A brown cat eating food and licking his lips.
A brown cat eating food and licking his lips. Photography ©bluebeat76 | Thinkstock.

The Wet Cat Food Vs. Dry Cat Food Debate

Every cat parent has a different opinion on wet cat food vs. dry cat food. To understand the issues, you need to know a few things about cat nutrition.
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Get together a group of cat parents, and everyone will have a different opinion when it comes to wet cat food vs. dry cat food. To understand the issues with wet cat food vs. dry cat food, you need to understand the cat’s physiology.

First, what should cats eat and why? What nutrients do cats need?

A hungry cat with a puzzle feeder.
Before diving into the wet cat food vs. dry cat food debate, let’s look at what nutrients cats need. Photography by Tierfotoagentur | Alamy Stock Photo.

While dogs are omnivorous and able to break down and digest both vegetable and animal protein, cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need muscle-based meats in their diets.

Although theoretically, they might get enough protein from plant material to exist, they need the amino acid taurine in order to thrive. Taurine is found primarily in the muscle meat of animals.

Carnivores have short digestive systems because they are not required to break down the tough cellulose found in plants. Introducing cellulose into their diets invites digestive problems.

On the whole, wet cat food, with the primary ingredient being meat or fish, provides a meal that’s better suited to a cat’s dietary needs.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that canned wet cat food is always a better choice than dry cat food. The best dry cat food is better for your cat than the worst canned food. If you feed your cat premium cat food, she is likely to thrive whether the food is in wet or dry form.

Here’s what you should consider when deciding to feed your cat wet cat food vs. dry cat food

The Dry Cat Food Debate

A brown tabby cat eating a bowl of dry food. Photography ©g215 | Thinkstock.
Is dry cat food better for cats? Photography ©g215 | Thinkstock.

Many cat owners leave dry food out all the time for their cats, which is called free feeding. Some supplement it with wet food, some don’t. Is it the equivalent of feeding your kids a steady diet of fast food for the sake of convenience?

If your cat only eats dry food, she is likely to be getting less nutrition than a cat eating wet food. Many low-quality dry foods contain a lot of fillers. In the wild, carbohydrates are only about five percent of a cat’s diet — what she gets from ingesting the stomach contents of her prey.

Some fillers are necessary for the extrusion process that shapes the dry food nuggets during manufacturing. But they’re also included as a cost-savings, since they’re a cheaper ingredient than meat.

Dehydration and dry cat food diets

Prey consumed by wild cats is about 70 percent water. Canned wet cat food averages 78 percent, and dry cat food averages 10 percent. Cats on dry food diets usually don’t get enough water. They can become chronically dehydrated, which contributes to health problems like Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) and urinary crystals.

According to Purina, if you feed your cat dry food, she should drink approximately one cup of water for every ten pounds of body weight in a 24-hour period. In warm weather, she’ll need even more. Cats on canned food diets only need to consume one-third to one-half that amount of water.

If you feed your cat kibble, it’s essential to provide a clean, appealing source of fresh water. Pet water fountains work well in enticing cats to drink, and their filters ensure a fresh, clean water supply.

Dry cat food and cat obesity and and feline diabetes

Cats on dry food-only diets are slightly more prone to obesity and diabetes than cats who eat wet cat food. Part of this is due to the high carbohydrate levels in many kinds of kibble, and part is due to the free-choice feeding of dry cat food which gives cats 24-hour access to food.

If your cat is getting a little pudgy, ration the dry food rather than serving it all-you-can-eat style. To avoid feline diabetes, stick to a premium dry food or switch to a canned food diet.

The Wet Cat Food Debate

A closeup of a gray cat eating wet food.
Is wet cat food better for cats? Photography by africa studio/shutterstock.

So, that means wet cat food is better, right? Well, not necessarily. A very cheaply produced wet food is not better for your cat than a premium quality dry food.

Check the ingredients. It should list an animal protein source as its number one ingredient, and ideally, it should not contain meat by-products.

Some argue that a canned food diet can lead to dental problems including gingivitis, but if you adhere to a schedule of regular dental checkups and cleanings, this really isn’t an issue.

The bottom line on the wet cat food vs. dry cat food debate? Choose a premium cat food!

Ultimately, whether choosing wet cat food vs. dry cat food, it should be a premium cat food with quality ingredients. The higher initial cost will be offset long-term by reduced veterinary costs.

Tell us: What’s your opinion on wet cat food vs. dry cat food? What do you feed your cat?

Thumbnail: Photography ©bluebeat76 | Thinkstock.

This piece was originally published in 2017.

About the authors

Catster is a cat magazine and cat website where cat lovers come together and learn about everything from weird cat sounds to serious feline health concerns. Subscribe to Catster magazine at catster.com/subscribe. Reach out here. Or, connect with us on Catster’s online community.

