Don't know if any of you live in the Washington D.C. area and read the Washington Post regularly, but they have a weekly column on Tuesdays devoted to pet questions sent to Dr. Fox, the Animal Doctor. There have been a few questions lately that brought up the issue of dry food vs/or in combination with wet food. (I've posted two below with the answers but without the names of the person submitting the questions.)

I usually give my kitties dry food in the morning and wet (canned) food in the evening, but lately I've been varying that with the addition of some wet food with the morning dry food mostly because I have an elderly cat who has a little more trouble munching on kibble.

I'm curious. I've read this doctor say that you should treat kibble as a treat. However, I'm buying pretty high quality kibble the first ingrediants of which are meat and fish. Do you think all kibble should be fed more sparingly than canned food? Clearly, some must be better than others.
Sandy
I'm curious. I've read this doctor say that you should treat kibble as a treat. However, I'm buying pretty high ... Do you think all kibble should be fed more sparingly than canned food? Clearly, some must be better than others.

The problem with feeding dry food exclusively isn't so much the quality of the food itself as you say, some are better than others but a good quality canned food is more like a cat's natural diet. Cats are inefficient drinkers and some cats will not drink sufficient water when fed exclusively dry food. A dry food diet has been linked to the development of urinary tract disease.

Different vets have different ideas about the dry food vs. canned food controversy, and Dr. Fox has voiced his. My own vet would agree with him, but other vets disagree.
I'm curious. I've read this doctor say that you should ... than canned food? Clearly, some must be better than others.

The problem with feeding dry food exclusively isn't so much the quality of the food itself as you say, some are ... canned food controversy, and Dr. Fox has voiced his. My own vet would agree with him, but other vets disagree.

My vet agrees that it's the moisture content of wet food that really benefits cats. He also said that wet food isn't as nutritionally dense to dry food, so cat's need to eat more of it. Eating more contributes to the cat getting more moisture, too. But wet food spoils faster, so if your cat doesn't eat it in a few hours, bacteria could grow on it. Dry food is more resistant to bacteria growth (maybe because it doesn't have the moisture bacteria needs?).
Of course, our cat decides what she eats and she prefers dry food. So we have to make sure she has enough water available... and she likes to drink from a faucet, so we have to attend to that need, too. :-)

Warren

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My vet agrees that it's the moisture content of wet food that really benefits cats. He also said that wet ... wet food spoils faster, so if your cat doesn't eat it in a few hours, bacteria could grow on it.

Well, it's also unnatural for a cat to have food constantly available, and can contribute to obesity. It's often recommended that what the cat doesn't eat within a half hour or so, you should pick up and throw away. I wouldn't leave canned food out all day.
Dry
food is more resistant to bacteria growth (maybe because it doesn't have the moisture bacteria needs?).

It may be more resistant, but bacteria can still grow on dry food because often when cats eat kibble, they drop little half-chewed bits back into the food. Combined with saliva, bacteria can then grow on the kibble. I've noticed in particular with the dental health kibble, which tends to be larger in size, that the bowl soon contains little half-eaten pieces. Best to throw this out every day and sanitize the bowl.
Of course, our cat decides what she eats and she prefers dry food. So we have to make sure she has enough water available... and she likes to drink from a faucet, so we have to attend to that need, too. :-)

I know what you are saying. We have three cats, and while two are happy with canned food, the third usually refuses it. If we don't have dry food for her, she gets too thin and she's not a plump cat to begin with. Unfortunately the other two will get too fat if dry food is constantly available, so it's hard to manage an optimum diet for all three. I figure if they get some dry and some canned, that's better than a diet that's exclusively dry.
The problem with feeding dry food exclusively isn't so much ... My own vet would agree withhim, but other vets disagree.

My vet agrees that it's the moisture content of wet food that really benefits cats. He also said that wet ... available... and she likes to drink from a faucet, so we have to attend to that need, too. :-) Warren

My cats do nicely with 3 bowls, one with water, one with dry food and one with wet food. They don't always take a predictable amount, but I suspect Sigma gets fed by some of the neighbours when he goes visiting. Omicron doesn't often use the cat door to go visiting so I think I know what she is eating most of the time.
Simon.
Don't know if any of you live in the Washington D.C. area and read the Washington Post regularly, but they ... you think all kibble should be fed more sparingly than canned food? Clearly, some must be better than others. Sandy

After dealing with a near-fatal blockage from a hairball, I am feeding (almost exclusively) wet food. So far, no more problems.

-L.
But wet food spoils faster, so if your cat doesn't eat it in a few hours, bacteria could grow on it.

Ruf seems to like his wet food slightly spoiled. If I put out a bowl of wet food, he will frequently ignore it all day, and then eat it hungrily the next morning. (BTW, he also has dry food available on the side.)
Jerry

My cat and I are very much alike: we're both gray, we're both fat, and we both dig in his litter box.