Three Things to Consider Before Buying Wet Food for Your Cat

Giving your cat the right food for all of its dietary and nutritional needs can ensure it lives a long, healthy life.

Happy cat rolling on carpet.
A happy cat is a healthy, well-fed cat.Ihsan Aditya

While many cat owners prefer to feed dry foods, some cats just aren’t happy eating the dry, crunchy morsels. They prefer something more moist and tastier, and wet cat foods fill the bill. Since wet cat food comes in a wider variety of flavors than dry food, they are often preferred by cat owners that want to give their cat some additional variety, and because many foods come in sealed cans, they have a longer shelf life when unopened compared to bags of dry cat food. Moreover, after you open a can, you can put it in a sealed container and keep it refrigerated, extending its shelf life for days. If you’re thinking about mixing up your cat’s diet, here are some other factors to think about as you shop.

Nutritional Value

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Collection Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food Variety Packs
This canned cat food provides 100 percent of the ingredients needed for a complete and balanced meal.Purina Fancy Feast

Making sure the food you feed your cat has the necessary nutritional elements is just as important with canned food as it is with dry food. Since cats originally hunted for their own dinner, so their digestive system is tuned toward foods with high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and minimal amounts of carbohydrates. They also require more than a dozen other nutrients in their diet, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. According to researchers at Cornell University, if you feed your cat a complete, balanced diet, there’s generally no need for supplements. Carefully read both the ingredients list and nutritional value listing of any food you are considering. All pet foods that carry an Association of American Feed Control Officers (AAFCO)-approved nutritional guarantee, often referred to as the “AAFCO statement,” are considered to be nutritionally complete and balanced. If you ever have any questions about what is best for your cat’s health, consult your veterinarian.

Flavor

This canned cat food provides 100 percent of the ingredients needed for a complete and balanced meal.
This variety pack gives your cat four different flavor options, rather than having the taste at every meal.Purina Friskies

As mentioned before, some cats can be finicky, while others will eat nearly anything set in front of them. The best way to find out what flavors your cat prefers is to ask it. Listing all the different flavors of cat food would take up several stories of this length. Suffice it to say there are literally dozens of flavors and textures available from many different manufacturers. Fortunately, some cat food companies offer variety packs that allow you to try several different flavors and determine which one, or which assortment, your cat prefers. Many people like to give their cat occasional treats, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just make sure treats don’t exceed 10 to 15 percent of the cat’s daily caloric intake. Most veterinarians recommend not using human food as treats, since some ingredients can be toxic to cats

Dietary Considerations

Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Wet Cat Food Tray Variety Packs
This cat food, which comes in sealed trays, is grain and gluten free for cats with special dietary needs.Sheba Wet Food

Many cats have special dietary needs. Some cats that get frequent urinary tract infections need prescription food to avoid such problems in the future. Additionally, some people like to feed their cats food without grains, gluten or any “unnatural” ingredients. Another special consideration in choosing a cat food is whether your cat is too fat or thin for optimum health. A cat that is too thin often will show the outline of its ribs and spine and its pelvis bones will be prominent. A well-proportioned cat will have a waist behind its ribs, but it’s ribs won’t be showing. Also, its abdominal fat pad will be minimal. A cat that is too fat will have no waist, heavier fat deposits around the body and a large abdominal fat pad. If your cat is too fat or too thin, consider a specialized food formulated for those health conditions.

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