While some cat owners swear by wet food, others insist dry is best. According to The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, both sides have merit. In fact, research from The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition suggests that mixing wet and dry cat food together might benefit your cat in more ways than one.
The Benefits of Mixed Feeding
Urinary Tract Health — When you feed your cat wet food, it can increase your cat’s water intake, resulting in more urine production. The higher water volume dilutes the urine while increasing the frequency of urination — both of which can help minimize the formation of mineral crystals or urinary stones, supporting good urinary tract health.
Weight Management — Studies from The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition have shown that when cats are fed a high-moisture diet, they eat less food, decrease weight and increase activity levels compared to cats fed only a dry cat food diet.
Healthy Metabolism — Wet food provides a healthy balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, helps satisfy a cat’s instinctive feeding behavior and helps maintain a healthy metabolism.
Eating Enjoyment — When given a choice, cats prefer to eat a mixture of both wet and dry foods compared to dry only. Wet food is shown to increase enjoyment and add variety to a diet because of the wide selection of protein sources and textures. On the other hand, dry food satisfies the desire to eat many small meals throughout the day.
Oral Health — The crunchy texture of dry food helps keep teeth clean by scraping away plaque and tartar.
A Recommended Mixed Feeding Program
While each cat is different, studies from The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition show that a mixed feeding program is beneficial for both weight management and urinary tract health. For weight management, at least 25% of the total calories (or about 1/3 of the total volume) of daily food intake should be wet food. If urinary tract health is the goal, then wet food should make up about 70% of the total calories (or at least 3/4 of the daily volume). Consult your veterinarian for advice about the best food for your cat.