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Any (good) reason to feed some dry cat food?

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  • #21
    My gang - with my vet's blessing - have a large bowl of dry food (gasp! Iams) available 24/7. Then once a day the 4 of them get 1/2 a can each of canned food. Again - gasp - "Friskies" brand. All are indoor-only housecats.

    One cat is in his early 20's; one in his late teens; one around 12 or so; one a little over a year. But we've been feeding this same diet for decades to the many cats we've had over the years, & all of our cats - including one serious diabetic - lived well into their late teens or more.

    Go figure.


    • #22
      Like I said; kibble isn't toxic. I had to make the change for health issues. Right now I have Friskies cans and Purina kibble in the pantry.

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


      • #23
        I feed Blue Buffalo kibble and Fancy Feast cans (turkey and mixed grill only) to my four (wet is fed twice a day, kibble is down 24/7.). All in lovely health and zero tooth issues.

        I understand the concept of raw is better, but I don't have the time or inclination to do that.
        What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


        • #24
          Kibble isn't evil. Some are worse than others. Fillers and food dyes and flavors to make the cat/dog want to eat it are the worst of the things. Having to feed twice as much of one type to get the same results as another type means there are too many useless (at best) or harmful (at worst) things in it.

          Some of them do well on an all-dry diet despite that. Others do well because of it. Same with canned.

          All else equal, cats do better with wet food as all or most of the diet. That doesn't mean they can't do (almost) as well on an all dry diet.

          It sure would be interesting if a study could be done on enough full siblings over generations (ie full siblings from this litter, then full sibs from the next litter with the same parents), and so on, for 10 generations or so, with half being fed all dry and half all wet, same high quality brand, etc, and just see how things go. Who has skin issues, who gets cancer, diabetes, who has weight issues, etc. But I know it won't be done, so...
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #25
            All else equal, cats do better with wet food as all or most of the diet. That doesn't mean they can't do (almost) as well on an all dry diet.
            The first step in medical science is demonstrating biological plausibility. Simple consideration of the cat's biology suggests that they should not do well at all on a dry diet, even if it's a low-carb high-quality dry diet. It is biologically implausible that a cat will thrive on a dry diet. Therefore dry diets for cats should be rejected until someone publishes a high-quality study of a large group of genetically diverse cats fed dry diets for many years and demonstrates they can do as well as cats fed wet diets on measures such as UTI health and mortality. No one has done that study.

            Because biological plausibility strongly supports wet diets for cats, the onus is on the people who manufacture, sell, and feed dry diets to prove they are at least as good as wet diets. Simply stating that's what you have fed to cats in the past doesn't prove anything- that's a "case report". Not considered scientific evidence.

            cats don't have a "thirst reflex" and don't drink water in response to being dehydrated. Cats on dry diets are chronically dehydrated because they don't seek out and drink enough water, since they are designed to obtain their water from eating wet foods.
            Cats suffer and die all the time from urinary tract problems caused by the dehydration caused by being fed a dry diet. This is proven and well-established.
            Why would you set your cat up for that? laziness on your part?

            the links between dry high-carb diets and other common ailments of pet cats aren't as firmly established, but why risk it? diabetes and renal failure and obesity are rampant in the pet cat population, and there is lot of evidence supporting a link between eating dry high-carb kibble and the development of these conditions.


            • #26
              Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
              Lisa Pierson's page has fantastic information on the current thinking in Feline Medicine....


              • #27
                But the fact that there are cats who have lived into their teens and beyond on nothing but dry food, or mostly dry food, means that reality is not always on par with what is plausible or implausible - that's my point

                There are too many cats who've lived like that.

                That doesn't mean you should all run out and feed a dry food diet just because some do well. I don't, but I DO feed a mix - boy cat is the only one who gets a wet diet, though he's not above stealing dry food whenever possible.

                I DID say that all else equal, a wet diet is better
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #28
                  Originally posted by wendy View Post
                  cats don't have a "thirst reflex" and don't drink water in response to being dehydrated. Cats on dry diets are chronically dehydrated because they don't seek out and drink enough water, since they are designed to obtain their water from eating wet foods.
                  Do you own any cats? They certainly do have a thirst reflex! Whether or not they drink *enough* could be debated, but they do drink water. My cats often drink between meals and after a meal whether wet or dry.


                  • #29
                    Major reason is convenience. I too, offer tin and dry. He can graze throughout the day on the dry, and gets wet "meals". He is a lean guy, so the extra grazing food keeps his weight up well. He wont eat old crusty wet food and like most people, I have to work so cant offer fresh food every 2 hours.


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                      Do you own any cats? They certainly do have a thirst reflex! Whether or not they drink *enough* could be debated, but they do drink water. My cats often drink between meals and after a meal whether wet or dry.
                      Same here, and he gets ONLY dry, Purina Cat Chow.

                      His teeth are sparkley clean, sleek shiny coat, drink water but doesn't overindulge, no urinary tract issues, just a happy cat.
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                      • #31
                        Mine all drink too. Several of them drink quite a nice amount. A few of them don't drink as much, but I honestly can't say whether it's enough or too little.
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                        • Original Poster

                          Well at least for my 3 guys, some "raw" gets added into the diet... when they go out and catch something. Even the declawed cat (not my doing or choice) caught a mouse earlier this week!

                          Since they don't do well with having food out 24/7, I think I will forego the dry kibble for the most part. If I think they need more "textural interest," I can always buy a small bag and top dress the wet. It might be a winter feeding regime, as they don't stay out much during the cold ergo mice eating will be a less frequent hobby.

