Dry or wet cat food. Tips for your purchase

When it comes to feeding your cats you have two options, either you take a can of wet cat food out of the fridge or you go to the pantry and take out a bag of dry cat food .

Cat food comes in different ways, but essentially you have two options:  dry cat food and wet cat food .

In my case, I have decided, since my cat came home, to feed her dry food (I think for cats).  I had bad experiences with the previous cats, that all they did was spoil the canned food and the “human” that we gave them.

The important thing, to meet the nutritional needs of your cat, is to select a high quality cat food. Choosing between wet or dry  depends on your cat’s preferences and your budget , but here I will show you the benefits of dry cat food over wet cat food.

 

How is dry cat food made?

When you open a bag of cat food, you usually find it filled with small hard pellets of uniform size and shape. Looking at a bag of dry cat food, you generally can’t see what the individual ingredients are present in that bag.

Most dry foods are made using a process called extrusion that combines the raw ingredients as they cook, resulting in a cohesive product that is turned into granules. This is the basic process through which most dry cat food products are made. Each manufacturer of dry cat food has a slightly different formulation, but basically, it consists of:

  • Proteins (i.e., meats or meat by-products from beef, fish, or poultry)
  • Carbohydrates (i.e. grains, rice, barley, potatoes)
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Fats

All of these ingredients are combined, then dried and cut into bite-size croquettes.

Some manufacturers then add flavor enhancers (or artificial flavorings) that are meant to make these kibbles more palatable.

Most dry cat food goes through a process similar to this, although there may be variations in certain stages of the process. For example, some of the higher quality dry cat foods are baked rather than extruded and cooked at high temperatures.

 

 

Dry vs. wet cat food

When it comes to choosing the ideal diet for your cat, your two main options are  dry food or wet food . The decision is up to you, but if you want to make an informed decision, here is a brief description of the pros and cons of both types of food:

Pros and cons of dry food  :

  • Dry cat food comes in packages of different sizes so you can buy what you need, I prefer 1.5 kg bags. I don’t like them being open for long.
  • Once opened, dry cat food can be stable for several weeks as long as it is not exposed to moisture or extreme heat.
  • Dry cat food is generally much cheaper than wet food of similar quality – its longer shelf life also means that you don’t waste as much avoiding spoilage problems.
  • Dry cat food tends to have fewer calories than wet food, and it is easier to control daily food portions to prevent overeating.
  • The shape and texture of dry food can help remove plaque and tartar from your cat’s teeth ,improving and maintaining her oral health.

Pros and cons of wet food  :

  • Wet cat food comes with a certain weight in the cans, this way you know how much your cat needs according to its weight. You avoid having to calculate food portions by eye.
  • The higher moisture content of wet food can help keep your cat hydrated and can provide digestive benefits.
  • Wet food is beneficial for cats with kidney and urinary problems,having a higher moisture content helps reduce the formation of urinary crystals.
  • The higher moisture content of moist food can help keep your cat’s skin healthier and her coat shinier.
  • Some cats prefer the texture of wet food over dry food.
  • Once you open a can of wet food, you should store it in the fridge, and it will only last 3-5 days.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Take the time to carefully consider the pros and cons of dry food and wet food, and tailor your decision to your cat’s individual nutritional requirements.

If you decide that dry food will be the one you are going to buy, the information I provide below will help you make an intelligent decision.

 

 

The first thing to consider before selecting a dry cat food

  • Age of your cat: make sure to choose a food nutritionally adapted to the age of your cat (kitten, adult or older).
  • Your cat’s body condition: Overweight or underweight cats need different nutrition. Choose a food that suits your cat’s needs, be it weight control, maintenance, urinary tract health …
  • Your cat’s health history: If your cat has medical conditions such as diabetes, allergies, or digestive difficulties, you should consult your vet and choose a food that is appropriate.
  • Your budget: Simply put, feed your cat the best food you can afford. In general, the more you spend, the food will be of better quality and healthier for your pet.

Fortunately, the market today offers many well-formulated cat foods for all stages of their life, and it’s okay to try several to rule out food intolerances and determine which one works best for your cat.

 

How to choose a quality cat food

To choose a high-quality dry cat food, you need to know the basics of cat nutrition. These have very different nutritional needs from dogs, although both require a high protein diet.

Kittens require a diet with at least 30% protein and adult cats 26% . In addition to protein, cats need a certain amount of taurine and arginine, two amino acids, as well as various vitamins and minerals. A suitable diet for both cats and kittens should also contain a minimum of 9% animal-based fat.

When you want to buy a bag of cat food, you should pay attention to what is on the back of the bag. There are two important things to look for on a cat food label: the guaranteed test and the ingredient list .

The guaranteed analysis simply shows the percentage of protein, crude fat, and crude fiber (and sometimes other nutrients) in the bag.

The most important thing on any pet food label is the ingredient list . This list is sorted in descending order by volume, which means that the ingredients at the top of the list are used in greater quantity. It should make sense, then, that you want to see high-quality animal protein sources at the top of the list. Remember, your cat needs a diet that contains at least 26% for adults and 30% for kittens protein and must be of animal origin such as meat, chicken, fish and eggs.

Animal proteins contain all the essential amino acids that your cat’s body cannot synthesize on its own: taurine and arginine are the most important essential amino acids for cats and can only be found in animal proteins.

In addition to ensuring the product contains quality animal protein, you should also look for healthy animal fats. Fats provide your cat with essential fatty acids. They act as a concentrated source of energy while helping to maintain your cat’s skin and health.

Dry cat food can also contain carbohydrates. But remember, cats are carnivores so they don’t have a biological need for carbohydrates in their diet. however, for our cats, carbohydrates in small amounts provide dietary fiber to facilitate healthy digestion. Just avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates and, if your cat has allergies or sensitivities to gluten and grains.

Although the guaranteed analysis and ingredient list are the most important tools you can use to make a direct comparison between two dry cat foods , there is one more part of the label that you should check. The American Association of Food Control Officials (AAFCO) has created nutrient profiles for cats at different stages of life; These profiles establish the minimum nutritional requirements for kittens and adult cats.  If the product carries this label, you can be sure that it will meet the minimum nutritional needs of your cat.

One thing to keep in mind is that just because cat food carries an AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement does not necessarily mean that it is a high-quality product. You have to put together all the information you find on the label to come to that conclusion. The AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy Statement is a good start, but you should also check the guaranteed analysis to make sure the product offers more than your cat’s minimum requirements for protein, fat and other nutrients. After that, you should check the ingredient list to make sure those nutrients come from high-quality sources.

 

 

 

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