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  • Writer's pictureMelissa

Why Does Wet Cat Food Seem to Have Less Protein Than Dry Cat Food?


wet cat food protein vs dry cat food protein

Have you ever wondered why there’s a seemingly lower protein content on the labels of wet cat food compared to dry cat food? It might seem puzzling at first, but the explanation lies in the composition and processing of these two types of cat food.


Understanding Moisture Content

Let’s break it down a bit. Wet cat food contains a significantly higher percentage of moisture than dry cat food. Dry cat food can have a moisture content as low as 6-10%, while wet cat food typically ranges from 75-85% moisture. This stark contrast in moisture levels directly influences how the protein content is represented on the nutritional labels.


Effect on Protein Representation

When you look at the protein content on pet food labels, it’s usually expressed as a percentage of the “as fed” basis. This means that the protein content includes the moisture present in the food. Since wet cat food has a much higher moisture content, the protein percentage appears lower on the label compared to dry cat food, which has significantly less moisture.


Interpreting Nutritional Labels

However, it’s essential to understand that the lower protein percentage on wet cat food labels doesn’t mean it lacks protein. It simply reflects the higher water content. To make a fair comparison between wet and dry cat food, you can look at the guaranteed analysis on the label. This analysis provides the minimum percentages of crude protein and other nutrients on a dry matter basis, which removes the effects of moisture content. By comparing the dry matter protein percentages, you’ll get a more accurate picture of their protein content and nutritional value.


Choosing the Right Food

In essence, both wet and dry cat food can be nutritionally balanced and provide essential nutrients for your feline companion. The choice between wet and dry food often depends on factors such as your cat’s preferences, dietary needs, and your lifestyle. Understanding how to interpret pet food labels can help you make informed decisions about your cat’s nutrition and well-being.


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