Sponsored Post by our Friends at Weruva! Written by Chris Langellotti, Head of Training, Weruva
What should I feed my cat? Wet food or dry food? How much water do they need? These are very common questions – especially for new cat parents.
What all cat experts agree on is that cats are “Obligate Carnivores.” In other words: Cats must eat meat; it is a biological necessity. Cats (and dogs for that matter), get their energy from the breakdown of protein, not carbohydrates like humans do. So meat is the way to go.
And another common area of agreement surrounds that meat: the wetter the better. Why? A lack of hydration can lead to all sorts of urinary problems and painful crystals. Things no cat-parent wants to deal with.
Cats are desert creatures (even through their furry little bodies may appear otherwise). And where do desert creatures get water? (Please – don’t say cactus!) Well, they actually get it from their prey. So to put it simply, the most efficient and natural way for cats to hydrate is by eating meat – you know, wet meat.
Some of you reading this might be thinking, “My cat drinks all the time — he or she doesn’t need wet food.” However, it is important to realize that cats are rarely, if ever, fully hydrated simply by drinking water. Cats actually have a very low thirst-drive, so while they drink, they are very rarely adequately hydrated. Unlike humans, their bodies don’t tell them to go guzzle some good ol’ H2O. Plus their tongues are totally different than a dog’s tongue. Where a dog’s tongue is made for lapping up things – folding and throwing the water into their mouths – a cat just stabs at the water, a much less efficient process.
CAUTION – A SMALL AMOUNT OF MATH FOLLOWS –
- Cats should get about 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight per day.
- It takes a full minute of constant licking for your cat to drink 5 teaspoons (about 1 ounce) of water.
- So a 7 pound cat – if it is only on dry food – needs 7 FULL minutes of actual drinking per day. Have you seen your cat hover over the water bowl that long???
One way to get this much-needed water into their diet is through wet food.
Take a cat that only eats kibble and drinks water on the side vs. one who eats wet food. If one compares the overall hydration levels of these two kitties, the cat that eats only kibble and drinks water is WAY less hydrated than the cat on wet food, in some cases by as much as 50%! Wet foods have much higher moisture content (between 75%-85%) than kibble (around 10%), and the hydration levels of wet food are designed to more closely resemble the levels of their natural prey. All the moisture is built into the delicious gravies and broths that pour out of the can and stay built into shredded natural meat.
So, let’s wrap this up; we all want to get back to watching our cats chase a laser dot.
- Cats need meat, and almost never drink enough water.
- Wet food is a great way of getting them that “wet meat.”
- Consider a high-quality wet food that your cat will lap up – moisture and all.
Happy laser dot hunting!