Cats have a reputation as being finicky eaters, which often leaves their human companions working through a long list of food choices lining the shelves of pet and grocery stores. What should be considered when choosing cat canned food when it comes to texture, serving size, and hydration? The folks at PetCo have developed a plan to guide cat lovers through the maze of wet food selections from flaked to stew to broths.
Here's to happy meals!
How to Chose the Best Wet Cat Food for your Cat
By Caroline Golon
Selecting the best wet food for your cat is an important decision. Because there are many options, it can be hard to determine what’s going to be best for your cat. Not only does taste matter, but so do size, shape, smell and texture. Beyond palatability, it’s important to take nutritional profile, ingredients, brand trust and the ability to meet your cat's needs into account when selecting a food. While cats can be finicky about food, the good news is that there are a wide variety of options to suit every palate.
It may take some trial and error to determine your cat’s preferred formula. Don't be afraid to experiment to find out just what your kitty craves. Most cat food brands offer a variety of consistencies, so experimenting within one brand can also help pinpoint a favorite. (A word of caution: Continually switching foods even within the same brand can lead to GI upset. Allow plenty of time for cats to try new food. Here's how to transition your pet to a new food.) Read on to learn about different wet food options.
Wet food typically comes in a smooth formula like a paté, or in pieces of meat in a thick liquid, such as gravy or gelée (which is similar to gravy but has more of a jelly-like consistency). Keep in mind that many wet food options feature processed meat shaped into strips or chunks while others do in fact contain whole pieces of meat.
Some of the more popular wet cat food textures include:
Paté has a smooth, mostly uniform consistency. Some patés come in “soft” form, which is creamier with more liquid. Other paté formulas are firmer, while others have soft, large chunks.
Flaked cat food offers small, flat, thin pieces of meat mixed in a gravy or gelée.
Sliced textures are typically thin, flat pieces of meat contained in gravy or gelée.
A growing trend in wet cat food is a combination of textures, such as paté on the bottom and stew on the top. There are a variety of names for these types of blends including duos, medleys, duels and more. Blends may come packaged with multiple textures together, or in one package with separate containers.
Typically a food labeled “broth” is mostly liquid with chunks of meat. Be sure to check the nutrition information on the label as broths may not be designed to be a complete and balanced diet and may be better as a treat or a topper to entice picky cats to eat a regular meal.
Wet Food Feeding Guidelines
Open containers of cat food should be stored in the refrigerator and used within three days.
It’s important for cats to stay hydrated specifically for digestive, circulative and urinary health. An adult cat should consume about the same amount of water (in milliliters) as the number of calories they eat per day. For example, if a 10-pound cat eats 200 calories every day, he or she should also consume 200 milliliters of water.
To determine how much wet food a cat should eat per day, follow the feeding guidelines on the back of the package, visit the pet food manufacturer’s website or discuss proper caloric amounts with your veterinarian. Optimal feeding amounts may depend on a specific cat’s age, weight, activity level and overall health.
Hydration is Key