This is a question many cat owners ask themselves. It’s also hard to answer because there is no definitive answer. Both wet food and dry food can provide your cat with the nutrition they require and both have specific benefits.
My fiancé and I had quite a few discussions about what we planned to feed our cats. As kittens they ate a combination of wet food and dry food. We fed them wet food twice a day and provided dry food freely during the day and night. Kittens are growing and developing so much that it is important to provide them with ample food. However, as kittens near the end of their 1st year you will want to begin thinking about their adult diet.
Ultimately my fiancé and I decided to feed our cats wet food two times a day. This is definitely a time and financial commitment. We decided to feed wet food because we personally feel it is closer to a cat’s diet in the wild. But I have also owned and known cats that live very long and healthy lives eating dry food only. It really is a personal choice for yourself and your cat. If you are having a difficult time deciding ask your veterinarian for guidance!
Wet food works well if you plan to feed your cat only at specific times each day, such as morning and evening. Wet food is easy to serve in measured portions. Leaving wet food out all day isn’t a good idea because it will harden and may go bad. You cat probably won’t want to eat wet food if it isn’t fresh out of the can.
Wet food has a much higher liquid content than dry food, so it can help keep your cat hydrated. If feeding wet food to your cat you still need to provide clean and fresh water at all times. It’s also perfectly fine to feed your cat only dry food and provide clean, fresh water at all times.
Wet food does tend to be more expensive that dry food. Wet food also requires refrigeration after opening if it isn’t eaten right away.
There has been speculation that wet food causes tooth decay faster than dry food, but there is no evidence that tooth decay is worsened by wet food or dry food.
Dry food is very convenient and easy to feed your cat. You can feed specific amounts daily or allow your cat to freely eat at any time. You should make this decision based on your cat’s eating habits. If your cat tends to overeat, leaving dry food out may lead to negative weight gain. You can buy automatic feeders to distribute measured amounts of dry food during the day. This may be convenient for cat owners who are unable to feed their cat at the same time daily or have hectic schedules.
Specifically formulated dry cat foods have been developed to promote oral health by removing plaque build up. However, regular dry cat foods won’t help with oral health because it is easily crushed when chewed. Oral health dry foods are harder and shaped specifically to clean the teeth.