FFFThere has long been a debate over whether to feed cats wet food or dry food. On the one hand, wet food is wet and slippery, smells bad, has a short shelf life, and needs picking up after an hour or so. On the other, dry food is less appealing and does not offer the same level of hydration as wet food pouches and tins do. What if you could feed a combination of wet and dry food? Would this offer greater nutritional value, and if it’s considered safe to do so, are there any benefits to your cat and you?
It is considered perfectly safe to mix wet and dry cat food, but it is important to remember that both forms of food have a recommended daily intake, and you will need to adapt these according to the amounts that you feed. Because both foods usually assume that you are only feeding that one food, you could feed half the amount of recommended wet food and half the amount of recommended dry food
Not only is it okay to feed a combination of wet and dry food to your cat, but it could have many benefits.
The 7 Benefits of Mixing Wet & Dry Cat Food
1. Customize a Meal Plan
Dry food and wet food both have their benefits. Wet food usually contains more meat protein, is more appealing to your cat, and can fill your cat with fewer calories. Dry food can contain a greater range of nutrients and vitamins, keeps longer in the cupboard and the bowl, and costs less than wet food.
Combining the two forms of food means that you can combine the benefits of both. You can customize a meal plan to the specific dietary needs of your cat. Do you have an overweight kitty that loves to eat? Combine filling wet food with low-calorie dry food. Whatever your cat’s specific requirements, there are food combinations to match.
2. Improved Texture
Some cats can be finicky eaters. They will turn their nose up at anything that doesn’t quite match their requirements, which can change on a nearly daily basis.
Give a picky eater the same food every meal of every day, and they will soon tire of it.
Combining wet food and dry food over the day may keep your cat’s attention for longer and ensure that they do not get fed up with the food selection that you’re providing.
3. Fewer Calories
Some studies show that wet food, although richer, will fill a cat up sooner than dry food. This means that you can feed them fewer calories while ensuring that they are full and getting the vitamins and minerals that they require.
Of course, if calories are a real concern, you should ensure that you choose wet and dry foods that are both relatively low in calories.
4. Hydrates Your Cat
Cats are not particularly good about drinking water. Some will ignore the water bowl. Others tend to wade around in it and not really drink anything. Others will only drink from the dripping bathroom tap or dirty puddles.
The easiest way to ensure that a cat is getting all the water they need is by feeding them wet cat food. It can be made up of anywhere between 10% and 30% moisture, while most dry foods contain considerably less than this.
5. Clean Your Cat’s Teeth
A benefit of dry kibble is that it helps clean your cat’s teeth. The hard pieces remove plaque, which may reduce the number of times that you have to pry their jaws open and brush their teeth. Wet food does not scrape or scratch any plaque away and may actually make the problem worse.
6. Keep Costs Down
Wet food usually costs noticeably more than dry food. Although you should ensure that you are still buying good-quality foods, it is possible to buy both wet and dry foods and feed your cat while on a tight budget. Consider feeding a pouch of wet food a day, and give the remaining daily quota in dry food. Your cat will get their nutritional requirements and feel full, while you can save a little cash compared to three wet meals a day.
7. Offer Grazing
Wet food needs to be picked up within between 1-4 hours, depending on the ingredients and the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you leave it out longer than this, it can spoil and go bad. Dry food, on the other hand, can be left out all day.
Combining the two means that you can feed wet food when you’re around to pick up the remnants, and feed dry food when you’re at work or otherwise aren’t around to pick up the bowl after a couple of hours.
While some cats will eat every morsel in one go, others like to take their time and eat at their own pace. You can meet your cat’s requirements, whichever their preferred timetable.
Can I Mix Wet and Dry Cat Food?
Wet and dry food have their benefits and pitfalls, but you can combine the two. In fact, doing so enables you to provide a balanced and exciting, varied diet. It can also help you keep costs down because you can offer both grazing food and mealtime wet food.
Featured Image Credit: Yuriy Golub, Shutterstock