Can Cats Live on Dry Food Only?

Cats are a playful and independent animal that can be hard to please. They come with a variety of different needs, which is why it’s important to find the right type of food for your cat. Dry cat food is often the preferred choice for cats. It’s a good option if you’re on the go or feeding multiple cats, but wet cat food has some benefits too.

Cats are notoriously finicky eaters, and it can be hard to find a food that they will enjoy consistently. However, dry soft cat food is the most convenient option for is for senior cats. To many pet owners,  soft food is affordable, easy to store in bulk, and doesn’t spoil if left out of an airtight container. But should you feed your cat exclusively dry food?  Can cats live on dry food only? To get a comprehensive answer, read the full article.

Can Cats Live on Dry Food Only

Most veterinarians do not recommend feeding only dry food for cats. Although many cats enjoy it, it is not perfectly healthy on a diet of only dry food.

It is a fact that dry cat food is convenient because it doesn’t require refrigeration, and most cats prefer the taste to canned food. Some cats develop dental problems that make it better for them to eat dry food.

However, feeding only dry food to your cat may lead to the premature death of your furry friend. So, making a balance between wet and dry food will help your cat to stay healthy. Below are the reasons your cats should not live on dry food only.

##1. Dry food only is bad for your cat’s teeth

Cats have sharp, pointy teeth designed to catch and kill prey. They are carnivores and their teeth reflect this. Their diet should reflect this too.

Your regular daily menu of dry kibble does nothing but soften the enamel on your cat’s already weak and brittle teeth. Dry food only leads to dental disease and is a common cause of gingivitis in cats.

A cat’s teeth are ideally suited for the diet they were designed to eat, namely small rodents and birds. The sharp pointy shape of their teeth is perfect for killing prey quickly and efficiently. A dry kibble diet with hard crunchy bits will do little to keep teeth healthy.

The best way to help your cat’s dental health is to feed wet food as well as dry, ideally both together in one bowl. Most cats like the combination of wet and dry food better than just dry alone. And for those cats that refuse a combo meal you can try pill pockets which contain a little wet food.

##2. Dry only food can lead to urinary tract blockages

You may have heard or read somewhere that feeding dry food to your cats causes urinary tract problems. however, there is no solid evidence to support this claim. Although many veterinarians will tell you it’s true, blaming dry cat food for the high occurrence of feline urinary tract problems.

In actual fact, poor hygiene is the primary cause of UTI’s in cats not the food you feed them. Cats that are not spayed or neutered and allowed to roam outside unsupervised have an increased chance of their peeing on a raised surface such as a rock or stump. This behavior puts them at a much higher risk of UTI’s.

If your cat is otherwise healthy and clean and has no history of UTI’s, then you would probably be safe in giving them only dry food. however, if you want to play it on the ‘safer’ side, mix some canned or wet food with their kibble.

##3. Dry food can lead to kidney problems

Cats are prone to UTI’s, and the above reason is a major contributor. If your cat develops a urinary tract infection then they may develop Cystitis which is characterized by pain or inflammation of the bladder wall. This causes blood in their urine (hematuria) and severe discomfort too.

If the urine remains in the bladder for too long then crystals will start to form and this can lead to a serious condition known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). If left untreated, this can result in chronic renal failure. Vet’s usually recommend feeding wet food exclusively to cats with FLUTD. You may still give them dry food, but in smaller quantities.

##4. Dry food is not Easily digestible

Dry food is not easily digestible. Because it lacks the enzymes needed to make this process easier. Also, cats have very short intestinal tracts and are designed to eat small amounts frequently throughout the day. Dry food however often contains large amounts of one type of nutrients per meal. And feeding them large quantities of dry food can overload it, which in turn can lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

##5. Dry food may be addictive

While it is not proven that dry food can indeed be addictive to cats, many experts believe so because of the flavoring in the highly marketed brands. Cats are less likely to stop eating if they are offered a healthy alternative such as wet food. This can lead to obesity and diabetes if left unchecked.

How much dry food should I feed my cat?

Varying opinions exist about how much dry kibble your cat needs at one time. Many cats will happily eat a much larger meal than they need, which in turn can upset their stomach. What is recommended however by most vets is that if you do feed your cat dry food, give them smaller portions throughout the day instead of one large meal and increase their water intake.

What are some alternatives to Dry food for Cats?

You’ve probably heard about the huge controversy surrounding dry food. Some experts say that it is suitable for cats in moderation, while others will tell you never to feed it to your cat even once.

The best alternative is of course to feed wet food because the water content is typically 80-90% – this puts less strain on their kidneys and digestive system, as well as making the meat more easily digestible.

Another good option is to make your own healthy cat food at home using fresh meat and good quality wet (canned) food. This way you can control what goes into it, season it however you want, and know exactly what’s in there. Add some veggies too for extra fiber and nutrients! Your homemade cat food is a healthier option for your cat and it will also save you a lot of money in the long run.

Do Cats Need Wet Food Everyday

Feeding only wet food to your cat may cause lots of health issues for your furry friend. Below are the reasons why you should not give wet food only to your cats.

##1. The trouble with Digestive Systems

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they must feed on meat. Yes, your cat enjoys the taste of wet food but did you know that it is actually more difficult for cats to digest than dry cat food. Wet food contains more water and therefore less of that vital protein and fat.

Cats have short digestive systems, so feeding your cat only can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea etc.

