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Its understandable if a cat parent isnt able to spend an astronomical amount of money on cat food each month, but feeding her high-quality ingredients offers many benefits and can help prevent future health issues that would cause high veterinary bills. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before making any major food switches, though!
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Dry Vs Wet: Our Main Takeaway
Now that you know all the different benefits that come from dry food and wet food, you might be best offering your cat a combination of wet and dry food, introducing more wet food as the cat ages. There are clear benefits to both with dry kibbles being convenient and promoting healthy teeth and gums, while wet food keeps cats kidneys healthy and leaves them feeling full.
Talk to your veterinarian as your kitten ages and make sure to get routine testing. A cat wellness plan covers routine blood work, fecal exams, and urinalysis. These tests help ensure your cats kidneys are in tip-top shape. They can also give you a warning that your cat is showing signs of dehydration or kidney damage before its too late.
Pet health insurance will cover serious injuries and illnesses, but a cat wellness plan can help prevent chronic illness for as long as possible. If youre interested in a cat insurance plan and/or a cat wellness plan take Wagmos coverage quiz. This quiz can help you find your perfect pet health insurance plan at an affordable price.
How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat
Canned food can be fed to your cat daily and can also be the main staple in their diet. The general rule is to feed an adult cat three ounces of wet food per 3.5 pounds of body weight each day, assuming wet food is their only major food source. This means that an adult cat weighing eight pounds should be provided with about seven ounces of canned products each day.
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The Case For Dry Cat Food
Its commonly thought that dry cat food is better for your cats teeth. There is some evidence that a dry diet may keep the teeth looking cleaner, but it doesnt appear to prevent periodontitis, which is the most common type of dental disease in cats.
Some specific diets have been evaluated for their ability to reduce plaque and tartar, and for those looking for a dry diet to help dental health, these are a better place to start than the average supermarket brand. Dry cat foods are also safe to leave down if your cat is a grazer. Unlike wet food, they do not spoil quickly and are unlikely to attract flies.
However, this can only be done in cats that can moderate their food intake greedy cats quickly put on weight when left to eat all they like. The good news is that dry foods are also easy to portion you can adjust right down to the individual kibble to make sure your cat is taking in what they need.
Kibble is also great for putting in slow-feeders, which allow your pet to hunt and complete tasks to get their feed great for mental and physical health.
Allowing your cat to express their hunting instinct is important, so feeding with puzzle feeders that allow them to hunt their prey is an ideal way to keep them occupied for longer than the five minutes it takes them to finish a bowl of food.
How Long Does A Bag Of Cat Food Last
Since you are spending a good amount of money on food for cats, you must know how long that cat food lasts. What if cat food expires in the short time you purchased for a month at a time?
Your money will go to waste just like that because you cant offer that expired cat food to your cat. You have no choice rather than to throw it in the bin.
A 7-pound bag of food will last for 14-15 days if your cat consumes one cup a day. One thing to remember is that cats eat less as they keep growing. It also depends on the age of cats.
How to budget for cat food expenses?
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What Are The Benefits Of Wet Cat Food
Some cats simply prefer wet foods aroma and texture, and it can still be very convenient with single-serve formats ensuring a fresh, easy-to-serve meal each time.
The amount of water intake is particularly important for cats prone to constipation or the formation of urinary crystals/stones, or if they have diabetes or kidney disease therefore feeding a wet food can be especially beneficial for cats with these conditions.
Nutrition Content Of Wet Cat Food Vs Dry
The nutritional content of wet cat food is different from that of dry food, which is why these two different types of food can address different nutritional needs for your cat. Dry food is often more carbohydrate-dense and also sometimes has additional probiotics that can support your cats gut health. Because so much of wet food is water, it is inherently less dense in calories than dry food. This can make it a good choice for cats who are struggling with obesity or weight gain.
The protein, fat, and carbohydrate ratios of your cats food will be a hugely important part of deciding what diet is best for your pet. Not all dry foods or wet foods are the same, which is why its important to discuss this important decision with your veterinarian.
