Dry vs Wet Cat Food Pros and Cons

Pet owners want the best for their cats! As a new owner of a furry feline, pet owners may become overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for their essential needs of food, water, shelter, and safety. We are here to help our viewers provide for their cats. Let us start by looking at what to feed your pet? In this article we will discuss dry vs wet cat food pros and cons.

Also, we review some of the better products available in Amazon and Chewy stores to help our viewers with food purchases.

Dry vs Wet Cat Food Options

Walking down the pet food isle of the supermarket, you are presented with multiple brands of wet and dry cat food, each with brightly decorated packaging marketing depicting hungry cats devouring their product! Generally, cat owners do not have the time to scrutinize each product, compare pricing and read ingredient lists to work out which cat nutrition is best for your cat, and their budget. Most people just want to ‘cut to the chase’.

dry vs wet cat food pros and consEven though cats may have differences in age, lactating, health, breed, weight and whether they are an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, essentially, they will all have similar nutritional requirements.

A good cat food, whether dry or wet, should offer a diet with the correct balance of nutrition suitable for carnivorous cats.

There has always been a debate as to which is better- wet or dry food. Our team at Cat Food Advisor has studied cat nutrition and looked at many cat food products. Our view is: they are both suitable!

It is not whether the food is dry or wet that is important, but rather the quality of the recipe, particularly regarding the ingredients, that is important in determining if the product warrants a place in your home.

8 Best Wet Cat Foods (Fully Reviewed HERE)

 Canned FoodCustomer Ratings AverageGood ForPrice AMAZONPrice CHEWY
Soulistic Moist & Tender Wet Cat FoodSoulistic Moist & Tender 4.3 STARSFree of by-products & additivesAmazon Buy Cat Food

Delectables Soft Pate Lickable Wet Cat TreatsDelectables Soft Pate 4.7 STARS100% nutritionally complete with VitaminsAmazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food


Dr. Elsey's 03255 Clean Protein Canned Cat FoodDr. Elsey’s 03255 Clean Protein 3.9 STARSHydrated and made with clean proteinAmazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Dave'S Grain Free Wet Canned Cat FoodDave’S Grain Free Cat Food4.3 STARSProtein-rich, grain &gluten-freeAmazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Muse Natural Canned Wet Cat FoodMuse Natural Canned Food4.4 STARSBalanced diet with tender cuts of real meatAmazon Buy Cat Food

HILL'S PRESCRIPTION DIET i/d Digestive Care FoodHILL’S Rx DIET i/d Digestive Care 4.6 STARSImprove digestion and stool qualityAmazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract HealthPurina Pro Plan UT Health 4.7 STARSSpecific for Urinary HealthAmazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SORoyal CaninUrinary SONewGood for cats with Urinary Tract issuesAmazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Cat Nutrition 101

We have written many articles on our advisory site on cat nutrition. The best way to look at it is to study what cats in the wild eat. We are not referring to lions and tigers (although their general nutrition is pretty much the same!), but wild cats cousins of your pet.

Cats will chase down and eat small rodents, frogs, birds, lizards and even insects. A hungry cat will eat the entire animal, head, organs, skin, and bone. You will not find cats grazing on grass, eating grain, or munching on fruit and vegetables. Cats are obligate carnivores. That means, they get all their nutrition from meat.

The #1 Ingredient Must be Meat

When considering dry vs wet cat food pros and cons, it is important that the first ingredient is a quality meat/s. A quality meat is ‘real meat’ from poultry, beef, lamb, fish, or rabbit.

 

6 Best Dry Cat Foods for Outdoor Cats (Fully Reviewed HERE)

 

 ProductAverage Customer RatingFeaturesPrice AMAZONPrice CHEWY
Purina Friskies Surfin and TurfinFriskies Dry Cat Food, Surfin’ and Turfin’ Favorites4.8 STARSAll age cats
Inexpensive
Chicken flavor
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Purina Beyond Grain Free6 best dry cat foods for outdoor catsPurina Beyond Grain-Free, Natural4.8 STARSAdult cats
Grain free
Natural probiotics
No artificials
Chicken
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat FoodPurina One Tender Selects Blend4.8 STARSAdult cats
Crunchy bites
Real chicken
Omega-6
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat FoodBlue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural4.5 STARSAdult cats
Real beef
High protein 36%
Grain free
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Royal Canin Fit and Active Dry Cat FoodRoyal Canin Fit Active Dry Cat Food4.8 STARSAdult cats
Chicken flavor
Balanced calories
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Wellness complete health adult catWellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food4.5 STARSAdult cats
High protein 36%
Salmon meat
Balanced nutrition
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

What About Meat By-product?

Meat By-products are essentially the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat derived from slaughtered mammals.

Much of it is organs such as kidneys, brain lungs, spleen, livers, cleaned stomachs and intestines; as well as blood, bone, undeveloped eggs and feet.

Cat food companies use meat by-products in their wet and dry cat food recipes largely because it is an inexpensive ingredient as it is the offal from animals not considered suitable for humans.

