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Mix Wet and Dry Cat Food? 6 Things To Know When Combining Cat Food

As a cat owner, you always want to give your furry companion the best food options that you can. We tend to feed our cats with either dry or wet food almost their whole lives. Here’s the thing;

Is it ok to mix wet and dry food together in the same bowl? Is there an advantage to it?

mixing wet and dry cat food

As you’ll discover below, using a combination of wet and dry cat food has several advantages, but there are some definite do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

Mixing your cats wet and dry food can help vary your cats diet without shocking their digestive system, manage their weight, get them over being finicky and not put other undo stress on them when you follow these simple tips along with your vets advice.

Related Article: Check out our buyers guide – Best Wet Cat Food For Indoor Cats.

Mix Wet and Dry Cat Food; Is It Ok?

Yes, you can safely mix wet and dry cat food together in the same bowl. Choose each food based on quality and what your cat will eat. Remember to check the daily intake amount for each type of cat food individually before combining them so that you do not overfeed your cat.

Is Mixing Cat Food Bad?

While combining wet and dry cat food together is not a problem, what about mixing your cat’s food with other things? There are some basic things that it’s certainly ok to mix in your kitties’ food and then there are  things that you should stay away from, so be careful with the culinary experiments such as mixing with human foods that may not be beneficial to your cat.

Adding water to Your cats food

For cats that I’ve owned in the past whether I was feeding them with dry food exclusively or wet food, I always added a bit of water. Adding water to each has the benefit of softening food to make it easier to eat (dry food) or adding a bit of volume to stretch your money and help with palatability (wet food). Just don’t drown their food!

Mixing cat food with milk

This can be a little touchy, so consult your vet. It can be done, but you’ll want to mix the cat food with cat milk only and not the milk we drink from the store. Chances are if you’re having to do this, your cat (or kitten) probably has some kind of medical issue. 

Therapeutic pet Foods

Be careful with this one. Remember that therapeutic pet foods are scientifically engineered or formulated to treat your pet and have dietary requirements. Even if your mixing plain involves wet or dry cat food with a therapeutic food, tread lightly and consult your vet before adding anything.

Diluting a therapeutic cat food may counteract any benefits for your cat that the food was intended to treat. 

Think of it this way;

If your doctor provided you with a prescription drug and told you to eat or drink something with it, would you do it? Of course not. 

Did I mention to check with your vet?

You’re in control

When you work with your vet you can manage your cats diet needs that are unique to your kitty. It’s actually pretty simple to  come up with a meal plan by combining wet and dry food that can encourage your cat to eat more or less of a type of food based on their activity and metabolism. As example, if your cat is picky but not active you can encourage your cat to eat dry food that meets their caloric needs.

Think About This: Cats can get the water they need from wet food, not just drinking alone. This is helpful if your cat doesn’t like water too much.

Combination of Wet and Dry Cat Food; Why Do it?

There are a lot of good reasons why you would want to mix your cat’s food. 

Here’s what we often forget;

Wet cat food and dry cat food each have their unique properties and drawbacks that help to offset one from the other. Mixing each together helps give the cat the best of both worlds. 

Dry food tends to be less expensive, can be stored easy and can be loaded into an automatic feeder. 

Does wet cat food help with Hydration?

Yes; Wet cat food is about 70% – 80% water which helps your cat obtain 3 – 4 ounces per day from consuming one can of wet cat food. Cats need to consume about ½ cup of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day. Pate style cat food may have less water or “gravy” than regular cat food. 

Did you notice-

Above we mentioned ‘consume’ not necessarily ‘drink’. Cats can either hydrate by drinking water the old fashioned way or by drinking the water (in other words consume) in wet food. You can check out more vet info here.

Mixing food helps with your cats weight management

Studies have shown (like this one) that there is a link between your becoming obese and feeding your cat dry cat food. This may be due to cats being free fed dry cat food all day. If you stop free feeding and start mixing wet and dry food together you’ll be more aware of how much your cat is eating and start introducing some portion control. 

Just like people, if the cat is taking in too many calories and not enough exercise, the kitty is going to gain some weight. 

