If you can do one thing to improve your cat’s diet…. stop feeding dry food. Whether you use canned, rehydrated, home-cooked, or raw isn’t the point, it’s all about getting moisture into the food.
WHY CATS NEED MOISTURE IN THEIR FOOD
It’s not enough for cats to be offered drinking water alongside their dry food. Cats have a low thirst drive; that means they will not normally seek out and drink enough water to make up for what’s missing in a dry food diet. And how much water is missing when you feed dry? About 60%. Dry food is about 10% water, but natural prey that cats would eat in the wild is about 70% water. This situation can result in chronic low-grade dehydration that over time will damage kidneys and make cats more likely to get urinary tract infections and urinary crystals.
THE NEED FOR ANIMAL-BASED PROTEIN
Cats are obligate carnivores – they must eat animals to be healthy. The guaranteed analysis on the back of the dry food bag doesn’t differentiate between animal and plant proteins. Cats need animal proteins to get the appropriate amino acids. Plants either don’t supply them (like Taurine), or they are in a form cats can’t use.
THE PROBLEM WITH CARBOHYDRATES
Cats have very little of the enzyme needed to digest carbohydrates. That’s because their natural prey are less than 2% carbohydrates. Cats aren’t designed to utilize carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar in cats, and increase the likelihood of diabetes. Dry food by its very construction is higher in starches (as much as 50%) than cats should be eating.
HIGH QUALITY WET FOOD SATISFIES HUNGER
Because cats are designed to eat prey animals, their system recognizes animal protein and animal fat as foods that satisfy the body’s needs. If their diet has significant amounts of carbohydrates they will eat more – their body won’t be satisfied by those carbohydrates so they will not be satiated, they will want to keep eating to get the levels of protein and fat they need. This easily causes obesity, which puts them at greater risk for diabetes and other endocrine disorders, as well as putting more strain on their joints.
DRY FOOD DOESN’T CLEAN THEIR TEETH
Dry food doesn’t clean cats teeth. In fact, the carbohydrates in dry food contribute to an unhealthy mouth and increase the likelihood of dental problems developing.