The Truth About Dry Cat Food

dry-cat-food

Grocery and pet store shelves abound with a dizzying array of cat food.  For decades, kibble has been the preferred choice for most cat owners. After all, the bags say it’s “complete and balanced,” it’s easy to feed, and most cats seem to like it. Unfortunately, dry cat food, even the high-priced premium and veterinary brands, is the equivalent of junk food for cats. Feeding dry food to cats is no different than feeding sugared cereals to kids.

Cats are obligate carnivores

This means they need meat to survive.  They cannot get enough nutritional support from plant-based proteins such as grains and vegetables, because, unlike humans and dogs, they lack the specific enzyme that processes plant-based proteins metabolically.  They need little or no carbohydrates in their diet.  Feeding foods high in carbohydrates leads to any number of degenerative diseases, including diabetes, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Free choice feeding leads to obesity

Many pet owners feed dry food because it can be left out during the day without spoiling while the cat is left at home alone. This method of free choice feeding is one of the leading contributors to obesity in cats.  Cats, by nature, are hunters, and it does not make sense that they should need access to food 24 hours a day. Feeding two or more small meals a day mimicks their natural hunting behavior much closer, and by feeding controlled portion sizes rather than leaving food out all day long, calorie intake, and weight, can be controlled without the cat going hungry.

Dry food is the leading cause behind most urinary tract problems

Dry food is the leading cause behind most urinary tract problems in cats. While cats who eat only dry food will generally drink more water, they still don’t get enough moisture to support all their bodily functions and essentially live in a constant state of low level dehydration, which can lead to bladder and kidney problems.

Dry food can lead to diabetes

Due to the high carbohydrate content, dry food dumps unnaturally high levels of sugar into the cat’s bloodstream, which can lead to an imbalance of its natural metabolic process. In extreme cases, this can, and often does, lead to diabetes.

Dry food does not clean teeth

The myth that dry food cleans teeth is one that just won’t die. Most cats don’t chew their kibble long enough for any of the scraping action that is the theory behind this myth to kick in. What little they do chew shatters into small pieces. Some pet food manufacturers offer a “dental diet” that is made up of larger than normal sized kibble to encourage chewing, but in my years at veterinary practices, I’ve seen many cats swallow even those larger size pieces whole. Additionally, dry food actually leaves a carbohydrate residue in the cat’s mouth that actually encourages growth of tartar and plaque.

Eliminate all dry food from your cat’s diet

The one best thing you can do for your cat is to stop feeding dry food and feed a meat based, grain-free raw, homemade or canned diet which is consistent with the needs of a carnivore.

You may find that some cats are very difficult to wean off dry food, further supporting the junk food analogy. They’re literally addicted to the carbs and additives used in these diets. During the manufacturing process, substances called “digests” (fermented by-products of meat processing with no nutritional value) are sprayed on the outside of the kibble to make it more palatable to the cat.  Most cats wouldn’t touch dry food if it wasn’t for these flavor enhancers.  For these hard-core addicts, you will need to transition them to a healthier diet somewhat slowly.  Never let a cat go without food for more than 24 hours.

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115 Comments on The Truth About Dry Cat Food

  1. Marina
    July 28, 2016 at 8:01 am (6 months ago)

    I feed my 6 year old cat instinct . Is this a good choice?

    Reply
  2. Mike
    June 20, 2016 at 5:21 pm (7 months ago)

    New cat owner…. what is your thoughts about Orijen dry cat food?… i mix this with Natures Logic for our kittens. Thank you for this website.

    Reply
    • Katrin Knauer
      June 20, 2016 at 9:08 pm (7 months ago)

      There’s a big issue even with the highest quality dry food: lack of moisture!!! Plus, in order for the kibble to be held together, even high-quality, grain-free dry food contains a lot more carbs than is ideal for feline nutrition – it should only by about 3%, I remember correctly….I would definitely not feed kibble only!!!

