What Food is Best for your Cat: Dry or Canned?

When it comes to cat food, sometimes it can be overwhelming. The number of different foods you can find in the grocery store is just too big. For starters, before choosing the brand, you have to make your first decision: “Should I get dry, or wet (canned) food?”. The process of choosing one type can be daunting, and more often than not we end up buying the two.

But, are we getting both of them because we want to avoid choosing one kind? Or there is a more scientific reason behind it?

The simple answer is to take the two types, as your cat would appreciate it and you would be doing its health a favour.

Dry food, or “kibble”

Dry food is the cheapest option. Also, it is easier to store at home in larger quantities, so you can always save a few bucks buying bigger.

Some of the cheapest brands don’t help your cat to get a balanced and nutritious diet. They lack protein, which your cat needs most to get the energy they need. They are based on carbohydrates and have an excess of sugars and other cheap fillers. This can lead your furry friend to some health problems, such as diabetes or feline obesity. [1]

The premium dry food doesn’t usually have those issues. They are well balanced with protein supplements. This is what your cat needs most on its diet. The premium brands add a supplement of vitamins and minerals.


Just a little advice, avoid a few components that are quite unhealthy and low-quality fillers in your cat’s food: corn syrup, MSG and white flour. Also, avoid cheap brands, as usually, they carry these ingredients.

Dry cat food is better for your kitty’s teeth, as it doesn´t have moisture.

Remember that, about the value, cheap can get expensive. And not always a high price tag means a high-quality value. [2]

Wet/canned food

Canned food has a big percentage of water, as opposed to the dry type of food. This is particularly good for cats who have some health-based problems, like kidney disfunction. Any cats with health issues, such as kidney problems, hyperthyroidism, cancer, skin conditions, etc. might enjoy this kind of diet better.

This issue usually has a common root: dehydration for your pet. Since canned food has more moisture than dry food, your furry friend would be less likely to suffer from this problem. More water helps to keep them hydrated, which helps better with the biorhythms.

Also, it benefits because canned food has more protein content, which is your cat´s main source of energy, and lower levels of carbohydrates and sugars.


Is not a good idea to leave a pouch of canned food opened in your cat’s dish all day. Not even half a day! Because of food safety, you should trash it four hours after you opened the can if your furry friend didn’t fancy eating it. This is because of bacterial contamination. Our pets’ stomachs tolerate bacteria better than ours, but they can also get food poisoning.

Also, if you are concerned about your cat’s weight, it might be good to consider canned or wet food. This food is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and sugars, two of the elements that would contribute to your cat´s weight. By switching to wet food, your cat would also have more water intake, which would help the metabolism. [3]

Always try to go for the food which has 70% moisture content. Water is good for your cat, but you don’t want to pay just for water.

What to do next?

Canned food seems to be better for your cat´s overall health. Especially if your cat has pre-existing health issues. Besides more water content, which will keep your cat more hydrated, wet cat food has a richer content of protein. This is the element your cat transforms into energy. Dry foods have a higher content of carbs and sugars, which in high quantities can be detrimental to your cat’s health.

Also, if you would offer only dry food to your cat, it is warranted that it might have urinary tract problems as a senior. This is due to the low moisture content of dry food, in addition to high sodium, and the fact that cats do not drink so much water.

Although it is not advised to provide wet food only diet to your cat, doing that might trigger periodontal disease.

Our advice is to mix the two of them. Feed canned food to your cat and always have a provision of premium dry food.

You can choose what is better for your cat and you. Always choose the best value food you can afford, as like with us humans, it´s an investment in health and quality of life.

Moreover, if your cat appears next to the table displaying all the tricks in his book to beg for the food you are eating, remember to check what “human” foods your cat shouldn´t eat first. We want our furry friends to be safe and happy.

Alex is a professional writer at PFO and a fitness enthusiast. He spends most of his time writing about pets and sipping coffee.

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