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134 thoughts on “The Wet Cat Food Vs. Dry Cat Food Debate”

  1. My cat, Sir Pawl McCatney, doesn’t like anything but one brand of cat food which is friskies gravy swirls. My boyfriend and I found him outside when he was a kitten, took him home and then took him to the vet. We asked my vet what is good to feed our cat and they( one woman and one male) told us it’s up to our cat. We tried out different cat foods. He ate very expensive wet food, it’s been a year since this I can’t remember the brand, but it gave him diarrhea and made his poop smell so bad and liquidy. We tried multiple different wet food through a period of time and found out it isn’t good for him, the vet told us to switch to dry. We tried multiple dry cat foods, to which he wouldn’t touch until we fed him Friskies Gravy swirls. Now that’s the only thing he’ll eat. He doesn’t eat what I call human food, he won’t eat wet food now, and I accidentally brought the wrong kind of friskies (tender middle or whatever the name is), and he wouldn’t touch it. He literally starved himself. Asked my doctor if it was okay and said yes. My vet said that dry food is better for their teeth too. Anyways listen your cat and listen to their body, watch how they poop etc. after feeding my cat friskies his poop became better, he drinks a lot of water, etc. so for my cat dry food is better than wet food. I’m actually glad he liked friskies this much because I’m a college student and the wet cat food was so expensive I’d spend most of my paycheck on it.

    I’ve also lived with sooooooooo many cats growing up ( I can not tell you the emphasis on soooo many) and we feed them all dry food and never had a problem.

    1. Im sorry to tell you, but vets arent nutritionists. Every educated in nutrition vet will tell you absolutely no dry food. You did it all wrong. Every pet needs to take time to switch to proper diet. They wont eat something real vecause it doesnt have strong smelling or strong tasting ingredients like in all this pretend to be food. No matter how much your cat dribks it still is dehydrated because they supoosed to get water from meat. Also you can’t tell if all your cats were fine, for this you would have to do very detailed tests and blood work. Which we kniw no one ever did before, and very few do now as vets are super expensive. I propose to educate yourself and stop repeating this uneducated bs. I rescued many cats, also ferals who out of lack of other options are fed with dry food and I cant tell you how many issues it caused. I successfully switched them all to proper good quality, yet not super expensive foods. I saw many of cats dying of kidney failure caused by dry food. Everything is possible. My 15yesrs old used to. Live on dry food most of her life i switched her almost 3years ago. Her teeth look aweful, she has digestive issues and very weak immune system, she would puke every day. Now with proper food we dont have those issues, she also ests raw meat now whivh cleans teeth properly, dry food even if they say it does it doesnt coz cats don’t bite as they supoosed to. The break it and swallow. With raw meat they have to chew. So maybe instead of believing that you try it all do it once and right way. Take it slower switch, set you cat on eating schedule. Let’s say 2x a day, no food laying around all day. And choose the right food. It can even takes 3months but it is doable. Like I said not for the lazy… Your cat will thank you.

      1. Cheryl Lea McMurray

        Well said! We turn down applications for out cats if the new owner plans on feeding dry only and supermarket brands.

      2. Linda Testerman

        What brand of cat food do you buy? Mine is 9 yrs old and only has a few teeth on one side .He is a few pounds overnight.


  2. Our 11 year old female will become constipated if fed too much dry food ( not to mention the salt levels most have ) and if she drnks after eating dry food it will swell in her tummy making her vomit . Shes a fussy eater and would rather eat Felix than eat nutritious Vet supplied food and nooo she will not eat when she’s hungry enough , been there done that ! She doesn’t eat big meals never has and will only eat small amounts , so to avoid wastage l feed 4 small meals aday , so thats 2 sachets a day .

  3. My kitten eats Kitten Chow for dry food and I and Love and You wet food. Because we took him in as a stray orphan, Banfield Pet Hospital has us take him in for shots every three weeks. He’s gotten an excellent bill of health every time.

    So long as Sunspot is gaining healthy weight and using his litter box regularly, I don’t see a reason to change his food. I already tried to change his dry food to I and Love and You, but he won’t eat it. If the veterinarian says we should change his food, that’s another story.

    I think my brother and I are more particular about what Sunspot eats than about what we eat. :-)

  4. Feed your cat the best you can afford. I buy premium dry grain & gluten free food for regular feeds & then give my 2 kitties canned food 2-6 times a week when I have the money to buy it. With a gluten & grain intolerant cat who can only eat chicken or turkey, canned food at $1.69 per can is far too expensive for my budget. Some weeks they get 1/4 can each every night; other times it’s only 2 nights out of the week. I pay almost $40 for a bag of dry food for a month plus I have to use clay-and-chemical-free unscented litter (sWheat) at almost $30 a bag because the same cat is also allergic to clay litter. Do the best you can, and let others do the same. Telling someone what they’ve used successfully for a long time is wrong because you have a different opinion is rude. Trust me — if I had other options or could afford raw food plus my disability didn’t preclude me prepping it, I’d use it…..but don’t tell me my cats aren’t healthy and happy because I don’t feed them what you think I should.

    1. No two cats are the same, I had many cats allow me to live in their space over the years,and I’ve never had two alike,,,so your spot on,No one shoukd tell another how to cars for YOUR cat

    2. For litter I use natural wood pellets made for a pellet stove. They cost around $3.00 a forty pound bag and are naturally scented.

