• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

"The best dry food is still worse than the worst wet food"

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "The best dry food is still worse than the worst wet food"

    Has been a lament I have heard many times regarding cats. I am looking for studies on this topic, a) and b) the teeth issue. I know its been hashed out many times here and I've been searching for posts, but I wondered if anyone knew of any actual studies that had been done.

  • #2
    I'd be really interested in this information, too.
    "The best hearts are ever the bravest"


    • #3
      wow.....have never heard that one.......always thought the chrunchies were better for the teeth,anyway....
      yes, would be interested in knowing answer


      • #4
        Originally posted by tallyho392 View Post
        wow.....have never heard that one.......always thought the chrunchies were better for the teeth,anyway....
        yes, would be interested in knowing answer
        Nah, not really. Kibbles have to use a binder (like potato) to keep the kibble from falling apart. The sticky binder then gets stuck to your (general "your") pet's teeth near the gum line and causes tarter buildup. Imagine throwing out your toothbrush and just eating something crunchy everyday... say, Fritos. Your teeth would get pretty gross fast.

        This actually happens with most canned food too, so if you feed canned or kibble than brushing their teeth really helps.
        You are what you dare.


        • #5
          Kibble no more cleans your animal's teeth than cookies clean yours.

          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


          • #6
            I think it's kind of telling that a quick google search on this topic nets zero university links, links to studies, etc in the first 4 pages that I checked. Just lots of ehow, yahoo answers and various pet groups. That leads me to believe that in all liklihood, it's just a personal preference.

            The veterinarians that I used to work for generally told people that unless there was a health concern, there was no benefit to feeding canned, but no harm--you're just paying extra for some water. But there were some cats, especially those who were a little older, who had chronic issues with dehydration and constipation because they just wouldn't drink enough water. So they would go onto canned food. Obviously, if teeth are a concern, canned would be called for too.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • #7
              with cats, there are two big problems with kibble: one, it's dry. Cats often don't naturally seek out and drink water, so if they eat dry food they can become chronically dehydrated, and thus more prone to bladder stones, UTIs, and kidney problems. Cats are often plagued by such problems, and simply switching to a wet diet can prevent most of these problems.
              The other problem is that all kibble, even the best kibble, has a significant carbohydrate content. Cats bodies aren't designed to eat carbohydrates in any quantity, and daily consumption of such unnatural substances may increase the risk of them developing chronic health problems in middle to late age: kidney problems, diabetes, etc.
              Canned food almost always has more meat in it and less carbohydrates than kibble.

              yes, there are studies. I posted a few examples below.

              Neither kibble nor soft wet food clean teeth, so there's no reason to make any decisions about diet based on teeth.
              If you want to help your cat's teeth, you might want to find some mice for the cat to crunch up.

              example studies:

              Br J Nutr. 2011 Oct;106 Suppl 1:S128-30.

              Effect of dietary water intake on urinary output, specific gravity and relative supersaturation for calcium oxalate and struvite in the cat.

              Buckley CM, Hawthorne A, Colyer A, Stevenson AE.


              Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Freeby Lane, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 4RT, UK.


              It has been reported that daily fluid intake influences urinary dilution, and consequently the risk of urolithiasis in human subjects and dogs. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of dietary moisture on urinary parameters in healthy adult cats by comparing nutritionally standardised diets, varying only in moisture content. A total of six cats were fed a complete dry food (6.3 % moisture) hydrated to 25.4, 53.2 and 73.3 % moisture for 3 weeks in a randomised block cross-over design. Urinary specific gravity (SG), urine volume, water drunk and total fluid intake were measured daily; relative supersaturation (RSS) for calcium oxalate (CaOx) and struvite was calculated using the SUPERSAT computer program. Cats fed the 73.3 % moisture diet produced urine with a significantly lower SG (P < 0.001) compared with diets containing 53.2 % moisture or lower. Mean RSS for CaOx was approaching the undersaturated zone (1.14 (sem 0.21); P = 0.001) for cats fed the diet with 73.3 % moisture and significantly lower than the 6.3 % moisture diet (CaOx RSS 2.29 (sem 0.21)). The effect of diet on struvite RSS was less clear, with no significant difference between treatment groups. Total fluid intake was significantly increased (P < 0.001) in the 73.3 % moisture diet (144.7 (SEM 5.2) ml, or 30 ml/kg body weight per d) compared with the 6.3 % (103.4 (SEM 5.3) ml), 25.4 % (98.6 (SEM 5.3) ml) and 53.3 % (104.7 (SEM 5.3) ml) moisture diets, despite voluntary water intake decreasing as dietary moisture intake increased. Cats fed the 73.3 % moisture diet had a higher total daily fluid intake resulting in a more dilute urine with a lower risk of CaOx when compared with the lower-moisture diets.

