Why do cats like dry cat food

Why dry food is harmful to cats

When it comes to cat nutrition, no other issue divides cat owners as much as dry food. Some find it practical in terms of storage, smell and cleanliness, for others dry cat food does not come into the house because it is said to be harmful to the health of the animals.

What is better now? Wet food or the dry equivalent? Or how can I best feed my cat?

Drinking lazy by nature

Our domestic cats are descended from the Egyptian black cat. House cats are domesticated in the meantime and don't have that much in common with their ancestor, but when it comes to nutrition, house cats are still basically black cats. The biological ancestor is a steppe animal and as such she meets her fluid requirements with her food. Cats only feel thirsty when the organism really lacks a lot of fluid.

Opponents of dry food justify their aversion: Dry food draws water from the body. So not only do cats not ingest any liquid when they eat dry food, no, the dry food also removes water from them. This can lead to health problems, especially for cats fed on dry food that are almost permanently dehydrated.

One objection I often hear is that the cat just needs to drink enough to get the fluid balance back to normal. In theory, this should work, but in nature it looks different: cats would have to ingest the amount of liquid that the dry food removes immediately after eating, and only very few cats do that because they do so at this point in time just don't feel thirsty yet.

Help with tartar?

One argument in favor of dry food is said to be the anti-tartar effect. Unfortunately, that's not true. The chunks are far too dry to produce abrasion or to clean the teeth. This also applies to the specially shaped anti-tartar dry food. All the cat has to do is bite it and it will break. Teeth cleaning cannot even occur in this way.

In terms of drought, dry food could be compared with crackers in humans. We bite it once and it breaks in two. And has a dentist ever recommended that you eat crackers to clean your teeth? What dentists recommend is brushing your teeth and flossing. So what would the appropriate equivalent be? On the one hand, you can of course brush your cat's teeth. If you have a lot of patience, cats can get used to it quite well.

But since this is incredibly time-consuming, and only special cat lovers dare to do it, a different type of tooth cleaning is required. Raw meat is a great help against tartar. The cat must chew this thoroughly. It's like flossing and brushing your teeth in one. Many cats prefer to eat raw meat. Others can be used to it with meat that is not fully cooked. Everything can be fed, except raw pork. This can contain the dangerous Aujeszky virus, which can cause pseudo rage in animals and is only killed by cooking. Beef and poultry are not affected.

Popular dry food

Despite all of the harmful effects dry food has on house tigers, it is still very popular. I think that's because it's so convenient for cat owners. Dry food can be left all day long, so the cat doesn't have to go hungry and can help itself at any time. It is also quickly filled into the food bowl and ready. No cutting of meat, no pawing around with wet food.

In indoor cats, however, it can happen that they eat out of sheer boredom if they have access to food all day. In the wild, mice don't jump into a cat's mouth every time it feels hungry. Therefore, nothing speaks against it if the cat is only fed two or three times a day. Many cats only really enjoy their meals again because they become something special again.

In my experience, there is simply too much against dry food to recommend it with a clear conscience. I have been feeding my own cats raw meat for years - by the way, they are in excellent health and have snow-white teeth. But raw meat feeding is not suitable for every owner and every cat. For these, I recommend feeding them high-quality wet food and raw meat for the teeth once a week. It works very well. And the cats thank us with more vitality and a longer life. (Andrea Zutz, June 22, 2018)

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