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Wet Or Dry Food, Which Is Really Better?

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by PetParent1, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. PetParent1

    PetParent1 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 10, 2018
    For 9 years I fed my car dry food thinking it was better. she's chunky always needing to lose a pound. most recent vet said dry is high in carbs and not enough moisture. told me to read a couple sites which I read. made the switch to wet food. although I always thought their teeth and such were better with dry food. my cat isn't too fond of the wet food now that I have been trying to hide antibiotics in it for a few weeks and even with the meds gone, I am struggling to get hee to eat her very expensive wet food but I still wonder if I overhauled her food type for nothing. Opinions?
    1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  2. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

    Nov 25, 2013
    Hello and welcome to TCS. :wave2:

    You'll probably get a lot of replies/opinions, but still won't have a definitive answer to which food is better. Some will insist dry is fine. Others will say only wet food. And others will recommend raw food. So you'll probably just be more confused than ever!

    You can't even assume vets know best, as they vary on which food they recommend. One member recently had a vet insist that wet food was "junk food".

    I, personally, believe wet is best, and I feed my Ruby girl mostly canned food, and supplement with some dry food as "treats".

    TCS has several articles on cats and food. I'll post links to some of them in case they might be helpful.

    How To Choose The Right Food For Your Cat
    Choosing The Right Food For Your Cat - Part 2

    What Do I Need To Know About Feeding My Cat?
    How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat?
    Transitioning Your Cat From Kibble To A New Type Of Food (canned, Raw, Or Homemade)

    How To Compare Cat Foods & Calculate Carbs: Dry Matter Basis
    What Makes The Best Canned Cat Food?
    Raw Feeding For Cats

    Does Dry Food Actually Clean Your Cat's Teeth?
    sunflower7, Minxxy, PushPurrCatPaws and 2 others purraised this.

  3. MRG2018

    MRG2018 TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jul 1, 2018
    Wet has been the better choice to keep them hydrated, reduce the chance of bladder stones, etc.
    duckpond purraised this.

  4. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 13, 2017
    Often a cat will go off its food if you use it for medications. I dont recommend putting meds in their normal food for this reason.:rolleyes:

    I also agree that wet food is much better for moisture than dry, and it is often much better for weight loss as well. I feed my guys 2 wet meals per day, and fill in with some Dr. Elseys kibble. Cats need high protein, moderate to lower fat, and low carbs.

    There are a lot of different wet foods you can try, different brands, different textures or proteins? Not sure what you feed now? Also try some toppers, a crumbled up treat that she likes? putting a treat topper on my guys wet food will often get them to start eating, once they start with the wet food they will often finish it.:rolleyes:

    a few places i like to review cat food.


    CatFoodDB - Cat Food Reviews to help you find the best cat food for your cat

  5. MissMolly08

    MissMolly08 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jul 3, 2017
    I agree with the vet that wet is best. I don't think everyone has to feed 100% wet but at least a partially wet diet is preferred over all dry.

    As far as your kitty not liking the food... it doesn't have to be some expensive "Grain free" food or anything like that. I personally feed my cat Friskies wet food. I know some don't like it but it works well for us and she enjoys it. Fancy Feast classic pate is pretty good and many cats love it! You just have to find what your cat likes.
    Minxxy, MRG2018 and duckpond purraised this.

  6. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Super Cat

    Apr 14, 2018
    New York, NY
    Kibble has no nutritional advantage or benefit for cats besides the fact that it is convenient for owners.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

  7. MRG2018

    MRG2018 TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jul 1, 2018
    Agree- it doesnt have to be expensive. I feed my cat Fancy feast and Royal canin. Its not the matter of giving him the right nutrition or organic stuff- its what he will eat.

  8. MargoLane

    MargoLane TCS Member Adult Cat

    Apr 10, 2018
    For me, it's more about meat and moisture, than which type of food is best. I like to limit the amount of veggies and filler, and increase the amount of moisture. My cat has IBD, so her diet is less than 10% carbs/filler etc. I feed mostly raw, because it meets the criteria and my cat does really well on it. But I'll also give her canned if it's high in protein and low in carbs. And I currently give her some of the Ziwi Peak air-dried kibble, because again, it doesn't have carbs/fillers.

    While there are a 2 or 3 brands of kibble that are under 10% carbs, wet food has the advantage when it comes to meat and moisture. Plus, I like the fact that you control calories with wet food. That is the easiest way to keep your cats weight stable. Lots of people feed a combination of both; a measured portion of kibble per day that the cat can snack on whenever they are hungry and a meal or two of wet food.

    Ultimately, you've already done the work of switching to wet food - lots of kitties absolutely refuse - so I'd stick with it. Find a couple of options that your cat likes and that you feel good about/fit your budget, and rotate. That way your cat doesn't become so crazy about one flavour that they hunger strike if you forget to pick it up. Good luck!
    Tobermorey and Azazel purraised this.

  9. r-kins

    r-kins TCS Member Adult Cat

    Mar 31, 2016
    I've heard that wet is better for digestion and overall health (as well has hydration), but dry is better for teeth. Personally, I think you should go with what works best for your pet.

    Typically due to my cat's IBS, he gets wet food and only kibble bits as a treat or when I need to set the auto feeder. Too much dry food causes constipation and painful poops. Of course, he has terrible teeth so it would be nice to see if more dry food improved them but that's not a choice.