              PMID: 22005408 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

              J Nutr. 1998 Dec;128(12 Suppl):2753S-2757S.

              The effect of diet on lower urinary tract diseases in cats.

              Markwell PJ, Buffington CT, Smith BH.


              Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, UK.


              Because dietary ingredients and feeding patterns influence the volume, pH and solute concentration of urine, diet can contribute to the etiology, management or prevention of recurrence of some causes of lower urinary tract disease. Most research assessing the effect of diet has focused on the latter two aspects, primarily because of interest in struvite urolithiasis. Manipulation of urine pH through dietary means has proven an effective tool for the management and prevention of struvite urolithiasis; acidification of urine, however, may be a risk factor for calcium oxalate urolithiasis, which now appears to occur with approximately equal frequency in cats. Prediction of urine pH from dietary analysis would thus be a valuable tool, but considerable further research is required before this can be achieved with commercial canned foods. With the growing importance of urolith types other than struvite, alternatives to the measurement of urine pH are required to assess critically the likely beneficial (or detrimental) effects of manipulation of nutrient profile. Measurement of urinary saturation may permit the development and fine tuning of nutrient profiles aimed at controlling lower urinary tract diseases in cats that are associated with a range of different mineral types. The majority of cats with signs of lower urinary tract disease do not, however, have urolithiasis; indeed, no specific cause can be established in most of these cats. Recent observations suggest that recurrence rates of signs in cats classified as having idiopathic lower urinary tract disease may be more than halved if affected animals are maintained on high, rather than low moisture content diets. J. Nutr. 2753S-2757S, 1998

              PMID: 9868257 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free full text

              Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(2):172-82. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.499763.

              Nutritional modulation of insulin resistance in the true carnivorous cat: a review.

              Verbrugghe A, Hesta M, Daminet S, Janssens GP.


              Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium. Adronie.Verbrugghe@UGent.be


              Cats are strict carnivores that rely on nutrients in animal tissues to meet their specific and unique nutritional requirements. In their natural habitat, cats consume prey high in protein with moderate amounts of fat and minimal carbohydrates in contrast to commercial diets, which are sometimes moderate to high in carbohydrates. This change in diet has been accompanied by a shift from an outdoor environment to an indoor lifestyle and decreased physical activity, because cats no longer need to hunt to obtain food. This transformation of the lifestyle of cats is thought to be responsible for the recent increase in incidence of obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes mellitus in domestic cats. At first, an overview of the evolutionary physiological adaptations of carbohydrate digestion in the feline digestive tract and of the hepatic carbohydrate and protein metabolism reflecting the true carnivorous nature of cats is given. Secondly, this literature review deals with nutritional modulation of insulin sensitivity, focusing on dietary macronutrients, carbohydrate sources, and dietary fiber for prevention and treatment of insulin resistance.

              PMID: 22059962 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

              Vet Ther. 2001 Summer;2(3):238-46.

              Use of a high-protein diet in the management of feline diabetes mellitus.

              Frank G, Anderson W, Pazak H, Hodgkins E, Ballam J, Laflamme D.


              Heska Corporation, 1613 Prospect Parkway, Fort Collins, CO 80525, USA.


              A study was conducted to evaluate the clinical response of diabetic cats to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Adult cats with diabetes mellitus of at least 4 months' duration were recruited and fed a high-fiber, moderate-fat canned diet for 1 to 2 months during the standardization period. All cats were then transitioned to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate canned diet for a 3-month treatment period. Analyses of treatment effect included hematology, serum biochemistry, fructosamine, lipid profile, and postprandial glucose curves. Cats were also monitored for changes in body weight, appetite, activity level, urinary habits, and insulin requirements. Nine cats completed the study protocol. All cats remained generally stable throughout the treatment period, although there was a slight overall improvement in activity. Insulin levels were decreased in eight of the nine cats when transitioned from the high-fiber diet to the high-protein diet, and insulin injections were completely stopped in three of the cats. Results of regression analysis indicated that exogenous insulin could be reduced by over 50% with no loss in glucose control, as measured by serum fructosamine. Results of this study support the use of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet in the management of cats with diabetes mellitus.

