabetic, and dry food was a huge part of that. As you said, cats do not utilize carbs like other mammals. An overload of carbs causes a cats pancreas to become intoxicated (and causes other problems, obesity, etc). Both of my boys gained too much and overate the dry. It does not give them the "I'm full" signal, either. With a diet change from dry food to wet food, and 2 weeks of insulin shots (and home testing his blood glucose levels, which i still moniter), my Trixter is now diet controled thanks to canned foods with less than 10% carbs. The difference in both of my cats since the switch is amazing, to say the least. They have both leveled out, weight wise, Smeagol lost his extra weight, and Trixter gained back the right amount, and they are both SO hydrated and full of energy. A cat whose diet consists of mainly dry food is clinically dehydrated. With eating dry and drinking, a cat is only taking in about half of the water he/she needs for a healthy balance. Cats naturally do not have a strong thirst drive, as our cats are of desert origin and are supposed to be taking in water with their meals. With wet food, my boys hardly ever drink, yet their skin and paws are so soft and hydrated and their little mouths are always slobbery! They both feel so much better now. With all this said, wet food is the way to go, IMHO. I have seen it work miracles on my boys!
You can find links to lots of articles and info about feline nutrition at www.FelineDiabetes.com
Check out Janet and Binkys food list for carb content, etc.