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The Best Way to Feed a Cat

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Veterinarians frequently get questions about what are the benefits and issues of canned vs. dry cat food. This question was published as a list of pros and cons. To read this article, go to What are the Pros and Cons of Canned Vs. Dry Cat Food?.

I believe the best way to feed a cat is using a combination of both dry AND canned. This is why.

Cats naturally are nibbles. They prefer to have frequent small meals throughout the day if given the opportunity. Cats are also very good at hiding that they are ill and one of the first signs they will show is lack of an appetite. The problem with dry food (especially those that keep the bowl full) is that it is hard to know if/when/what a cat is eating - especially if it is full and ESPECIALLY if you have more than one cat.

So...I think the ideal is this: (This works great if you have more than one cat and they are able to maintain a fairly ideal body weight.)

Leave dry food down and feed a small amount of canned or pouched food twice a day. This allows the cat to nibble and also give you the ability to assess their behavior, energy level, interest and appetite during the moist food feedings.

If you have a cat that normally comes RUNNING for the canned or pouch food and one day is under the table with no interest - there is a problem.

If you only had dry down, it may take you two more days to notice that your cat is not acting right.

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