As a loving cat-parent, it is natural to keep a close eye on our cats eating habits. We want our cats to eat a healthy, balanced diet and meet their hydration needs. If you are worried about your cat’s loss of interest in their regular dry food, you may be wondering if it is okay to moisten their food with some water.
Make dry cat food wet by adding a small amount of warm water to their kibbles and waiting for the moisture to absorb before feeding it to them. Use clean, filtered water, not tap water, to avoid feeding your cat harsh chemicals. Use a blender to further soften the food if need be.
You may be considering moistening your cat’s dry food for several reasons. Making dry cat food wet may seem simple, but there are a few important things to remember to keep our cats safe from food poisoning. Here is everything you need to know about safely making dry cat food wet.
Reasons To Add Water To Dry Cat Food
There are many different reasons that cat owners add water to dry cat food.
Increase Your Cat’s Water Intake
Our pet cats originate from wild desert cats. Naturally, in the wild cats do not need to drink lots of water because they get most of their bodies’ hydration needs met by the moisture in their carnivorous diet. For this reason, cats did not evolve the same thirst drive as humans did.
It is critical to ensure that your pet cat drinks enough water, especially if they eat a diet of mostly dry food. Depending on their activity level and environmental conditions, cats need 120-400ml of water per day, from their food and water.
If cats are slightly dehydrated over many years, they are prone to developing urinary tract issues. The kidneys and liver get over-stressed, resulting in bladder problems, urinary tract disease, and kidney failure. By encouraging our cats to consume more water, we can avoid these problems.
Dental Problems In Senior Cats
Sadly, as our cats get older, their teeth get weaker and may fall out, making it difficult for them to chew hard kibbles. This is the most common reason that older cats show a loss of interest in their dry food.
Cats with dental issues will benefit from added moisture in their kibbles, because it softens them, making chewing easier.
Makes Dry Food More Appealing
Adding water to dry kibbles releases more of its aroma and will make the food smell more attractive to your cat. The change in texture and flavor will also add some variety to their diet.
The water and food mixture creates a little gravy that my cats love.
Transitioning Your Cat Onto Wet Food
If your cat has been eating dry food for their whole life and you are trying to introduce them to wet food, adding some water to dry food is a good idea. Eating moist kibbles will help them get used to the texture of wet food and will make the transition easier.
Softening dry cat food with water can help if your cat, like mine, tends to wolf down their kibbles as fast as possible. Speed-eating can cause indigestion and vomiting. Cats generally take longer to eat food that has been softened.
Cheaper Than Wet Food
If you feel guilty for feeding your cat dry food only, because canned wet food is expensive, then adding water to dry food is a cost-effective alternative. You can make their food more palatable and increase their water intake, without spending an extra cent!
3 Steps To Making Dry Cat Food Wet
Adding moisture to dry cat food is an easy, quick process that you can incorporate into your cat’s daily feeding routine:
- Heat a quarter cup of clean, filtered drinking water so that it is warm, not hot.
- Add the warm water to your cat’s serving of dry food and swirl it around so that all the kibbles get wet.
- Wait 10-15 minutes for the water to soak into the kibbles before feeding your cat.
For elderly cats, young kittens, or cats with dental problems, you may need to soften the food further. This can be done by blending the moist kibbles to a creamy consistency in a food processer or blender.
How much water you add and how long you wait for the water to absorb can vary. If your cat prefers their kibbles only slightly moist so that they are more chewable, wait 5 minutes for the kibbles to soak up the water and then drain the excess moisture before feeding it to your cat. Most cats do not enjoy soupy kibbles, so avoid adding too much water!
For an added treat that packs a flavor-punch, substitute the water for home made broth or meat gravy. Your cat will love the extra flavor!
Precautions When Adding Water To Dry Cat Kibble
While adding water to your cat’s dry food has many benefits for their health, we must remember a few key things to keep our cats safe.
The reason that dry cat food was invented in the first place is that moisture in protein-rich foods causes it to have a short shelf life. Cooking the moisture out of the food increases its shelf-life because bacteria cannot proliferate in a dry environment.
It is important not to leave wet kibbles out. Feed your cat the moistened dry food, wait for 30 minutes, and then throw the uneaten food out. This is to prevent harmful bacteria, like salmonella, from growing in the food that can make your cat sick. On hot days, only wait 15 minutes, as bacteria proliferates much faster in warm conditions.
For this reason, when adding water to your cat’s food, do not serve more kibble than what you know your cat will eat in one sitting. This will prevent wasting food.
Another factor to consider when adding water to our cat’s dry food is water quality. Adding tap water is generally a bad idea, as there are many harsh chemicals added to tap water that you would not want to feed to your cat. As a rule, only give your pets water that you feel safe drinking yourself.
Never add warm milk to a cat’s dry food. While this may seem like a treat, cats are lactose intolerant and will not be able to digest the milk.
Adding water to dry cat food makes it smell and taste better to cats, enticing even the finickiest of felines. It is a great thing to do to increase your cat’s water intake, reducing their risk of urinary tract issues. Senior cats and cats with dental problems also benefit from water being added to their food, as it softens the kibbles, making them easier to chew.
Adding water to your cat’s dry food is simple and can easily be incorporated into your daily feeding routine. Add a quarter cup of warm water to their daily serving of kibble, wait for 10-15 minutes for the liquid to absorb and then serve it to your cat. Experiment with the amount of water and how long you let the kibbles soak to figure out what your cat prefers.
It is important not to leave wet cat food out for more than 30 minutes, even less in hot weather conditions! There is a risk of harmful bacteria growing on the food and making your cat sick. Ensure that you use clean, filtered drinking water to add to your cat’s food, as tap water contains harsh chemicals.