Cost effective combination

When you start shopping for cat food, you’ll notice right away that there is a difference between the cost of each type of cat food. You guessed it – wet cat food tends to be more expensive and dry is (on average) less expensive. 

Mixing cat food allows you to give you cat the awesomeness of wet cat food without having to break the bank. Think about this – you’ll only be giving your cat about half a can which means one can last two days. At about .75 cents or more per can this can really help out. 

Makes the food taste better

As they say, “Variety is the spice of life” and so it is with cats also. Having a wet and dry food combination for your feline gives them a little something to look forward to. This is especially helpful if you have a kitty diva on your hands that can’t be bothered with dry food. Mixing in wet food may be just the ticket to get them interested. 

It Can Help Keep Their Teeth Clean

Dry cat food sometimes provides some basic dental hygiene by cleaning the cats teeth. Notice I said sometimes. Whether or not kibble style food can clean will depend on the formulation of the dry food in question. As long as the food doesn’t have sticky ingredients in the food, the dry food can help scrape away tartar.

Wet Vs Dry Food

When it comes to establishing moisture content in either wet or dry cat food, there tends to be a range for both types of food. Check the food label to get the particulars for your food, but generally speaking the ranges are:

Wet cat food contains about 70% – 80% moisture

Dry Cat food is about 10% – 12%

Mixing Wet and Dry Cat Food Ratio

How much you should feed your cat can depend on a variety of factors. Keep this in mind; 

Not only do you have to take into consideration the amount of food to give your cat, but the cat’s age and  the amount of exercise it’s getting. 

Each type and brand of cat food will have varying caloric and nutritional contents. As a starting point check the label on your cat’s food and look for a feeding guide. 

As an example, if your cat weighs 10 pounds it may need up to a ½ cup of food per meal. Mix ¼ cup of wet food and a ¼ cup of dry food (half of each). Monitor how many calories your cat is burning to see if it’s gaining or losing weight and make adjustments.

Check with your vet to help you calculate exactly how much food you should feed your cat.

Start with mixing half and half of each and adjust the ratio from there.

Is It OK To Mix Different Brands of Cat Food?

It’s fine to mix two different brands of cat food together. It’s best to ensure that they are of similar quality and nutritional value to each other. You may not want to mix junky generic food with a trusted name brand which could potentially negate nutritional value of the good stuff.

Do’s and Don’t of Combining Cat Food

Here’s a few things to keep in mind when combining wet and dry cat food.

The Do’s

Do: Can’t stress it enough- speak with your vet and get info on the best cat foods and how many calories your cat needs based on its weight. 

Do: Make sure you are measuring you cat’s food with a reliable measuring device

Do: Mix foods from the same stage of life. In other words, if you have an adolescent cat don’t mix with senior cat food.

Do: Make sure both the wet and dry food have similar nutritional content

Do: Mix different aromas, shapes and textures

Do: Add water dry your dry cat food even if you don’t mix it with wet food

Do: Try different combinations and create tasty recipes for your cat!

The Don’t s

Don’t: Mix therapeutic cat food without consulting your vet

Don’t: Overfeed – Measure your cat’s food carefully

Don’t: Use cat treats instead of dry cat food. Cat treats can be like junk food and have ‘empty’ calories with no nutritional value. 

Don’t: Think all cat food is created equal. Read labels carefully.

Don’t: Mix cat food with Milk

Create Your Own Cat Food Recipe

Once you have a clear idea on how much your cat should be eating each day, what kind of wet and dry food they’ll eat and flavors they love – Experiment!

Mix and match different flavors and come up with your own tastes just like you would for yourself in the kitchen! Just be sure to write down these awesome new recipes so that you can recreate them later.

Mix Wet and Dry Cat Food… Summary

Putting your cat on a combo diet – that is a mix of wet and dry cat food is super easy to do, provides variety for your cat and can save you a few bucks. 

Cats will tend to want to eat the wet food first, but if this becomes problematic, you can adjust the wet to dry ratio as needed. Even though wet cat food can provide some hydration, make sure you have a nice bowl of fresh water nearby. 

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