In short: Yes, you can mix wet and dry cat food. And for those asking, “Can I feed my cat wet and dry food,” the answer is yes too.
But there’s a catch:
For such mixtures to serve well for a pet’s health and well-being, you need to understand why your feline needs them and how to mix different foods right.
When mixing wet and dry cat food, not only do you provide a meal variety she wants but also help her deal with health problems, if any.
Professional vets recommend mixing only if both wet and dry food formulas are of high quality and meet your feline’s nutritional needs.
The mixed feeding should provide a cat with the right balance of proteins, fats, and vitamins/minerals she needs to thrive.Claudine Sievert, DVM
A cat’s health and lifestyle also matter. Suffering from health problems, she may need a specific diet, so you better don’t mix different types of cat food unless your vet prescribes it.
It’s not a secret that both dry and canned cat food have their pros and cons. That said, let’s reveal all the benefits of mixing wet and dry cat food, learn both do’s and don’ts of doing that, and find out the recommended proportions to feed our felines right.
Benefits of mixing wet and dry cat food
Here are several reasons you might want to consider when mixing wet and dry cat food for your four-legged friend:
1. It’s more palatable.
As well as people, cats enjoy a variety of food. Yours will more likely eat a mixture of wet and dry compared to dry only. Most cats prefer wet food because of their more diverse tastes and textures, so you can use it as “a sauce” to entice yours to eat dry food. As far as a cat needs both dry and wet food intakes, their mixture can make her diet more palatable.
2. It promotes a healthy metabolism.
Often, cats don’t drink enough clean water, resulting in dehydration or urinary crystals and stones formation if eating dry food only. While dry cat food formulas contain only about 10% of water, wet ones help increase your feline’s water intake by 70-80% for better metabolism and urinary tract health.
3. It helps with oral health and weight management.
While dry food helps a cat keep her teeth clean, thanks to its crunchy structure that scraps plaque and tartar away, wet food promotes weight loss. Given that dry cat food is more nutrient-dense, mixing it with wet formulas can help you control the calorie intake to prevent obesity in your cat.
A high-moisture diet allows a feline to eat less but increase activity levels compared to those eating dry food only.
4. It’s more cost-effective.
As a rule, wet cat food is more expensive than dry, which is why most pet owners don’t dare to switch to it. But mixing both, you kill two birds with one stone: save money and yet provide a cat with a diverse diet for better mood and health.
Do’s of mixing wet and dry cat food
And now, for the most interesting part:
How to mix wet and dry cat food so that it would serve well for a feline? Please consider these steps before giving the mixture to your cat:
1. Consult a vet
A specialist will help you find the right balance of wet and dry cat food mixture, considering your feline’s health, dietary needs, food preferences, and your budget.
2. Make sure that both recipes are of high quality
For the mixture to do good, not harm, both wet and dry recipes should be of high quality. Check the ingredients: Real meat and no by-products or artificial colors/preservatives are a must. Read our guide on choosing cat food to find learn more.
3. Measure it to get proper proportions
When you mix wet and dry cat food, it’s challenging to control the portion. Use measuring devices like Dexas Popware for Pets collapsible scooper to avoid over-feeding your cat with such a mixed diet.
4. Calculate the total calories
As you probably know, dry cat food is more nutrient-dense and calorie-rich than a wet one. Please ensure your cat gets a proper calorie intake: Calculate those in both wet and dry formulas before mixing. You can read our guide on how much you should feed your cat.
5. Use separate bowls
It’s a matter of cleanliness and hygiene. In the same way that cats don’t like to have water next to food (the bits may get into a water bowl and emit a smell on it), they won’t eat different foods from one bowl too.
6. Pay attention to flavors
It stands to reason that you shouldn’t mix beef with salmon or chicken with tuna. Consider the same flavors group for both wet and dry formulas when mixing: fish, poultry, meat, etc.
Don’ts of mixing wet and dry cat food
You can’t just take two portions of different cat food and mix them randomly:
First, your cat may say, “Ugh!” and refuse to eat. Second, it may cause intestinal issues. And third, you may unwillingly upset the balance of nutrients your feline needs to consume daily.
So, these two don’ts of mixing wet and dry cat food are for your attention:
1. Don’t substitute the prescription diet without consulting a vet
Every time you decide to change the diet of your feline, please visit a vet. The doctor will reveal all the details, recommend the options to satisfy your cat’s needs, and teach you to mix foods properly.
2. Don’t use the same bowl
As previously noted, cats don’t like eating different foods from one bowl. So, consider so-called “double bowls” for wet and dry food (when fed separately) and arm with a separate bowl for mixed feeding.
Depending on the goal you pursue when mixing wet and dry cat food, proportions will be different.
If you are willing to diversify a cat’s diet, calculating the total calories of each portion will be enough. Make sure you don’t overfeed a cat and don’t mix incompatible flavors in one bowl.
For weight management, make sure that 1/3 of your cat’s daily food intake is wet food. (25% of the total calories she needs.)
And if you want to help a cat with urinary tract health, only 1/3 of her daily food intake should be dry food. (70% of the total calories should be from wet food.)
So, is it OK to mix wet and dry cat food together? Yes, it is if your cat doesn’t suffer from any health issues and doesn’t have any specific diets prescribed by vets. When prepared right, such mixtures provide many benefits: better palatability and metabolism, healthier urinary tract, and easier weight management. Plus, it’s cost-effective to feed a cat with mixed food.
But for all these benefits to work, please make sure to choose high-quality food formulas and feed a pet with the correct proportions. The best decision will be to talk to your vet and ask for professional recommendations on your pet’s mixed feeding.