Most commercial diets for our feline friends come in dry and wet forms. From experience and personal cat ownership, I’d say that dry food is the most common feeding strategy. It is convenient, less expensive, has a longer shelf life, is more calorically dense, and smells significantly better. I have three cats, so feeding kibble is just the most cost-effective thing to do for me, especially as a new graduate.
I will mention that as soon as that staff discount kicks in, I will be converting my cats to pate carnivores. Having two male cats is a huge motivating factor for me as well as the fact that my kitties are borderline chunky.
Cats need adequate hydration. Over 75% of them will develop kidney disease as they approach their senior years. Wet food is extremely high in moisture, which provides these desert creatures more water intake. This is important because their fluid intake is not always sufficient. This is critical for cats with kidney disease who require more water intake, or those with urinary tract diseases for the adequate dilution of their urine.
Over 50% of cats will be overweight early in their lives. Dry food offers the propensity for overeating, especially when cats are free-fed. It’s just all too convenient to put the bowl down and walk away. Dry food is also higher in carbohydrates and more calorically dense. This just sets up cats to put on the extra pounds.
While feeding dry food is not the end of the world, it is simply more favorable to feed our cats a diet composed of wet food. I will not neglect to acknowledge that feeding wet food has its downsides – cost most importantly. But, in the long run, our cats’ health will benefit immensely if we can feed them a wet based diet.