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Choosing the Best Food for Your Cat: Commercial Dry Food VS Homemade Food

March 13, 20247 min read

Laura Muzal

Choosing the Best Food for Your Cat: Commercial Dry Food VS Homemade Food

Picking out the right food for your cat is a big decision. Naturally, we all want what's best for our furry friends, but with so many options staring back at us from the pet food aisle, it's worth asking ourselves: are we really selecting what's best for our furry friend's health and happiness?

Marketing tactics play a huge role in influencing our choices. With attractive packaging and enticing labels like "natural" or "gourmet," it's easy to fall into the trap of picking something that may not be ideal for our cats. And let's not forget convenience and cost – dry kibble often wins in these departments, making it a popular choice for many pet owners.

But is it really the best choice for our cats? let’s get into the details: what’s the deal with dry cat food and why it might not be as perfect as it seems.

Problems with Dry Cat Food

Many of us turn to dry cat food as a convenient go-to option. After all, it's readily available, easy to store, and our cats seem to enjoy it just fine. But what if I told you that this seemingly innocent choice could be contributing to some health concerns for our feline friends?

fat cat

Many cats carry extra weight, which can be hazardous to their health. If a 10-pound cat gains just 2 pounds, it's equivalent to a 29-pound weight gain in humans. One primary reason for weight gain in cats is the consumption of dry cat food, which often contains high levels of grains and carbs, leading to obesity. The added oils in these foods can also increase cats' cravings, contributing to overeating and further weight gain. It's important to remember that cats' ancestors are carnivores and thrived on a diet with only 2–3% carbs, making them ill-suited for carb-heavy foods and prone to quick weight gain.

cat water

But weight gain isn't the only issue at play here. Dry cat food also falls short in the hydration department. Cats aren't big drinkers to begin with, and when their diet consists primarily of dry kibble, they're missing out on essential moisture. Dehydration in cats can result in various health issues, including urinary tract problems and kidney stress, as well as digestive issues like constipation.

The risks of cat obesity and dehydration are closely associated with the highly processed nature of dry cat food, which strips away essential nutrients and introduces undesirable elements. Relying solely on dry food may not be the best option for your cat as it deprives them of biologically appropriate nutrition that's necessary for genuine happiness and long-term health.

What is Fresh Cat Food?

As dry cat food continues to dominate the market, it's hard to overlook the associated health risks. Naturally, pet owners like us are on the lookout for better alternatives. Enter fresh pet food, a relatively new player in the game. Now, when we talk about "fresh" pet food, it's not necessarily served straight from the kitchen. According to an article from The New York Times, the term "fresh" lacks a specific definition in the pet food industry. It can refer to food made with fewer or no preservatives, with the focus on using refrigerated or freezing processes to retain essential nutrients, flavors, textures, and moisture.

Ideally, fresh cat food contains high-quality, minimally processed ingredients that retain their natural goodness. Understanding the key components ensures that our cats get a well-rounded and nutritious diet.

fresh cat food

Protein Sources - High-quality animal proteins, like chicken, turkey, or fish, are essential for our cat's health. They provide crucial amino acids necessary for muscle maintenance and overall well-being.

Healthy Fats - Fats play a vital role in our cat's diet, supporting energy levels, a healthy coat, and various bodily functions. Fresh cat food sources omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, promoting optimal feline health.

Carbohydrates in Moderation - While cats are obligate carnivores, a small amount of carbohydrates can be included for energy. Fresh cat food ensures that carbohydrates come from wholesome sources like vegetables and grains, steering clear of excessive fillers often found in commercial cat food.

Vitamins and Minerals - A well-rounded fresh cat food diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables to provide essential nutrients, contributing to a strong immune system and overall vitality.

Commercial Fresh Food

As highlighted by The New York Times, the pet food market has witnessed the emergence of numerous fresh pet food brands, many of which offer subscription-based services. This process typically involves setting up a profile for your pet, completing a questionnaire, and customizing delivery frequency, with the pet food arriving packed in dry ice.

Despite the promising benefits of fresh pet food, it still faces several challenges. As of 2021, it represents a mere 4% of the pet food market, primarily tailored to dogs. While there's optimism that successful fresh pet food brands for dogs may pave the way for feline options, this transition likely won't happen overnight. Various factors slow down the widespread adoption of fresh pet food, including cost, storage considerations, and limited availability in certain areas.

However, amidst these challenges, there are a few fresh pet food options that stand out. Brands like Raised Right and Just Food For Cats offer high-quality biologically appropriate ingredients and are available in many local pet stores, making them excellent choices for pet owners looking to provide their cats with nutritious meals.

Nourishing Home Made Meals

Let's discuss a healthier approach to nourishing your cat. Rather than depending on commercial cat food, which may come with potential health risks and high costs, why not take on the role of your cat's personal chef in your own kitchen? Cooking for your cat allows you to select premium, fresh ingredients, ensuring that each meal is rich in essential nutrients tailored to their needs and preferences.


Not sure where to start? Meet The Original CrockPET Diet®, carefully curated by holistic veterinarian Dr. Ruth Roberts. This e-book is packed with nutritious recipes made from fresh ingredients, perfect for both cats and dogs.

If you prefer learning through visuals, Dr. Ruth has crafted a cooking video for you. It offers easy-to-follow instructions, guiding you through each step of the process.

If you're still feeling uncertain or could use some extra support, feel free to schedule a call with me. I'm here to lend a hand and provide personalized assistance tailored to your needs. Your cat's health is important, and I'm committed to helping you create nutritious meals that they'll love.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right food for your cat is essential for their health and happiness. While dry cat food is popular, it may lead to obesity and dehydration issues. Many cat owners opt for dry food, but it's important to recognize the risks. Cats on a dry food diet can gain weight due to high carb content and lack of moisture, leading to potential health problems.

Fresh pet food provides a healthier alternative, offering balanced nutrition and more hydration. Though it's not as common, fresh options address concerns with dry food. Consider fresh alternatives like Raised Right and Just Food For Cats or try cooking for your cat at home. Resources like The Original CrockPET Diet® offer guidance for homemade meals tailored to your cat's needs.

Now, let's address the idea that making your cat's meals at home is complex or expensive. In fact, it can be a simple and budget-friendly option, especially if you incorporate homegrown or frozen veggies. By taking control of your cat's diet, you can ensure they receive the best possible nutrition at a reasonable price.

Related Reading:

Five Truths to Know About Commercial Pet Food

Have More Questions or Need Personalized Pet Care Advice?

If you have additional questions or need personalized guidance for your beloved pet, I'm here to help. Book a call with me, and let's discuss how to best care for your furry friend. Your pet's well-being is my priority, and I'm dedicated to providing the support and expertise you need. Click here to schedule your consultation today. Together, we can ensure your pet leads a happy, healthy life.

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, the blog owner may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

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Laura Muzal

Laura is a passionate Holistic Intuitive Animal Practitioner and Animal Wellness Expert. She is dedicated to enhancing the lives of your furry companions through a blend of expertise, science, and intuition. With a solid foundation as a Wildlife Biologist, she brings a unique and insightful perspective to the realm of animal care. Please note that Laura is not a veterinarian, and her expertise does not include diagnosis. Always consult with a qualified veterinarian for medical concerns regarding your pets.

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