Should I Feed my Dogs and Cats Wet or Dry Food?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Dry food may be more beneficial for cats' and dogs' teeth.
Dry food may be more beneficial for cats' and dogs' teeth.

It is not easy to obtain a definitive answer on the wet food/dry food issue, primarily because many of the studies are sponsored in part by manufacturers of one or the other type of food. Veterinarians and other animal experts have also weighed in on the subject for decades, with a general consensus that there is no consensus. A diet of dry food appears to have an edge over a wet diet, but a mixture of the two is also a popular recommendation. To muddy the pet food waters a bit more, there is now a category of "moist" foods which straddle the line between the two types.

Wet food may be more similar to what cats and dogs would eat in the wild.
Wet food may be more similar to what cats and dogs would eat in the wild.

The main argument for a mainly dry food diet seems to center around the animal's dental health. The action of eating dry food helps to strengthen a pet's jaw muscles, along with satisfying a cat or dog's natural chewing instinct. The dry kibble is believed to remove some plaque and tartar from a pet's teeth through mechanical scraping, which is further aided by the animal drinking water after eating. Wet food alone does not provide this abrasive action. But, there are of course, additional measures you can take to address dental hygiene, and kibble alone may not prevent all potential dental problems your pet may face.

Veterinarians recommend a variety of diets for pets.
Veterinarians recommend a variety of diets for pets.

Some argue that wet food healthier because it is closer to a diet found in an animal's natural environment. A cat's natural diet, for example, would be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Wet food for cats is usually high in proteins, fats and moisture, while dry cat food is often higher in corn-based carbohydrates, something a cat would not normally find in nature. Because dry kibble lacks much moisture, it is recommended that dry food diets be supplemented with sufficient amounts of water. With respect to protein content, dry food actually contains a fair amount of protein, but wet food proponents say it is not as natural as the proteins found in their preferred food. The additional fats are also believed to encourage healthy coat growth.

Though usually cheaper than wet foods, dry dog foods typically contain mostly plant-based materials, and a small amount of animal products.
Though usually cheaper than wet foods, dry dog foods typically contain mostly plant-based materials, and a small amount of animal products.

You'll find veterinarians recommending a variety of diets. Some recommend a primarily dry diet, with wet food used as an occasional treat or supplement. Kibble is considered more economical, since it does not spoil as quickly and is often sold in bulk. Many pets tend to prefer the aroma and texture of wet to dry food, which is why it may be difficult for owners to switch to an all-dry feeding program. Mixing some dry kibbles with the wet meal may be enough to prevent dental problems and give the animal an opportunity to wean itself off the wet pet food gradually. Wet food can also spoil quickly after opening, so it should never be left in the animal's bowl for excessively long periods of time. Any extra should be refrigerated or thrown away.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments


anon8647 is dead on. Very good info here. I've been a Vet Tech for 20-plus years with five years in a cat only hospital. Kudos to you anon.


Wet food is crap. Ignore the crap here. No veterinarian would ever recommend it over dry food. In fact, we actively discourage giving it to cats or dogs!


@post 29, Anon 166943: who has the 8 year old diabetic cat. I just wanted to make sure that you knew that yes, it makes a great deal of difference to insulin treatment whether your cat is eating wet or dry. If you start feeding a lower carbohydrate diet (wet food is almost always much lower in carbs than dry food), your cat will need a lower dose of insulin.

This is very important, as hypoglycemia resulting from overdoses of insulin can be fatal. If you aren't already, please make sure that you are working closely with your vet to fine-tune the insulin dose (especially to make sure it isn't lethally too large) when changing diets.

I have a diabetic cat who has been in remission for two years now, we think largely because he got the appropriate diet of relatively low carb wet food (hills m/d). Every vet I've talked to or heard from says that diabetics need lower carb diets, which almost always means getting the right wet food instead of dry food.

