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February 2023

Your cat – feeding and dehydration

Sunday, August 29, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

kitten-eatingCats need lots animal based protein.  The protein in dry food is basically plant based while the protein found in wet cat food is primarily meat based. For this reason and hydration purposed which I’ll explain later, I feed my cats a combination of the two. A vet once told me to feed my cat at one time then take away his food and just leave him with a bowl of water until the next feeding. He said this so that the cat would not get obese.  Cats are “nibblers” they eat very small amounts of food at a time, unlike dogs. I did not agree with my vet. What I did was split one small can of wet food with my two cats. Then, later in the morning I give them each a handful of dry food for indoor cats followed by a few snacks in the evening. This seems to be working fine. My older cat is a bit overweight and switching to an indoor dry food, seems to be slimming her down a bit.

Cats need plenty of water with their food.  It is very important for a cat to ingest water with food.  This is because cats don’t have a very strong thirst drive. The lack of a strong thirst drive leads to chronic dehydration when dry food makes up most of their diet. This could lead to all sorts of problems like kidney failure which is one of the most common causes of death in cats.  Dry food contain 10% water while wet foods contain 78% water. This is the reason why I give them both kinds of food. Always remember to have their water bowl filled have plenty of cat toys on hand so she gets lots of exercise. A few cat treats every now and then won’t hurt either.

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