      Reply
      • Stefan Ritchie
        January 6, 2017 at 2:40 am (2 weeks ago)

        My kitten was so hyperactive, took her off the dry food and she is so calm.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          January 6, 2017 at 6:27 am (2 weeks ago)

          That’s really interesting, Stefan. It’s possible that she reacted to the high carbohydrate content in the dry food, similar to a little kid on a “sugar high.”

          Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 21, 2016 at 5:44 am (7 months ago)

      I don’t like Orijen’s dry food. just looking at the cat and kitten formula, the second ingredient is chicken meal, and the formula contains an awful lot of veggies and fillers.

      Reply
  3. Kelly
    April 20, 2015 at 2:15 pm (2 years ago)

    I am just absolutely at my limit with vet and human doctors because between my mothers poor care and my health care neglected by doctors, I am also just as frustrated with my cats vet and I am just appalled after reading about cat dry food and I have had the same opinion myself. My cat is on prescription dry which sucks, let’s face it, it can’t be so darn good when my cat who is diabetic is always begging for food and never stops. She is allowed to have 1/4 can 2X a day of again the very palatable RX diabetic wet food. Not much choice out there but of the two variety’s she seems less unhappy with the royal canine morsels in gravy. I also feed her DM which has many of the ingredients I have just read over and over again. Now I am concerned because she is diabetic to watch her diet and follow the vets strict portioned and limited diet she is entitled to. Now I have told these dudes and lady that my cat is hungry because she behaves as if she is starving, unlike a cat to behave this way in my opinion. I would think if anything she may give up on life and say the heck with this and just mosey on through the day. This seems more appropriate for a dog to behave so aggressively and actually down right rude in her attempt to get some frickin food to eat. She has some dental issues creating another issue with relying on the dry as she has some difficulty chewing, not a big problem but worth noting. Now in my many attempts to initiate some reasonable solution for my cats behavior and to satisfy my intelligence which I tend to readily exercise as I question much of their judgement. Considering the state of the art practice we take our cats to and their very state of the art billing practices, I really don’t find it unreasonable to partake in my cats care and actively willing to regard their skill as one I have trusted over the years but I have to say as I look back and reflect over the past years and their involvement in treating and caring regularly for all of my cats since the beginning I have seen in large part a lot of money being spent and not a lot of real ingenious care to justify it. In fact had I had access to the same resources and equipment we may have had to have very little contact and I could be rich today. Nothing extraordinary and outside of what you would expect a vet with any skill and hopefully a good education would provide, I haven’t seen them do a whole heck of a lot. My husband is the real sucker who refuses to except these doctors as just human the same as he and I and literally trust them without any questions and does everything they say. He is very wealthy and although strange enough brains and dough don’t always go together as I have witnessed many many very bright poor people. Makes you wonder how this could be but let me tell you, they LOVE him!!!!!! I on the other hand am not as popular and on accession it has been suggested that maybe I am a little to quick to question what the heck they are providing for my cats. Now, having said that, I would prefer another vet, my colleagues husband in fact, whom they are well aware of and admire. I like his approach and feel he is a better and more experienced vet. My husband wouldn’t think of leaving his buddies, but after today and again having been enlightened by yet another women I can say with some certainty that some changes will be taking place real soon. My husband has his own practice and I do as well, but reputation and appearance is not enough by itself for anyone to continue having any influence over the well being of my cats. I don’t know how to go about taking care of my cat and her condition while maintaining some semblance of satisfaction, while satisfying her unusual sensatiable appetite. 2 years ago she was 11 yrs. old and very active and happy. Upon a diagnosis of diabetes which we were told could probably be diet controlled, is now at 3 units of insuline twice daily effective on 4/17/15. No regard for the poor hungry kitty or mentioning other alternatives for her diet and just raise the insulin and continue as you have been. Well if you ever knew how much we have spent, excuse me, my husband has spent, you would probably think we as parents are just as ineffective as they are at being vets. Worse, we are paying for this education and I thought I was done learning lessons of this kind. I wish someone would please help me try to find a solution for my baby’s problem because I just can’t fathom the idea I had a part in her inevetible early demise should she be so unfortunate. Please reply soon.

