Wondering what to feed your new feline or considering switching foods to better support your cat’s overall health and well-being? One of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether to feed him kibble or canned wet food. While the right answer really depends on your pet’s specific needs and preferences, we’ve rounded up a few experts to discuss the pros (and cons), along with their picks for the best wet cat food currently available.
When it comes to planning your pet’s diet, many factors, including age, breed, and overall health, can play a big role in determining which foods are best for you. is why you should always consult a veterinarian before making any big changes. While kibble certainly has its benefits, namely that it’s convenient, affordable and can be beneficial for feline teeth, most experts say wet food is just as crucial as it can help cats stay hydrated, and it may be closer to the natural diet they have. d have in the wild.
“The domestic cat is a desert animal, so they naturally don’t drink a lot of water,” Dr. John P. Loftus, Ph.D., DVM, assistant professor at Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, tells Mental Floss. This is a point echoed by Dr. Gary Richter, DVM, Medical Director of Holistic Veterinary Care, Founder of Ultimate Pet Nutrition and author of The ultimate guide to pet health: revolutionary nutrition and integrative care for dogs and cats, who notes that because cats “don’t naturally drink a lot of water, [it is] important for them to have plenty of water in their food.
According to Dr. Loftus and Dr. Richter, the higher moisture content found in canned wet food gives it a distinct advantage over kibble; Dr. Richter even claims that although dry foods are often considered better for feline dental health, an all-kibble diet is not recommended because cats are carnivores and “high carbohydrate diets such as dry food is not the best for them”. Dr. Cori Blair, DVM, veterinarian and owner of Feline Health in New York, takes it a step further by comparing kibble to the bread you might find at a restaurant, while protein-rich canned wet food is more like salad. : Bread might taste good, but if you have too much, you probably won’t have enough room to eat everything else, and the same goes for cats. “Canned food is overall healthier for them and [helps cats] maintain better hydration and lean body mass, plus it’s better for their kidneys,” says Dr. Blair.
Another reason to incorporate canned wet food into your feline’s daily diet is that it may help them better manage certain health issues. “Diabetic cats benefit from the higher protein, lower carb formula of wet food,” Dr. Katy Nelson, senior veterinarian at Chewy, told Mental Floss. Additionally, Dr. Nelson points out that the caloric content and nutrient density of wet food can be great for kittens and nursing mothers, and the higher moisture content can help felines with urinary issues. “Wet food can also be useful for cats following a weight loss plan, as cats process protein much more efficiently than carbohydrates (which they tend to store) and can also be easily measured for ensuring your cat meets their daily calorie recommendations,” she adds.
That said, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on serving a platter of pâté to your cat anytime soon. “Moist foods don’t have as long a shelf life in the bowl as dry foods,” says Dr. Nelson. She recommends throwing away leftovers after a few hours because anything can go wrong. Another important factor to consider is where your pet is, in terms of development. “Pet owners should be careful to choose a canned food formulated to meet the nutritional needs of the cat’s life stage,” says Dr. Loftus. If you’re unsure, he recommends looking for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement, which should be on the can label.
According to Dr. Blair, a diet of only canned food can also lead to constipation in some cats, which may then need fiber supplementation to balance things out. As such, pet parents may want to consider a mixed diet, i.e. a diet that incorporates fresh, whole foods or both kibble and canned wet food as part of the diet. pet’s daily menu. “If people are going to feed themselves canned foods, they should look for premium foods that contain all-natural ingredients,” adds Dr. Richter. “No grains, no artificial preservatives.”
With so many options to choose from (and pet-specific factors to keep in mind like age and health), it can be difficult to determine the best overall choice for canned wet food. However, Dr. Nelson thinks this Iams Variety Pack is a great choice if you want to support your indoor cat’s overall well-being: it’s soft, easy to chew, and made without grains or artificial preservatives. Each easy-peel tray also comes in convenient portions, so you can feed your pet a balanced meal without worrying about overfeeding them.
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Purina is one of the top brands recommended by Dr. Blair (along with Iams, Hill’s Science Diet and Royal Canin) to Mental Floss readers because “these companies all carry out continuous studies on their products to ensure they are of the best quality”. If your furry friend usually prefers chicken, turkey, and/or beef over fish dishes, you might want to consider getting this 30-pack from Fancy Feast.
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Although urinary tract infections are not very common in cats (PetMD claims that only 1-3% of cats with urinary tract disease will develop them), problems in this area can still occur, prevention is therefore essential to maintain the health of your cat. health. If your cat has a sensitive system, Dr. Nelson says this variety pack from Hill’s Science Diet may support their overall well-being and add more magnesium to their daily diet. “This functional food helps prevent the onset of urinary tract problems in cats and also contains natural fiber to reduce hairballs, ensuring your cat stays comfortable and calm,” she says.
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Across brands, Tiny Tiger provides high-quality animal protein for the amino acids needed to maintain lean, active muscles in cats, according to Dr. Nelson. One of the most popular varieties is this grain-free pâté variety pack, which includes beef, chicken, turkey, and offal, ie all land animals. “The recipe delivers a complete, balanced meal in every bowl, with essential vitamins, minerals and taurine plus real broth that provides the moisture levels needed to help keep hydrated,” says Dr. Nelson.
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According to the brand, this wet cat food is made with chicken broth, pork liver, carrots, spinach, and other ingredients that support a balanced diet. But also, it is specially formulated for overweight cats; in product testing, over 70% of felines that gnawed on these pieces lost weight in 10 weeks. But to be safe, be sure to check with your veterinarian before adding this to your pet’s diet, especially if your cat has other pre-existing health conditions.
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Mother cats and baby kittens need food formulated with their specific needs in mind. This wet cat food is made with chicken and a blend of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the latter of which occurs naturally in breast milk and can boost your baby’s cognitive development. kitten. Each box also contains a blend of highly digestible proteins and prebiotics that will be gentle on their changing (and developing) systems. The texture itself is also a little softer than the typical pâté; Royal Canin compares it to fluffy foam and claims it can help newborn kittens transition from milk to solid food more easily.
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