Is dry food bad for your cat?
Dry food is the biggest-selling form of cat food in the United States, despite the fact that it has been linked to urinary tract disease, diabetes, dehydration, and obesity. Let’s break through the ignorance and learn the unpleasant truth about dry cat food.
Read on to learn the 5 top reasons why dry cat food is bad for your cat.
Dry Cat Food is Not Meat
Cats are obligate carnivores. They are biologically designed to eat meat in the form of the prey they kill. Raw muscle meat, bones, and organs provide the nutrition that your cat requires. Cats do not naturally consume corn. Most dry cat foods are corn-based (read: cheap), and therefore, carbohydrate-heavy. This is not a biologically appropriate food for your cat. Humans would not thrive off of a raw meat diet. Why feed your cat anything besides what they’re biologically driven to consume?
Dry Cat Food = Dehydrated Cats
Cats simply don’t get the hydration they need when consuming a dry food diet. As obligate carnivores, cats naturally get most of their hydration from eating their moisture-rich prey. Because a cat’s biologically normal food is so rich in water, cats have very low thirst drives. You typically won’t see a healthy cat chugging water after a meal.
With their naturally low thirst drive, cats do not drink enough water to compensate for the abysmally low moisture content of their dry food. A cat living off of dry food is like you living off of potato chips and only drinking a sip or two of water every so often. That’s dry.
Chronic dehydration in cats can have serious health consequences.
Dry Cat Food and Urinary Tract Disease
Since cats living off of dry food are constantly dehydrated, their risk of suffering from urinary tract disease is high. Even dry foods marketed as being good for urinary tract health are dangerously dehydrating. If your cat develops a urinary tract disease, it’s a definite sign that it’s time to stop feeding them dry food. Studies have shown that a high-moisture diet can have recurrence rates of cats suffering from idiopathic urinary tract disease.
Dry Cat Food And Obesity
In one 2011 study, ten weight-stable cats were fed either high-moisture or low-moisture diets for two months. At the end of that study, the cats given a diet of high-moisture food ate less and lost weight. Many dry cat food users engage in free-feeding, which encourages frequent snacking throughout the day. Since dry food is less satiating than a moisture-rich food, cats tend to eat more of it and will likely gain weight. When your cat consumes a high-carb diet and is overweight, the stage is set for feline diabetes.
Dry Cat Food and Diabetes
Pulling together some of what we’ve learned, let’s analyze the link between dry cat food and diabetes. Cats are not physiologically suited to a high-carbohydrate diet, and as such, tend to run into problems metabolizing carbohydrates. Blood glucose levels increase, along with insulin secretion. Overweight cats are also more likely to develop diabetes – and thanks to the overeating associated with dry food, dry feeders may be at an increased risk of developing diabetes.
So is Dry Cat Food Bad for My Cat?
Obviously, some cats love the crunch and taste of dry food. It’s convenient to serve and makes it easy for your cat to eat when you’re not home. All things considered, however, feeding your cat dry food is a risky move. Dry food doesn’t meet our nutrition standards when it comes to feline hydration, urinary tract disease, and weight control.
If you want to give your cat food that’s good for both their long-term health and happiness, wet or raw food is the obvious choice.