Types of cat food to consider
The cat food aisle is vast and the shopping possibilities don’t end at the register. Subscription services and farm-to-bowl companies now ship cat food directly to your house.
Dry cat food versus wet or canned cat food
Dry cat food is a popular choice partly because it is more convenient than wet cat food. “Dry food is cost-effective, odorless, and it can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling,” says Ferris.
But Julien notes that dry cat food can also be higher in carbohydrates than wet cat food. Just as you think about all the sourdough you’ve been eating while baking at home, you should also consider the amount of carbs your cat is eating. “An active cat can absolutely use carbohydrates as an energy source,” says Julien, adding that “a sedentary — aka indoor — cat will store extra carbs as fat.”
Wet food requires a bit more effort — it has to be refrigerated once the can or pouch is opened — and can be more expensive. But it may also help cats get more water in their diet (and the smell might entice a picky cat to eat). “Canned or wet food has higher levels of protein and fat, making it a great option for cats of various lifestyles and ages,” says Kornreich.
A dry food for cats that are at least 12 months old, chicken, chicken by-product meal and corn grits are the first three ingredients.