    3. What brand of dry food do you buy? I’ve been incorporating wet food more and more over the past year or so. I do want to have some dry food around too though for when I’m not home and they get hungry. For the wet food, I like Wellness – Turkey and Salmon. My cats love it. The come in big cans (12 oz., I believe) and it’s a WAY better price than buying those tiny cans. It’s around $3 a can.

      1. I have been feeding my cats Kirkland signature nature’s domain cat food since they got old enough to stop eating kitten food and they’re 9 years old now and very healthy. Their teeth are clean and they’ve never had to be put to sleep to have them cleaned by the vet. My daughter frequently brushes their teeth. We do ha stray who was starving and had to have all of his teeth removed because he was allergic to the tartar on his teeth. He also has food allergies so I feed him Blue Buffalo limited ingredient cat food but since canned food is so expensive and we have 4 cats including her 2 strays and I am paying for her UC Berkeley education and my son’s UCSF education I use water to moisten his dry food so he can eat it without teeth. I honestly don’t see a difference in the quality of the canned food vs the dry food except for the amount of liquid and the outrageous price. I’m not really sure why the Nature’s domain cat food causes him skin sores since it’s grain free and has salmon as the main protein source but it does. My other cats are a Persian, Norwegian Forest cat and a Siamese. The cat with allergies is a mixed breed of a Burmese. Hopefully that helps you find a cheaper option that is still rated 5 stars by most impartial rating sites.

  5. Unfortunately one of my cats only eat dry food and nothing else. Not even a fresh piece of meat or fish. I ended up with premium dry food that is grain free. I cross my fingers but I worry.

  6. Go to: Dr. Karen Becker’s website…she has a wealth of information about feeding cats and dogs and what is good for them and what is not good for them. On her website, she has section : Library . Here you can read up all about the different types of foods for cats and dogs, which are what these animals need and what is bad for them…and many other topics relating to cats, dogs and other animals.

  7. I successfully fed dry food with many of my cats over the years and they all did well on it. Unfortunately, one of the cats I have now does not drink much water and has urinary tract issues when fed dry food. So, he and his sister both get wet food with added warm water in order to keep them hydrated. Dry food is very convenient and the cats like it, but some of them can’t eat it without health issues. So we do what we need to do to keep our loved ones healthy.

    1. I feed my cat both wet and dry food. I put myself in the cat’s place, and I wouldn’t like to eat dry food all the time. I give her two bowls of food (wet and dry) along with fresh water. Remember when needing to refill the dry food bowl to empty it first and then wash it out with hot soapy water. Since cats don’t use a knife and fork, the bottom of the dry food bowl ends up with saliva at the bottom of it and that creates slime—think of all the bacteria there. (I was looking after someone’s cat for them when I noticed this.) Not very healthy for them.

      1. I generally give my cat wet food morning and night, along with a small scoop of dry food. This is to help prevent my cat from becoming overweight and to prevent hairball vomits. My cat is prone to hairball vomiting because she is constantly cleaning herself. She is considered a domestic shorthair but her hair is slightly longer than the typical shorthair breeds but shorter than the long hair breeds. My cat is a mixed breed. Her mama cat was a white long hair cat while her papa cat was a street cat supposedly a tabby cat. My cat is a tabby cat, never lived on the streets, as I adopted her directly from the owner of the mama cat at 17 weeks old. My cat is now 2.7 years old, soon her 3rd birthday is coming up. She has been a very picky eater. She had round worms when I first got her. I suspect that she has digestive issues as sometimes her poops are very smelly. I will probably need to take her to the cat hospital for another check up on her digestive issues. She is always hungry but looks very healthy for the most part. She has picca, a bad habit for eating paper when she is hungry or bored. I have gotten to a point where I must hide all paper in bins or drawers and to keep them out of her reach. She has lots of small toys, that she likes to hide. Mostly balls and mice. She hates big toys. She loves feathers and wand toys. I am still trying to figure out how to solve her digestive issues. I think that giving her wet and dry food twice a day is the best method that I can do for her. She always asks for treats, the healthier treats and loves scraps of my low fat cheese and chicken and beef. I occasionally give her a piece of my cooked meats. She devours it.

        1. With your cat that throws up from hairballs, try feeding with Purina Sensitive Systems Skin and Coat. My Ragdoll cat is exactly the same as he is constantly cleaning, and with having Purina, he’s gone from throwing up once a week to once maybe every six. It has made such a difference for him!!! With him and my Maine Coon I give them raw food at night, so 50/50 is what’s best for them. At the end of the day, each cat is different, so you do what’s best for each one.

          1. My 12 year old Main Coon was diagnosed today with diabetes. His Vet told me to feed him a high protein low carb cat food. He’s always ate dry food but I’d like to try convert him and my overweight 3 year old cat to wet food. Any ideas or thoughts on a good brand of food for a senior diabetic cat?

        2. Smelly poops are largely a result of the food they are given. Our 2 eat balanced fresh cooked chicken. Poops are small, infrequent, and 0 smell.