              PMID: 19746667 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


              • #8
                www.catinfo.org has extensive information on the subject. I do believe that our standard dry food diet does contribute greatly to our high rate of cat obesity and diabetes.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
                  www.catinfo.org has extensive information on the subject. I do believe that our standard dry food diet does contribute greatly to our high rate of cat obesity and diabetes.
                  Thank you Marshfield for citing this website. She is wonderful and I have emailed her about a question regarding shampoo, cats and tea tree oil and got a response within a half hour. Of course it was also late at night.


                  • #10
                    If you're worried about dental health, raw meat is far better for teeth than dry kibble. (Try eating a bunch of pretzels sometime and tell me YOUR teeth feel clean!) You can give cats a whole raw chicken wing or a chunk of stew beef a couple of times a week. Wild feline species have fewer dental issues because their diet is whole raw animals.

                    There are three reasons for feeding canned over dry. First is that cats are obligate carnivores, which means their digestive systems are not meant to handle grains, fruits or vegetables. Even most grain-free dry foods contain binders like potato or peas. You do have to read the labels on canned foods, but there are plenty of options without any kind of plant products in them. These are the ones cat owners should feed. Feeding cats grains is like feeding a horse a big fat steak-completely species inappropriate..

                    Second, because of their natural diet, cats don't metabolize carbohydrates well, and no more than 10% of a cat's diet should come from carbs. Most dry foods have more than twice that, with well over 20% and sometimes over 30%. Even dry foods marketed for diabetics are too high in carbs. There are one or two brands under 10%, but even there you have the third issue. Gravy style canned foods are also high in carbs and contain plant glutens, so pate-style is the ideal way to feed.

                    Third is water. Cats are designed to get their water needs met by the food they eat. That water content some people see on the can and think is a waste of money? Your cat NEEDS that. Cats have a very low thirst drive, meaning that the majority simply do not drink enough water. A fountain can encourage them to drink more. Fill your cat's water dish to the top one day and see how much is gone by the end of the day...it's likely to be less than an ounce. Cats on dry food need even MORE water than those on wet as a daily requirement, and most won't drink that much. Lack of water in the diet can cause severe constipation, urinary blockages and long-term kidney damage. The reason so many older cats have at least some loss of kidney function is diet-related.

                    Personally, I would have saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars in vet bills if I had read the studies years ago. A urinary blockage requiring a hospital stay and catheterization to save the cat's life and one insulin-dependent diabetic later, dry food will never again pass one of my cats' lips.


                    • #11
                      I think it's kind of telling that a quick google search on this topic nets zero university links, links to studies, etc in the first 4 pages that I checked.
                      It google - what do you expect
                      You want scientific data there are more suitable search engines out there ... even Google Scholar is a huge step up.


                      • Original Poster

                        FWIW, I used Google Scholar and there wasn't massive amounts of information there, and some of the studies it did kick out were counter-intuitively confusing, like this one:


                        Thank you wendy for those, will read shortly.

                        HenryisBlaisin', I will not be feeding raw as a complete diet although I offer it as a treat occasionally. I dont feel comfortable being completely responsible for meeting all of my animals dietary needs in purchasing for a raw diet when compared to just buying high quality but commercial. Thats just a personal preference, I dont have a million dollars to do the research and studies on a raw diet I've prepared so my cat will have to settle with whats available to him on shelves.

                        Specifically though, all of the things you're saying (raw is statistically better for teeth, no more than 10% of a cat's diet should be in carbs) are exactly what I"m looking to find studies to back. I don't believe youre incorrect in saying them as I've always heard the same thing, but I'm trying to pin down the origin of the thought.

                        In personal observation as a clinic that does looots of PU surgeries, dry food is the choice for those owners across the board. Thats enough for me to have been motivated to going totally wet over the past year or so, but I really wanted to do my research.

                        Thanks tons for that link, Marshfield, will pick through that site tonight too.


