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

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

    I'm at the end of week 2 of switching my 3 cats to a mostly wet food diet. Right now they are on a supermarket brand, mostly to make sure they would eat the wet before I invest in the better foods available. I'm already noticing a slight difference in one cat's fur, much silkier than before! Since this was the cat I was most worried about for the switch with a sensitive GI tract, looks like it's a go from here on out. Also have split feedings into 2 meals, as opposed to 1. I must say, the litter boxes are a little stinkier than they have been and I've taken to cleaning 2x a day to keep the smell down, plus the urine output has increased.

    My initial plan was to just feed a small amount of the last of the dry food bag we had until it was gone and then no more. The cats still eat it, but gladly leave their bowls when the wet is put down. I do have easy access to Evolve dry and wet (http://www.triumphpet.com/evolve/evolve.pdf ) at our grocery store, which I'm leaning towards for the wet anyways. My other option is Castor and Pollux Organix, albeit for a much higher price(slowly educating DH on cat nutrition without shocking him). Newmans Own and Rachel Ray foods are also available, along with the lower end brands (Friskies, Purina, Iams...).

    So is their really any good reason to keep some dry food in the diet? These cats don't do well with "free ranging" for food, they will just eat until the bowl is empty. I've been keeping track of the caloric intake with the new diet so they are getting the same amount calorie-wise with any change.

    Growing up the cats always had wet and dry. Dry was usually free access all the time. Granted the cats were a little overweight, but lived into their late teens.

  • #2
    I keep it for textural interest.

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


    • #3
      It can help reduce tartar if they actually chew it.


      • #4
        But they don't really chew, so...

        Textural interest is probably the best reason, but you certainly don't HAVE to for that reason. Actually the best reason might be to give their jaws at least a little workout. Your alternative would be some proper bones a couple of times a week, or some dense meat.
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          My cats won't reliably eat wet food so I have dry out all the time and offer some wet every few days, mostly to my elderly ones. The older cats (mine) actually crunch the dry food and the younger ones just swallow it.
          My blog: Crackerdog Farm


          • #6
            I keep it for the "textural interest" (good term!) also--just a sprinkle over their wet food. My other reason is that it's easier for when we travel--if we go away overnight I can leave them an extra bowl of dry food to tide them over, and if we go away for longer it's easier for whoever's watching the kitties to just come by and top off dry food bowls and give a little wet food than to come twice a day for wet food feedings.

            Then again, if we leave them dry food, I'm pretty sure they just eat it all in one sitting, vomit it up, and then eat the regurgitated mess as wet food. Ugh.
            "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

            Graphite/Pastel Portraits


            • #7
              Originally posted by JB View Post
              But they don't really chew, so...
              Don't cats chew more than dogs?

              Not chew like humans, but my cats definitely crunch up their crunchies and don't swallow them whole.


              • #8
                well, one of my cat does not eat canned.
                But between feedings the other two do go nibble some.
                Especially now that it is a bit colder.

                you can leave dry out when you are not sure if the wet alone covers all the needs, when wet gets nasty in a hurry.


                • #9
                  It is more calorie dense than wet, so can be useful if you have a skinny one.

                  Although, really, I saw SUCH an improvement when I switched to all wet that I wouldn't even consider feeding any dry unless I had a VERY compelling reason to do so. So far that has not presented itself.


                  • #10
                    In my limited experience, it seems like there may be a correlation between feeding all soft food and increased tartar buildup requiring more frequent dental cleanings. I haven't owned my own cats for eons (I'm allergic) but at the clinic, it sure did seem like the cats that were primarily on wet food had more calculus buildup on their teeth than those that were on dry. Correlation doesn't always equal causation though. So take that observation with a grain of salt.
                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                      Don't cats chew more than dogs?

                      Not chew like humans, but my cats definitely crunch up their crunchies and don't swallow them whole.
                      I'm sure it depends on the individual and the size of the food. But, mine get a piece, crunch once, and swallow. If they happen to get a couple of pieces, they might crunch a couple of times.

