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As a cat owner, you want what is best for your cat. A significant part of caring for your cat is making sure it has the right foods.

Choosing high-quality kibble is beneficial, but it could be lacking necessary moisture. Many cat owners add water to their cats’ kibble.

Have you wondered if you should add water to your cat’s kibble? What are the pros and cons?

Today, we will discuss this subject in depth and help you understand the advantages and disadvantages so you can choose wisely.

white color cat reaching for kibble

Dry Kibble Offers Many Benefits

Cat owners often prefer to feed their cats dry kibble because it is convenient, packed with nutrition, and protects against tooth decay and gum disease.

Although dry cat kibble is nutritionally dense and convenient, relying on it too much could lead to problems with your cat’s health.

We will discuss the pros and cons below so you can make an educated decision on your cat’s nutritional needs.

Pros of Adding Water to a Cat’s Kibble

There are quite a few pros to adding water to your cat’s kibble. Consider the following.

1. Increases Water Intake

Cats tend to drink less water than dogs which can often lead to dehydration. While some cats will lap up water greedily, others may only take in a minute amount.

If you are giving your cat dry food only, and it is not drinking enough, dehydration could begin to set in quickly. Adding water increases your cat’s fluid intake without stress.

2. Improves Digestion

Cats that only eat dry food are more likely to develop constipation. Because the pieces are dry and brittle, cats may be unable to chew them effectively and will often swallow the food whole which can lead to digestive concerns.

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Adding a little bit of water to the dry food makes it softer and easier to digest. Whole pieces can damage the digestive system and cause pain and other issues.

cat eating moistened kibble

3. Protects Health

Without proper hydration, a cat’s electrolytes can become imbalanced, leading to health concerns. Urinary tract infections occur most frequently when a cat is dehydrated.

Adding water to your cat’s dry kibble is one easy way to safeguard against health issues.

4. Stimulates Appetite

Let’s face it. Cats are curious creatures and sometimes finicky eaters. Dry cat food is not always stimulating to a cat’s appetite.

Adding water to dry cat kibble increases the natural aroma of the food. It also enhances the flavor.

Cats are more likely to eat with gusto when the food smells and tastes good. Even finicky cats will often devour food that is moist and inviting.

5. Slows Eating

Have you ever watched a cat eat dry kibble? They will often devour the food quickly, grabbing large amounts in their mouths because it is easy to eat without chewing.

When you add water to a cat’s food, it forces them to slow down while eating. Eating slowly helps cats to avoid experiencing digestive distress that can be painful and even dangerous.

squinting cat while eating

Cons of Adding Water to a Cat’s Kibble

While adding water to a cat’s kibble offers many benefits, there are some cons to keep in mind. Being aware of these will help you take appropriate action.

1. Molds Food

If you free-feed your cat, adding water to dry kibble is a bad idea. Because of the moisture, the cat’s food can begin to spoil quickly, leading to mold growth.

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Only add water to small amounts of dry kibble that will be consumed immediately.

2. Decays Teeth

Cats need crunchy foods to clean their teeth. If they only eat wet foods, they are more likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease.

While it is beneficial to add water, you should also offer your cat dry kibble from time to time to keep their teeth strong and healthy.

vet looking at a cat's teeth

Ask Your Vet

While you should definitely consider putting water in your cat’s dry kibble, it never hurts to talk to your vet first. Each cat is different, and what works well for one might not be right for another.

Some cats are very finicky about what they eat. If you add water and notice your cat is refusing to eat or eating very little, try cutting back on the amount of water added to each serving.

Cats are prone to becoming dehydrated, and adding water to your cat’s dry kibble is a simple way to increase its hydration levels.

Proper hydration keeps urinary tract infections at bay and prevents electrolyte imbalances.

If you decide to begin adding water, add a small amount at a time and see how your cat responds. Make sure to add the water just before serving so the food does not become a mushy, unappetizing mess.

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