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Types of Cat Food



 Submitted by Michael Adams on December 15, 2010

There are three main textures of cat food - dry, wet or canned and moist or soft cat food. All three are available in lamb, poultry, seafood and beef flavors. Combinations such as lamb and beef or chicken and lamb are available too. Soft cat food is soft and chewy and is usually liked by most cats.

Cats require a meat based diet to remain healthy. In the wild they eat insects, birds, lizards and rodents. The best diet for cats at home is one that is similar to what they would naturally feed on. Canned or wet cat food helps to accomplish this. It is lower in carbohydrates and higher in fat and protein as compared to dry food. It is the most digestible of the three foods. The 75-78% moisture content increases the cat’s overall water intake and keeps the bladder and kidneys healthy. The high fat content keeps their skin and coats healthy too. Introduce canned food to a cat’s diet slowly and in small amounts. Canned food is expensive and while it has a long shelf life once opened, it can spoil fast. It is better to feed your cat the amount it will eat in one session only.

Dry cat food is also called “kibble” and is crunchy and hard. It is usually the cheapest of the cat foods available but is sometimes disliked by cats, being the fussy eaters that they are. It has 8 % moisture content and can be very dehydrating.  Cats require additional and ample amounts of water if they are given this food. Dry food however, is very convenient to use and useful when owners are out of town or cannot keep to feeding schedules. It does not spoil easily but should be stored in an air tight container else it loses it flavor and nutritional value. Dry food is good for your cat’s teeth and keeps them free from tartar.

Semi moist food has approximately 35% moisture content and so it is essential to give your cat more water if on this food. It is similar to dry food pellets and is generally sold in packets but is not as freely available as wet or dry food. Nutritional benefits of this food are more or less the same as other cat foods. Once opened, it can be left for free choice feeding but will eventually dehydrate after a long period of time.  Price wise, semi moist cat food falls between dry and canned food.
 
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