Dehydration and diet: The National Research Council of the National Academy of Science found that cats who eat dry food exclusively consume less total moisture than cats who eat canned food. And surprisingly, most cats who are fed a diet of dry food don’t drink enough water to make up for the low moisture content of that food.
How to keep a cat hydrated: A simple, healthy way to increase your cat’s water consumption is to replace part of its dry diet with a high quality canned food that you feed to your cat twice a day. Cats are carnivores, so look for canned foods with first ingredients that are high-quality meat, especially chicken or turkey. Good quality fish, beef, or lamb can provide variety, although these aren’t the ideal primary meat for most cats. The amino acid profiles of chicken and turkey meat more closely match a cat’s nutritional needs.
A balanced diet: Cats have very few teeth that are suited to grinding food, so most cats don't chew as much as crack dry food into slightly smaller pieces. However, recent, large-scale research designed to evaluate the connection between diet and dental health indicates that the inclusion of dry food in cat's diet may significantly decrease the risk of periodontal disease and other dental problems. (The full text of the study, Influence of Diet on Oral Health in Cats and Dogs, is available by clicking on the article title.) This, combined with current research on the urinary tract health of cats seems to indicate that both canned and dry food are important components of a cat's diet.
For more information on cats, hydration and Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder, we've found the following study to be helpful:
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorders presented at the World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress in 2001.
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We’re not veterinarians. Mud Bay staff are well educated, and our writing is well-researched, but neither the advice of a Mud Bay staff member nor reading Mud Bay's written materials can substitute for visiting a veterinarian. We offer carefully chosen, natural solutions, but we believe that veterinary conditions should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.