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Is dry cat food cheaper than wet cat food?

I am going to have to take a guess at this. Let's call it a guesstimate based upon lots of experience. It is difficult to be precise because there are many variables such as the quality of cat food which does very considerably as we know. It is probable that the price per kilogram of dry cat food is similar to the price per kilogram of wet cat food of the same quality. In this discussion the context is the UK.

Dry cat food is cheaper than wet cat food of the same quality because there is les waste
Dry cat food is cheaper than wet cat food of the same quality because there is les waste.  Image: MikeB based on images from Pixabay (copyright free).



Alhtough it is hard to make that assertion because it is difficult to compare quality. However, I believe it is a fair starting point. The big factor in working out whether dry cat food is cheaper than wet cat food is how much waste a cat owner has in respect of dry and wet foods.

It is probably accepted by nearly everyone that is far more likely that you will waste some wet cat food compared to dry cat food. In my estimation, across the board, on average, cat owners probably throw away about 25% of the wet cat food that they buy for their cat. It goes into the waste bin or it feeds the local fox. Although foxes are not that keen on thrown-away cat food in my opinion and my experience.

So this last factor in the calculation swings the result towards dry cat food being cheaper than wet cat food. This is because you simply do not waste any dry cat food, also in my experience. Yes, dry cat food does go off eventually but it can remain in the bowl for long enough for it to be fully eaten without any wastage whatsoever.

It comes down the wastage; the wastage factor is the key factor in this calculation. In the UK, it seems that both wet and dry cat food costs about £5-£6 per kilogram. I'm referring to decent quality food. It's expensive in the UK. One reason why you don't want to waste it. But it is difficult not to because domestic cats can be quite pernickety and picky.

They might give you the impression that they are hungry and then they turn their noses up and walk away from the bowl. They will have their favourites but they will go off their favourites for a while. You have to provide variation. Or they will eat part of the food offered. These are reasons why you end up with some waste. In hot climates wet cat food can go off and become inedible for a cat within an hour or so.

If you make a mistake about whether your cat is hungry or not the whole bowl of food can go into the bin. Perhaps I've been generous in favour of wet cat food when I say that 25% of it is wasted. Or perhaps in some households they will say that they never waste any of it. Like I said I have to rely on a guesstimate and my own experience.

My conclusion is that dry cat food is cheaper than wet cat food on a price per meal basis. That does not mean that cat owners should rely exclusively on dry cat food. I think by now, or I hope by now, that cat owners realised that the better cat food is high quality wet but dry can be used for night-time grazing which is what I do. The reason: wet is more natural and mirrors the standard prey of the domestic cat, the mouse in containing around 70-80% water. Cats needs that. They don't make it up in drinking more.

As an aside, if you don't like your cat bringing back live or dead mice or birds then a study encourages cat owners to provide their cat with the highest possible wet cat food with meat protein and without grain. This may curb your cat's hunting instincts. It is suggested in the study that protein from plants in cat food lacks certain micronutrients which the domestic cat tries to make up by hunting and eating mice and other small mammals and birds. They need that meat protein or cat food based on plant-proteins with these additional micronutrients added as a supplement. Further work is being carried out on that.

Is dry cat food cheaper than wet cat food? Is dry cat food cheaper than wet cat food? Reviewed by Michael Broad on February 15, 2021 Rating: 5

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