Some people feel even hills m/d is too high in carbs. I'm actually in the process of switching my boy onto a professionally formulated (wet) home diet that's even lower in carbs. Since my boy is in remission and not currently getting insulin injections, we don't have to worry about the transition, but if he was on insulin his dose would almost surely need to be reduced. Even if hills m/d is still too high carb, it's a heck of a lot better than most commercially available wet foods, and certainly than almost all dry foods in terms of carb content).

P.S. Yes, dental health is an issue, not only with wet but with many dry foods. What I'm doing is feeding each of my cats a few (5-15) pieces of specially formulated dental dry (Royal Canin Medi-Cal Dental Diet) just to help clean their teeth. There was a dramatic improvement in gum health after just a few weeks of doing this. Our vet feels that this amount of dry food is enough to help clean their teeth, but small enough so that my cats (including my diabetic boy) won't get too many carbs or get dehydrated, which, in addition to the high carb content, is another main worry about dry: they really can't drink enough to make up for the dehydration if they're being fed dry exclusively.


We, our cats (dozens of them), and our vet all agree with the arguments against dry food posted here. People who've had good luck with dry food may be referring to the dry food made twenty or thirty years ago. That was before manufacturers starting using more and cheap and/or improper ingredients (along with fillers), which are then disguised with "irresistible" tastes and odors. No self-respecting cat would eat the stuff otherwise!

Today's dry food is designed to be addictive. After awhile, the cat won't eat anything else, and no wonder! His senses have burnt out. It's sort of like as a kid preferring Burger King over home-cooked meals made with fresh ingredients and no artificial flavors and other "enhancers". But there's even more to it. With dry food so cheap and convenient, people are apt to leave out big bowls all day long.

Cats are not ruminants. In the wild, they eat what prey they have available - meaning they sometimes eat unpredictably, and they certainly don't eat constantly. Grazing isn't appropriate for cats, but deprived of the excitement and stimulation inherent in the life of a predator, why wouldn't they be tempted and succumb to overeating? This is especially true if a cat is having to consume extra calories because his food is mostly carbs instead of the high protein/high fat diet he evolved with? Sure, canned food has its problems, but it's better than dry. For anyone who can swing it, homemade is best.


All dry food is bad for cats. It requires binders to hold it together, is usually too high in carbohydrates, contains preservatives and does not clean a cat's teeth anymore than crunchy food would yours.

Cats do not naturally drink much water, so feeding them dry food leads to a constant state of dehydration. If you feed dry and your cat is drinking a lot of water, your cat may already have CRF.

Feeding canned or raw with raw chicken wings will go a lot further in keeping your pet healthy and their teeth cleaned. And canned can be left out all day; I have been doing it for years. In fact, my one male prefers it after it sits out. So I can tell you first hand cats are not prone to food poisoning.


I have two cats, and when I feed them wet food (whiskas), they fight constantly, wait outside the bedroom door in the mornings meowing (very annoying) and generally want, want, want, at all times, following me round the flat, meowing, like "gimme, gimme, gimme". I have just put them on to IAMS dry food, and the difference is astounding. They are now laid back, eat when they want, less vomiting, no jumping up on things to get my attention, no waking me up (bliss). As cats have become more domesticated, then isn't the 'what they'd do in the wild' argument a little irrelevant? It's not like we're keeping lions is it? Dry food for my girls, all the way. I now live in peace again!


OK, let's get this right: Dry food is not bad. A lot of dry food brands are, but a lot of canned wet foods are bad for cats too. You have your foods that are equivalent to fast food, the kind that are mid-range quality, and then the natural, holistic, and best kind such as Wellness brand.

I feed my cats Wellness dry and wet foods, but they mostly eat dry food. There's nothing wrong with them. They have beautiful coats, have impeccable routine check-ups at the vet, and are very active in the house. Any lack of animal protein from their dry food aside from wet food is supplemented through smart treats, and healthy meat snacks like tuna flakes or chicken.

