Dry cat food is a convenient way of ensuring that your feline friend is getting the nutrition they need even when you are away from home. However, it might not be the best option for certain types of animals, such as those predisposed to obesity or diabetes.
But if you really have no choice other than giving your dry cat food instead of pouches or canned varieties, softening it might be a good idea. In today’s article, we’re looking ways to soften dry cat food and also several reasons why you should consider doing so.
What Is the Best Way to Soften Dry Cat Food
This one is quite obvious, so we will not give you a lot of detail on how to do it. However, we will have to note that the more water you add to the kibble, the less crunchy or chewy it will be.
Also, the softening period needs to be limited unless you want to end up with a really mushy mixture that some cats might not actually enjoy. While those that have dental or gum issues will undoubtedly eat it nonetheless, those that are finding the crunchy texture still a little appealing might be less inclined to do the same.
5 minutes of soaking 3 parts kibble in 1 part water will lead to a chewier consistency, whereas 10 minutes of soaking will lead to an even softer result.
Healthy adults typically do not have any issue eating dry cat food all day, every day. However, the same cannot be said for their senior counterparts.
Most geriatric cats begin to have some sort of oral pathology, whether because they slowly develop periodontal disease or because they have cavities or infections, or have sustained lesions on their oral lining.
Some cats might find you softening their kibble a little funny in the beginning, and not just because the food might taste differently. After all, since it is dissolved in a little water, its flavor isn’t as concentrated as when it is dry.
If that is the case with your feline friend, we suggest using bone broth or chicken broth to soften the kibble instead of opting for water. Do consider that in this case, you’d have to lightly warm up the broth so that the fat globules present in it dissolve and mix with the dry food.
Pet vitamins that can be added to your cat’s drinking water can be used as a substitute, especially if they come with a flavor or nutrients from bone broth or real meat.
This is the same piece of advice that we would give you if your cat were to have chronic gingivitis because of recurring lesions caused by Calicivirus, for example.
Such cats really don’t do well with any type of solid food, even the ones from pouches. So, even if you might feel tempted to think that your cat is just saying no to your food choices because she’d prefer something more expensive and appealing, she might just not be able to eat it.
You can add a little more bone broth in this case, sometimes up to 40% of the entire mixture, and either blend it with a hand mixer or in your food processor or use a hand masher if that seems to be more convenient.
Use cat milk instead of water
This is a good option for pet parents who want to make sure that the kittens in a litter are weaned easier. Sometimes, the mother might no longer produce enough milk for the entire litter, especially after several weeks after the birth have already passed.
Other times, especially in cases where the queen gave birth to a very large litter, her mammary glands might suffer some degree of abuse, which is why she might refuse to feed her offspring just because of the pain.
Naturally, you can use cat milk to substitute the one that the queen is supposed to provide to her litter. But when you start weaning the little ones, you can gradually mix it with a very small amount of dry food or canned food.
Even adults will like cat milk better than plain water since it has a bit of fat in it.
What not to use for softening your cat’s dry food
Any food scraps will be a no-go if you want to make sure that your cat remains healthy. This species is sensitive to a wide range of foods, and if you think that your homemade soup might be appropriate instead of water or unsalted bone broth, think again.
Soups, borscht, and anything else in this vein is not a good option because they might contain celery, onion or garlic, salt, pepper, and a variety of other such ingredients that can actually put your pet’s health in danger.
Is Softening Dry Cat Food Necessary?
It all depends on your own cat. If your pet indeed prefers the taste of kibble rather than any wet food variety you might have tried feeding them in the past, it could be a good choice.
However, most cats will enjoy the taste and consistency of pates and pieces of meat in jelly instead of picking dry food instead. Wet cat food is also a great way of ensuring that the cat doesn’t become dehydrated – especially since these pets, unfortunately, don’t go crazy about drinking a lot of water.
If your cat has some sort of oral pathology, you can just as well blend their canned food with a bit of bone broth so that the consistency is even smoother.