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Talk to me about cat food

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have another first-timer's question regarding cat food.

Do you have to feed both wet and dry? Does feeding just one or the other have some advantage over the other?

I plan on feeding all natural cat food, as it apparently keeps the litter odor down and is just better for the cat in general--but I had only seen threads referring to dry cat food in that respect.

Should I feed both wet and dry? If so, why?
post #2 of 17
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.
post #3 of 17
I'll move this to Health and Nutrition.
post #4 of 17
Wet is better over Dry ... plus finding decent to good wet is easier than dry ... you have a beutifiully put post above
post #5 of 17
I just switched my cats to wet only. I had to up the amount of wet food per serving and endured a short time of "where's the dry food" meowing. They seem to be doing better (I had to do it because one cat gained so much weight he couldn't groom himself properly). Freckles' former owner insisted on dry only because she didn't want odors from the litter box but to be honest I haven't noticed a difference.
post #6 of 17
I feed wet at night, but we free feed dry during the day. I agree with above points except cats overeating on dry food. Most cats prefer wet, so they won't eat the dry if they know the wet food is coming soon.

Puppy eats a quarter can of wet and about 1/8 of a cup of dry. He used to eat twice that before we switched him to higher quality food.

BTW, I suggest evening feedings. That way, your kitty doesn't wake you in the morning out of hunger. Additionally, your kitty will be sleepy after eating and will hopefully let you get some sleep too!
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
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.
That was perfectly put
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bab-ush-niik View Post
I feed wet at night, but we free feed dry during the day. I agree with above points except cats overeating on dry food. Most cats prefer wet, so they won't eat the dry if they know the wet food is coming soon.
Not my kittens! They share a small can of food every morning and they know it's coming. They go nuts for it. But if they're hungry they'll eat the dry while they're waiting. And even though they're young kittens I've had to stop free-feeding the dry because Lily is getting chubby. She chows down on the dry food while Eve only takes a nibble here, a nibble there. And she'd be perfectly happy to eat as much canned food as possible. If Eve decides she doesn't like a new type of canned, Lily will eat it all, lick the plate clean, and check the plate for more food to magically appear every minute or two.

So it really depends on the individual cats as to whether they'll overeat or not.

And I do agree with the above posters that the more canned food you can afford to feed them, the better. If you can't feed canned for every meal, be sure to get a good quality dry and feed it in measured meals.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the information!

What brand (or type) of wet food is best? Are there certain things in the ingrediants that I should look for or avoid? Also, are there any certain types (ingrediants) of wet food that can decrease litter box odor?

Not having gotten future kitty yet, I know a lot of my choices are going to be dependant on what future kitty will eat (and where s/he wants to sleep, what s/he wants to poo in, etc), but I want to be as prepaired as possible to make future kitty's life as healthy as I can.
post #10 of 17
I would avoid
SOy
corn
Wheat( small amount in packets okay)
Meat by products ( also including chn beef pork )
excessive veggies ( ie label has brothe one meat then veggies)
try to get the least grain possible

The list of good wet foods is ten miles long
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bab-ush-niik View Post
I feed wet at night, but we free feed dry during the day. I agree with above points except cats overeating on dry food. Most cats prefer wet, so they won't eat the dry if they know the wet food is coming soon.

Puppy eats a quarter can of wet and about 1/8 of a cup of dry. He used to eat twice that before we switched him to higher quality food.

BTW, I suggest evening feedings. That way, your kitty doesn't wake you in the morning out of hunger. Additionally, your kitty will be sleepy after eating and will hopefully let you get some sleep too!

That depends on the cat. My cat Spotty loves his dry food and often doesn't finish his wet food and he will overeat the dry food if I leave out enough of it for a long enough time. He's already almost 16 pounds.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I would avoid
SOy
corn
Wheat( small amount in packets okay)
Meat by products ( also including chn beef pork )
excessive veggies ( ie label has brothe one meat then veggies)
try to get the least grain possible

The list of good wet foods is ten miles long
... that has a partial list? ... I tried to locate it to put a link here, but????... the topic was something about a combined food for both kittens and cats ...?

Gloria
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
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.
post #14 of 17
tiggy eats half and half at about 7:30 am and around 7:30 pm he makes me buy the purina indoor cat formula and the 9 lives 4 pack cans.also the 2 tblsp. of plain yogurt at each and he is happy all day. he is just over a year old and is the ideal weight so all is good so far.

I will post some pics of him soon as i find out how. he loves the camera !!
post #15 of 17
Wow,Until I read this didnt think that canned was soo important..and funny thing is, I am now thinking about it.. And trouble is getting fat, and he isnt even a yr yet, and at 12 weeks, he had a fat pouch.. Lol And we took him down to 1/2 cup dry a day,and half can of wet..And he was still fat.. :-/ and he has been on a good food, but wont loose the weight.. same with our other 2 cats.. well moms cats.. they are big, our female is around 15 lbs(12yrs old) and our male,last time on scale tipped it at 19 lbs(7yrs ols) and we feed them 1 cup a day, split in 2 bowls.. dry only.. and not on a good food,but it is all the female will eat, she Wont TOUCH canned.. we tried as treat in past, but she will put her nose up to it, same with treats.. she will only eat one certain brand,and one certain flavor,and they have to be soft.. lOL soo I dunno if I could change them.. cause they eat together..and I couldnt put out canned for him,and dry for her,and he will eat everything.. LOL! And we put there food away when trouble is out, otherwise he will pig down *even if we just feed him*
post #16 of 17
now for treats tiggy loves the Pounce chicken that is his favorite. he will go ape over it.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrixtersMomma View Post
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.
Me neither, but it can be useful to have the option of leaving dry food down in warm weather (via automatic feeders or free feeding) or to use when travelling. That's why I want my boys to accept the texture of dry. Jaffa has about 10g dry food per day plus 2 100g pouches of wet (he actually lost weight on wet only - I couldn't get enough into him to maintain his weight!).
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