They always have plenty of water, and I groom and check their teeth and bodies regularly. As others have stated, (who claim dry food is bad) must realize your wet food contains some of the same carbohydrates and/or unnecessary ingredients cats would never consume or require in the wild such as corn, potatoes, and other vegetables.

Let's just all agree a balance of both can be ideal, and mix up their diet to include some healthy, natural meat-based treats as well. Take care now.


I always thought that dry food was bad bad, bad for cats. My senior cat was overweight from the carbohydrates in the dry food (we had been free feeding) and after extensive research we switched him to exclusively wet food at around age nine.

Now he is almost 14 and has been living with hyperthyroidism for the past year. I thought it was just because he is old, but there has been an epidemic of hyperthyroid diagnoses in the past 20 years which is related to the pop top cans and PDBE's in fish. Most canned cat food has PBA's in the lining of the can, and fish based food has really high levels of PDBE's. There are a lot of studies on this, just look up canned cat food and hyperthyroidism.

I thought I was doing the best thing for my cat but I may have inadvertently contributed to his hyperthyroidism. Also, fish-based food, especially salmon and whitefish, has high levels of the PDBE's.

I am now feeding my cat a mix of dry and wet Blue Buffalo, only chicken, turkey, and duck. Blue Buffalo does not have PBA's in the lining of their cans, but feeding him exclusively canned food is too expensive, so that is why we are doing the mix.


i have an 8 year old long hair cat who has been diagnosed with diabetes, he has been on dry food all his life. after reading up on treatment I have a feeling wet food is the way to go.

I started the wet food about three months ago with dry food as a snack throughout the day and he seems to love it. My vet has now recommended a dry food for diabetic cats. not sure if it matters while giving him insulin? I'm a little weary. any suggestions?


I got my cat while in El Salvador and gave him dry food for about four years. He drinks water like crazy! We had to get a little water jug thing for him (like a mini water cooler). Before that he would drink the entire bowl of water, then meow for more as if asking for food!

When we moved back to the USA, we'd give him a can of food every now and then, along with all the dry food, but he became very aggressive and would scratch our legs just to get the special can of food. So I stopped that, couldn't handle his aggression in the mornings.

Now he stays with our friend and she feeds him dry and wet food, but he has gained so much weight from the wet canned food. He was doing just fine with dry food and plenty water. With canned food he is very picky and I found myself wasting money on food we wouldn't even look at (couldn't remember which one he actually liked). Anybody else seen aggression with switching a cat to canned food?


Pretty simple, these are facts. For those of you touting cheap dry food for barn cats, etc. and how the cats led "long lives,” that's easily explainable: they use the dry food as a substitute in between the rats, mice, etc. that they are catching, which provides them their main source of nourishment and moisture content. All I'm saying is don't go giving people ideas that it's O.K. to feed an "all dry" diet to cats, because it's not, (unlike dogs, cats do not have a natural thirst mechanism). If you have a barn cat, and wish to give them dry food on the side for whatever misguided reason you got into that head of yours, be aware that this is definitely is not 100 percent of their diet, maybe 25 percent.

To make everything simple: all food is not created equal. One dry food is not as good as all of them, and the same goes for wet food.

Just because you feed them what you mistakenly think is top of the line commercial dry food, from a grocery store, like Purina Pro Plan, Pedigree or Whiskas, the list is endless, etc., etc., that is absolute and utter garbage. Literally!

You need holistic (by that I mean from companies like Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Evo, Merrick, Orijen,etc)!

Read the ingredients. Any food that uses the words in any form of "meat/ or by-product", wheat, corn, soy, corn meal, or has some form of "meal" as the first ingredient, put it back on the shelf and keep walking. You need a whole product as the first ingredient, like "chicken" or "salmon", etc., not "chicken/salmon meal" or chicken by-products.

Pretty much, if the word "by-product" is used anywhere in the ingredients list, it is trash and should be put down or discarded as such, same goes for "corn meal", soy or wheat, period! Fillersto make your animal full, not healthy!

