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Similar to humans, a cat’s body weight consists of 60-70% of water. This is why drinking enough water is crucial in keeping your cat from getting dehydrated. By drinking enough water, your cat can flush toxins from its kidneys and decrease chances of kidney and bladder stones, have better digestion, and regulate its body temperature among other benefits.
However, our cats are historically desert animals that did not usually have a reliable water source. This is why cats usually get the moisture that they need from their prey. Translating that into our domestic cats of today, our feline friends would thus get most of their needed moisture from their cat food.
Luckily for modern cats, there are various types of food that they can get moisture from, including wet and fresh food.
What Is Wet Cat Food?
Wet cat food can be a great source of water for your cat, especially if it is the sort to avoid it’s water bowl. Wet cat food has over 60% of water content and is cooked at a high temperature for sterilisation which aids them in having a longer shelf life than dry food before opening.
Some of the benefits of wet cat food apart from the obvious fact that it prevents your cat from getting dehydrated, is that they can promote more diluted urine which serves as a good prevention measure from developing urinary tract problems, as there will be a lower concentration of inflammatory components in the bladder.
Furthermore, considering water does not have calorie, wet food generally have a lower energy density than dry cat food. This helps in weight management for your cat and can be extra useful for cats that are obese or are looking to lose weight.
With more water in their systems, cats are less likely going to get constipated and are often a common recommendation to cats facing constipation problems.
Another benefit of wet cat food is that it promotes lean body mass. Given that wet food is high in protein, this helps to support strong muscles and helps your cat maintain that muscle mass throughout their adult years. A cat’s body consists of both lean body mass and fat mass. Lean body mass includes muscles, bones, ligaments as well as organs. By promoting lean body mass, this will help support many vital functions in your cat such as immunity and mobility considering organs and muscles are the main sources of metabolic activity.
For cats that are older or face issues digesting food, wet cat food may prove to be a better source of nutrition considering they are highly digestible and contain all the same nutrients as dry food. This includes vitamins and minerals such as iron that supports healthy blood and tissues, as well as zinc which helps support your cat’s immune system and maintain its skin, eye and bones.
What Is Fresh Cat Food?
Fresh cat food tends to use less processed ingredients that have fewer preservatives. This is also why they must be refrigerated or frozen to be kept fresh and avoid bacterial growth and maintain freshness.
Generally speaking, while there is no regulation when it comes to labelling cat food as “Fresh pet food”, it does mean that the food has been made with fewer or no preservative. At home, this would manifest in food such as boiled chicken and cooked plain rice, while in facilities that manufacture pet food, this would manifest in cooking common ingredients, such as chicken, before being packaged without preservatives being added and then frozen.
Compared to kibble diets, fresh diets also tend to have a lower caloric density, similar to how a cup of fresh fruits is different from a cup of dried fruits. This is due to the different water content in each food.
Ultimately, when deciding on any major changes to your cat’s food it is best to always consult your veterinarian to reduce any risks of upsetting your cat’s digestive system or for your cat to avoid its food altogether. Each cat is unique depending on its size, age and health conditions.
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