  8. In their natural environment, cats do not eat dry leaves and dry twigs – they eat raw, wet, warm meat. And that should end any confusion, or debate – feed your cat wet food (I give my cats raw chicken liver pretty much every day). I did have one cat that at first would not eat raw liver – or even cooked liver – he would eat only his crunchies. So one day, armed with a small cup full of fresh chicken blood, I ‘primed’ him by dipping my finger in the blood and then running it around his lips – bingo, the bulb went off and now he eats raw all the time. And BTW, it is OK to give your cat chicken bones provided they are raw. Raw bone granulates which is OK – cooked bone can splinter and that is not OK.

  9. Lillian Cruz-Orengo

    My wet or dry food dilemma was decided by my kitties. I wanted them to eat raw food and they didn’t like it. For a while they were eating wet food from good brands, grain-free, etc. But, no matter how enthusiastic hey were with a new option after a case they wanted another flavor or brand. After spending time and money on their “New favorite” the new case ended in the local shelter. This happened multiple times. Until I went out of town and they drove crazy the cat sitter with the full bowls of wet food covered in flies and she feed them dry food instead. So, I started to alternate wet and dry. They prefer the dry leaving the wet behind. Then, I tried brands but the winner ended up being Purina Cat Chow Grain-Free. They decided for me and I happy to please what they like. No more headache or spending money on expensive food they don’t want.

    1. I’m with you. My cat eats Purina’s grain free dry Sailing w Salmon or Charmed w Chicken. I alternate between the two. As far as wet food…sadly, I’ve tried all kinds of good brands, but Minky will only lap up the gravy and leave any whole food. I even tried blending the food to make it more like a puree, but he still poo poos it. My cat likes what he likes and as long as its grain free and he gets plenty of filtered water, I’m as content as he is!

  10. I have worried about this also but my cat will only eat dried food and gets a small tin of tuna in brine every 10 days . She won’t eat tuna for cats. But she does drink plenty of water. She was found out side my house 5 years ago and no one claimed her ( I am so glad) she is the most loving cat and has made my life so good. I have always had cats my last one died at 26 years of age and my 2 one was 22 miss them both so much

  11. We adopted a 2 year old cat from a shelter about 9 months ago. She loved wet food and would not eat dry food or drink water. About a month after we brought her home, she stopped eating. On the fifth day we took her to the vet. She had an initial check up right after we adopted her and she was given a good report. However, she picked up a respiratory virus at the shelter that did not show up right away, and she was only a day or so from dying when we took her back to the vet. She spent 5 days there and they ended up putting in a feeding tube. We had to feed her every 2 hours with a slurry made from prescription wet food and also use the tube for medication. Around 6 weeks later she pulled the tube out when it got caught in a heating vent. More vet bills. Luckily there was no damage so it was recommended that we feed her the prescription wet food in a bowl. She loved it but it gave her terrible diarrhea. After much testing, it was determined that she had IBS perhaps triggered from the respiratory issue. She now eats prescription dry food, although not crazy about it, she eats it and the diarrhea has stopped. Also now drinking water from a fountain. She has a bout of it every few weeks that lasts a day, not sure why. She went from weighing 5 pounds to now around 11 pounds. I know she would relish having her wet food back but there is something in any kind of wet food that triggers the diarrhea, whether it is a commercial food or prescription. We have tried to see if she will eat human tuna, chicken even beef and she smells it and walks away. Her coat is shiny and soft and she is now healthy. We have had cats for 40 years and this is the first one to be labeled “special needs”. All of our other cats ate both dry and wet food with no problem except the occasional fur ball.

    1. Hi Robin, my cat had terrible ibs and with the help of Stephen from Vitality Science, he is fixed. Check out their website. Also if you need extra help/advice check out an holistic vet, Deva Khalsa, her website is doctordeva.com. She does consults around the world via phone or email. Best of luck. Diane

  12. Wow, I had no idea there was such a debate on this! I’ve had cats my whole life… my mom always fed a mix of wet and dry… Wet 2x/day and free feed dry. Never had an overweight cat, no urinary issues… When I ventured out on my own I cut out the wet food – I cannot stand the smell! JoJo lived to 20 yrs, my current 3 are 8 (twins) and 5yrs… none of mine will touch wet food – even after teeth cleanings! I had to add water to their normal dry food to get them to eat after teeth cleaning. I keep asking my vet if I should be doing something different and the answer is always no. She knows each kitty, the dry brand I feed, and obviously their overall health…

  13. Three years ago I TNR’d 4 kittens, their mother and possible father. I was not given any information regarding diet by the TNR clinic as to diet. Presumption being they will go off on their merry way. I didn’t realize at the time they would never leave my back door. I bought dry kitten chow after they weaned. The two female kittens and one male came to live on my patio. After a year, my boy developed body urine. I took him to the vet. Expensive antibiotics and anti inflammatories were prescribed. Diet was mentioned as an afterthought as in “if this doesn’t work, we’ll address a prescription diet.” Crystals were detected at his followup two weeks later. Then a female had same issue. I bought the prescription food, and saw how much grain was in it. My husband researched fairly extensively and we were horrified to learn dry food contributed to the crystals. We bought wet prescription food and added water. This helped. We now feed wet food (not prescription) with added water and grain free dry as a treat. I don’t know what they put in the dry food? They seem to crave it, but through the years have noticed if we give even a bit too much, symptoms return. To date, all of the kittens (now beautiful cats) have developed symptoms that disappear as soon as dry food is withheld. We’re convinced wet is the only way to go.

