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If you read nothing else on this website please read this page.

I want to thank Dr Lisa Pierson, DVM and her website for teaching me almost everything you read on this page.  Without her Teddy (and my other cat buttons) would not be the healthy happy cats they are today.

When Teddy my cat was diagnosed with diabetes, I wanted to hang onto every word that the vet said.  I wanted to do everything possible for Teddy.  Including following her instruction to feed him the prescription Science Diet dry food.

Even after a couple of months on the Science Diet food his Blood-Glucose levels didn’t drop.  I started doing my own research.  I found this website:

The most important thing I learned:

The cheapest canned food is better for your cat than the most expensive (even prescription) dry food.

Water / Hydration

Cats have a Low Thirst Drive. In the wild, cats get all their water needs from the food they eat.  Therefore thay are not programmed to drink enough water from a bowl.  It has been shown that cats consume approximately double the amount of water when fed canned food (78% water) versus dry food (10% water).  This is taking into consideration the water they consume from their food plus the water bowl.  You may think that because your cat is drinking water that she is getting enough.

A cat’s normal prey contains approximately 70 – 75 percent water.  Dry food only contains 5-10 percent water whereas canned foods contain  approximately 78 percent water.  Canned foods therefore more closely approximate the natural diet of the cat and are better suited to meet the cat’s water needs.

A cat fed a dry food diet does drink more water than a cat consuming a canned food diet, but in the end, when water from all sources is added together (what’s in their diet plus what they drink), the cat on dry food consumes approximately half the amount of water compared with a cat eating canned food.

Think of the canned food as flushing out your cat’s bladder several times a day.  “Dilution is the solution to the pollution.”  This means that water flowing through the bladder will dilute crystals, protein, mucus, and cellular debris in the bladder.  This “pollution” comprises material that could turn into stones/plugs that would block the cat’s urethra.


Your cat is an obligate carnivore. It means that your cat was built by Mother Nature to get his nutritional needs met by the consumption of a large amount of animal-based proteins(meat/organs).  Most dry foods’ protien comes from plants.

Proteins derived from animal tissues have a complete amino acid profile. Plant-based proteins do not contain the full complement of the critical amino acids required by an obligate carnivore.

Taurine is one of the most important nutrients present in meat but it is missing from plants.  Taurine deficiency will cause blindness and heart problems in cats. In the 1980s, cats were going blind and dying from heart problems due to taurine deficiency.

Your cat’s body is telling him that he needs protein.  He’s munching that dry kibble and while he’s physically full, his body is telling him he still isn’t getting enough protein, so he eats more. and more. and more. 


You’ve never heard a farmer say, “A wild herd of cats wiped out our wheat crop”.  In the wild, cats do not consume the levels of carbohydrates that are found in dry food (and some canned food).

The average dry food contains 35-50 percent carbohydrate-based calories.
The average canned food contains less then 10 percent.

Not only to cats have no dietary need for carbs, they are unable to metabolize carbs well.  Their little bodies don’t know what to do with carbs.


Yes, rice is a carbohydrate and should be avoided. I mention it here because it seems to be the new popular filler, even in high-end cat food. Just yesterday I had a vet recommend a few brands of high-end canned cat food. When I looked at their labels, almost all of them contained rice. The presence of rice in the food affects the content of fat and fiber, which in turn could affect the metabolism of taurine.

What To Do

First, grab Dr Pierson’s Catt Food Composition Chart. Find a cat food with 10 percent carbs or less. Avoid foods containing potatoes, peas, rice, and grains.  Those ingredients are how manufacturers make the food cheaper.

For more information read How To Read a Pet Food Ingredient Label on Dr. Pierson’s website.

Bottom Line

  1. If you are feeding your cat canned wet food and no dry food that’s 90% of the battle.
  2. If the canned food has less that 10% of its calories form carbohydrates then you are a good cat parent.


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