Dry Cat Food vs. Wet Cat Food

What's the Difference?

Dry cat food and wet cat food are two popular options for feeding our feline friends. Dry cat food, also known as kibble, is convenient and easy to store. It has a longer shelf life and is generally more affordable than wet cat food. Additionally, dry cat food helps to maintain dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup. On the other hand, wet cat food is highly palatable and provides hydration, which is especially beneficial for cats that don't drink enough water. It is also easier to chew and digest, making it a suitable choice for cats with dental issues or sensitive stomachs. Ultimately, the choice between dry and wet cat food depends on the specific needs and preferences of the cat, as well as the owner's lifestyle and budget.


AttributeDry Cat FoodWet Cat Food
TextureDry and crunchyMoist and soft
Water ContentLowHigh
Shelf LifeLongShort
ConvenienceEasy to store and serveRequires refrigeration and can be messy
Nutritional ValueCan be nutritionally completeMay contain higher protein and fat content
Dental HealthMay help reduce tartar buildupDoes not provide dental benefits
PalatabilitySome cats prefer the tasteOften more appealing to cats

Further Detail


Choosing the right type of cat food is essential for the health and well-being of our feline companions. Two popular options available in the market are dry cat food and wet cat food. Both have their own unique attributes and benefits. In this article, we will delve into the characteristics of each type, exploring their nutritional content, convenience, cost, impact on dental health, and palatability.

Nutritional Content

When it comes to the nutritional content, dry cat food and wet cat food differ in several aspects. Dry cat food, also known as kibble, is typically formulated to provide a balanced diet for cats. It contains a higher percentage of carbohydrates, which can be beneficial for cats with diabetes or weight management issues. Additionally, dry cat food often includes added vitamins and minerals to meet the nutritional requirements of cats.

On the other hand, wet cat food, also referred to as canned cat food, generally contains a higher percentage of protein and fat. This makes it an excellent choice for cats that require a high-protein diet, such as kittens or active adult cats. The increased moisture content in wet cat food can also help promote hydration, especially in cats that do not drink enough water.

Ultimately, the choice between dry and wet cat food should be based on the specific nutritional needs of your cat, as advised by your veterinarian.


When it comes to convenience, dry cat food has a clear advantage. It can be easily stored for long periods without refrigeration, making it ideal for busy cat owners or those who prefer to free-feed their cats. Dry cat food is also more portable, allowing for easy travel or feeding in multiple locations. Additionally, the kibble format promotes slower eating, which can help prevent overeating and obesity in cats.

On the other hand, wet cat food requires refrigeration after opening and has a shorter shelf life. This can be less convenient for some cat owners, especially if they have limited storage space or travel frequently. However, the individual serving sizes of canned cat food can be beneficial for portion control and preventing food waste.


Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing cat food. In general, dry cat food tends to be more affordable than wet cat food. The lower production and packaging costs associated with kibble contribute to its lower price point. Additionally, dry cat food can be purchased in larger quantities, providing further cost savings.

On the other hand, wet cat food is typically more expensive due to its higher quality ingredients and increased moisture content. The individual serving sizes of canned cat food can also contribute to higher costs over time. However, it is important to note that the cost of cat food can vary depending on the brand, ingredients, and specific nutritional requirements.

Impact on Dental Health

Dental health is a crucial aspect of a cat's overall well-being. Dry cat food is often touted as beneficial for dental health due to its crunchy texture. The act of chewing kibble can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, promoting healthier teeth and gums. Some dry cat foods are also specifically formulated to support dental health, with added ingredients that aid in reducing dental issues.

While wet cat food does not provide the same dental benefits as dry cat food, it does have its advantages. The higher moisture content in canned cat food can help prevent dehydration and promote oral health indirectly. Additionally, some cats with dental issues or missing teeth may find wet cat food easier to eat and digest.


Palatability plays a significant role in determining whether a cat will enjoy its food. Cats can be notoriously picky eaters, and their preferences can vary greatly. Dry cat food often comes in a wide variety of flavors and textures, catering to different taste preferences. The crunchy texture of kibble can also be appealing to some cats.

On the other hand, wet cat food is generally considered more palatable due to its higher fat content and stronger aroma. The moist and tender texture of canned cat food can be enticing for cats, especially those with dental issues or older cats with reduced appetite. The strong smell of wet cat food can also stimulate a cat's appetite, making it a preferred choice for cats with a decreased sense of smell.


When it comes to choosing between dry cat food and wet cat food, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Both options have their own unique attributes and benefits. Dry cat food offers convenience, affordability, and potential dental health benefits, while wet cat food provides higher protein content, increased moisture, and enhanced palatability. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your cat's specific nutritional needs, preferences, and any guidance provided by your veterinarian. Remember, the most important factor is to provide a balanced and nutritious diet that supports your cat's overall health and well-being.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.