  14. I have two female cats that are 2 years old (I’ve had other cats over the years). Both are incredibly finicky eaters. We feed them what they are willing to eat. I can’t even get them to eat the same thing so I buy two brands of dry and multiple types of wet. I buy freeze dried raw for one of the cats and she eats it like it’s dry (no water added) and I feed the other Merrick brand dry. We feed Wellness, Fussicat and few other better quality brands wet food.

    We leave a small amount of dry down during the day but our girls don’t eat a lot of it and they get wet food midday.

    We had a problem with one of the cats and diarrhea until we switched her to the raw. Now she’s doing wonderfully.

  15. I went with 1/2 can per day with my first two cats and fed them dry food twice a day. They lived 18 and 17 years.

    I have a set of two cats now. One cat gets 1/4 can of moist food and 2 helpings of dry food. Same for the other cat except I give her just a small portion of moist food. The older cat is a lean 10 lbs and she’s the one that gets more moist food. The other cat is about 15 pounds and she devours dry food and drinks lots of water.

    All of my cats turn their nose on cheap dry food (i.e. store brand), they love cat treats and any type of moist food. Getting them to eat the dry food they dislike is a losing battle, even if I mix it with a brand they like. At least I have stray cats that will eat any dry food.

  16. There is no debate – the worst wet food is better than the best dry food. Please feed your cats wet food for their primary diet with dry food sparingly.

    1. I feed my cats primarily dry food and I had a cat live 19 days short of his 19th birthday. So I want to know what your argument is exactly as to why canned is better than dry? As long as you make sure kitty has access to fresh water, exercises regularly, and monitor the amount kitty eats, the problems listed in this article (with dry food) can be avoided.

      1. THere are zero benefits for cats that are fed dry food. It doesn’t have any nutrients since any that would be there are destroyed with the extreme temperatures used to create the kibble. Never feed animal digest, it just gross. There is no moisture and it’s not possible for a cat to drink enough water to compensate for being fed kibble. Kibble is full of starches and sugars that lead to diabetes, hyperthyroidism, liver damage, kidney damage, lymphoma, crystals, pancreatitis, UTI’s and a lot more. The best thing is feeding a wet or even a RAW DIET. NEVER feed a dry kibble it’s equitable to feeding human kids nothing but Twinkies. Simply put kibble kills.

        1. I totally agree with you Shelby…raw food is the only way to go, however it must be specifically made for cats. I have two Siamese kitties and they started raw food at 11 weeks old and have eaten it ever since…they absolutely love their food,, are happy, full of energy, sleek and totally healthy….I would not feed them anything but specially made raw food for kitties. Yes it is more expensive, however it will probably save you a lot in vet bills.
          Google: Dr. Karen Becker to read up about food for cats…she had a whole library of topics for us to educate ourselves.

        2. not all pet food is created equally. And to recommend one format over the other without looking at specific recipes is dangerous. The leading wet food in the UK’s first ingredient is cereals and has sugars and very little meat. Dry foods in the market differ substantially. Some are cooked at 80 degrees, most are cooked at 120 degrees and some go significantly higher up to 400 degrees. Some are amazing, some are dreadful. The same is true of wet food.

    2. I have a new vet, and he asked whether I feed my cat wet or dry food. I told him that I give her a choice by providing her each day with a bowl of each. It’s her choice. He showed me her teeth which I admit looked really good and clean. He told me that was because of her dry food!!! The dry food cleans their teeth!!!

      1. Interesting because a dry food is a maun contributos for teeth decay. Also a cat doesnt bite properly, so it is impossible that this actually helps. There is no debate about dry food if you would ever rescue cats and learn about their true nature. Supplementing with pieces of raw meat is what cleans their teeth.

    3. I have tried every kind of wet foot and my Nicky will not eat it. He eats a good dry food and treats and drinks water—. He will smell the wet food, take a nibble and walk away.
      When I got him he had parasites wondering if the meds for the parasites affected his sense of smell?

    4. Exactly right. Dry food is horrible for cats. I don’t think a long life span necessarily supports a dry food diet. Any cat can be converted from dry to wet. It takes patience but it absolutely can be done. Leaving dry food out is not healthy, and adding water to dry is even worse-causes bacteria to grow. Get the best wet food you can if you can’t do a raw diet. Cats could never drink enough water to counteract a dry food only diet. A word about water fountains, too. Unless you sterilize them everyday, they are loaded with bacteria.

    5. To Steve: You sound who believes he knows what is best for everyone else and entertains no divergent views. Pity such a closed mind.
      I’ll keep reading here and the multiple DVM sites where the subject is still open. Hope you kitty lives a long and healthy life and the same for mine and others.