    Regards,
    Kelly S. McVeigh-Jones

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm (2 years ago)

      It is not clear to me from what you wrote what you’re actually asking, Kelly. Do I understand correctly that both you and your husband own your own veterinary practices (“My husband has his own practice and I do as well…”?

      Reply
      • Justine
        June 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm (2 years ago)

        Sad part is…diabetes is a man-made disease that no dog or cat should have. You must read the ingredients on the cat food labels. Avoid gluten (which is basically glue that holds the food together), artificial coloring (your cat doesn’t care if their food is green, red or blue) and especially sugar. Why on earth would any company put sugar in pet food? So that they could become addicted and fat? You will not find a wild cat munching on sugar cane or wheat stalks, nor corn. Also, corn is not digestible for humans or animals so don’t buy any food with that in it. Corn is not a vegetable, it’s a grain and it’s a cheap filler. All of these grains are eventually converted into a sugar which can wreak havoc on humans and animals alike. I buy my cat Natural Balance Platefulls in pouches. She seems to love it. It has a high moisture content as the food is little chunks in gravy.

        Reply
  4. Sandy Bishop
    March 17, 2015 at 2:34 pm (2 years ago)

    My girl i think has been eating dry foods before she came to me but won’t eat any kind of meat…have noticed she has been getting constipated…gave her some cooking oil she’s been trying to pass stools but not sure looks like a bit of blood i have found but no stools yet..hope you can help me.

    Reply
      • Simon
        June 27, 2015 at 2:33 pm (2 years ago)

        Hi Ingrid,
        Top tip that will cure this problem and that is …. “Pumpkin seed oil capsules”,
        1 a day and I promise even with small dogs that suffer with constipation etc just try this and you will be amazed as I was!!!
        Im truly relived that my cats no longer suffer, and better more no trips to the vets and nooooo nasty vet bill of £125. Every damn time this happened, Go to any herbal shop or try online for the capsules, I was advised to even try a spoon full of boiled pumpkin its self every day in the food but I’ve kept with the oil and mix it in their food which at first I did 1 capsule once daily but now it’s twice weekly is suffercient for my cats needs to be constipated free, I have one cat who refuses wet food and two that will only eat dry so im glad I can pass on this advice given to me, so hope this helps you, … some how I think it will
        Regards
        Simon.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          June 27, 2015 at 3:12 pm (2 years ago)

          I’m not familiar with pumpkin seed oil, but plain canned pumpkin can help with constipation and diarrhea – generally, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mixed in with canned food is a good dose. Some cats even like it “straight up.” However, any time a cat has bloody stool, a visit to the vet is indicated to identify the cause.

          Reply
    • Emma
      January 20, 2017 at 7:59 pm (1 day ago)

      Cooking oil?!

      Reply
  5. Annemarie Carlson
    July 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Ingrid,
    I was wondering about Forta Flora?, is this a good thing to add to their diet?, I once had a red male that I lost to a bowel issue yrs ago, couldn’t pass his stool, had horrible constipation issues, the vet suggest pumpkin also for fiber, …which would you recommend?..I did notice that sometimes just puts out little round balls, and sometimes regular since off the dry food..seems that they are both going to the bathroom less since they are off the the dry, do you see any corollation between the two? I have noticed also that they don’t seem to constantly be hungry and as thirsty anymore …I guess a good thing , thanks !

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm (2 years ago)

      I prefer the Dr. Goodpet Feline Digestive Enzymes (a combination of enzymes and probiotics) to Fortiflora. Fortiflora contains animal digest. You can get Dr. Goodpet on Amazon: http://amzn.to/YRaNcE

      The lack of moisture in a dry diet can contribute to constipation. Cats who are fed a premium grain-free canned or raw diet tend to have smaller, drier and less stinky stools. This becomes especially dramatic with a raw diet. The reason for this is that more nutrients are absorbed by the body, which reduces the waste that needs to be eliminated.

