How to pick the best food for your cat? The short version is, if you can afford it, feed your cats wet food.
Diet is the one of the most important decisions you make for your cat. Feeding them a balanced feline diet can help avoid painful and costly illness in the future. Most veterinarians suggest feeding wet food instead of dry kibble.
The biggest three negatives associated with dry food are:
1) water content is too low
2) carbohydrate load is too high
3) it is too high in plant-based protein versus animal-based proteins
Dry food is very heavily processed which includes being subjected to high temperatures for a long time resulting in alteration and destruction of nutrients. It is like feeding your cats junk food at every meal.
Many people will say "my cat is doing just fine on dry food". Every living being is doing just fine, until they notice a sign of disease. Every cat with diabetes or a blocked urinary tract was doing just fine until they were not.
Cats are carnivores, they are meant to get their nutrition from meat and not plants. The protein in dry food, which is often heavily plant-based, is not equal in quality to the protein in canned food, which is meat-based. Because plant proteins are cheaper than meat proteins, pet food companies will have a higher profit margin when using corn, wheat, soy, rice, etc. This abnormally high ratio or carbohydrates can wreak havoc on a cat's blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to diabetes.
Another reason to feed your cats wet over dry food is that cats also have a low thirst drive, so to stay healthy they must get hydration with their food. In the wild your cat would be eating a high protein, high-moisture, meat/organ-based diet, with only approximately 1-2 percent of her diet consisting of carbohydrates. The average dry food contains 35-50 percent carbohydrate calories. Some of the cheaper dry foods can contain even higher levels. Staying hydrated can help keep your cat safe from many common cat ailments such as bladder, kidney and urinary tract problems.
Many cat nutritionists would say the most low quality wet food is better than the highest quality dry food. Cats on canned food consume double the amounts of water as cats on dry food.j
Please do your own research and pick a food that is best for you and your cat. More detailed information on a cat's diet, and how it can affect diabetes or increased weight can be found here.