      1. I think this subject of debate should be closed permamebtly
        Dry food kills, and that’s what I see over and over when people cry to me about kidney failure or need to take a cat to a vet for teeth removal, or thyroid issues or obesity. It is enough to look at hisyory of why dry food came about. Then add to it laziness of people and stubbornness when they think they know better. Cats are created to eat meat strictly. That’s where they get their water from, and dry food doesnt give it to them. They have such steong survival skills that the fact that the cat drinks water means it still has not enough water. Wont mention that it stays and expend in the belly is even worse, messes up digedtive system. Temperature of baking kills all nutrients and cat really survive only of supements added. As for us we look at what we eat.. Feeding a cat a dry food is a lack of responsibility of an owner to provide the best species appropriate diet. And yes there is plenty of bad wet food. All popular brands suck. Ingredients are unacceptable. Even expensive brands suck with toxic additives. But there is a way to find better options. If the owner says my cat doesnt like it then he simply fails to take time to switch the cat. Additives in food are so addictive, especially that they have super strong smell that cat won’t eat anything which is truer to nature. Switching the cat even takes up to 3months. Everything is a possible. All my 5came with health issues which were fixed by proper diet. I don’t see vet often anymore. And i continue educate people as long as it takes for them to understand that dry food is a number one killer except eot if cat develops a sickness connected to contracting specific viruses. As food is killing us and making us sicker is even worse for a cat whos tiny organs cannot digest a kot of toxins which are oresent in those foods.

  17. I tend to agree with the vet who said that the wet vs. dry argument is often one that resembles religious fervor. But it seems to largely boil down to choosing a decent quality food (not necessarily a super-premium/everything-but- the-kitchen-sink recipe) and knowing your pets. If they like drinking water and nearly always do so after eating dry food, presumably their risk of dehydration is lower. But there is the question of whether low moisture diets are riskier for senior cats.

    Personally, we’ve always fed some dry food as a supplement to wet food mealtime, and have had happy, healthy cats. And we leave dry food for a couple of strays along with fresh water daily. Maybe not ideal, but they seem to drink a fair amount of water to help compensate for the relative moisture deficit. It would be interesting, though, to see some unbiased research on how well a cat’s drinking behavior typically adapts to different moisture levels in food.

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    1. You can certainly do that. Speak with your vet to determine a diet that’s best tailored to your cat’s needs.

      1. Go to: Dr. Karen Becker’s website…she has a wealth of information about feeding cats and dogs and what is good for them and what is not good for them. On her website, she has section : Library . Here you can read up all about the different types of foods for cats and dogs, which are what these animals need and what is bad for them…and many other topics relating to cats, dogs and other animals.

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  23. I found that since introducing some wet food to his dry food that he has not vomited hairballs at all since then. I don’t know why that is but now he always gets both types. I am now starting him on grainfree for both types so hope he likes that also.

  24. Giselle Hernandez

    I have 2 cats, one for 2 years and the other one I just adopted a week ago. My of cat eats dry food, I adopted him when he was a year old and I could not get him to eat wet food no matter the brand, I spent up to $4 on a single small can and nothing. I started buying him hills science diet and it was ok but he just wasn’t responding to it very well. It’s not that he was getting sick I just felt he could eat something better that he liked more. I switched over to blue buffalo it’s not the best food but it’s pretty good, his energy is ridiculous, his coat is so soft I want to sleep on him lol, and he stays active.

    The recently adopt cat only likes wet food. I decided to try blue buffalo since that’s what I feed my other cat. He ate it but only about half a can in 3 days. He didn’t even poop or pee until the 4th day. Granted I only fed him the chicken flavor but I did mix in some some fish and shrimp or tuna I can’t remember and he said didn’t eat it. I ended up rushing to Walmart late that 3rd night to buy him some food. Friskies salmon and beef in chunks is the one he absolutely loves, I’m not a fan of cheapfood. But it got him to eat and use his litter box. I gave him some pure balance salmon pate and he ate it. I want to buy something of better quality though, I think he likes salmon, that’s my guess lol. So I will go to an actual pet store and buy him some different brands to see which he likes.

    Wet food is more expensive that dry food, especially since cats are so picky and stubborn. They will starve themselves before eating something they don’t like. I have noticed that Ron (my new cat) drinks much less water than Jeter (my of cat). Jeter will drink almost a full bowl of water in a day, Ron, will barely drink water. So I’m screwed lol, I have one that likes dry food and one that likes wet food. They’re both healthy, energetic and needy but since Ron’s relatively new he’s still adjusting. Dry or wet food are both good, just focus on the ingredients. The first few should be something like: chicken, turkey, salmon, fish, broth, etc. And with dry food, expect your cat to drink alot of water and be a bit more overweight even with portion control (more cushion for the pushin lol). You don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount on food. Just look up reviews (and don’t let the bad ones turn you away) sometimes what works for one cat doesn’t work for another, look at ingredients and compare sale, prices and look for coupons. Just do a trial and error run with you pet, you’ll figure out what they like, eventually lol.