Is Meat By-product Good for Cats?

Meat by-products do provide nutrition for cats, and it is accepted by the AAFCO as suitable for use in animal food, however, we suggested that meat byproduct should not be the first ingredient on the list. It may, however, be used in conjunction with real meat.

When Should Meat By-products be Avoided?

Avoid cat foods where the meat by-products are unidentified. Unidentified by-product meals are referred to as generic by-product. The product could be anything- roadkill, dead zoo animals, diseased livestock, or euthanized pets.

Product labels will use vague and non-specific names for by-product such as: meat meal, animal by-product meal, and bone meal.

What is Meat Meal?

Meat By-Product Meal, or Meat Meal, is essentially the same as Meat By-Products, except it is the dry rendered product derived from slaughtered mammals.

Meat by-product does not include hair, horns, teeth & hoofs.

Wet and Dry food Protein

The meat needs to be high in protein. Cats need at least two grams of protein per pound of healthy body weight for optimal health. Alternatively, recipes dry weight protein percentage should be at least 26%. Kitten food needs to be higher.

Plant Proteins

Some companies will derive their proteins in their cat food products from plants. Plant proteins and meat proteins differ. Cats have evolved to digest and assimilate meat proteins.

Measure Protein as Dry Weight

Dry cat food will usually have a higher protein listed on its packaging than wet cat food. This fools many cat owners in thinking that dry cat food must be better. However, if comparing wet vs dry cat food DRY WEIGHT protein, you will likely see that the two products have similar percentages of protein, or the wet cat food may be higher.

This is because wet cat food has moisture that bulks up the food. Take out the moisture and protein levels per gram of cat food will be similar.

Grains, Vegetables and Fruits in Wet and Dry Cat Food

In the wild, there is no place for grains and other plant-based foods for cats. It would make perfect sense that commercial cat foods should not have these ingredients either.

However, unless you are feeding your cat raw meat, it will be likely that any commercial cat food you buy, whether wet or dry, will have some plant-based ingredients.

Companies will include plant-based ingredients to increase the range of nutrition for cats. Some fruits, such as goji berries help with urinary health in cats. Others provide vitamins and minerals.

Cat food companies will claim the inclusion of grains, potatoes, peas etc in their formulas is to provide a balance of carbohydrates and additional plant proteins. Once again, we will remind you that cats are carnivores, and they can derive all their nutrients from eating animals. Cats do not have a high carbohydrate requirement, unlike other pets.

10 Low Carb Cat Foods (Fully Reviewed HERE)

 ProductCustomer Rating Good for Amazon PriceChewy Price
Tiki Cat Variety PackTiki Cat Aloha Friends Wet Food

 

4.2 STARSUnadulterated ingredients

No or less sugar
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Dr. Tim'S Premium All Natural Pet FoodDr. Tim’S Premium Pet Food

 

4.4 STARSSuitable for all life stages

Good for heart and brain function
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Ketogenic Pet Foods - Natural Canned FoodKetogenic Pet Foods Canned Food

 

3.9 STARSBest low carb wet food
No corn, wheat or soy
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Dr. Elsey'sCleanprotein Formula Dry Cat FoodDr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Dry Cat Food

 

4.5 STARSA meat-based, high-protein food
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Dry Cat FoodTiki Cat Born Carnivore Dry Cat Food

 

4.6 STARSGrain-free, gluten-free

Best for cats and kittens
Amazon Buy Cat Food
Chewy Buy Cat Food

Ketogenic Pet Foods - Keto Kibbles Dry FoodKetogenic Pet Foods – Keto Kibbles

 

3.9 STARS60% protein

Animal-sourced proteins (chicken)
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Flaked Wet Cat FoodBlue Buffalo Flaked Wet Cat Food

 

4.5 STARSNo wheat, corn or soya

Real meat in flaked texture

Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Ketogenic Pet Foods for cats salmon recipe.Ketogenic Pet Foods Dog & Cat Food

 

3.9 STARSBest low carb wet food
Salmon
No added fillers or preservatives
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Nulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw Cat FoodNulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food 

 

4.2 STARSGrain-free formula
Freeze Dried Raw

Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Purebites flaked cat foodPurebites Mixers Canned Pet Food

 

4.5 STARSTasty, nutritious food Each

Tray is just 30 calories
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food

Dry vs Wet Cat Food Pros and Cons Fillers

To keep product costs down, some pet food companies will bulk up their products with grains such as wheat, barley, soy, and rice. This may bring the price down for consumers and increase profit margins, but it is not the best nutrition for cats. In fact, it can cause digestive issues that lead to illness.

Seek cat foods with minimal grains. Dry cat foods tend to include grains, wet cat foods not so much.

Both wet and dry cat foods will generally have vegetables in the form of potatoes, sweet potatoes or peas.

Cat Food Advisor recommends that you read the ingredient lists and select products low in grains, and not overloaded with starchy vegetables.

