Does wet cat food have more calories than dry?
Wet cat food contains around 80 calories per 100 grams of food. Dry cat food contains around 300-400 calories per 100 grams of food. Therefore, dry cat food contains around four times the number of calories than wet cat food. Part of the reason is because wet cat food is about 80% water while dry cat food contains about 10% water. Because there’s lots more water in wet cat food the calorie content is diluted because the solids content is diluted. The other contributor to the higher calorie content of dry cat food is its high carbohydrate content which is required to make kibble. It is needed for the manufacturing process.
RELATED: Is dry cat food cheaper than wet?
The next question is whether cats eat less dry cat food than wet cat food at one sitting. They probably do because they feel sated more quickly but I suspect that they still consume more calories if they eat dry cat food rather than wet cat food.
Another aspect of dry cat food is that it is prepared by cooking and then drying under pressure and then it is sprayed with fat to add stimulating odours that increase palatability. Good quality dry cat food appears to be more consistently palatable than wet cat food. My cat consistently accepts dry but sometimes rejects wet.
I suspect that these factors contribute to an obesity epidemic among domestic cat combined with an increase in indoor cats leading to boredom leading to eating therapy. That’s a personal view.
It should also be noted that the packaging on commercially prepared cat foods most often does not contain information about the calorie content per 100 grams. I have one box of Whiskas 7+ among quite a wide range of other cat foods by different manufacturers and it is the only box that tells me that the calorie content is 77 kcal per 100 g.
This is highly confusing because as far as I’m aware, in respect of nutrition calculations, 1 kcal (kilocalorie) equals 1 calorie! Whereas technically 1 kcal equals 1,000 cal! The whole thing is a mess in my opinion.
It is not that easy to find out answers about domestic cat nutrition. It never has been in my personal experience.
Also, in my personal experience the best diet for a domestic cat is a combination of high-quality wet and dry manufactured cat foods plus (if you feel it is appropriate) fresh meat and bones as a treat i.e. raw cat food. Bone-rich foods such as cooked chicken neck is an excellent source of nourishment. It also provides “exercise” for teeth and gums. There are risks both in terms of damage caused by bones and a salmonella infection and/or a Toxoplasma gondii infection, which is one reason why veterinarians often recommend that cat owners do not feed their cat with a raw diet. Fundamentally I am of the view that a raw diet is the best but it is just a question of how it is delivered and these potential hazards avoided.
RELATED: Raw Food Diet (for a cat)
Indoor/outdoor cats have the opportunity to hunt mice. The mouse is the best possible diet for a domestic cat notwithstanding that they are probably also ingesting endoparasites i.e. worms in the digestive tract. But these can be dealt with by deworming.
Below are more articles on cat food packaging.