Vet Care for Dogs, Cats and Many Other Animals

Dry Food Dilemma: Is The Convenient Way To Feed Your Cat Causing Complications?

by Calvin Newman

Dry cat food comes in handy bags, is usually much cheaper than cans, and unlike the meat from those cans, doesn't go bad after a few hours, making it the most convenient way to feed a feline. Especially if you're off at work and other places for long periods of time, dry food definitely has its advantages; however, for your cat's health, it certainly isn't optimum.

What Cats Would Consume In The Wild

Although your friendly feline may be a soft and fuzzy purring machine, his genetics tell a different story. Once upon a time, his ancestors were wild, feeding on mice and other small animals. That wild diet contained a lot of the moisture needed for a cat to function efficiently. Meat, as well as the meaty food from a can, hydrate your cat as it nourishes.

The Disadvantages Of A Dry-Food-Only Diet

Kitty kibbles have very little water content, but a cat who fills up on them may feel too full to drink the water needed to hydrate. Dry food also contains an excess of carbohydrates, something felines have trouble metabolizing, and that chain of events is suspect in cats diagnosed with diabetes. To make matters worse for the dry-food-only diet, it's made from plant-based proteins rather than animal sources, and that's not natural, nor is it healthy,

Even the most premium of dry foods can't compensate for the shortcomings of this diet; therefore, it's imperative that your cat eats a combination of dry and canned food if you're going to keep the dry food on his menu.

Getting Your Cat Interested In Canned Food

Some cats prefer the tasty kibbles over canned food, but that's no excuse not to improve their diets. If your cat turns his nose up at canned foods, try different varieties, leaving the dish in place until your cat is hungry enough to eat it. Cats are smart, and no matter how fickle they may seem about food, they're not going to starve themselves.

You might also place a small quantity of the kibbles directly in the canned food, propping them up like birthday candles. The smell will attract the cat, who should start to gobble them up, consuming some of the canned food as well. This process should help him make the adjustment to the more beneficial wet food, while still permitting him some of his favorite.

Avoiding A Trip To The Animal Hospital

If your finicky feline doesn't consume enough water every day, serious health complications could arise. Dehydration doesn't just mean the animal is thirsty; it means his vital organs, including the kidneys, may be in danger. Eventually, a dry-food-only diet is likely to cause some ailment, necessitating a trip to the kitty ER, where a multitude of tests will be performed. Opt for a healthier diet, instead, ensuring your cat gets plenty of moisture in his meals. 

Ask your veterinarian if your cat's diet is optimal, and if they say no, make the effort to change it. Cat's needs may not coincide with the convenience humans are looking for, but since you adore your cat and want him around for a long time, feeding him what he's designed to eat is the best thing to do.

Learn more from a veterinarian such as Robert Irelan DVM.