Rice is O.K., as long is it is preferably not in the top five ingredients. On which note, "chicken meal" is an acceptable term and is in almost every dry food, even one of the best holistic dry foods "Wellness core", but not as the first ingredient! If you have to remember anything it would be that the first ingredient must almost be a whole item, no meal, by-product etc. If you see by-product at all anywhere, run far, far away!

On the note of wet vs. dry, its arguably better to feed your cat a mid level wet food, than a high quality dry food, unless you own a cat fountain like us by Drinkwell (we have the platinum). Cats drink very little, even less when the water is stagnant.

Sorry to burst your bubbles, but the water they do drink is considered stagnant as soon as it stops filling in the bowl you put it in, no matter how many times a day you change it! This makes it even less enticing for an animal to want to drink, (for an animal that already has no thirst mechanism). Ever wonder why many cats are attracted to running water, like that from a bathtub, because in essence, it mimics a stream in nature, that they might drink from. The point is, you want to make a water source as appealing as possible. The facts are, when you oxygenate water constantly, (as in a fountain), it becomes far more appealing to a cat both visually and orally), looks and tastes better. This I can assert 100 percent, because both our current bengal and siamese were very infrequent drinkers, which is why

if you love you cat, you would feed wet holistic no matter what!

Getting on with my point: we would change the water in their small dishes 10+ times day and I put a video camera above their dishes for a week and on average they would drink for a few seconds a couple, (if that) times a day/two. Not much at all (even for a cat), so after getting used to what the fountain was, they can visibly be seen drinking from it for 1 minute+ time intervals up to 10 times/day, this is on top of their consumption of Wellness canned (wet) food, so based on their last very report, our Bengal cross is in pristine health, as is our blue point siamese. In fact, the vet was astounded at the change when we initially got them. We were given them from a lovely family who felt that they could not give them the attention they deserved because the father was always working out of town, they had young kids and the mother had become quite ill with some kind of disease/condition that she had been in surgery for. Point being, they were fed a mid-quality dry food, and given water dishes. Their fur was soft enough, considering their diet. Within 3 months of switching to:

Wellness wet cat food and a Drinkwell fountain, they became leaner, the siamese ceased throwing up the dry food from scarfing it down and having it expand too rapidly in his stomach, (siamese are notorious for stuffing their faces with dry food and then barfing). The wet food stopped this nasty habit because there is no expansion, as its already 80 percent moisture! Plus getting more water/far better food without allergens like (wheat, soy, corn) helped a little dermatitis/allergy issue that our siamese had to an ingredient in the dry food his previous family was feeding him.

As far as dental issues with wet food, we've never had any for any of our cats. We have natural cat toothpaste (yes and a brush) that you can get at a pet store, just watch the ingredients on some products as they could be an allergy concern! So if you're concerned about dental hygiene with your cat, like a child, you have to do it for them. Don't be lazy and cut corners. It will cost you later, trust me!

Both of their coats are silky soft now. I must say, that I've petted a lot of cats, and never felt one as soft as our siamese. It's unreal, the bengal's is extremely soft too, but from being longer, its 9.5/10, compared to the siamese @ 11/10.

To summarize everything, spend an hour or two, and look up "good holistic cat food" (my bias is wet if you're not lazy) and do your cat and yourself a favor. Even from an financial/emotional standpoint, answer these easy questions.

If you're that strapped, should you really have a pet? How fair is it to you or a child if something happens that you can't afford to fix?

If you will not give your animal the quality food they deserve, how will you pay for the up and coming medical bills for the issues they will most likely develop from eating low quality food?

Will you just put the animal down, because you think that's the only choice?

Be a responsible pet owner! Research everything! It really does save money and time and makes for a healthy pet!

