Some cats prefer soft food from cans or pouches to dry food. Many people chalk this up to the feline tendency to be picky. However, what we humans call "pickiness" actually grew out of the eating habits the first cats developed in their original wild environments.
The scent of wet or canned food is one reason cats prefer it. Cats prefer foods with strong odors because their sense of smell is much more refined than their sense of taste. As anyone who has ever fed a cat wet or canned food knows, it has an extremely strong smell.
Unlike dogs, who are omnivores, cats are classified as obligate carnivores. This means that muscle-based meats in their diets are necessary. They especially need the amino acid taurine, which is primarily found in animal muscle meat. Canned or wet food is primarily made of meat or fish and therefore generally contains more taurine and muscle-based protein than dry food. This is another reason why some cats prefer it.
The texture of any kind of soft food is another reason some cats prefer it. When given a choice, cats prefer foods with a variety of textures anyway. Also, their ancestors came from an environment where their primary prey were mice and birds. The texture of their natural prey is more soft than crunchy.
The higher water content in soft or wet foods is one more reason some cats prefer it. This is because in the wild, their natural prey is about 70 percent water. Canned or wet food is 78 percent water, while dry food is only 10 percent water.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Leslie Carver has been a professional author since 2009. Her work appears on multiple websites. She has an associate's degree in English with progress toward her bachelor's at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has been awarded an Outstanding Student Award in English and twice nominated for creative writing awards.