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Is dry food bad for my boy cat?

(18 Posts)
Sunshine49 Thu 19-Apr-18 11:31:30

Hello everyone!

I'm now feeding my two cats (one boy, one girl, aged just over a year) one pouch each of James Wellbeloved wet food in the morning, and a generous handful of Thrive dry food each for dinner. Do you think it's ok to give the boy in particular that much dry, given that male cats are susceptible to urinary crystals? On the other hand I have also read that it's good for cats to have some dry for their dental health.

There's so much conflicting advice on wet vs dry - you'd think there would be a definitive answer on the subject in this day and age. I've been told by one veterinary nurse that a fully dry diet is better, while others say 100% wet is the ideal. That's why I've gone 50/50, as I figured it's the best of both worlds!

Any thoughts would be much appreciated as always!

Toddlerteaplease Thu 19-Apr-18 12:47:37

My cats are thriving on dry only. I give them wet as a treat a couple of times a week. Enforced soft diet was a nightmare as they wouldn't eat it!

Sunshine49 Thu 19-Apr-18 13:10:27

Hi Toddlertea, that's interesting, as I often read that cats prefer wet - but mine seem to gobble the dry down quicker!

Allergictoironing Thu 19-Apr-18 17:35:16

I think it also depends on how much they drink. Mine are both what you would class as "good drinkers" so I have no worries about the dry being Ad Lib for them

CatchingBabies Thu 19-Apr-18 18:46:36

Cats don't need dry food at all, they are carnivores, why would they it's not their natural diet. It also doesn't clean their teeth, that's a myth. Do your teeth become cleaned if you eat a few biscuits?

Cat's naturally get most of their water from their food and that means they don't drink enough water. A cat fed on 100% dry food will normally always be slightly dehydrated their whole life, for most cats that won't cause any problem however for some, particularly males, the dehydration can cause urinary crystals, UTI's and kidney failure.

The only benefit of dry food is that it's usually cheaper and is also convenient as it can be left out longer. The reason why vets often promote it is because they do very very little training in cat nutrition as part of their studies. Compare it to human doctors who train for the same length of time a vet does to cover ONE area, e.g. nutrition, gynaecology etc. A vet has to cover everything regarding all species of animals in the same time frame. There isn't time to study each animals exact nutritional needs in detail. That means the info they receive regarding nutrition usually comes in the form of promotional materials from companies such as Hills or Royal Canin, both awful foods full of grains with hardly any meat yet vets recommend them as they are told how amazing they are by the same people who make these foods and make commission on their sales.

That said my cats do have some dry food as part of their diet as I work so I'm not always there to refill the food bowl when they want more food, their dry food is the treat however with the wet food being the majority of their diet. Thrive is also the best dry food you can buy as it's high meat content and grain / sugar free so well done there. If they were mine I would increase the wet food and decrease the dry but your cat's your choice x

Ollivander84 Thu 19-Apr-18 18:50:21

I'm a fan of wet food and high meat content for cats. Mine gets a bowl of dry down 24/7 which is usually applaws or wild freedom. Then 1-4 pouches a day of applaws, natures menu etc. He self regulates so tends to just pick at the dry food TBH
Plus he doesn't have many teeth and needs weight on so I feed him as much as he will eat!

adaline Thu 19-Apr-18 22:53:25

Mine get bored of wet if they're fed it everyday. Even if I mix up the brands and flavours they just won't eat it and it's such a waste. Once or twice a week they'll get wet and the rest of the time it's high quality, grain free dry food.

There's no point trying to force a cat into eating certain foods unless absolutely necessary!

Tjola95 Sun 22-Apr-18 14:13:17

No dry food isn’t bad for your cat. My girl has Iams salmon dry food everyday m. It’s good for their teeth and gums. If he’s on dry food only, then encourage water as much as possible, as cats do get a lot of their fluid intake from wet food.

thecatneuterer Sun 22-Apr-18 14:21:31

Dry food can be dangerous for male cats as there is a direct link between cheap (Go Cat et al) dry food and urinary crystals and blocked bladders in male cats. Iams was also found to be suspect (an in depth study done by one of our vets some years ago, which I think was published).

