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What are the risks of feeding cats wet food?

2 min read

While wet food can offer many benefits, it’s important to know the potential risks associated with feeding cats a wet food-based diet. Let’s explore the various considerations and potential drawbacks of relying solely on wet food for your cat’s dietary needs.

Dental Health Concerns #

One of the primary concerns with wet food is its impact on a cat’s dental health. Due to its soft and moist texture, wet food does not provide the same abrasive action on a cat’s teeth as dry kibble. This can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, increasing the risk of dental diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.[1] These conditions cause discomfort for the cat and can lead to more severe health problems if left untreated.

Increased Risk of Obesity #

Wet food is generally higher in fat and calories than dry kibble, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity in cats. This is particularly problematic as obesity in cats is a growing concern, leading to a range of health issues, including diabetes, joint problems, and respiratory difficulties. Careful portion control and monitoring of a cat’s body condition are essential when feeding a wet diet.

Potential Nutrient Imbalances #

Wet food, while often more palatable for cats, may not always provide a complete and balanced nutritional profile. Some wet food formulas may be deficient in certain essential vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients that cats require for optimal health. This can cause nutrient imbalances and health problems if the diet is not supplemented or rotated with other food sources.

Increased Moisture Intake #

The high moisture content in wet food can benefit cats, as it helps keep them hydrated and supports urinary tract health. However, this increased moisture intake can also lead to more frequent urination and potentially contribute to developing urinary tract infections or other issues. Careful monitoring of a cat’s water intake and urinary habits is essential when transitioning to a wet food-based diet.

Potential for Bacterial Contamination #

Due to its moist environment, wet food is more susceptible to bacterial contamination, such as Salmonella or Listeria, than dry kibble. This can pose a health risk to cats and their owners, especially if the food is not stored or handled properly. Proper food handling and storage practices are crucial when feeding wet food to your cat.

Transitioning to Wet Food #

While wet food can be a valuable part of a cat’s diet, it’s essential to introduce it gradually and in moderation, especially if your cat has been primarily fed dry kibble. Sudden changes in diet can cause gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, and should be avoided. A slow and gradual transition and regular veterinary check-ups can help ensure a smooth and safe switch to a wet food-based diet.


[1] American Veterinary Dental College. (2023). Feline Dental Disease. Retrieved from

Veterinary Centers of America. (2023). Obesity in Cats. Retrieved from

Cornell Feline Health Center. (2023). Nutrition for Cats. Retrieved from

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (2023). Urinary Tract Infections in Cats. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). Salmonella and Pet Food. Retrieved from

Veterinary Centers of America. (2023). Transitioning Your Cat to a New Diet. Retrieved from

Updated on May 5, 2024
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How the score is calculated?

The actual calculation of the score is based on sophisticated and advanced algorithm that takes into account multiple parameters.

To simplify the explanation, the calculation is based on three main criteria:

(1) Amount of protein (more is better)

(2) Amount of carbohydrates (less is better)

(3) Quality and source of ingredients.

Based on that 3 main criteria, 9 score calculation rules are used to compare the different foods.

One major assumption is that the closer an ingredient is to the top of the ingredient list, the greater its relative weight and contribution to the food.

In general, cat food is composed of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein is the most important component in a cat’s diet, and cats primarily get their protein from animal meat.

Fat is a primary source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Carbohydrates are controversial in a cat’s diet, as cats are obligate carnivores and typically consume very few carbohydrates.

Fibers play an important role in digestion and food absorption, and vitamins and minerals are essential for different organism functions.

Dry matter values are used to compare the amount of nutrients in different cat foods.
This means that moisture is excluded from the equation to provide a more accurate comparison.

Putting all of these and more into a formula results in a product score.

The maximum score a cat food can receive is 100.
Points are added or removed based on the score calculation rules.