One last thing I'd like to mention is that when a cat is sick, it is often very hard to tell, unless there is an obvious visible sign. The reason for this is because most cats are literally attention seeking addicts and require constant stimulation, therefore, they will purr and appear to be content and happy, even when in a great deal of pain. Just keep that in mind the next time your vet tells you your cat has a UTI and you were clueless about it and ask why the cat seems so happy? because it is a cat! That's just the way they are, so if you see one that is withdrawn, doesn't want to be picked up (and normally does) or is acting strangely or infrequently eating or using the washroom, be mindful: the sooner you take them to the vet, most likely the less your wallet will be lightened.

FYI: I have an extensive background in bio-molecular engineering... so you could say I know a bit about the things they put into, well, everything. If you love you animal, you would never use anything to clean a floor except for a steam mop, and you would never use commercially available flea products either.


I see a lot of comments regarding cats and dry food, but i know nothing about that.

However, i find a high quality dry dog food is just fine for dogs, assuming they can manage it OK. Some smaller breeds have difficulties eating the dry food.

I usually give my dogs a staple of dry food, and occasionally mix it with some high quality wet food. It never seems to do them any harm.

Just a side note, if you have puppies make sure to give them puppy food and not normal dog food, as the nutrients are different and can do the puppies serious harm.


My post is going to be geared towards cats.

"along with satisfying a cat or dog's natural chewing instinct."

I would just like to point out that cats do not have a natural chewing instinct. Have you seen their teeth? It is for ripping and tearing meat. The only time they will chew something hard is to break it down into small enough pieces to swallow.

This being said, dry food does not clean their teeth. Ripping and tearing meat and bones however does.

Cats also do not have a natural thirst drive. The expect their hydration to come from eating their prey. When eating dry food they will drink more water than usual, but it is not often enough and can lead to many problems later in life.

The best way to help your cat is to feed them a wet or raw meat based diet. Cats on a species appropriate diet rarely drink water.


I've had quite an experience that I'd love to share. I used to be a caretaker for an old couple who 'loved' cats. They had over 40 cats in their mansion and built 'cat condos' for some of their more favorite.

The cats in the condos all (except one who was dying of lung cancer) had hideously misshapen bodies. They were obese, lazy, wheezed and kept in their cat condos, only to be let out for a twice-a-day cleaning. On the porch directly across from them, there was a lot of food left out for the stray cats that would come and congregate.

All of these cats looked different. Sure, they were eating some of the unhealthy dry food too, but they also went around catching things, while the cat-condo-cats subsisted off the dry food. They also had another five cats that they kept in their library that were allowed to be out more than the cat-condo-cats, one one-eyed cat who was always fenced in at his prison-lanai, three blind, or partially, locked away in another t.v. room and their five favorite kept prisoner in their bedroom. The ones who could never leave (i.e. everyone except the strays and the librarian ones) looked as different from the ones who could as night and day.

The former looked the equivalent of stuffing themselves on McDonald's all day and the latter looked healthy with shiny coats. The former also had behavioural issues as a general group. Talk about a case-study of dry vs. wet cat food! Yikes! Don't let your cats feast only on dry food!


Re: Food choices. This person says this yet never mentions even having their own pet. They base their own experience on "several" cats both indoor and outdoor, which all lived "long" lives?

With no footnotes I have trouble believing any of this.

The most interesting part of cat food is the history - it was created as a response to the increase of cats kept domestically.

How anyone could believe that a cereal based diet is good for a cat is beyond me.

P.S. Please don't listen to people who don't know very much about cats - please take good care of them! There are so many who need help!


I feed my cat mostly dry cat food without corn. She now eats avoderm, which has salmon as the first ingredient. I try to feed her wet food a few times a month, but it's expensive! My cat also gets fresh water twice a day.


Wet food is the way to go with an occasional dry food snack once a day for the minimal carbs for energy and the dental benefits. Two 5 ounce cans per day and an afternoon snack of 1/4 cup or even less of dry food works wonders with my cats.