Generally speaking I think it's safer to avoid giving male cats dry food at all, although there probably isn't much of a risk from the better stuff, such as Lily's Kitchen. Cats certainly don't need dry food, but of course some do like it and it is very convenient.

And there will naturally always be people saying that they fed their male cat cheap dry food all its life without problems, just as there are people who smoke 40 a day and live to be 100, but that doesn't mean there isn't a statistical risk.

thecatneuterer Sun 22-Apr-18 14:22:28

And other studies have shown that dry food sticks more to the teeth than wet food and so causes more teeth problems than wet food. It's a minefield!

adaline Sun 22-Apr-18 15:49:35

You can probably find evidence saying any kind of food is bad if you look hard enough!

I would never feed GoCat or supermarket brands after my old cat ended up with crystals and almost died from a severely blocked urethra which the vet reckoned was entirely caused by his diet. He was two at the time, we switched his food to grain-free, high protein (a mix of wet and dry) and he never had a recurrence.

The ideal is probably a high-quality wet, but I think a high-quality dry food with no grains and a high level of protein is probably better than cheap wet food filled with grains and additives. Of course it all comes down to opinion, and I'm sure some would argue cost, although I find the higher quality stuff to be cheaper in the long run, as they don't seem to need to eat as much of it.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 22-Apr-18 16:07:50

Go-Cat is definitely the food found to be implicated in urinary crystals over any other food. It is not dry food that is good for teeth, but standard commercial wet food is bad for teeth as it hangs around the teeth causing plaque and then feline oral neck lesions.
The best diet for cats is raw meaty bones, but for most of us this is not ideal for our lifestyles. So high quality dry food that high meat content and no grain is a good option.

To dispel a myth vet's and doctors have very similar pre-graduation training per-clinical years are often combined. Clinical trading for both involves rotations around all the different specialties. Doctors then graduate and have there FY1 and FY2 years -foundation stage. Vets Graduate and do their PDP - professional development phase normally 1 year. Then doctors do their specialist training and really high numbers of vets also do advanced training too.
Vets have a far more nutritional training than doctors as doctors refer to dieteticans to give nutritional advice.

Tjola95 Sun 22-Apr-18 16:13:26

To the poster, do what you feel is beneficial for your cat. There’s always going to be somebody that shames you and knows better. I went to my vet and seeked advice from her, and she advised me I’m doing a great job and my little darling is in brilliant health.

As mentioned above avoid cheap foods, it’s like anything, if it’s cheap it’s probably shit.

My girl has hilife wet food (recommended by my vet) and also Iams biscuits (recommended by my vet).

Just do what you feels best because like I say there will always be a cat expert round the corner telling you, you could be feeling better or what not. grin

Tjola95 Sun 22-Apr-18 16:14:44


thecatneuterer Sun 22-Apr-18 16:27:16

I hear so much conflicting info on dry food and teeth - even from vets. I think I'm just going to abstain from commenting on that in future. Lonecat is a vet though, so I'd be inclined to follow her advice.

Tjola95 Sun 22-Apr-18 18:15:23

Everybody cares for their kitty and it’s lovely to see on this post, as there are many kitten and cats without homes.

It’s all down to your kitty’s health and tolerance to foods etc, aswell as personal choice. As long as your fur balls happy and healthy it shouldn’t matter. There will always be preferences we all prefer etc x

Lindy2 Sun 22-Apr-18 18:24:19

I've only seen my cat drink once in 6 months so she has 2 wet pouches a day. She has dry food available at all times and eats a little here and there but it is the pouches she likes.
I've tried all kinds of dry food (spent a fortune) and the only dry she will eat is Wiskas.
Considering she was a malnourished stray before she was rescued she is blooming fussy!

dementedpixie Sun 22-Apr-18 19:39:54

My 2 eat thrive dry cat food and don't eat as much wet food as they used to. I end up having to throw it away. I currently give dry and then offer wet food twice a day (a pouch between them each time). I was offering a third wet meal but they were leaving most of it. They don't like pate style either and seem to go off other types too.

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