There’s no right or wrong answer about whether you should feed canned or dry food (or both!) to your adult cat
Both canned and dry foods are nutritionally complete. The single biggest difference between the two is moisture content.
Wet cat food has at least 65 percent or more moisture content. As a result, “wet food should not be left out for more than 30 to 60 minutes at a time to prevent bacterial growth.
Many cats do seem to find it more palatable and this can be especially important if you have a cat with a finicky appetite. Canned food also has a much higher water content, and this can be of particular benefit for cats with kidney problems (it helps keep them better hydrated) or lower urinary tract disease (it helps produce more dilute urine that can alleviate or reduce the frequency of symptoms).
Wet cat food offers many benefits, though, including:
Although feeding wet food to your cat seems special or indulgent, it’s more than a snack or treat. Wet cat food is 100 percent complete and balanced and can be an essential part of any cat’s diet.
Dry kibble is popular among many cat owners because it’s convenient. It comes in larger bags and because its moisture content is less than 20 percent, it has a longer shelf life, even after opening. This makes it more cost effective.
There’s less risk of bacterial growth with dry food, so you can leave it out all day for your cat to graze on while you’re at work. Crunchy kibble also helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup on cats’ teeth. Dry cat food may be more difficult for older cats to chew, however.
We highly recommend feeding a combination of wet and dry food. This helps ensure that they get plenty of moisture in their diet, plus the dental benefits of dry food, all the while adding variety to keep them interested.
No matter which type of cat food you choose, the debate between wet vs. dry cat food isn't one that's easily answered. Each cat is unique with their own tastes and preferences.