I did the dry food diet with wet once and they all ended up a bit overweight (and they are active and play) but the carbs just put on the pounds. Dry food is not natural to a carnivore even if it is dried meat because it's preserved with carbs. Plus wet food is far better than before if you go the more expensive natural route. Try Weruva paw lickin chicken, it's awesome and my cats love it. It's boiled chicken in gravy with added vitamins that they need.


our cat loves dry food, but it has a infection of the urinary tract. it eats special cat nuts, which are like kibbles for cats. he is fat. we have another cat. it has no infections but it eats cat nuts too. all cats like cat nuts. the veterinarian gave us the cat nuts.


Some of these comments are nuts. You're going to base your food choices on one or two experiences?

My family and cousins have had several outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats that ate only cheap, dry food and the occasional caught animal. They all lived long. (and none were hit by cars or killed by other animals, presumably because we left them outside starting at a young age and they therefore developed good street smarts!)

The best health strategy is to let your cat be outside most of the time, and not to overfeed it. It will not only be active and physically healthy, it will be mentally stimulated as well. Cats that are indoors and eat wet food tend more often to get fat and get health problems, not to mention have gas and smellier poo.


My 12 year-old cat likes wet and dry food. She has never had any health problems. I occasionally feed her wet food as a treat, but her daily meal is dry cat food. I give her fresh water often, because she is thirsty.


There's nothing wrong with dry food as long as the quality is good.

Plenty of cat food, wet and dry, is terrible. Read the labels. See what the first five ingredients are.

The optimum diet for your cat is to let it hunt for every meal. Otherwise, find a good quality wet or dry food, or if you have the patience, do raw.


When I was younger, my cats were on a dry food diet. They all had horrible dental problems. The vet said that the research shows that dry food does not help with dental problems. The food gets stuck on their teeth anyway.

One of them also developed a kidney failure problem which is common with cats on a dry food diet. "Unlike dogs, cats don't drink enough water on their own. They do drink, just not enough." Now my cats only eat canned food.

I feed mine with Wellness Canned because they are also free of animal by-products. I also add some water to the food to help with the hydration issue, and my cats don't seem to mind that.

I think it's worth it to spend a little more money on canned food. At least a mixture of wet/dry diet. It's much better than to have to poke your cat with a needle daily for a fluid drip when they end up with a kidney problem. Then doctor visits and medicine will cost a fortune. Might as well spend the money to prevent.


no offense to anyone, but in the argument about wet or dry, i would suggest a balance of both. the anti dry faction may say no grain based food in cat's natural diet. possibly buy a healthier dry food without grains. (they are available but are generally more expensive and harder to find in smaller communities).

it is difficult to understand the cost/ benefit of dry food. however, there are problems with wet food as well. we buy one of the better wet brands 'wellness'. the "top" ingredients are chicken, chicken broth, liver, brown rice, lobster, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. if you want to ask why carrots and potatoes are included in cat food, i would also ask why chicken, beef, pork, fish and lobster would also be included. my cats, and i assume thousands of generations of cats have never taken down a cow, pig or chicken, let alone a lobster or potato.

in nature cats eat small birds, rodents and insects. I'm waiting for pigeon, mouse and cricket flavors.


People, use your brain! Cats don't have a "chewing instinct", they don't even have teeth that can "chew". Their teeth are carnivorous teeth to rip, tear and shear, none of which they can do with dry food or wet food. Carb and sugar laden kibbles are just as likely to clean an animal's teeth as are Mrs. Fields Gourmet Cookies for you!


Well, my cat only likes dry original Whiskas. We've tried giving her wet Whiskas, other brands, other flavors, but she is persistent.


Jonesy, 12 years and Gerri, eight years suffered diabetes for a year and a half, until I came across a particular website. Dry food can cause diabetes in cats. We now have one diabetic free cat and the other is at the end of transitioning from dry food to wet food.

Dry food has no place in an obligate carnivores (cats) diet.

We are poisoning our cats, causing bowel, urinary and various other health problems.