    1. You can get cats that prefers dry food transitioned to some wet with a little patience. Sometimes it has to do with the texture of the food (pate vs. shredded meat). Anyway, mixing some FortiFlora probiotic, which contains animal digest, in with the wet food often makes it more enticing to cats and you can slowly wean them off of it if you don’t want to continue mixing it in. Companies coat the dry food with animal digest to make it appealing to cats.

  25. Pingback: Catster Tips on Cat Wet Food & Dry Food Debate | Furs For Us

  26. Hi, my 2 have been on wet food – human grade chicken breast and a few large dental kibbles a day but recently my boy started getting runny poo and I took played around and it only went away when i removed the wet food! they are both now drinking lots and lots of water which is great but i dont feel comfortable with them being on dry only. just cant figure out why the sudden reaction. especially when the vets say to feed cats with sensitive tummy’s cooked chicken breast!

    1. Hi Viv,

      Thanks for reaching out! Sorry to hear your kitties are experiencing issues. We suggest bringing this up to your vet who may be able to tailor their diets accordingly.

  27. We’ve been cat owners for 4 cats, and have fed them premium dry food and we haven’t had any problems. They are inside-outside cats, so they find “wild” water to drink and sometimes bloody things too…

  28. My cat is scratching her ears till they bleed. I have been switching food brands because she is constipated too. I’m not sure if it’s an allergy, but I can’t take her to the vet (my husband won’t let me), please help. She doesn’t appear to have mites, the inside of her ear is pink, and there is no drainage. Also- tips for cat constipation would be great. Thanks

    1. Hi Tanya,

      Please get your cat to a vet ASAP. If you’re worried you can’t afford a vet, these articles might help:

      Here is some info on constipation:

      Info on skin problems:

      Hope your kitty feels better!

    2. Hello Tanya

      Humans anger me when they think an animal is not worth the $. Arrrrggghhh!!!! I could scream!!! Okay, so I think I can shed some light. Maybe it’ll help him feel a little better! My cat is/and had been scratching his ears ever since I adopted him. I thought he had mites so I took him into the veterinarian right away. At the time I was living in a pow dink kind of a town. The vet I took him to was a bit of a doofus. He said Bart had nothing wrong with him and no infections or inflammation in his ears…. but insisted I give him these ear drops that were antibiotic???? Okay??? I followed his advice for a good while bc in a rural area like that there’s no other competition. Finally to make a long story short, I recently moved to Phoenix and got a new vet, right away. Got Bart in as soon as possible. She said Bart’s problem was he had an allergy to chicken. She told me to STOP feeding him chicken and ABSOLUTELY no chicken byproducts either. She said to always read the ingredients bc some brands say no chicken and no chicken by products but still have them. She recommended this brand of cat WET food named Instinct and to get the type with rabbit! Cats in the wild eat rabbit. She also said cats need more raw food bc by nature and therefore need more wet food. She said cats normally need to be on a 200 calories diet. She said that a normal sized can of cat food is around 200 calories. The problem with this rabbit diet is that cats get tired of eating the same think every day. And I have researched quite a bit and I can’t find any other brands that do t have some kind of chicken or byproduct of in it. Even if it says beef or shrimp, it still has some sort of chicken. This has actually been a read head ache for my husband and I. We’re so worried and just don’t know what to do. Bart isn’t scratching until his ears are bleeding…THANK GOD!!! However… he still scratches! I’m truly worried about your cat and the misery he maybe in. I wish so bad he could go to the vet. I mean usual just a visit for something like his ears would be super simple. Probably no more than $60 all to-gether. I’m only telling you what my new vet told me bc maybe it’ll alleviate some of the itching. My other cat has no issues with chicken. My vet said “some cats just have an allergy to chicken, unfortunately “. There is also a dry food named Natural Balance. Make sure if you get that get the Green pea and salmon formula. Both these products must be purchased at a Petsmart or PetCo but you can also purchase on Amazon. The canned stuff isn’t cheap either. Have you taken a good look at your cats ears to make sure they weren’t dirty/spotty? He may have mights or an ear infection. I know it’s been several months since you posted this, so I’m hoping your fur baby is happier and healthier!!!

      Sending all my love and positive energy towards your fur baby


      1. I agree!!! Your little cat must be checked out by a vet. What’s wrong with your husband? If he’s so uncaring towards your little cat, perhaps he’s the same with everyone. He doesn’t sound like someone I’d like to know.

    3. What do.you mean he won’t let you?? There should be a stop shelter or somewhere u can take ur baby. We use Banfield pet hospital and 20 a month covers any vet appointment shots and to have her spayed ( our dog also is a patient ) This just angered me so much to read and made me so sad for your baby. Its 2018 my dear we women folk are allowed to make choices all.by ourselves and if you can not stand up for your pet honey find that baby a mommy who can. Sorry not sorry

      1. Be aware that this lady may live with an abusive husband. He may be the violent type, we don’t know. Or he may just be tight with the money. She may have to ask him for any money. Please try to remember that there are people out there trying the best they can with what is available to them. Put downs are not helpful.