  10. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Super Cat

    Apr 14, 2018
    New York, NY
    Dry food doesn’t clean teeth, this is a common misconception. Only raw bones or raw meaty chunks will help keep teeth clean.
    Royalty purraised this.

  11. Gizmobius

    Gizmobius TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Dec 4, 2016
    Kibble being better for teeth is an absolute myth. That's like saying potato chips or pretzels are good for our teeth. That being said, it's not like wet food is good for teeth either. The only thing that's really good for teeth is regular brushing so that's a whole separate issue that has nothing to do with the battle between wet and dry!

    As for me, wet is 100% the better option. I, personally, go for brands that don't include veggies or potatoes, that are strictly meat and vitamins and don't include any of my "will not feed" ingredients (although I can't seem to escape gums as thickeners!) I always keep a water dish available for my cats but since one of them is on wet and the other is on combo wet/raw, I've never seen them actually drink water. That means they're getting their daily intake completely from their food and I consider that a wonderful thing.

    I do have a bag of dry leftover from when I was transitioning my female cat to an all wet diet and I absolutely intend to use it so what I do is just grab a small handful every couple days and place the pieces in a puzzle activity board that I purchased. They can get a little treat and work their brains that way.

  12. BonitaBaby

    BonitaBaby Emotional Support Cat "Owner" Alpha Cat

    Sep 15, 2014
    Which is best? If you have a very picky cat who would rather starve than eat any food s/he doesn't want, then whatever s/he will eat is best.
    azpops, MargoLane and duckpond purraised this.

  13. theflash82

    theflash82 i don't own my cats, my cats own me Young Cat

    Jul 15, 2018
    I personally like to feed both to my cats, and 3 out of 4 of them are not overweight. Male cats need to have wet food in their diet though, and one of my cats needs dental dry food, so it's just easier for us to feed both to all four cats. You should probably try sticking to wet food. If you get larger cans, feed her a half a can in the morning and another half at night. If it's the smaller cans like fancy feast, feed her a whole can both times. That might help her lose some weight. (Since I have four cats, they get 2 cans of Friskies wet food in the morning, and 2 at night.)
    duckpond purraised this.

  14. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Super Cat

    Apr 14, 2018
    New York, NY
    All cats need wet food. Dry food doesn’t clean teeth.

  15. theflash82

    theflash82 i don't own my cats, my cats own me Young Cat

    Jul 15, 2018
    One of my cats had gingivitis so he got a special dental dry food that is much better for teeth. Also, female cats do not need wet food to stay hydrated, whereas male cats may get kidney stones without it.

  16. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    Apr 8, 2016
    My opinion is wet food is best, but only speaking with species in mind.
    I do think MOST cats fed wet food are leaner, but a lot of kibble fed cats with owners that ration the food and exercise them have very nice, healthy, lean cats. My own childhood cats lived to their 20's on a crap kibble, so I feel weird telling people that kibble is terrible.
    With that said, people here always say the best food for your cat is the food they'll willingly eat, and they're absolutely right!

    My cats will NOT touch food with medicine in it, so I just bite the bullet, syringe the meds...and if needed, bandage myself up =D

    I don't think dry food cleans teeth. There's a lot of dogs and cats out there that eat dry food only with terrible dental health and/or needing yearly dentals. JMO! =)

    I feed raw. Some members here do, some members feed a partial cooked diet and others would do it if it weren't for fear of feeding whole bones.
    My opinion is if anything about any particular diet (dry, cooked, canned, raw, raw grinds, etc.) makes YOU nervous--don't do it. Feed what they like, feed what you're comfortable with, and watch you cat(s) to see if you notice changes for the better or worse and go from there.
    duckpond and KarenKat purraised this.

  17. himawari

    himawari TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Aug 14, 2017
    Like the others before me, I believe wet food is better than dry food because of the moisture. But I do give about 1tbsp-2tbsp of dry food as snack for my cat since he refused his raw. Hopefully he'll like it again... but right now he's on 90% wet food. As for dental concern, I opt to brushing his teeth (or brushing it as much as he will let me).
    1 bruce 1 and Pucks104 purraised this.

  18. mikameek

    mikameek TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jun 2, 2018
    Austin, Texas
    Mika loves her dry food but I try to get her to eat as much of wet as possible. She was on an all wet diet for a really long time and I fully believe that it's better for them. However, at the end of the day, what your cat will eat is what is best.

    You can bring a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Ditto for cats.
    duckpond and 1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  19. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Super Cat

    Apr 14, 2018
    New York, NY
    Dry food is full of sugar, starches, and carbs. These things don’t clean teeth. This is a marketing scheme. Cats in the wild clean their teeth by chewing raw bones and chunks of raw meat. I feed my cats raw bones and meat for dental health and I can tell you that the way cats chew raw bones is extremely different than how they eat dry kibble (many cats don’t even chew kibble). Dry food doesn’t clean teeth.

    Gender of cat also doesn’t play into whether they need water in their food or not. All cats have low thirst drives and are meant to obtain moisture from their food. A cat that goes to their water bowl regularly to drink is dehydrated. It is true that male cats are more prone to urinary issues, but both males and females need high moisture in their food.

    If you’d like to learn more, the site catinfo.org is a good place to start.

  20. theflash82

    theflash82 i don't own my cats, my cats own me Young Cat

    Jul 15, 2018
    It's a special brand meant for his teeth. It actually really helps and his gums are no longer red, plus his breath doesn't smell as bad. As for wet food, males need it in their diets, whereas females can live off of dry food no problem (unless they are actually dehydrated, though most will drink enough.

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