Everyone has their own viewpoint on whether they should feed their cat wet food or dry food and many of us choose the middle ground to offer them both. So what are the advantages of one over the other?
Understanding cat physiology
The first step in understanding what your cat needs from its food is to understand a little about their physiology and how their body works. Many people think cats and dogs are much the same in their food, but this isn’t the case – dogs are omnivores, meaning they can digest both vegetable and animal protein. On the other hand, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need muscle based meats in their diet to get all the goodness to be healthy.
The other main element that they need is called taurine and this is only found in the muscle meat of animals, not in any kind of plant material.
Carnivores also tend to have a short digestive system because they aren’t designed to digest the tough cellulose that is found in plants so if they do eat this kind of material, it doesn’t digest properly in their systems.
For many cat owners, dry food is used as a supplement to wet food to allow cats to eat a few bites when they like. As long as the cat eats the wet food to supplement it, then this usually works. The problem comes if they won’t eat the wet food for two reasons. One problem is water levels and the other is the content of the kibble.
Dry food often makes use of fillers to complete the ingredients and these are often carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are harder for cats to process because again they don’t eat this kind of food in the wild. The amount of filler in the food can also have a negative effect on their overall nutrition if they eat too much without wet food to balance it.