One of the most important choices you'll make as a cat owner is what you're going to feed your feline friend. We all want to give our cats the best tasting food, but it's important that what we feed is both delicious and nutritious.
The two main commercially prepared types of cat food are wet food (also known as can or pouch food) and dry food (otherwise known as biscuits or kibble).
Gourmet premium cat food is a high quality wet food that comes in ten flavours and five formats, so there will always be a Gourmet product to tempt even the fussiest appetite.
You may not be around to feed your cat throughout out the day, so feeding a mixture of wet and dry foods is a good idea. Both options have different benefits, which we've outline below:
Not many people realise that water is the most important nutrient for your cat. Cats are designed to eat meat, which has a water content of 70 to 75%. However unlike dogs, cats have a poor thirst drive, which means that even when your cat is fed a high moisture diet and given free access to fresh water, it may not get enough water. This can result in highly concentrated urine, which can contribute to issues such as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their bodies are designed to survive on the nutrients found in animal flesh — with its high protein content and low carbohydrate levels. Wet foods are closer to the natural diet your cat needs, because they're made primarily of meat and organs like liver or kidneys. By comparison, dry foods are made of primarily grain or grain by-products that are high in carbohydrates, which a cat's digestive system processes poorly.
Your cat's body is designed to run on a high protein diet, but as far as your cat is concerned, not all proteins are created equal. Animal-based proteins are highly digestible, whereas plant-based proteins are harder for your cat to digest. If you look at the nutritional information on the packet, dry food may appear to have a high percentage of protein. But because it's grain based, your cat cannot digest it as well, which means the actual protein available to your cat may be lower. Wet foods are primarily made from meat and meat by-products, which are rich in the animal-based proteins that your cat can easily digest.
Because of the higher moisture content, wet food has fewer calories per kg when compared to dry food. This lower calorie count means that there's less danger of overfeeding wet food and making your cat overweight. If your cat is currently overweight, switching to a diet higher in wet food means you can reduce the total number of calories your cat eats, without having to dramatically reduce the quantity of food you serve.
The number one benefit of dry food is that it's just so convenient. It's easy to measure, easy to feed and easy to store. Because dry food is very low in moisture, it can be left out for cats to graze on when you can't be around to provide them with tasty Gourmet style meals.
Cats' teeth are designed to shear tough meat and bones; and some scientific studies have shown that the crunchy texture of dry food provides little dental benefit. However, depending on the product, feeding your cat dry food may be good for its teeth. A certain chemical sprayed onto the outside of dry cat food during production has a proven dental benefit. Just like us humans, your furry friends also need dental checks and cleans. For the best dental protection, talk to your vet about cleaning your cat's teeth, which we recommend doing on an annual basis.