Benefits of Wet & Dry Cat Food

Claire Dunling

What do you feed your feline? Wet, dry, raw, or whatever’s left from dinner? With so much conflicting information surrounding what we should be feeding our pets, there’s no wonder many of us are left scratching our heads when deciding on the best diet. Cats, being the archetypal creatures of habit that they are, love their routines and will happily eat the same food for years. This may raise the question: if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Read on for a full breakdown of our bestselling foods, the benefits of each type depending on your cat’s health conditions and why a mixture of both is best.

Cat Food

Have you ever wondered why your cat rarely drinks water? Well, if you’re primarily feeding them tinned or pouched foods, they get the majority of their water intake from their wet foods. While this will be an ample amount to keep many cats hydrated, there is the risk that they aren’t consuming enough, especially if they have an underlying urinary issue.  Cats have an incredible sense of smell (14x stronger than humans in fact) but some cats can struggle to build an appetite. Giving a wet diet is crucial in this situation as the rich aromas of meat in gravy will increase their appetite.

The Royal Canin Sensitivity Control Diet is designed for cats that have food hypersensitivities including lactose and gluten intolerances. The specially formulated diet combats dermatological and gastrointestinal symptoms with its highly digestible proteins, prebiotics and oils. It contains long-chain omega-3 acids like eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic, which are scientifically proven to modulate skin reactions and contribute to improving intestinal health.

If you’re a cat owner, you will most likely be familiar with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). The term incorporates all disorders that affect a cat’s bladder or urethra. This can be anything from a bladder infection, urethral obstruction, crystals and stones in the bladder. A common cause of urinary tract issues is stress, which is where Hill’s Prescription Diet C/D Urinary Stress comes in. Ingredients which reduce stress, L-tryptophan and milk protein hydrolysate, help to control cats anxiety and encourages them to go to the toilet more frequently. Feeding them a wet diet also means they’re increasing their water intake.

Unfortunately, kidney issues like Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a fairly common ailment for cats, especially those that are in the latter stage of life. Fortunately, though, the high-quality ingredients found in Royal Canin’s Renal Diet helps to reduce nitrogen waste which accumulates in body fluids. Food aversion and weight loss are common symptoms associated with renal failure so the appealing smell of chicken will certainly get those ears alert and whiskers twitching. Kidney function is also improved by the essential amino acids, like taurine and minerals, such as potassium citrate, which is proven to promote alkaline urine.

Dry Foods

Dry foods are convenient: you can order bigger bags that last much longer than a pack of tins or a box of pouches and are usually cheaper. It is also handier when feeding an overweight cat as you can measure out a precise portion each time. Alternatively, if you’re worried that your kitty gets peckish during the day, you can put down a small portion to keep them going until your home.

Royal Canin Dental Diet is a favourite amongst our feline customers. We know how difficult it is to instil a dental hygiene programme with your cat, especially if this hasn’t been done from their early kitten days. Ingredients like pentasodium triphosphate bind with calcium in the cat’s saliva, which actively limits the development of dental plaque and tartar. Not just a good option for dental reasons but also if your cat is suffering from constipation or hairballs. Psyllium is a plantain seed which is known to ease digestion and relieve constipation. When added to a feline diet, it is known to be an effective hairball regulator and helps prevent common hairball related issues like vomiting.

Overweight and obese cats are on the increase so there’s no surprise that Royal Canin Satiety Support is another popular choice for our cat customers. As you’ll probably guess from the name, the key benefits of the satiety range is to satiate your pet’s hunger and keep them fuller for longer. This is achieved from a special blend of low-calorie ingredients and fibres, which increases the volume of the stomachs contents and keeps them satisfied. This complete dietic dry food is also suitable for cats with diabetes as it minimises the likelihood of overeating and you can portion control them much more efficiently than if you were to feed them wet foods.

Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d range is another esteemed dietic food as it improves coat, skin and general wellbeing. The specially formulated kibble is ideal for cats who have adverse reactions to certain foods. The bags are packed with omega-3’s found in fish and soybean oils which reduces irritation, soreness and hair loss. Also, the dietetic food contains just one source of protein, Venison, which minimises irritation to the digestive system as well as being deliciously tasty for your kitty.

So, there’s your breakdown of the best wet and dry foods. Consider serving a mixture of both so your pet has a bit of variety in their diet and the added benefits of both forms. However, if you are dealing with an overweight kitty, this method of feeding may be a little trickier to measure the intake. In this instance, we’d advise measuring out exact portions and cut out any tidbits after dinner.

Also, if you are introducing a new diet into their routine, make sure this is done gradually else you’ll most likely be left with full bowls! Taking a gentle approach like serving 80% old food and 20% new food for a few days. Then gradually moving up to a 50:50 ratio will allow their digestion to adjust.

The article is an opinion and should only be used as a guide. You should discuss any change to your pet’s care or lifestyle thoroughly with your vet before starting any program or treatment.

If in doubt contact your veterinary practice

And always keep your vet's phone number handy - just in case!