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What Do Carbohydrates Have To Do With Dry Cat Food
Nearly all dry cat food is extruded, which means meat and other ingredients are mixed into a kind of dough, cooked under pressure, and then forced through a die, like Play Doh. The little kibbles are sliced off as they emerge from the die. In order to create the right texture of dough for extruding, some kind of carbohydrate or plant matter has to be added to the mix.
Are carbohydrates safe for cats? There are two interesting facts around carbohydrates and cats. One is that cat saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates. You really cant argue that a cat eating a carbohydrate is exactly the same thing as a sheep eating a steak when a cats saliva seems primed and ready to receive carbohydrates.
The second is that cats eat prey animals like mice and birds, and these creatures often have partially digested plant matter in their bellies when they meet their demise. Cats, left to their own devices, eat carbohydrates whether they planned to or not.
But studies have shown that cats are less efficient than some other mammals at processing carbohydrates. Cats digestive systems evolved to consume small prey animals and insects, which are mostly water and protein. Studies have shown that cats just dont have the same kind of carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes that we omnivores do. Theyre just not as good at digesting and using the energy from plant matter as we are.
Is Wet Or Dry Food Better For Cats
Ultimately, your cat will decide whether she prefers dry or wet cat food. Purina nutritionists recommend feeding a combination of wet and dry food, though. This helps ensure she gets plenty of moisture in her diet, plus the dental benefits of dry food, all while adding variety to keep her interested.
Cats are neophiliacs, meaning they appreciate trying new things. They may get bored eating the same food the same way day in and day out. Mixing wet and dry cat food for a meal or feeding them at separate meals is a good way to give your cat the variety she not only wants, but also needs.
Catering to your cats needs and desires also strengthens your emotional connection. One reviewer wrote: My kitties love Fancy Feast already and they quickly gobbled up the Creamy Delights! Received extra kitty lovin after this awesome treat!
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Dry Cat Food: The Verdict
Some dry foods have been proven to reduce plaque and tartar, but not all. If youre going to feed dry for this benefit, youd be better off picking one of the VOHC accepted products. Its easier to portion and leave down for cats that like to graze. However, it doesnt meet cats water intake requirements, which can cause urinary problems in some cats.
Ways To Save Money On Cat Food Expenses
Now you have known yet that you can save money on cat food expenses as you have read how much cat food costs and how it varies according to cat food brands and quality.
First of all, you must compare the prices of vendors. If you are purchasing cat food, look for more online platform options, then compare prices.
You can buy in bulk as it is always a great idea to bulk purchase and store it in a cool place. Always keep checking the expiry dates of the cat food product that you are going to purchase.
Remember, in-store shopping is always cheaper than the online store. It will just take a little bit of your time to go shopping. Online shopping includes delivery charges that make it more expensive.
If you are purchasing online, make enough quantity to make free delivery.
Try to use coupons and join sales for more cheap cat foods.
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What Type Of Food Is Best For Your Cat
Theres no right or wrong answer to this question, according to Animal Care & Control of NYCs Medical Director, Dr. Stephanie Janeczko D.V.M. Most cat specialists and vets will tell you that the best diet for your cat is a balance of dry and wet cat food. This ensures that your cat is getting the most balanced diet possible, giving them the benefits of both sources. This also keeps your cat intrigued and excited by the multiple flavors and textures they experience each day.
For Urinary Tract Issues
Approximately 3 in every 10 senior cats have chronic kidney disease. This can result in costly treatments, medications, and vet costs for cat parents who dont have pet health insurance or a cat wellness plan.
Dehydration in cats commonly leads to urinary tract issues such as kidney stones, feline idiopathic cystitis, and lower urinary tract disease. As your cat ages, it is recommended to introduce more and more wet food to help keep the kittys kidneys healthy. Similar to humans, unhealthy kidneys in cats can lead to hyperthyroidism, diabetes, cancer, or even heart issues.
Check for these common signs of kidney disease in cats:
- Subtle weight loss
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Canned Cat Food Benefits
The largest benefit of feeding a canned diet is the higher water content. Cats with certain health conditions that require a higher-than-normal water intake, such as kidney disease, diabetes, or lower urinary tract disease, may benefit from the additional water in these diets.
Canned food is also highly palatable, and some cats will eat a canned diet over a dry diet, particularly if they are picky eaters.
