Today in this world where a variety of cat foods are available, a pet parent is always confused about the best food for his cat. This situation may not develop if pet parents don’t have various options. I am saying this because the main purpose of a pet parent is not feeding his cat a specific type of food. But, the main purpose of a pet parent is to feed his cat a balanced food according to the cat’s requirements. Similarly, the question is not whether cats need wet food or dry food. The question is whether wet food or dry food fulfills the requirements of cats.
Answering the question, I will educate pet parents in this article about the balanced food their cats need.
What type of nutrients my cat needs?
Cats are obligate carnivores, and they prefer eating animal source nutrients. Moreover, by evolution, they have adapted themselves as predators. Animals who are predators mostly rely on animal protein. Likewise, the main nutrient in their diet must be protein. Other than proteins, they need fats and carbohydrates in lesser amounts. Besides, they also need several other nutrients in small amounts like vitamins, minerals, etc.
The important thing to understand is your cat needs all the nutrients in a balanced quantity that suits the body’s requirements. Any nutrient more or less than the required quantity is not good for your cat. Therefore, if you provide your cat a balanced diet comprising all the essential nutrients in a balanced quantity, there is no need for additional supplements. Additional supplements include vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. They are usually available in fewer quantities in most diets.
To evaluate whether your cat needs wet food or wet food is more beneficial than other foods, we shall know a little bit about other food types.
The name dry food defines it properly as it contains little water contents, about 5-10%. Dry food usually makes the pet parent at ease as cats eat as it offers the “free choice” feeding. Cats don’t create mess eating dry foods. Making dry foods, the producers combine, extrude and dry all the essential nutrients. They make bite-sized pieces that can be easily edible by your cat. Mostly, dry foods include the following essential nutrients.
1. Meat/meat by-products
2. Chicken/chicken by-products
3. Grain/grain by-products
These nutrients make up the requirements of your cat. Dry pieces are further coated with fats to make the food more palatable. However, dry foods are still less palatable for cats than semi-moist or moist/wet foods. Although it does provide the very basic nutrition, it is not my first choice to feed my guy, it will work in a pinch. Pet parents find it easy to use dry foods for their cats. They usually purchase a lot of dry food and let the cat eat it periodically. But you must ensure that the remaining food you store must be in an air-tight container to avoid contamination and fat rancidity. Since kittenhood, this is the dry food we have bought for Pizza. Although he primarily eats his wet food , I still keep this around in case he needs to snack. Every cat is different, he is still very svelt in in older years so I don’t need to worry about obesity.
Semi-moist food mainly contains meat and meat by-products and 35% moisture contents. It makes the food more palatable and increases the diet-based water contents for your cat. Other nutrients present in semi-moist food are grain by-products, cereals, meals, and preservatives to make it a complete product. Semi-moist foods are more expensive than dry foods but are mid-range. Cats usually prefer it over dry food because of increased palatability. After opening the package, the remaining food may dry out. It decreases palatability and increases the chances of rancidity.
Another option is add a gravy packet TO the dry food. It is a nice treat and adds extra moisture to your cats diet.
Wet foods are famous for their highest water contents, about 75%. All essential nutrients that are present in dry foods are also present in wet foods. As a plus point, wet food contains the highest diet-based water content and is more palatable. For finicky eater cats, wet food is the best choice. It adds variety to the taste. Cats usually don’t like eating the same food daily. Therefore, you should consider a variety into taste and offer her more wet food.
Canned foods have the longest shelf life, but after opening, you should place the remaining food into the refrigerator to maintain its taste.
What benefits can my cat enjoy eating wet food?
Well, wet foods have the same nutritional value as dry food. As a plus point, they contain more diet-based water and add more taste to the diet making it highly palatable and digestible. The digestibility and palatability of wet foods make them the preferred choice of cats. The potential benefits your cat can enjoy with wet food are as follows.
Better overall hydration
Cats usually don’t prefer to drink water from the water bowl or the dish. They consider themselves vulnerable while drinking water from the bowl. In addition, some cats usually prefer drinking water from the fountain. Concludingly it isn’t easy to let your cat drink enough water to meet the daily requirement. Therefore, there must be an alternative solution for cats to fulfill their water requirement. And nothing is better than wet foods. It contains essential nutrients, makes the food more palatable, and fulfills the water requirements in addition.
Lean body mass
Wet foods mainly contain protein contents which promote the growth and development of Lean Body Mass (LBM). Cat’s weight comprises two types of masses, LBM and FBM. Lean body mass is of muscles, ligaments, organs, bones, and wet foods promoting the LBM.
Cats are mostly picky eaters, and they prefer a variety of foods to eat daily. Wet food solves the problem and provides your cat with a variety of foods with increased palatability. Moreover, you should purchase the food that AAFCO approves as AAFCO’s experts have maintained a standard for feline basic minimum standards of nutritional requirements. All pet foods carry an AAFCO approved label on the bag, and these foods are considered nutritionally balanced and complete.
You are now aware of the nutritional requirements and different types of cat foods available. I have explained the comparative nutritional benefits of different types of food. In conclusion, you should not rely on only one type of food. Rather, you should provide a variety of foods meeting your cat’s nutritional requirements.