Pros And Cons Of Wet And Dry Cat Food

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on March 9, 2017

If you’re like most cat owners, you’ve probably wondered what’s better for your cat: wet food or dry food? There is no clear-cut choice; each has advantages and disadvantages. In the end, only you can decide what’s best for you and your kitty. With information from PetMD, Homes Alive, and Love Meow, here are some pros and cons to each.


Dry Food


-It’s convenient. It can be left out all day for cats to graze on, it’s easy to transport, and you can leave out several days’ worth while you go out of town for a weekend.

-It may be better for teeth, as the dry kibble may scrape some plaque off their teeth as they chew.

-It makes for great nibbling snacks.

-It can be bought in large bags.


-Since it contains less moisture and more sodium than dry food, it can lead to dehydration, which in turn causes urinary tract infections and kidney problems.

-Since it’s lower in protein and higher in carbs, it can lead to diabetes.

-The high carb count can make it hard for cats to digest.

-Leaving dry food out all the time can lead to obesity if your cat isn’t very good at portion control.

Wet Food



-It’s a good source of moisture. Wild cats get most of their moisture from their prey and aren’t accustomed to drinking water by itself.

-The variety of flavors and more intense smells can make it more appealing to picky eaters.

-It’s easier for cats with sore or missing teeth to chew.

-It contains more protein. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need mostly meat and little of anything else in their diet.


-It can be messy.

-It definitely won’t scrape plaque from your cat’s teeth.

-It doesn’t stay fresh as long.

-It may be more expensive than dry food.

Mixing both


Related: What’s the Best Food for a Senior Cat?

Feeding both wet and dry food can be a great way to give your cat the best of both worlds. It’s recommended that you don’t add canned food or water directly to kibble since it makes it more likely for bacteria to thrive and make your cat sick. If you’re still unsure which kind of food to feed your kitty, consult with your vet, as you should before making any changes to your cat’s diet.

Related: The Best Dog Foods of the Year