Wet or Dry Food for Cats – Which is Better?

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Living on a small farm, we've had a LOT of cats. Indoor cats, outdoor cats, feral cats, domestic cats. Fancy breeds and mixed, short hair and long. We've adopted both kittens and adults, and talked about it all here on the blog. It's not surprising, then, when readers email us with questions like: wet or dry food for cats? Which should I pick?

Wet food mixed into dry cat food

I'll admit that up until recently, I was a total kibble fan. I was ALL about the dry food, all the time. We're a super busy family and it helps to be able to have our cats using an auto-feeder when we're away.

Wet cat food options

Then we adopted three new cats, and two of them came with some pretty severe health issues. One has a persistently-upset stomach, and another was diagnosed with a genetic gum disease that will apparently cause her to lose all of her teeth within a couple of years! The veterinarian said that our best bet is to go ahead and keep their diet diversified, incorporating a variety of wet food into their regular dry food. This will ensure that they can easily handle a transition to all-wet, if necessary, and that they get plenty of hydration to settle their stomachs.

What to Know when Picking Wet or Dry Food for Cats

Which is better wet or dry food for cats

I went down the rabbit hole of pet food research to eduCAT myself! I headed to straight to the One Stop Cat Shop at Walmart, where we usually stock up on our Purina food and other pet necessities. They have our favorite Tidy Cats Lightweight 24/7 cat litter, as well as all the cat food we could possibly need and even toys.

Walmart One Stop Cat Shop

Variety is Key

Our cats were eating Purina made specially for kittens at the shelter, and we've been feeding them Cat Chow Naturals Grain Free for awhile. We decided to shake things up a little with some Fancy Feast Seafood Pate (sold in 30 packs at Walmart) and Fancy Feast Chicken Filets that come in individual pouches and are the perfect moisture and texture for our crew of felines.

Wet cat food and dry cat food set out next to each other

Let them Choose

We set all of the options out for the cats and let them pick and choose what they want. The filets went really quickly! We learned to leave those for a mid-day treat after the cats had gotten the majority of their necessary nutrition from dry food and wet food, which have all the balanced nutrition that cats need.

Wet food for cats on top of dry food

Mix it Up

The vet told us to incorporate the wet food in with the dry food when we feed the cats. We learned to really mix it up, or else our cats eat all the wet stuff and leave the dry cat food alone. We want them eating both so that we can still have the flexibility to leave them with the auto-feeder if we need to be away from home for a bit. The vet tells us that a lot of cats who lose their teeth can actually still handle dry food, especially when it's grain-free and comes in small pieces.

Cat food varieties and options

Know the Benefits of Both, and Adjust Accordingly

While wet food can help with health issues and hydration, dry food is easier for busy households and can fight plaque and tartar. We plan to keep our cats eating a variety of both as long as possible, but if/when we need to eliminate dry food altogether we will take extra measures to care for their teeth on a daily basis.

Wet or dry food for cats

Whether you use wet or dry food for your cats, you can visit the One Stop Cat Shop at Walmart to learn about varying cat needs and the products that can make your life easier.

Do you use wet or dry food for cats?


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