      The higher protein content in grain-free canned and raw diets, as opposed to dry, accounts for them not being as hungry.

      Reply
  6. Annemarie Carlson
    July 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Ingrid, I have 2 13yr old cats, one male, one female..I had IBS problems with my male mostly for years , a lot of money spent on expensive vet bills, etc…, not so much my female..raised them on Fancy Feast and Iams dry kibble, probably the worst diet ever, lol….finally I had enough with the Vet’s and their expensive tests on Timmy, so I decided to do some research online of my own…I came across Dr Lisa Pierson’s website through another website and finally realized he was allergic to the food…switched him and Rachel both over to Natures’ Variety Canned and some kibble at the time, have been feeding them NV for about 4yrs now, still doing well. I recently had some issues again with my male with urinary tract ,…I have since eliminated ALL dry food for good this time!!!, reading Dr Pierson’s website I should have known better!! Anyway, my question for you is I stumbled upon your website recently and looked at your “suggested” wet grain free diets,…I tried EVO once, what is your take on that??…but was interested in the Weruva can.., do you think it would be okay to mix the NV and the Weruva ?? and which product do you believe is a better one ?…I would appreciate you expertise…thank you, Mrs Carlson

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm (2 years ago)

      Good for you (and your cats) for eliminating all dry food, Annemarie! EVO is not one of my preferred brands. I was uneasy with the integrity of the formula when Natura sold to Procter & Gamble a few years ago. I think it’s fine to mix NV and Weruva. I probably wouldn’t mix them in the same meal, but you could feed one in the morning and the other in the evening. Variety is definitely a good thing, and I like both brands.

      Reply
  7. Joyce
    June 19, 2014 at 2:43 am (3 years ago)

    Sorry … The Lotus brand flavor is Pork, I meant to type that. He refused anything else and let’s not forget that I have to be very calorie conscious with Casey also. That’s why Weruva, PLC was excellent!

    Reply
  8. Joyce
    June 19, 2014 at 2:42 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Ingrid …

    Casey has has a couple of bouts of loose stools for which the vet gave Flagyl. The flagyl helps but then it re-occurs. 3 times so far. He has had blood work, urine, kidney, all sorts of tests over the past 2 – 3 months, but we’re not finding anything.

    Someone mentioned he may suddenly be allergic to chicken. He eats Weruva, paw lickin chicken.
    I stopped it and gave him Lotus Brand Brand (after trying about 8 or so other brands & flavors) The problem stopped. I eased back into the Weruva PLC and boom — it came back.
    But I had also been trying other brands containing chicken and his stools were regular. Seems like when he had the Weruva PLC that’s when the problem would re-occur.

    While I was at yet another pet store trying to find something for Casey, I ran into a gentleman who seemed as perplexed as I did with the various brands, flavors, ingredients …. I recommended Weruva. He said his cat has been eating it for about a year and was doing well, but suddenly loose stools. I asked him which and lo & behold … PLC.

    My neighbor who always takes my advice and switched her cat to Weruva was finding that she had a problem with her cat having loose stool too. I asked her to hold off on the PLC and try the steak Frite, etc. Problem solved ….

    What is your opinion? Coincidence? Am I missing something? Have you heard this story in the last few months ….

    Can you offer me any info? Still trying to pin down a brand & flavor for him as he is suddenly ridiculously picky. He was in love with PLC!!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 19, 2014 at 6:35 am (3 years ago)

      I have not heard of any problems specifically with Weruva. There are a lot of reasons why a cat may be allergic to one brand of a particular protein, but not another. The allergy can be caused by something the chicken (or rabbit, or pig) that’s used in the food has eaten. One of my client’s cats was eating a particular brand of rabbit based food happily for years. Then the company changes its rabbit sourcing from New Zealand to the US, and the cat became allergic. That’s one of many reasons why food allergies can be so frustrating to diagnosed and treat.

