With such a wide variety of wet, dry, and raw cat foods, it can be challenging for cat parents to decide which recipe will be best for their cat in terms of health and enjoyment. In this article we explain the unique benefits of each type of cat food to help you discover what works best for your cat. Of course, it’s always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about your cat’s ideal diet, especially if they’re on medication or have a health condition.
Complete & Balanced Nutrition in Every Bite
Stella & Chewy’s takes the guesswork out of finding healthy food for your cat or kitten. All of our recipes provide complete and balanced nutrition for your cat, many are even appropriate for all life stages. The animal proteins in our cat food recipes are always responsibly sourced, and we never use artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Whether you choose to feed dry food, wet food, or raw, you’ll have peace of mind knowing each of our cat foods is made with only the good stuff.
Raw Cat Food
A raw cat food diet is based on biologically appropriate raw foods to mirror your cat’s ancestral diet. Our raw cat food recipes consist of all-natural ingredients including raw muscle meat, organs, and bone. Our frozen and freeze-dried raw cat foods also offer a high moisture content to help your cat stay hydrated. Freeze-dried raw cat food can be served as-is or rehydrated with water, and frozen raw cat food just needs to thaw before serving.
Raw Cat Food vs Wet
Compared to canned cat food, raw cat food has a slightly lower moisture content – about 70%, while our canned and other wet cat foods have over 80% moisture.
Raw Cat Food vs Dry
Compared to dry cat food, the 70% moisture content in raw cat food is much higher than kibble, which has about 12% moisture (unless you add a wet topper).
Raw cat food digests more gently and efficiently, and can result in smaller and less-smelly stools (who wouldn’t love that?) Raw cat food also promotes oral health – the ground bone acts as a natural abrasive on teeth, and the enzymes in raw meat help break down tartar.
If you want to try feeding your cat a raw food diet, you can start by adding a raw mix-in or topper to your cat’s regular dry or wet food. Just remember to transition slowly with any diet changes to avoid digestive discomfort.
Wet Cat Food
Wet cat food comes in several different styles, including pâté, shredded meats, and morsels. Our wet cat food is also available in different types of packaging, including cartons, cans, and pouches, so you can choose what’s most convenient.
Wet Cat Food vs Dry
The number one difference between wet and dry cat food is the moisture content. For cats that don’t like drinking water, a wet diet can provide essential hydration. Wet cat food also has more aroma and flavor compared to dry food, which can be helpful for cats that are picky eaters.
Wet Cat Food vs Raw
Our wet cat food recipes are gently cooked in small batches, while our raw cat foods under go HPP (cold water high-pressure processing) to destroy harmful pathogens while preserving nutritional value.
Wet cat food benefits include an extended shelf life of 24 months (compared to our raw and kibble products, which have a shelf life of 14-18 months). In addition, our wet cat food morsels and pâtés are made with 100% human-grade ingredients.
Any of our wet cat food recipes can be served on its own as a complete meal for adult cats, or used as a wet topper or mix-in with dry or raw cat food.
Dry Cat Food
Stella & Chewy’s super premium high-protein dry cat food (aka cat kibble) is coated with our freeze-dried raw recipe, with or without freeze-dried raw pieces mixed in. With several different animal proteins to choose from (including a raw-coated kibble for kittens), each dry cat food recipe is grain and gluten free with no unnecessary fillers so it’s easy to digest.
Dry Cat Food vs Wet
Dry cat food has less moisture than wet cat food, so it’s more energy dense. Because our dry cat food is also high in protein, it can be especially helpful if your cat is underweight or a senior (cats tend to lose muscle mass as they age). And dry cat food comes in larger sizes than wet cat foods, which can make it more convenient to store and serve.
Dry Cat Food vs Raw
Dry cat food also has a lower moisture content compared to raw cat food, making it a more concentrated source of energy. Our dry cat foods and freeze-dried raw cat foods can be served right away, but raw frozen cat food needs to thaw first (learn more about how to defrost and feed raw pet food).
Another advantage of dry cat food is that it can sit out for up to 12 hours – compared to a 2-hour limit for wet or raw cat food – which can be helpful for cats who like to graze. And like our raw cat food, dry kibble helps remove tartar from cats’ teeth (though you should still clean your cat’s teeth regularly.)
Raw vs Wet vs Dry Cat Food
Each of our cat foods offers unique benefits, along with the best-in-class nutrition your cat deserves:
|Stella & Chewy’s cat foods: Benefits of each type||Raw||Wet||Dry|
|Complete & balanced nutrition for all life stages||✔||✔||✔|
|Responsibly sourced animal proteins||✔||✔||✔|
|NO grain, gluten, artificial ingredients, added hormones/antibiotics, or animal by-products||✔||✔||✔|
|Acts as an abrasive to help clean plaque from teeth||✔||✔|
|Good source of moisture||✔||✔|
|Can be used as a meal mix-in or topper||✔||✔|
|Can promote smaller, less-smelly stools||✔|
|Extended shelf life of up to 24 months||✔|
Explore our collection of dog and cat food comparison charts for even more insights!
Cats Have Their Own Food Preferences
Every cat is unique and has their own personality, so the decision of whether to serve wet, dry or raw cat food may be out of your hands! Offer different flavors and textures to see what kind of food your cat prefers. You may notice that your cat has different eating habits or caloric needs depending on the season, especially if they have access to the outdoors.
What and how much you feed ultimately depends on your cat’s life stage, activity level, and overall health. The important thing is making sure your cat benefits from the all-natural nutrition they need to thrive, which is provided in all of our cat food recipes.
You Don’t Have to Choose Just One Type of Cat Food
As long as your cat is eating and doesn’t suffer digestive upset, there’s no reason for you to commit to one type of food and reject others. You can:
- Add raw mix-ins to wet or dry cat food
- Use wet cat food as a topper for dry food
- Feed wet or raw food at meals, and use kibble pieces as treats
- Rotate the types of cat food you serve (helpful for cats who are picky eaters)
If serving wet or raw cat foods as a meal mix-in or topper for kibble, make sure to adjust the overall portion size to align with your cat’s recommended daily calorie intake. Stella & Chewy’s cat food lineup offers something that works for every cat and cat parent!
Remember that in addition to a healthy diet, it’s important to give your cat lots of attention and affection so you’re also supporting their mental and emotional health. Learn more about instinctive enrichment activities for cats.
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