Friday 11 May 2012

Dry cat food is more economical than canned?

A vet might say that dry cat food is more economical than canned food (wet food). The manufacturers will almost certainty sell that idea. My vet of about 20 years ago tried to push Hills dry cat food onto me. His argument was that it was cheaper at a few pence per day or whatever he said. I ignored him of course. Not because he was a vet but because he was trying to sell me dry cat food and I don't think a vet should do that.  And when a vet does something like that I don't think you can completely trust him/her.

That is especially true when dry cat food is generally considered to be unsuitable as a complete diet for your cat. This is mainly because of it's unnaturally low level of water set against the fact that cats have evolved to eat prey that is made up of 78% water.  Cats are unable to completely compensate by drinking more so are permanently slightly dehydrated. That is the theory. Also the quality of the ingredients in dry cat food could be called into question such as its high carbohydrate content.
Photos by (top) Matt and (bottom) Phillip Bascon

Conclusion: dry cat food is cheaper per portion than wet cat food. You will save money in respect of cat food purchases. But what about the long term health issues? There is no hard evidence through scientific studies that I know of that categorically conclude that dry cat food causes or contributes to the cause of certain important illnesses such as kidney disease but there is circumstantial evidence and some veterinarians state that a perpetual diet of dry cat food can cause chronic illnesses and the cost of treating those in terms of cash and emotion far outweighs the relatively small financial benefit of buying dry cat food.

Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM makes a nice analogy in her book Your Cat. She says you would not keep your child on breakfast cereal all his or her life just because it is cheaper. That is what you'd be doing if all you fed your cat was dry cat kibble.

This poster by Ruth AKA Kattaddorra has the same theme: treat your cat as you would a human family member.

Associated: Best Dry Cat Food (USA)

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