Cat food

Dry Food vs. Wet Food: Cats

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re 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, it’s 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 isn’t 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. We’re going to explore these two food types to help you make an informed decision the next time you’re in the cat food aisle.

Pros of Dry Cat Food


Dry cat food is unequivocally more convenient on pet owners than wet cat food. Dry cat food doesn’t spoil at the rate that wet food does, which offers cat owners a more flexibility when feeding their cat. If your cat is left alone during the day while you work, leaving out a nice portion of dry food allows your cat to eat leisurely throughout the day. Also, if you have to leave your cat home over a traveling weekend the dry food you leave out for your cat won’t spoil while you’re away.


The long shelf live of dry food also allows for it to be more economical. Cat food can be bought in bulk, which drives down your price per serving significantly. The price of dry food can fluctuate quite a bit based on the ingredients of the food. Typically, the more filler, essentially carbohydrates, mixed into the food the cheaper it will be.

Storage Friendly

Storing dry cat food is an easier task than storing wet canned food. You can find size-friendly container to dump your large bag of dry cat food into. So long as the lid seals tight, you’ll have no concern with the dry food getting wet and spoiling.

Pros of Wet Cat Food


Some cats fail to drink the appropriate amount of water during the day. If your cat is among them, wet food is an excellent way to boost their water intake. In the wild, the foods that cats prey upon contains about 70 percent water. Canned food varies based on brand and the type of meat, but on average contains about 78 percent water.


You know why cats go crazy when you open up a can of tuna? It’s the smell. Wet cat food possess a richer scent than dry cat food. Because of this, cats will usually prefer the taste of wet cat food. The sense of smell and taste are closely aligned, especially with cats.

Energy Density

Energy density is the amount of calories per gram of food. Cats, like all other animals, use calories to generate energy. So the more energy that a cat metabolize per gram of food the ingest, typically the healthier and lighter that cat will be. Because of all the carbohydrates in dry food, wet food is leaner and less calorie dense than dry food. For cats that struggle with weight issues, wet food is a nice option.

Cons of Dry Cat Food

Empty Calories

Dry food contains a heavy amount of carbohydrates that lead to a high energy density. Due to this, each portion of dry cat food that a cat eats will have more calories than a portion of wet food. This might not be an issue for your cat if he/she is active. Active cats will burn enough calories that the heavy calorie intake won’t affect their health much.

Difficult for Older Cats

The sense of smell can waver as cats get older. Because of this, the dry cat food may not smell, therefore taste, very appetizing for them, which could cause them to not eat enough food. Additionally, older cats can develop brittle teeth which can make chewing the hard food difficult on them.

Cons of Wet Cat Food


There are a lot of attractive pro’s when it comes to feeding your cat wet food. They do come at cost, however. The high cost is part the high protein contents of the wet food and part the aluminum can packaging wet food comes in. There are brands of wet food that come in sealed plastic packaging that can help mitigate the cost.


Once you open a can of wet food, its short-life clock starts to tick rapidly. You’ll want to immediately place the wet food into a sealed container and into the refrigerator after open it. For cats that are left alone for periods of time, it is difficult to serve fresh wet food on a timely basis.

Learn More About Your Cat With PetPlace

There isn’t a conclusive answer to whether you should feed your cat a wet or dry diet. Both present pros and cons. One solution that cat owners employ is to use a mix of both. By feeding your cat a balance of the wet and dry food you’ll allow yourself, and your cat, to experience a blend of benefits. Before deciding on a wet-food diet, a dry-food diet or a mix of the two, you should consult your cat’s veterinarian. Your veterinarian will know which food your unique cat would get the most benefit from by understanding the wellness strengths and weaknesses of your cat.

What you food your cat directly impacts how healthy your cat is. Have you wondered whether you’re overfeeding your cat? Learn how you can calculate your cat’s daily calorie intake.