You may have to put up with strange looks from your vet when you tell them you are aiming for a diabetic free outcome, and you will need your vet to help with transitioning as insulin has to reduce the minute you start feeding wet food.

Unfortunately, our vet probably thought we were mad as we were told on at least two occasions "you do realize your cat will be on insulin for life."

Most veterinary surgeries are floor to ceiling with dry food for all ills, overweight, diabetic, blah blah blah.

The whole system is a con from the pet food industries, drugs companies to the vets who keep our pets sick, not healing or curing but keeping sick. Other websites also tell about all of the other diseases that affect our pets due to feeding dry food.

I have two success stories.

I am so very grateful for the information I received on the websites, and feel so sad that my pets felt so ill and needed two daily injections of insulin, when my vet could quite clearly have told me to change to wet food as this could have prevented ill health.

Lots of sites mention making your own cat food, but I only used a canned food, and some sites will tell you what to look for as long as meat is the first ingredient and there are no cereals in the food.

Do you see cats chasing after carrots, corn, and rice? No.

Please, to save your cat and yourself lots of distress, not to mention the vet fees, do some research on this.


This article is flat out wrong.

"You'll find veterinarians recommending a variety of diets. Some recommend a primarily dry food diet, with wet food used as an occasional treat or supplement."

What vet recommends this? In 20 years of cat ownership I've yet to encounter one. It's true that dry food is easier and cheaper, but as always, you sacrifice important things for those qualities. Dry food is primarily comprised of carbs, which cats have no need for.

In order to get the nutrients they need they will have to eat twice as much, then you'll get to learn all about the exciting world of feline diabetes, 100 times more expensive and difficult. dry food is cheap and easy.


"It is packed full - and comes out like mud, stuck to the sides of the can etc. There is nothing "natural" about that, as all it is going to do is stick to the sides of a cat's intestines and stomach - just like the can."

That makes no sense. Lots of healthy foods stick to the insides of cans, like vegetarian refried beans. Do you believe the old saying about oatmeal "sticking to your ribs" as well?

Cats have a naturally low thirst drive. Even if you leave out fresh water, they are evolved to get most of their moisture from prey, and will not drink enough water if they're on a dry food diet. This is why you see so many cats with urinary tract problems.

Cats' teeth are made to shear meat, not crunch on cereal. Imagine eating something the consistency of cat food, like a pretzel--it gets stuck in your molars, right? Can't be good for dental health to have that for every meal.

I feed a mixture of Innova Evo (dry, has no grains) and 365 (Whole Foods) beef and liver wet, made from human-grade meat. My cats are in great health. :) Someday I might introduce raw meat to their diet.


I had my male, indoor cat on a diet of both wet and dry mixed up. However, when I would run out of the canned food he had to deal with only dry. Next thing I knew my little boy was at the emergency vet and I was $800 in the hole. My vet explained that some cats, especially "couch potato" male cats can form crystals in their urine which can lead to blockage and severe health concerns.. this was an extreme case for mine.. he hadn't urinated in 3 days.. he is now on prescription wet/dry to prevent the formation of crystals again.. my vet explained the importance wet food can be in a cat's diet, assisting with hydration, as well as him having access to fresh water at all times.


i have had five cats as far as i can remember, and all of them have ate wet food. they never had any health problems that were related to food, (ie one of my cats used to belong to an old man who couldn't get up to take it to the vets and had major eye problems and things like that). the cats have had shiny coats and are right suckups and have no behavioral problems. however the two cats i have now eat dry foods as sweets which if you think is sort of like our diet, but imagine that instead of fruits you had to eat things like dried cranberries all your life, or instead of meat you could only eat jerky, but real fruits are juicy, like the wet food


Hi, I refer you to Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins on the subject of cats eating a wet diet only. I agree with the other post that said cats are obligate carnivores which means of course that they Must have meat!! If you love your cat(s) and want them to be healthy and not develop things like feline diabetes then read about how they make dry food and what the pet food companies don't tell you on the labels. Dogs on the other hand can live on a vegetarian diet. I unfortunately learned the hard way with one of my cats getting very sick from eating mostly a dry food diet. Good luck and read, learn and use common sense.


