Dry cat food takes up the most space on the pet food store shelves despite the fact that it is the most unhealthy option to feed our cats. I was ignorant to truth myself until recently. Here are 5 reasons to feed your cat dehydrated cat food.
My Personal Journey
Last December I took Kali-Ma to the vet for her annual check-up. Her blood work came back excellent but she had gained another pound!
Despite feeding her what I thought had been good food she still continued to gain weight. This combined with her nothing short of begging for her dinner at each feeding time, made me question my food choice for her.
After a thorough investigation, I decided to put her on a dehydrated raw food diet. She has been on it now for over four months. Her blood work is still good and she has lost a little over 1lb.
Here are 5 reasons to feed your cat dehydrated food, and they include more than just weight management.
1. Cats Are Carnivores
Cats are biologically designed to eat meat – not carbs. Meat in the form of muscle, bones, organs, and flesh that they historically would kill as the prey they hunted and killed. Cats never naturally consumed corn or the other “fillers” that dry foods contain. Most dry cat foods are 28%-45% carbohydrates that cats do not need.
3. Fresh Ingredients and Nothing More
The nutritional content of dehydrated cat food is much higher than dry or canned cat food. Dehydrated cat food is made with fresh, raw ingredients and the dehydration process removes any requirement for artificial preservatives.
Some of the dehydrated foods have the main protein and some fruits and veggies. Others like Vital Essentials have JUST the protein. So, when I feed Kali-Ma the duck – that is all she is getting is the meat, bones, and organs of the duck – NOTHING ELSE (except the water I add to it)!
I challenge anyone feeding their cat dry cat food to go and look at the ingredients on the back of the bag and read them. Can you even pronounce them? How many ingredients are in that food? Do you know what each of them are?
I can say with a clear conscience now that I know what Kali-Ma is eating. There are five ingredients in her food and I know she is eating a healthy diet.
3. Cats Need A Moisture Rich Diet
Kidney Failure is the leading cause of death in cats. Cats need a moisture-rich diet to help prevent this, as it is commonly known they don’t drink enough water. The moisture then needs to come from their food. Dehydrated food provides this moisture-rich content.
Dry cat food doesn’t supply cats with enough water in their diet. I am also a believer in a drinking fountain for cats which you can read about here: https://www.tailsofkalima.com/4-reasons-your-cat-needs-a-water-fountain/
4. Dry Cat Food Can Cause Weight Gain
Some vets believe that due to the high carbohydrate content in dry cat food, cats will gain weight even when fed the correct amount. I know my cat did.
I was regularly feeding her ¼ cup each morning and each night and she continued to gain weight. My vet told me she could have been a candidate for feline diabetes had I not corrected the problem.
On the dehydrated food, a cat can lose up to 5% of its weight and “level off” to its ideal weight within six months. Also, at feeding time my cat is happy to eat but she is no longer ravenous and what I would call “hangry”.
5. Lower Vet Bills and Increased Longevity
Feeding your cat this type of highly nutritious food will prevent so many illnesses and increase your cat’s longevity. It will regulate its digestion, boost its immune system health, energy levels, improve the health of its skin and coat. It also will protect against dental disease because as any vet will tell you the carbohydrates in the food cause the tartar on your cats’ teeth.
Your cat will live a longer, happier life. It is simply the best diet you can feed your cat that is known to date. It only stands to reason if your cat is healthier then it will live longer. It won’t require teeth cleaning and other potentially costly expenses later on.
Tips for Transitioning to Dehydrated Cat Food
Dehydrated Food is Different
Dehydrated food isn’t like dry food or wet food. You can’t just open a bag and dump some in a bowl, or a can and pour it in the cup. It takes time and commitment from you as a pet parent.
Dehydrated food comes in the form as a dry “patty”. Seen in the photo. Notice I have thongs because you don’t want to handle the food. and if you do, you want to make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. Remember, this is like raw meat food preparation.
The patty is broken apart with a fork, water is added and allowed to hydrate. I usually let sit for about ten minutes. Then it becomes a wet food for your cat to eat.
I give Kali-Ma one patty in the morning and one patty in the evening. You can consult each food manufacture and bag for serving size.
Cats like consistency, so as with any change do it slowly. The back of the Vital Essentials food back provides step by step instructions for changing the food. If you choose another brand to be sure to incorporate your current food with the new dehydrated food over at least a week until you have completely made the change.
Don’t Let The Poop Panic You
Your cat will have fewer stools and they will be a lot less smelly! Kali-Ma used to go poop twice a day. Now she goes once sometimes once every other day. The size of her poop is much much smaller and darker.
I panicked at first until the vet told me this was normal. She is not only eating less, but her body is consuming all the nutrients she is eating. So don’t let the change in the poop panic you like it did me!
Since I have had Kali-Ma on this food, I have seen significant changes. She is not aggressive in the morning when it is time to eat. Her coat is shinier and her eyes look brighter. She also flies around the house like a kitten again and nothing like the cat of nine years old that she is.
A lot of people say they cannot “afford” this food as the cost is prohibitive. I can see how that is an issue. I then ask what the cost of a long-term veterinary bill could be? What is the cost of teeth cleaning? What is the cost if your cat gets kidney disease?
When I look at the ingredients on a bag of cat food and now that I KNOW what is in that food…..well, I just can’t imagine feeding her anything else. Kali-Ma is not a cat, she is my family.
If this food is still not an option for you, then I would suggest that you immediately begin to feed your cat a good wet food. One with no grains and minimal fillers, such as Fromm. Again, this is not cheap food, but I believe it is the best of the canned options.
In the end, everyone has to make a decision to do what they believe is right for their cat. I only know that Kali-Ma is the most important beloved best friend in my life. She is my blessing. I did a thorough investigation and dehydrated cat food is the choice I am making for her.
If you still have unanswered questions I invite you to check out the Vital Essentials Website at https://www.vitalessentialsraw.com/ They have a very thorough Q&A section there complete with videos. As always, check with your veterinarian, before you make any major changes in your cat’s diet.
Until next time…Happy Tails to you…..