        Thank you, and I’m enjoying this thread. I mix canned with the dry, and will add some raw next month.

  29. LaraCroftEyes1

    My cat Snowy can’t eat Meow Mix its make her throw up and she like Fancy Feast yeah I know it’s not good for her but that the only food she can eat without vomiting

  30. My cat is 14 years old and is outside. He eats 1 can of wet food around noon each day and is given dry food around midnight to last until the next feeding. I keep a bowl of fresh bottled water out for him at all times. He drinks approx 16 oz a day. He seems very happy and healthy.

  31. What is the best dry cat food for my 8 year old cat ? She is 18 pounds and doesn’t like wet cat food since she never had it from when she was a kitten.

    1. Hi Suzanne, We suggest discussing the best dry cat food for your particular kitty with your vet. Best of luck!

  32. Pingback: 9 Ways to Help Cats and Dogs Get Along Better – Surf City Pet Hospital

  33. My 10 cats have access to wet and dry food 24/7 and are all fine including a 16 year old that came to me with thyroid issues. If it works don’t fix it.

  34. I had actually always heard the opposite from vets. Literally every person I know who feeds their cat wet food daily also daily deals with diarrhea. When did I miss this change? Mine eats high quality kibble with occasional chicken as a treat. She loves drinking water, so dehydration isn’t an issue.

    1. yes i agree, i leave dried food down all the time. as one of mine likes both, the other will eat it. but if i am running late, at least they have food,and supposedly as heathly ,i normally buy purina, also yes good wet food helps

  35. My current 3 cats all get wet food for meals with a small amount of dry vet formula dental for a treat. My previous cats ate mostly premium dry food and the oldest lived to 17. All cats I’ve ever parented have desired dry food over wet, some even refusing to eat wet food if they have lived on dry long enough. I feed wet because I believe it is the best for their health and I do not want them to get hooked on dry. I do miss the convenience and lower cost of premium dry food though!

  36. I feed my Millie wet food and she gets dental treats. But years ago I had a Siamese cat and I wasn’t really cat-smart about things then. I fed her Meow Mix, probably one of the worst dry cat foods, nutritionally …and she lived for 19 1/2 years. So, go figure….

  37. I no longer feed either. My clowder gets raw and whole prey. I don’t trust commercial pet food companies. Way too many pet deaths and recalls. Plus, I’m way too educated about feline nutrition and diseases now to feed anything else. I lost too many of my babies to horrible food caused diseases starting with the melamine scare back in 2006 and 2007. Each loss ripped my heart out. I’ll never feed commercial again. The stray and feral cats and possums I feed outside eat as well as my cats and better than most people’s pets and even kids!

  38. My 16 year old Tortie has eaten only dry food her entire life. Premium brands. She has been offered wet food over the years, but turns her nose up. She drinks plenty of fresh water, has no health issues, only complains if her litter box is not cleaned by 8:15 each morning. I recently talked with our vet about wet vs dry. He said, she’s healthy and her blood work is great for a senior cat, don’t change anything.

  39. Stephanie Chavez

    I leave dry cat food all day and I give him a small amount of wet food once a day for his dinner. He likes that a lot and always looks forward to his wet food. I like doing this so that he doesn’t get to board with eating only one type of food. I also have different flavors of snacks that I rotate thru for that very same reason.

  40. My fuzzy buddy stopped drinking about three years ago at age 7 on a wet food/dry food diet. The health problems and thousands in Vet bills that followed were crazy! After all of the flavoured waters, fountains and advice from the vets, I switched him to a 100% wet food diet and water down each serving. The poor guy lives on soup now, but is a perfect weight and health!

  41. My cat Armani was diagnosed pre-diabetic a number of years ago. He ate mostly dry food and one can of wet food at night split between he and two other cats. He was overweight and I knew something needed to be done. I switched him to a high quality canned food only diet. The next year he was no longer pre-diabetic. He was completely healthy. I feed all canned food and then sneak in some raw, Rad Cat pork, when I can. My guys look great! And they feel great too!

  42. We’ve thought long and hard about this after losing our cat Tigger to a combination of diseases.

    We’ve kind of taken the easy way out, in a way–we feed our cats about 50-60% home made raw food (using Dr. Lisa Pierson’s recipe and keeping our fingers crossed), 30-40% grain free wet, and a sprinkling of kibble for variety and trace nutrients that we may miss. We feed them 2 meals a day plus occasional Greenies and don’t leave any food out throughout the day.

    We’ve had our cats since 2014. They’re still young–4 and 5 years old–but so far, so good. They just had their checkup on Monday and the vet said they look “perfect”. I guess the proof will be in the pudding 10 years hence, but we hope that variety will help. We all are doing our best to keep our kitties healthy and happy, aren’t we?

  43. Since feeding our overweight tortoiseshell wet food only
    she has slowly started to slim down.
    She’s a big girl – bone structure , head etc so is always
    Keen to eat.
    She has 2 top brand wet cat food packets plus about 40 grams of diced raw steak every day .
    She missed her biscuits at first , but doesn’t seem to
    mind the change of diet now.

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