NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: I am writing to you, as I am concerned about how we feed cats.
I have a friend who had to have her female cat put down in December. The cat was 12 years old. My friend fed the cat dry food only. The vet said the cat had kidney failure. She had stopped eating and drinking.
Now my friend has another cat she adopted from the SPCA, Annie. Annie is 6 years old, and she spent two years at the shelter. My friend was told to feed the cat both wet and dry food. She gave Annie both foods for a couple of weeks, but now she gives only the dry food.
Is it true that a cat should have both wet and dry food? Is it safe to feed a cat only dry food? I have a neighbor with a cat, and he told me the cat should have wet and dry food.
I don’t want this cat to end up like my friend’s last cat. I just want to know what’s best for the cat. My friend doesn’t believe me when I say she needs to feed both kinds.
— P.E.S., West Long Beach, N.J.
Dear P.E.S.: I appreciate your letter and you have every reason to be concerned about your friend’s cat being fed just dry cat food.
Many cats become addicted to a dry food diet, and it is highly advisable to feed a corn-free, grain-free dry food (you can soak it if the cat does not drink much water). For details, check my website, DrFoxVet.com, and visit feline-nutrition.org for excellent information.
Ideally, cats should be fed a cereal- and soy-free diet — canned and dry — or raw-frozen or rehydrated freeze-dried, nutritionally balanced formulations. This will help prevent a host of all-too-common diet-related diseases in middle and old age.