Ingredient lists always list ingredients in order of highest amount to lowest amount. Look for meat at the top of the list with vegetables lower down, and if grains are included, we feel they should be in small quantities.

9 Grain Free Cat Foods (fully reviewed HERE)

 Grain Free FoodAverage Customer RatingFeaturesPrice AMAZONPrice CHEWY
Taste of the WildTaste of the Wild 4.7 STARSChicken meal
V.High protein 42%
Beneficial bacteria
No artificials
Antioxidents
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry4.8 STARSReal chicken & turkey
V.High protein 40%
No artificials
Omega fatty acids
Amazon Buy Cat Food



Purina Pro Plan NaturalPurina Pro Plan Natural Wet4.5 STARSReal chicken
Protein 11%
Pate
Pull-top cans
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat FoodPurina ONE Natural 4.6 STARSProtein 31%
No artificials
Urinary health
Low PH
Chicken
#1 ingredient corn (negative)



Chewy Buy Cat Food

Wellness Core Natural Grain FreeWellness Core Natural Grain Free 4.6 STARSV.High protein 45%
65% of product is meat
Turkey & chicken
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Best Feline Friend (B.F.F.)Best Feline Friend (B.F.F.) Wet4.2 STARS#1 ingredient tuna & salmon
Protein 9%
Balanced diet
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Best Feline Friend (B.F.F.)Blue Buffalo Freedom Dry

4.7 STARS#1 ingredient chicken
Rich in Omegas
No gluten
no artificials
Protein 32%
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Merrick Purrfect BistroMerrick Purrfect Bistro Dry

4.7 STARSSalmon & Chickpea
Protein 30%
Adult indoor cats
High fiber- hairballs
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Natural Balance L.I.D.Natural Balance L.I.D. Dry4.6 STARSWhitefish, peas & chicken meal
Protein 32%
No by-product meat
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food

Dry vs Wet Cat Food Pros and Cons -Other Nutritional Ingredients

Premium cat food will have a range of other ingredients added to ensure cat health. It is usual for commercial foods to add vitamins, minerals, additional amino acids, probiotics, and pre-biotics.

Looking for a wide range of these additional ingredients specific for cats is important. It is easy for a company to say they have added these, however, are they specific feline essential ingredients needed for cat growth and health?

Amino Acids

For example, cats require Taurine, an amino acid that they are unable to synthesize (unlike humans and dogs who can synthesize Taurine) but readily get from raw meat. Taurine is essential for healthy heart, eyesight, and organ function. Cooking meat reduces the Taurine, and cats do not easily get it from plants.

With this example, it would be worthwhile looking to see if this essential amino acid is plentiful in the food.

Other essential cat amino acid nutrients include: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Cats have a high requirement for amino acids and can get all the above from quality real meat.

Kitten Food Reviews (Fully Reviewed HERE)

 ProductCustomer RatingGood forPrice AmazonPrice Chewy
Royal Canin Feline Wet Kitten FoodRoyal Canin Feline Wet Kitten Food4.7 STARSBest for kittens under 4 months
Chicken & pork
Amazon Buy Cat FoodChewy Buy Cat Food
Hill's Science Diet Wet Cat FoodHill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food4.4 STARSAll natural ingredients
For good immunity and stronger bones
Amazon Buy Cat Food



Chewy Buy Cat Food


 Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Variety PackPurina Fancy Feast Wet FoodNewDigestible and 100% right nutrition
4 meat recipes
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food


Blue Buffalo Kitten Dry Cat FoodBlue Buffalo Kitten Dry Cat Food4.8 STARSSupport cognitive heath and growth
No by-product meats
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food


Purina Pro Plan Kitten Canned Wet Cat FoodPurina Pro Plan Kitten Wet Food4.7 STARSHealthier and tastier balanced food
3 flavors/recipes
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food



Hill's Science Diet Dry Kitten FoodHill’s Science Diet Dry Kitten Food4.8 STARSHigh-quality ingredients and pre-biotics
Formulated by nutritionists
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food



NUTRO Soft Loaf Kitten Wet Cat FoodNUTRO Soft Loaf Kitten Wet Food4.4 STARSSavory and smooth texture
No artificial additives or grains
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Purina Fancy Feast Kitten Canned Food Purina Fancy Feast Kitten Wet FoodNew100% Complete and balanced nutrition
Real meat as fist ingredient
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food


Royal Canin-Mother and Babycat Canned FoodRoyal Canin-Mother and Babycat Food4.8 STARSSuitable for Mother & kitten
Chicken as fist ingredient
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Chewy Buy Cat Food


Wellness Complete Health Dry Kitten FoodWellness Complete Health Dry Kitten Food4.7 STARSComplete grain-free nutrition
No artificial additives
Amazon Buy Cat Food


Chewy Buy Cat Food



Dry Food vs Wet Food Pros and Cons Conclusion

In conclusion, the Cat Food Advisor Team consider both dry cat food and wet cat food as being suitable for cats, so long as their recipes comply with the AAFCO regulations and have a high meat protein and balanced nutrition suitable for cats.