Does My Cat Have A Health Condition That Requires Additional Water Intake
Some health conditions that typically plague cats may benefit from a diet that includes more hydration. Issues related to the kidneys, urinary tract, and even diabetes may be managed with a wet cat food diet that encourages your cat to consume more water. Your veterinarian will be able to advise on whether the additional hydration offered by wet food makes it a better choice for whatever health conditions your cat might be battling.
The additional water in wet cat food can also support a cat who suffers from consistent constipation.
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Dry Food Vs Wet Food: Cats
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Itâs easy to get overwhelmed when youâre surveying the abundance of options in the cat food aisle of your local pet store. With a wide variety of brands, flavors and types of cat food, itâs hard to identify which food is the best for you cat. One questions cat owners often struggle with is whether they should be feeding their cat a diet of wet food or dry food.
There isnât a right or wrong answer when it comes to the wet food vs. dry food debate. The two types of cat food are different, and bring with them different things. Weâre going to explore these two food types to help you make an informed decision the next time youâre in the cat food aisle.
Dry Cat Food And Cat Obesity And And Feline Diabetes
Cats on dry food-only diets are slightly more prone to obesity and diabetes than cats who eat wet cat food. Part of this is due to the high carbohydrate levels in many kinds of kibble, and part is due to the free-choice feeding of dry cat food which gives cats 24-hour access to food.
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Dry Cat Food Drawbacks
Studies have shown a correlation between obesity and feeding dry cat food. This could be because a lot of cats that eat dry food are often free-fed, and owners do not realize how much their cats are actually eating in a day.
It can also cause the opposite problem because its hard to notice that your cat is not eating when they are free-fed. The amount your cat eats in a day should be monitored or measured out for both reasons.
Older cats with dental disease or those who have had some of their teeth removed may also have a harder time chewing dry food.
When And How Much Food Should I Feed My Adult Cat
Mimicking a trend of many of their owners, one in five cats in industrialized countries today is obese.
Many factors seem to contribute to this widespread problem, including inactivity, overfeeding rich foods, and neutering .
But you can take steps to help manage weight problems, including playing with your cat and controlling food intake around the time of neutering.
As for feeding times and amounts, here are a few things to keep in mind.
There are equations you can use to predict the energy needs of a cat, Larsen says. But many things including climate, activity, and the cats metabolism affect that.
You can simply evaluate your own cat by looking at their silhouette and touching the belly from the top and sides, she says. If you cant feel ribs, you may need to adjust how much youre feeding your cat. If you want more guidance, you can find body condition scoring systems online.
Bough agrees that its difficult to evaluate the exact amount of food a cat needs. You can start by weighing your cat and looking at the product packaging, she says, But watch your cat and work with your vet to determine how much your cat should weigh.
There are several types of feeding methods owners commonly use, which may vary depending on the needs of their adult cats and their schedules:
What about treats? Keep the calories from treats to less than 10% of daily calories, Larsen says.
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The Case Against Dry Cat Food
Of course, dry cat food isnt ideal for every cat, and it does have some major downsides. The biggest problem with dry food is that it contains 10-20 per cent moisture, considerably less than the 75 per cent that feline prey would contain.
So cats need to drink to make up for this and theyre not great drinkers. Some of this can be overcome with water fountains and novel water bowls, but for many cats, dry food doesnt meet their water-intake requirements.
Dry Food May Contain Too High A Percentage Of Carbohydrates
Cats natural carnivorous diet includes only a small percentage of carbohydrates , mostly in the form of digested plant matter in the stomachs of prey. However, most dry foods contain several times that amount. Cats use dietary protein and fats as their primary energy source. They are poor at metabolizing carbohydrates. Excess carbs get converted into body fat and promote a sugar/insulin imbalance. This, in turn, sets the stage for obesity and raises the risk for .
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What Type Of Cat Food Most People Consider
People are far more likely to buy dry food than wet food because its easier to store and its cheaper. If you were to go to a pet store, youd probably find that the majority of their products are dry food, because thats what people want to buy.
Wet food is more expensive than dry food and when youre buying a lot of food for multiple animals, youre going to save a lot of money if you buy dry food.