                        • #13
                          Somebody not in the veterinary field shared the link with me a year or two ago and I've found it to be a treasure trove of information. There's also great stuff on that website about dealing with potty issues which is such a common reason for cats to come to the vet's. I used the information on Dr. Lisa's website to make the jump to raw feeding my two cat's this week. This has been a gradual change, the boys were on Evo 95% meat before. The best thing I can say about the Evo and now raw is that the decrease in litter box odor is unreal. The size of the "pee" clumps is nuts if you've been looking at the "pee" clumps of a dry food eater. I keep meaning to check their urine specific gravity so that I can figure out what is normal for a healthy cat on this type of diet since it's clearly not the uber concentrated urine of a dry food eater.

                          I've taken to recommending the switch to canned food for any diabetics I treat. I find that getting them onto to quality canned food is essential for getting them well regulated.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
                            I've taken to recommending the switch to canned food for any diabetics I treat. I find that getting them onto to quality canned food is essential for getting them well regulated.
                            I wish more vets were properly educated about proper feeding for diabetics. Mine prescribed a dry prescription food for my cat when he was first diagnosed and wanted to try that before starting insulin. I regularly test his glucose levels (and can't believe how many vets not only don't recommend but actually discourage home testing!) and the rx made no difference (he'd been on dry before). A change to low-carb wet made a dramatic difference in 48 hours. His glucose levels dropped by over 100 in that time. He still had diabetic numbers, but much better than he had on the prescription stuff. I took that info to my vet and she now recommends a low-carb wet diet as well. All three of my cats are now on a wet low carb diet and are shinier, trimmer, and have more energy than ever before.


                            • #15

                              Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003. She also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley.

                              She has held faculty positions at Brandeis University and the UCSF School of Medicine. From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and managing editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health.

                              Her research examines scientific, economic, and social influences on food choice and obesity, with an emphasis on the role of food marketing.

                              Malden C Nesheim is Professor of Nutrition Emeritus and Provost Emeritus. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1959. In 1974 he was named Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences, a post which he held until the summer of 1987. Prior to becoming Provost of Cornell University in September 1989, he held the position of Vice President for Planning and Budgeting. As Provost, Dr. Nesheim was the chief educational officer of the University under the President and was responsible for overseeing all academic programs other than those at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.
                              He has received the Conrad A. Elvehjem Award for public service from the American Institute of Nutrition and in 1995 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was elected a fellow of the American Society of Nutritional Sciences in 1997.
                              He earned a B.S. in agricultural science and an M.S. in animal nutrition from the University of Illinois followed by a Ph.D. in nutrition from Cornell. His research interests have been aspects of nutritional biochemistry and more recently, the relationship of parasitic infections to nutritional status.
                              ... _. ._ .._. .._


                              • #16
                                The one thing about feeding cats canned food that I think people forget is how finicky cats are about food. They get accustomed to one diet and one diet only for 15 years of their life and when they get chronic kidney disease or diabetes and we need to feed them canned food - they refuse to eat. It's good to offer cats a variety of food and offer them canned, even if it isn't their whole diet, just so they have that texture and taste in their fickle palate. It may make a huge difference late on in their life!
                                University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2012
                                Member of the Asthmatic Riders & "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" cliques


                                • #17
                                  Sounds kind of gross, but I've noticed that if my cat vomits after eating kibble, an awful lot of the kibble comes up intact (dogs are the same)... binders and stickiness arguments aside, I wonder how much actual chewing is taking place when the cat eats kibble or wet food - they don't have grinding molars, do they? Would think that they'd have to have something big enough to gnaw parts off of to make them "chew"...


                                  • #18
                                    Neither cats nor dogs grind their food the way humans do. That's why you see the intact kibble coming back up sometimes.

                                    Now, my cat has issues with his teeth. I tried giving him a raw chicken wing. The bugger didn't know what to do with it. How do you get your cat to eat chicken wings?


                                    • #19
                                      Follow up question...I assume everyone feeding raw is feeding raw bones as well (like the chicken wing above)?

                                      I have this vision of finding little bones around my house...
                                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                      • #20
                                        the bones are eaten, broken down, and passed as very small fragments in the feces. You would only find bones around the house if (a) your cat wasn't eating the meat off the bone and then hiding the bone (b) you gave bones as rec toys (like some people do with dogs).

                                        Some cats take to raw very well but for others it can be an arduous battle. It depends on how important nutrition is to you and how much time you are willing to dedicate to researching raw thoroughly before you start.