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Canned vs Dry Food for Cats

BloomingPaws Vet Clinic has experience in treating pet cats, and our veterinarians have some facts on the dietary needs of our favorite felines.

Did you know that feeding your cat a canned diet is often healthier for them than a dry diet?  While we used to believe that dry foods were better for their dental health, we now know this is not completely accurate.  Please be aware that a canned food is not the same as a semi-moist food, which usually is packaged in foil, plastic or paper pouches and is very  high in sugar.  We are discussing food that specifically comes in a can—a wet food.

Benefits of a canned diet for your cat:

  1. Lower carbohydrate content: this more closely mimics a cat’s natural diet of small prey animals which is a high protein/low carbohydrate diet.  High carbohydrate diets in cats are linked to the development of diabetes.
  2. Higher water content: again, a cat’s natural diet would contain a high amount of water.  This higher water content is excellent for the maintenance of a healthy urinary tract because it improves hydration of the cat but it also promotes a more dilute urine which minimizes urinary bladder inflammation.  Also realize that cats simply do not drink enough water because they are designed to get their water from their food.  Our house-cats are existing in a state of chronic dehydration as a result.
  3. Weight maintenance: this is the result of the combined effects of #1 and #2.  The lowered carbohydrate content promotes a healthy, natural feline metabolism that is fueled by protein. The increased water content adds to the bulk of the food which promotes a full feeling with few calories ingested.

You will hear our veterinarians recommending canned diets to their feline patients with kidney disease, inappropriate urination (“litter-box issues”), urinary crystals, diabetes and obesity.  You shouldn’t wait until your cat is sick to make this transition though.  Feeding your cat a canned food is an excellent PREVENTATIVE that can help to prevent these conditions from developing.