The Benefits of Canned Cat Food

The benefits of canned cat food in a cat's diet are substantial. Cat owners should consider at least supplementing a cat's dry food with wet food, if not switching to a wet food diet for their cats entirely.

More Protein

Cats are carnivores. This means that they must get the majority of their nutrition from meat and proteins. Proteins help the cats produce amino acids, which help the body grow, create cells and regulate normal bodily functions. A protein deficiency can lead to:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dull coat and skin
  • Lethargy
  • Vaccination ineffectiveness
  • Poor immune system
  • Increased rate of illness and infections

Dried cat food is heavy in proteins but not heavy enough. Dried cat food is, on average, comprised of about 33% protein. Canned cat food is comprised of 40-60% pure protein.

More Hydration

Cats that eat solely dry food may not be receiving adequate levels of hydration. In the wild, cats eat fresh prey, such as birds and mice, and the raw meat of these animals has some liquid content that helps keep the cat hydrated without it having to seek additional water sources. The cat's innate nature makes it less likely to drink as often as omnivores and herbivores, as the body counts on the cat receiving water intake from fresh meat. Poor hydration over time can lead to both kidney disease and urinary tract infection. Cats that at least have a partial canned cat food diet can keep their hydration levels closer to normal.

More Flavor

Cats have a reputation for being finicky eaters because, in the wild, they are used to variety. Supplementing a dry food diet with canned cat food or feeding a variety of wet cat food flavors can help keep the cat's appetite at normal levels to ensure that the cat is receiving proper levels of food and nutrition.

Fewer Carbohydrates

Dry cat foods are heavy in carbohydrates because of the manufacturing process used to produce the food. Although the dry food may be dipped in animal fat to make the kibble more appealing to the cat, this may present a problem if it encourages the cat to eat dry food excessively. A diet high in carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and overweight cats can have complications from and higher chances of diabetes, poor mobility, liver disease, heart disease, arthritis and urinary tract disease.
Cats need to work off more calories per day than they ingest, but a diet high in carbohydrates is high in calories. Wet food is leaner and higher in protein instead of carbohydrates, which is more attune to a cat's natural behavior of short bursts of energy followed by long bouts of napping. However, even if feeding the cat a diet consisting entirely of wet food, the owner should be careful to follow directions and measure the amount they serve to their pets to help decrease the animal's chances of becoming overweight.

Canned cat food provides more protein, more hydration, more palatable flavor and fewer carbohydrates to cats than dry food alternatives. While dry food can be convenient and fairly nutritious, owners should not deprive cats of wet food entirely.