We recommend that all cats be fed primarily wet food. We feed all of our cats both wet food and dry food but dry food alone can be very dehydrating to a cat and can contribute to health problems including urinary tract infections – particularly in male cats. In the wild, a cat’s natural diet consists mainly of things like mice, rats, birds, etc. whose bodies consist of approximately 70% water. Therefore, they consume their water primarily from their food. However, in companion cats living in homes, urinary tract infections and blockages are fairly common and can be very painful, serious and even potentially deadly. Treatments for urinary tract infections and blockages can be very costly and may even require surgery. One of the most effective measures to prevent urinary tract infections is to ensure the cat is well hydrated.
While some cats voluntarily drink enough water from a water bowl, many, if not most, do not. One of the best methods to encourage cats to drink enough water is to feed a cat wet food and add additional warm water to their wet food. The warm water also serves to make the aroma of the food stronger and encourages them to eat their wet food. A large majority of the cats we feed enjoy the additional water in their wet food and drink much of the meat flavored water first while they are eating.
If your cat is used to only eating dry food, we recommend that you begin encouraging him/her to eat wet food by feeding them some human quality tuna fish or fresh chicken or turkey. Then you can add some tuna, chicken, or turkey to the cat canned wet food to encourage them to eat it. Small amounts of chicken broth or gravy can also help encourage them to eat wet food.
Many cats enjoy dry food as well and it can also be beneficial to their teeth. Therefore, please offer them a small amount of dry food daily in addition to their wet food. However, it is not recommended that the wet food and dry food be mixed together because the dry food becomes soggy. Please offer wet and dry food in separate bowls.
Some cats prefer pate while others prefer fillets, shreds, or chunks. We add additional warm water in any type of wet food. Below are some pictures of how we serve wet food mixed with additional warm water.
Please note that cats, by nature, are carnivorous animals, and require a meat-based diet to survive long term. Even if the adopting family is vegetarian or vegan, cats cannot survive on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Please keep this in mind before adopting a cat if this is a concern for you or your family.
Commercially available cat food is nutritionally formulated specifically for cats. Nutritional requirements for dogs and cats differ and neither cats or dogs will be healthy or survive in the long run eating food specifically designed for the other. Please feed only cat food to your cats and dog food to your dogs.