Does Wet Food Give Cats Diarrhea?

A nutritious diet is key to a happy kitty.
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When you're a cat owner, the priority is to make sure that your darling is always 100 percent happy and healthy. The never-ending debate over wet food vs. dry food can make things tricky, though. After all, sad cat with an upset stomach makes for a very sad owner.

Wet Food vs. Dry Food

As long as you buy a nutritionally sound brand of wet or dry food, there is no "better" option. Both can be healthy and satisfying for your cat. Wet food contains more moisture, and dry food is more suitable for maintaining healthy teeth. Although some believe the moistness in wet food causes diarrhea in cats, others believe the corn fillers in dry have the same result. Instead of comparing both types, consider exactly what your cat needs out of food, whether it's protein or calcium. Speak to your veterinarian regarding your cat's dietary needs before jumping to conclusions.


Cats need sufficient hydration in their diets, and wet food satisfies that. The ASPCA indicates that moistened cat food consists of high levels of water and protein -- both components that are essential for giving your precious feline energy, healthy growth and vitality. Balance is important. If you choose to feed your kitty dry food, make sure she always has fresh and clean water within easy reach. No matter what kind of food you feed your cat -- wet or dry -- water is always key. Not to mention, high water content actually assists in proper digestion, and may ultimately prevent unpleasant diarrhea issues.

Carnivorous Natures

Cats are carnivores and, because of that fact, thrive on meat. Since moistened foods are predominantly meat, they are often a healthy and suitable option for kitties. If your cat prefers dry food, however, look for one that is also meat-based, whether chicken or beef. If wet food is giving your little fluffball diarrhea, it may be because the meat quality simply isn't up to par, rather than because of meat itself.


One of the advantages of serving your cat dry food is that it simply doesn't spoil as quickly or easily. That, and the fact it is also significantly cheaper. One culprit behind wet food giving your cat diarrhea is that it simply may not be fresh anymore. If your kitty is chomping away on spoiled wet food, it could be causing some digestive distress -- poor thing! Remember that once you open a can of cat food, immediate refrigeration is necessary in order to keep it "good." If you feed your cat refrigerated canned food, wait until it is back down at room temperature before allowing her to eat it. Otherwise, the temperature change may also cause diarrhea.

Other Causes

If your cat is experiencing diarrhea after eating wet food, don't immediately make assumptions. A wide variety of different things can lead to digestive upset in kitties, from hairballs to liver disease. To be on the safe side, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian to get to the root of the issue. Also remember that senior cats are more susceptible to stomach issues than younger ones.

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.

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