      Reply
      • Joyce
        June 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm (3 years ago)

        Thanks so much. I’ll reach out to them to see if that’s a possibility. I really would love to get him back on it again. Hopefully if they did make a change it’s a temporary one. I appreciate your info and for getting back to me so soon.

        Reply
  9. Joyce
    November 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm (4 years ago)

    Ingrid, unfortunately I’m late to the party.
    We have 4 beautiful cats. 3 Norwegian Forest Cats, ages 6 and 2, and one gorgeous rescue age 1.
    They all eat: Free fed — evo dry for cats & kittens and a small can of Fancy Feast, 1/2 2x per day.

    Norwegians genetically can have cystic kidneys. The rescue, we don’t know.

    They are all used to this diet. The rescue and one 2 yr old, will probably eat whatever they are fed as neither ever presented as finicky. The other 2 are definitely finicky, hate change and will not eat seafood at all, btw. The 6 & one 2 year old absolutely love to lick those skimmed milk cheese sticks and go crazy for grated cheese when he smells it in the kitchen. No one has any loose stools or bleeding, or hard stools. Everyone seems very regular. They get filtered aerated cool water whenever they want it and they drink plenty. I will switch to the freeze dried treats but also,
    I know they should stop the grazing (all are very energetic & do get lots of exercise)

    My question …. Would you dumb this down for me? Can you please recommend a dry transition food, and then the best option for canned food? I want to not just sustain them, I want them to thrive and have long happy, healthy lives. Feel free to use my email if this is too old to post.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Weaning your cats off dry food is the single best thing you can do for their overall health, Joyce. It may take a while if you have hard core dry food addicts, but it’s well worth the effort. There’s really no such thing as a dry transition food. What you’re feeding – the EVO Cat and Kitten formula – is already one of the lowest carb dry foods on the market.

      Here’s advice on how to make the transition: http://consciouscat.net/2011/07/25/how-to-your-cat-off-dry-food/

      And here are my recommendations for brands for canned and raw food: http://consciouscat.net/2012/03/22/the-best-food-for-your-cat/

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  10. Melissa
    October 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm (4 years ago)

    We learned of the (little known) benefits of feeding your cat “wet food” a few years ago, after testing our older cat’s blood and realizing that her sugar level was quite high. We immediately changed her diet after researching this and learning about wet food’s benefits. Worked wonders – she lost weight, has a heathier coat, and became active again. We have two other – younger – cats, however, and they were far less willing to give up the dry food so we have been feeding them both.

    More recently, we looked back into the feeding controversy because the older cat has such a hard time passing her bowels. She just passes dry, round, little chunks. We learned that she may not be getting enough fiber (who woulda thunk that a cat would need fiber?!) Since we still have a couple of varieties of dry food around, we put some down for the older cat – she gobbled up nearly a quarter cup’s worth that first night and voila! No more passing of rocks!

    If we are not supposed to EVER give a cat this dry food, what do you suggest we do to help this bodily function along?

    Also – since cats are carnivores, is it ok to give them pieces of various meat (chicken, tuna, salmon, bacon, and especially steak – this cat LOVES grilled steak), cooked for human consumption, on occasion? I assume that since we shouldn’t be feeding them dry food, we shouldn’t give them dry food treats, right? Are other treats ok (such as I just listed)?

    Thanks for this article and any insight you can give us!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm (4 years ago)

      You can try adding a small amount of pumpking to your older cat’s canned food (plain pumpkin, not the pie filling) – 1/4 teaspoon with each meal should do the trick. She may also benefit from a good probiotic. I’d also encourage her to drink more water. Sometimes, a fountain can help with that.

      As for the treats – meat, poultry or fish cooked for human consumption is absolutely okay to feed as treats. I also like the freeze dried meat treats – they come in chicken, salmon and many other varieties. Just don’t make these the main part of your cats’ diet.

      Reply
      • Melissa
        November 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm (3 years ago)

        So, it’s more than a year later and we are just now finally taking responsibility to change our cats’ diets to raw food. We are still in transition period (though the above mentioned, now 16-year-old cat took RIGHT to it!). We recently took our ten-year-olds to the vet and learned that one of them has pretty bad oral health. She will be going back soon to get a cleaning and whatever else needs to be done.