I heartily agree that wet food has better nutritional benefits to cats than does the dry food.

1) Cats are carnivorous and are used to a wet meat diet.

2) Case study: my brother had a cat who had a litter of kittens. He kept the mother and one kitten; I took two other kittens. He fed his cats dry food exclusively; I fed mine exclusively wet food until they were 5 months old, then I switched to a top-shelf kitten dry food/top-shelf kitten wet food mixture.

The results of this case study? His cats are undersized, have behavioral problems, and their coats are ragged and rough. My cats are happy, well-adjusted, have silky, luxurious coats, and are twice the size of his cats, mother included. I let the evidence speak for itself.

And, as an addendum, no I did not play with my cats more than he did with his. In fact, my kittens were left unattended for 8+ hours every day, while his always had some company available if they wanted to socialize - most of the time, they did not wish to have any human interaction.

I submit that a balanced, healthy diet of top-shelf (mind you, there are horrible excuses for food in both dry and wet food categories) wet food and dry food is the best, and when you have should feed them primarily wet food. My cats' jaws have not been at all weakened by growing up on wet food exclusively, I assure you!

The best lesson to take from this is not that wet food trumps dry food in all things (even though it's closer to a natural food supply than dry food), but rather that taking care to feed your pets with as much nutritional value and least detriment as you should be feeding yourself (ahem, no more fast food) will result in the best health possible for your pets.

Oh yeah, one other out for the increasing dependence we have on corn products. It's not healthy for us or cats or dogs. And yet it's in everything. Scary, no?


Growing up, we had two cats on wet food. Their dental hygiene was truly awful: as they got older, to even smell their breath was nauseating. By contrast, the cat I have now, who is on dry food, has no dental problems at all, her coat is much shinier, and she has a lot more energy than my parent's cats. Overall, dry food is superior to wet food, provided, of course, a cat always has a full bowl of fresh, clean water readily available. I agree that supplementing with wet food is a good idea, too. I feed my cat one meal of wet food every day - but only one. For the rest of the day, she has dry food to snack on. She's in impeccable health!


Ever open a cat of wet food?

t is packed full - and comes out like mud, stuck to the sides of the can etc. There is nothing "natural" about that, as all it is going to do is stick to the sides of a cat's intestines and stomach - just like the can.

Plenty of clean, fresh water and dry food is all any indoor cat will ever need to have healthier teeth and better digestive system than any wet food fed animal.


As a person who works with diabetic cats and cats with kidney disease and other ailments, I think that there is absolutely no reason to ever feed a cat dry foods.

Do you brush your teeth with a pretzel? Why not if the abrasive action will clean teeth? A cat's jaw does not move sideways, only up and down. Pieces split and get caught in between the teeth. I cannot imagine how that is better for dental health. But assuming it is, how does that take precedence over the internal organs?

Wet food can be left down for free feeding all day. Also, there's a differences between animal based protein that you will find in quality canned wet food versus vegetable based protein that is found in dry food.

While dogs are omnivores, cats are obligate carnivores and need meat based protein.

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    • Dry food may be more beneficial for cats' and dogs' teeth.
      Dry food may be more beneficial for cats' and dogs' teeth.
    • Wet food may be more similar to what cats and dogs would eat in the wild.
      Wet food may be more similar to what cats and dogs would eat in the wild.
    • Veterinarians recommend a variety of diets for pets.
      Veterinarians recommend a variety of diets for pets.
    • Though usually cheaper than wet foods, dry dog foods typically contain mostly plant-based materials, and a small amount of animal products.
      Though usually cheaper than wet foods, dry dog foods typically contain mostly plant-based materials, and a small amount of animal products.
    • Wet food may encourage healthy coat growth.
      Wet food may encourage healthy coat growth.