12 min

How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat?

It can be tricky to figure out how much food to feed your pet. Find out how much wet food you need to feed your cat to help them live their best lives.

Bridget Reed

Updated December 01, 2022 • Published September 02, 2021

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How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat?

One of the best ways to keep your cat healthy is to provide them with the correct food that they need to live a long, fulfilling life. This means that you not only have to give your pet the right food, you also have to give them the correct portions.

Whether you are a first-time pet owner or an experienced one, chances are you might be a little confused about how much wet food you should feed your cat. This is totally normal and to be expected. Pawp is going to answer all of your wet cat food-related questions today. That way, you can be sure that what you’re giving your cat is correct.

To start things off, you’ll learn the difference between wet and dry cat food. There actually are quite a few differences that are worth noting. Then, you’ll learn why your cat might need wet food in its diet. 

Afterward, it’ll be discussed why it’s worth taking the time to figure out how much food your cat needs. From there, you’ll get your questions answered about how much wet food you should be feeding your cat. 

Of course, if you have questions about your individual cat’s diet that are more unique to them, you should reach out directly to a vet. They will be able to supply you with the answers that you need.

What’s the difference between wet food and dry food for cats?

There are a multitude of differences between wet and dry cat food. It’s important to be well-aware of these in order to understand how these different foods can provide for your cat in their own way.

The primary difference between dry and wet cat food is their moisture levels. In other words, the wet cat food contains more water than the dry cat food does. Dry cat food contains about 10% of water. The other 90% of your cat’s dry food includes carbohydrates, vitamins, and fats. 

On the contrary, your cat’s wet food contains a massive 70% of water. This is one reason why you might choose one type of food over the other. Your cat might have a health condition that would lead them to benefit from more water intake. That would mean that wet food would be a better fit for your pet. 

Dr. Laura Robinson compares wet and dry food, “Dry food is good for their teeth while wet food is good for extra hydration.” She goes on to say, “Cats are notorious for getting kidney disease later in life and experts think there may be a correlation with chronic mild dehydration.” 

The next difference between dry and wet cat food is the way that these foods were manufactured. Due to the fact that canned wet cat foods have higher moisture content, they’re usually crafted with frozen or fresh meats. 

That is combined with a protein source that originates from grains. From there, meats are blended in with vitamins, fats, and water. This mixture is then canned, and a heating process works to ensure that there are no food-borne pathogens present. 

Wet cat food is way different than dry cat food

Wet food is extremely different from dry food, which is crafted by combining and then cooking minerals, fats, meats, and vitamins all together at a high temperature and pressure. This leads starches to become more digestible for your cat. 

Then, fat could be sprayed onto the food. The reason why this step is necessary is that it makes the food more palatable.

Finally, the last difference is that the nutrient makeup can be different depending on what type of cat food you give your pet. Dry food, for example, usually has more carbohydrates in it than canned food would. 

Some dry cat food formulations might also include probiotics; it varies depending on what you feed your cat. It’s also recommended that you take a look at the individual products you’re comparing, as the ratio of protein and fat in these two types of food varies depending on what brand and type you have. 

Why should I feed my cat wet food?

The main reason why people choose to feed their cats wet food is because of the fact that there is a higher water content in this type of food. This could be especially important if your cat has certain health conditions. 

If your pet has an ailment that requires them to intake more water than a cat would usually have to, they might particularly benefit from wet cat food. This is due to the fact that there is more water. 

Another reason why it’s a good idea to give your pet canned cat food is that it’s largely considered to be highly palatable. In other words, your cat could be more likely to eat their canned food than their dry food. 

If you’re worried about your pet not intaking enough food, try to give them some wet food and see how it goes. 

Why is it important to feed my cat the right amount of wet food?

You give your cat the amount of canned food that’s in the can, and you don’t think anything of it. But did you know that there are better ways to go about giving your cat wet food? 

It might seem frivolous to spend time calculating how much cat food you need to give your pet, but it really isn’t. 

In 2017, it was estimated that 60 percent of cats in the United States were clinically obese or overweight. In other words, about 56.5 million cats are too heavy for their own health.

There is a hugely detrimental impact obesity can have on your feline’s health. An overweight cat is at a higher risk for some cardiovascular conditions, skin disorders, infections, and other complications associated with anesthesia and surgery. That’s not all: obesity in cats can also be connected to some types of cancer.

Therefore, it’s your job as your pet’s loving owner to make sure that you take an active approach to your cat’s health. Indoor cats don’t burn tons of calories throughout the day, which means that they can gain weight easier. 

As a pet parent, it’s your job to be sure you’re giving your pet the right amount of food. This is the key to helping your pet live a healthy, happy life.

How much wet food should I feed my cat?

Now, let’s discuss how much wet food you should be feeding your feline. The answer might actually surprise you.

Your first step is to talk to a vet. They can help you figure out your cat’s weight, identify where your cat would ideally be at (weight wise), and then help you figure out how many calories they should eat daily to reach those numbers. 

Another way that you can tackle this is by utilizing a pet calorie calculator. If your cat is dangerously overweight, it’s possible that your vet will actually recommend a prescription food. 

This could help them start off on the right paw as they strive to reach their goal weight. If your vet doesn’t do this, an over-the-counter cat food designed for weight control could do the trick.

Your next step is to take a careful look at the label on the can of your cat’s wet food. What do you see? The feeding instructions will likely be somewhat vague, which means that you have to figure it out yourself. These instructions are certainly not one-size-fits-all, so take them with a grain of salt. 

The proper calculations

Your best bet, if you really want to give your cat the right amount of wet food, is to break out your calculator. You heard us right: it’s time to do some math. Take a look at your cat’s wet food caloric content. It should appear on the label. 

If it doesn’t or if you need more information, it might be on the food manufacturers’ website. You can also give the producer a call if their website doesn’t make things more clear.

Now, you’ll need to refer to the calories that your vet said your cat should take in every day. Say they said that your cat has to eat 240 calories every day, and the three-ounce can of food you’re offering them has 73.

You’d just divide your cat’s recommended calories number by the calories per can. So, in this case, you’d divide 240 by 73. This will answer the question of how many three-ounce cans you should provide your cat with daily.

The correct amount of food is essential

Providing your cat with the correct diet is crucial, as you know. Wet food can be a valuable part of that, so it’s important that you give your cat this moisture-rich food. Now you know how much your pet will need, so you’re ready to go.


How to Calculate How Much Wet Food to Feed a Cat | Pet MD

Wet vs. Dry Cat Food, or Both? | Pet MD 

4 thoughts on “Canned or dry food: What's better for cats?” | Veterinary Practice News 

Should I feed my cat wet or dry food? | Your Cat 

Wet Food vs. Dry Food For Cats | Cat Health

Basic Calorie Calculator | Veterinary Medical Center

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