##2. The trouble with Nutrients Value of Food

It is not normal for cats to eat wet pet food exclusively as their only source of nutrition; they are carnivores and require a high protein. The chief reason why so many people feed their cats only wet pet food is that they believe that their cat enjoys it much more.

If you are going to feed your cat wet food then there is actually quite an easy solution. Simply add some dry pet food to the wet food, so that most of the time when you feed your cat it will be a combination of both types of pet food. This way, it ensures that they still get all the nutrients that they require but also enjoy the taste of wet pet food too.

##3. Eating Only Wet Food is Harmful to Cat’s Dental Health

If you have an indoor cat then it is important to think about their oral hygiene too. If your cat eats wet pet food frequently then they are more likely to develop the dental disease as they will be unable to effectively cleanse their teeth. Cats naturally do this by scraping their tongue against the rough surface of their teeth, which is what helps to remove food particles from between them. However, if you feed your cat wet pet food then they are unable to do this so effectively. Thus, this could cause cavities and gum disease in some cases.

Make Balance Between Wet and Dry Food to Keep Your Cats Stay Healthy

Some people choose to feed only with dry food and that’s okay too but remember that both wet and dry foods will make them stay healthy even though one isn’t better than the other. So, if you prefer feeding with only moist or dry food don’t worry because they can provide the right amount of nutrition. If you’re planning on making a diet for your cats with both kinds of food, you should give wet food three times a week and dry food twice a day.

Below are the reasons why your cats should eat both wet and dry food to stay healthy:

Good for Dental Health

Cats and dogs have sharp teeth, so they can easily consume dry foods. In fact, most brands of dry cat food are specially processed to help keep their teeth clean. Dry food can help keep your cat’s teeth cleaner since it removes plaque and tartar from the enamel on the teeth which could cause bad breath as well as oral infections in your cats. If you want to prevent this, then make sure that you add wet food.

A Balanced Diet

If you usually buy in the market are either moist or dry, quickly change this and make the right balance between wet and dry food so your cats can get everything they need. Feeding your cats with only one type of food won’t help your cats get the best nutrition and can lead to many complications later on in life.  Cats need meat, water, and nutrients from grains to health well. Cats actually have different nutritional needs than dogs and giving only one type of food will make it more difficult for them to acquire all the nutrients necessary.

Helps to Reduce Allergies in Cats

Some cats can be allergic to certain foods, especially meats that are rich in protein. When your cats eat dry food, they may sometimes produce more saliva than what is necessary which could irritate the throat and cause coughing. This is why your cats should have wet food no more than once a week.

Helps to Fix Constipation Problem

If your cats eat only dry food, there is a chance that they will experience constipation or the inability to go to the bathroom for several days. If this happens, they might eventually need a trip to the vet where you can find out whether they are constipated and have the necessary medication to cure them.

Reduces the Risk of Obesity in Cats

You might think that there is no major difference between dry and wet foods, but it’s true that cats who get fat can develop liver problems, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease as well as other health issues. That’s why you should avoid fattening foods for your cats by feeding them wet food along with dry food.

Reduces the Risk of Diabetes and Obesity

When you feed your cat wet food, they will need all the nutrients from their diet since they can’t go hunting for food as wild cats do. This is why even if you give them dry food every day, you should still add wet food into their diet a few times a week.

Helps to Keep Your Cat’s Good Looking

If you feed your cats with only dry food, then they could end up having bad-looking fur and skin along with hairballs which can suffocate them if not taken care of properly. When your cats eat wet food, they will digest the protein that is contained in dry food, which will keep their hair shiny and skin healthy.

Keeps Your Cat’s Urinary Tract Healthy

If your cat eats only dry food, then there is a chance that his urinary tract will become blocked which could develop into bladder stones, or could lead to renal failure and even death.

Keeps Your Cat’s Intestinal Tract Healthy

If your cat eats only dry food, then there is a chance that his intestinal tract will become inflamed causing diarrhea and other gastrointestinal diseases. This won’t happen if you feed your cats wet food along with their usual dry food.

Helps Prevent and Treat Bladder Problems in Cats

Dry food can cause bladder stones in cats as well as other bladder problems since it’s not easily digested by them. If you want to prevent this from happening, then you should definitely introduce wet food into the diet of your cat along with their usual dry food.

Helps Your Cat Deal Better With Stress

If your cats eat only dry food, then it could lead to them eating more than they should which causes obesity in pets. If you want to prevent this from happening, then make sure that you add wet food into your cat’s diet for a healthier body and mind.

Make Your Cat’s Breath Smells Better

When you feed your cat with raw food, it has enzymes that help to make your cat’s breath smell better. If you feed your cat with raw food, the body temperature of your cat will increase and it can help to remove the bad breath.

Final Verdict

Cats are known for being fussy eaters, but some may be more finicky than others. One question that can still arise – can cats live on dry food only>. The answer to this question is yes and no, because it really depends on the type of kibble you’re feeding your furry friend. Cats need moisture in their diet in order to keep their kidneys healthy and prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Dry foods with added water are a good option if you don’t want to feed wet food or raw meat; however, these types of “wet” foods have much higher nutritional value than most dry varieties due to the addition of protein sources like fish meal or chicken by-product meal.

I'm Melanie Dobbs and I am Chief Content Writer and Editor at Get Review Today.

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