                          And I am noticing less drinking with the wet, but an increase in urine output. Our male would regularly drink out of the sink/toilet/any water source before now, resulting in me yelling at him for being on the counter. Not so much these past 2 weeks!


                          • #33
                            My cats drink quite a bit. They drink from their regular bowl. My Siamese drinks the bunny's water for some reason and my female cat drinks the water in the bathtub when she doesn't want to walk downstairs. I think I have strange cats.

                            They get canned food once a day and dry food once a day, and I fed nothing but dry for years with no ill effects. I think the notion that a cat will keel over dead from dehydration being fed only kibble is silly. Plenty of cats are fed nothing but dry and do fine, although I'm sure any illness they have will directly be blamed on their diet. I don't free feed but I like that I can leave the rest of their dry down without it getting all crusty. My Siamese kind of likes canned but he can be picky and I have to chop it up in bits for him.

                            My cats do eat a grain free dry food.

                            I feed dry for convenience, for ease of use, and for reduced cost.


                            • #34
                              My six cats get dry food out all the time, usually TOTW or somesuch. They get canned or appropriate wet cat treat on a daily basis, sometimes a can or a piece of chicken or a spoonful of fish or somesuch.

                              Every single cat hunts and gets a fresh mouse (or bird unfortunately) on a 3 times a week basis most of the year.

                              They vary in their thirstiness but they all love water in some very specific format. Dripping faucet, left-over shower water, dog dish, fresh cup, dipped paw...

                              It makes total sense to me looking at the broad side of the barn that wild cats eat fresh meat that has a lot of water content. That must be good for cats. I try to be as close to that as possible. The End.
                              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                              • #35
                                Ditto on the water drinking...and I have one that only wants toliet water! And I have one that will bat my hand if I offer him wet cat food - but again, he loves tortilla chips, begs until he can have a few....


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post


                                  • #37
                                    Hey I'm new to this forum and have been grateful for the multitude of information on here. It seems to be a very good place

                                    That said, I have 3 cats. Every one of them is from a rescue situation and everyone of them is unfortunately heavily overweight, because the first 2 years of their existence in my life I was working for an Airline, out of the house 16 hours / day and the cats had free choice kibbles, supermarket brand. Because I didn't know better. I was completely shocked and blown out of my mind, when an acquaintance decided to become Vegan and then decided for her animals (dog and cats) to become Vegan as well.
                                    I told her that a pure plant diet is most likely going to kill her cats. She didn't believe me, so in order to prove my points began researching the topic of really feeding cats.
                                    And learned a TON of things that I had NO clue about before. And no, you cannot feed your cats Vegan.

                                    Now, 6 years after the fact, my cats are 8 years old, not nearly as Obese as they were and only get holistic wet food (1 can / day / cat - TikiCat, Natural Balance, EVO, Grammy's, etc. and of all of those the Grainfree versions) and about 10 kibbles in the morning and 10 kibbles at midnight. (Orijen, EVO) The reason I feed 3x a day a minimum amount of kibbles is to keep a routine for them. They are outdoor/indoor cats (free choice through a catflap) and know the feed times. This way, I have them in the house at least 3x a day and can check up on ticks, injuries, etc.

                                    They did really well on this and lost a ton of weight until - unfortunately - one of the neighbours started feeding as well. I have not yet figured out who exactly it is, but the constant gain of weight again, the regular skipping a meal here or there and not coming home for a full day gives it away quite clearly.
                                    I am quite mad, but so far, addressing the neighbours hasn't helped and I have not found anyone guilty (everyone says it's not them) ...
                                    I'm considering switching over to splitting the cans to 2x / day and skip one feeding entirely... but that doesn't eliminate my neighbours and I have no control over WHAT they eat out there...


                                    • #38
                                      My girl kitty won't eat the wet food unless there's some dry food sprinkled in it. So I get 1/8 of a cup of dry food and split it between three bowls. They get a taste, but its very small.


                                      • #39
                                        Switching to an all wet diet will alter your definition of normal urine clumps in the box. Very little plop on the all wet or raw diet but huge urine clumps.


                                        • #40
                                          Indeed; more pee less poo.

                                          My cats were happily kibble cats for many years (and numerous cats) until my former Tom, Pippin, blocked. Then my vet wanted me to use Science Diet for urinary health. I read the ingredients and realized I wouldn't feed that stuff to my healthy cats let alone my sick cat. So I did a huge amount of research and learned the reasons my cat blocked with struvite crystals: not enough moisture, not enough protein (meat protein) resulting in concentrated, high pH urine. Still I was terrified to go against doctor's orders and risk him blocking again. I had to have a plan. I spoke to a holistic vet in my area and decided that I had been a vet tech and animal caretaker enough to recognize urinary blockage (I caught it the first time) and that I would try the canned diet and that if he blocked again I'd consult with the holistic vet I'd spoken to.

                                          I went to canned mixed with kibble because I couldn't let go of kibble. It was firmly in my mind as proper cat food. I was also concerned about the lack of texture in canned. If they were eating mice they'd at least have the crunch of bones, the toughness of skin, etc. However, I started feeding them soup - Canned + Kibble + water. I was also uncertain about how much canned to give in lieu of kibble so this made life easier. Also they were fatties so I had to stop leaving food down so I had to figure out how much to put down.

                                          A couple few years later I thought Pippin had blocked again and rushed him to the vet's. He hadn't blocked, and BTW they observed after looking at his urine, his urine was beautiful -what was I doing?

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