        So, I’m wondering if you know anything about how this will affect her. She is interested in the raw food, but seems to have some trouble chewing it. Will the raw food help to improve her dental health at all? Will any extractions mean that she will not be able to chew chunks of raw meat very well?

        If only we knew, when we got these three, what we do now. If only, if only …

        Thank you!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          November 10, 2013 at 7:04 am (3 years ago)

          Good for you for changing your cats’ diet, Melissa! Chances are that your cat will be able to enjoy chewing her food more after she’s had her dental issues addressed. Depending on how bad her teeth and gums are, eating may be uncomfortable or even painful for her right now. Since cats are so good at masking pain, this is something that most cat guardians won’t notice. I had a cat who had a severely abscessed tooth that would have sent a human screaming to the emergency room, and she never showed any signs of pain and ate normally.

          Reply
  11. Amanda
    September 25, 2012 at 4:07 am (4 years ago)

    How about grain free dry food, such as Wellness CORE or Felidae grain free? It is mostly meat. Is that still unhealthy for a cat? How do you feel about feeding both wet and a little bit of dry too, so that they are still used to dry in case you need to take a short weekend trip and want them to have access to food?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 25, 2012 at 6:51 am (4 years ago)

      I don’t recommend feeding any dry food, Amanda. Even the grain-free varieties are too high in carbohydrates. If you need to go away for a weekend, have a pet sitter or trusted friend or neighbor come in twice a day to feed and spend time with your cat. A weekend is a long time for a cat to be left by herself, especially if she is an only cat.

      Reply
  12. Dr. S
    July 29, 2011 at 2:29 am (5 years ago)

    Wet food is fine and it adds moisture to their diet which is good for their kidneys long term since most cats dont drink much water. I don’t think they necessarily get addicted to the carbs or additives. The reason many experts say cats like it so much is due to the oral sensation it gives them. Since they are hunters, the pointy edges and firmness of the dry food mimics the feeling of crunching down on bones like they would do in the wild. Also, a raw meat diet is a bad idea unless Taurine supplements are added. Cat food is formulated to include the proper amount of taurine. This is very important for cats and an unsupplemented all raw meat diet would lead to a deficiency which can cause serious problems like heart disease and blindness.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 29, 2011 at 6:58 am (5 years ago)

      I agree, Dr. S, proper taurine supplementation is critical. Most commercially prepared raw diets have appropriate taurine levels, but it’s important to do the research.

      Reply
      • Dr. John
        November 28, 2012 at 11:21 pm (4 years ago)

        I feed my 16 lb tomcat boneless skinless chicken breasts. A $9 package
        will last around 12 days. It is frozen into small containers, and cut up
        using scissors at mealtime. Much cheaper than buying canned food.
        This is supplemented by not one, but two brands of vitamin and simply
        them every day. I figure buying the Hartz vitamin as well as the one
        that my vet sells assures me that kitty gets what he needs.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          November 29, 2012 at 6:15 am (4 years ago)

          As long as your chicken is organic and hormone-free, it can be a good choice. I also recommend rotating this with another protein (perhaps rabbit or turkey) to ensure variety. I’d also take a close look at the vitamin supplements you’re adding, especially since you’re doubling up on two different brands. Some vitamins are not water soluble, and excessive amounts can cause health problems. A great resource for making your own balanced raw food, which is essentially what you’re doing, is Dr. Lisa Pierson’s catinfo.org.

          Reply
        • Kat
          February 26, 2014 at 9:51 pm (3 years ago)

          A cat should not only be fed muscle meat!! They need other parts, too – organs, cartilage etc. Also, if you just supplement vitams randomly, you can cause more harm than good…

          Reply
    • Santaro
      March 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm (3 years ago)

      My Himalayan drinks alot of water and has been on a dry food diet. Are there some wet foods that others recommend/ or maybe raw chicken , beef, fruits etc..