                      Our dogs don't just swallow whole either - they crunch a few more times than the cats actually! LOL But, that's probably more a factor of taking in a lot more pieces at once.
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                      • #12
                        I don't believe there's any good reason to feed dry food, unless it's the ONLY food a cat will eat after sincere attempts to switch to wet food don't work. A cat not eating for even a few days presents a big threat of developing hepatic lipidosis, a potentially fatal liver disease:

                        Regarding dry food "cleaning" cat (or dog) teeth, I don't believe it does and can, in fact, make teeth worse:
                        Equus Keepus Brokus


                        • #13
                          I had fatties from leaving dry food down. They whammied me with their cat voodoo into thinking if their bowls were empty the end of the world was nigh. So I started feeding them like I did my dogs; twice a day. Kibble doesn't keep teeth clean, generally speaking. I don't brush my teeth with cookies either right? And I chew. But every now and then, a few days a week, one of their meals will have a little bit of kibble mixed in with the canned, and warm water to make a gravy.

                          I do this because I have male cats and one blocked many years ago. My research said that one of the reasons is not having enough moisture in their diets (not drinking enough, having a kibble-based diet, etc). So I always make sure there is moisture delivered -whether that's in the form of straight canned, or water added to the kibble/canned mixture. The kibble stays crunchy so I keep the textural interest.

                          I figure it's as close as bring them home a mouse or a vole twice a day. LOL! Having said that I wonder if I should invest in a brick of frozen mice like you get for your reptile or raptor (I used to vet tech for a practice that took in wildlife ) . I wonder how they'd enjoy that. Hmmmm.

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


                          • #14
                            Crunching on dry kibble isn't going to clean their teeth any more than you eating chips is going to clean your teeth- in fact, the carb content of the dry kibble is likely to promote the deposition of plaque.

                            It is true that cats should chew on something- their teeth and jaws will certainly benefit. But surely you can find something healthier for that purpose than dry kibble? if left to themselves, cats will eat small animals- rodents, birds, fish- and chew a little bit while eating. If your cat can't go out hunting, perhaps you can do what many people do, and offer your cat chunks of raw animals. Some people buy rodents that are being sold to feed reptiles- most petstores carry these. Other people offer small chunks of raw chicken or Cornish game hen or rabbit or quail.
                            You can buy dehydrated little fish at many Asian grocery stores and mix those into canned for a "textural interest" that is far healthier than using kibble for that purpose. Or buy dehydrated raw diets that come in little pellets and use those for that purpose.

                            Kibble is just SO unhealthy for cats that they should never eat it. The dryness of it is very bad for their kidneys and urinary tracts, and the carbohydrate content (even the very best kibble has a fairly high carbohydrate content) will damage their kidneys and livers and may promote diabetes and obesity.


                            • #15
                              Okay, kibble isn't toxic -it's not poison. It's not ideal so we don't depend on it to keep our cats healthy. That is not say that one needs to go out and find rabbit bones for one's cat in lieu of kibble. Moisture has already been mentioned, and so far the consensus is that kibble isn't the way to go.

                              I did mention the rodents for reptiles already. It's an interesting concept. I think though I'd be finding bits of mouse around the house since my cats are not confined to a tank like a snake is so they are not likely to keep the mice in the bowl.

                              But a bit of perspective here.

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


                              • #16
                                all of our cats have had dry cat food offered. Mostly for ease.

                                I have seen that feeding wet cat food has helped an obese kitty lose weight.

                                why is wet cat food healtier than dry and what do you do when the cat refuses to eat left-over cat food or all the flavors?


                                • #17
                                  I have a cat that cannot tolerate wet food. It doesn't matter what kind- it comes back up immediately. The only food I've found she can eat is the Nature's Instinct Limited Ingredient kibble. She finally looks great on it and keeps almost every meal down.
                                  "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                  So you might as well have a good time"


                                  • #18
                                    Hannah, many cats don't drink enough water to stay properly hydrated so giving wet food instead of dry helps them to ingest more liquids.
                                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                    • #19
                                      Also kibble is limited by the process to how much meat protein it can have. You can get more protein in canned. This is especially an issue with boy cats and preventing urinary blockages from certain kinds of crystals (high protein, low urinary pH, lots of water).

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


                                      • #20