      Reply
      • Melissa
        March 10, 2014 at 7:16 pm (3 years ago)

        I’ve done a lot of research on this and most of what I’ve read about raw food makes sense. In a nutshell, raw food most closely resembles a cat’s “natural” diet. That said, I’ve experienced that my store-bought-catfood-raised cats are resistant to eating raw food now. Except for my oldest cat. She’ll eat a few things – turkey thigh and fish, mostly. She likes beef, but really, she just loves it when it’s cooked. Ah well. I would recommend that, if you are a meat eater, just trim off a little for your cat before you cook it, see how it goes.

        Reply
  13. Cat lover
    July 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm (5 years ago)

    I feed my cat both, but she still eats mostly dry food. I definitely can’t afford to feed her all canned food. She’s 13 (in August) and she’s never had a single health problem. She hates grain-free cat food and I’m trying to find a brand that she will actually eat enough of. She’s always been slender- but I don’t want her to lose weight just because she hates her cat food. The professional consensus on the matter seems to be that you should feed your cat both, and that only people who know how to provide adequate nutrition should try to create their own cat food.

    I’m going to try to feed her wet food twice a week- perhaps even a grad student can afford this! She hates her grain-free Avoderm, and I’m afraid that wellness core will cost even more money!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm (5 years ago)

      I think the Wellness CORE line is probably comparable in price to the Avoderm line.

      As for a professional consensus on what cats should eat – unfortunately, there isn’t one, which is why there’s so much misinformation out there.

      Reply
      • Kat Herder
        February 6, 2014 at 8:16 am (3 years ago)

        I too have a 13 year old that hates the grain-free foods. She eats Fancy Feast dry food and Friskies canned food. I tried Blue Buffalo, Wellness, and some other “SUPER HEALTHY” type food and she wouldn’t touch it. She’s very particular about what she will or won’t eat, and although she is thinner than I’d like her to be she checks out fine at the vet’s office. She’s a Tiffany and her average weight is right around 6 lbs., usually a few ounces less.

        Reply

8Pingbacks & Trackbacks on The Truth About Dry Cat Food

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  2. […] have a high thirst drive, and this can lead to chronic low-level dehydration if a cat is fed mostly dry food, which in turn, can lead to urinary tract and kidney […]

  3. […] not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a raw or grain-free canned diet. Cats shouldn’t eat dry food; even the grain-free dry varieties are too high in […]

  4. […] Water is critical to keeping your cat healthy. Cats as a species don’t have a high thirst drive, and this can lead to chronic low-level dehydration if a cat is fed mostly dry food, which in turn, can lead to urinary tract and kidney problems.  “Water flowing through the urinary tract system is the most important factor in keeping your cat healthy,” says Dr. Lisa Pierson on her website, catinfo.org. “Cats on canned food have been shown to consume at least double the amount of water (from food and water bowl) when compared to a dry food-fed cat.” ( For more on why dry food is not a good choice for cats, please read The Truth About Dry Cat Food.) […]

  5. […] Amylase, the enzyme required to begin the process of digesting carbohydrates, in their saliva.  Nature did not intend our cats to consume carbs.  They metabolize carbs into stored fat.  Unfortunately, most commercially available dry cat food […]

  6. […] A brief health note: water is critical to keeping your cat healthy. While cats get moisture from a raw or canned diet, they should still have plenty of fresh water available at all times. Cats as a species don’t have a high thirst drive, and this can lead to chronic low-level dehydration if a cat is fed mostly dry food, which in turn, can lead to urinary tract and kidney problems.  “Water flowing through the urinary tract system is the most important factor in keeping your cat healthy,” says Dr. Lisa Pierson on her website, catinfo.org. “Cats on canned food have been shown to consume at least double the amount of water (from food and water bowl) when compared to a dry food-fed cat.” ( For more on why dry food is not a good choice for cats, please read The Truth About Dry Cat Food.) […]

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