Cats can thrive on either wet or dry foods, provided the food contains all the nutrients that they need. But for many cats, wet food is probably the better choice.
Many people purchase dry cat food because they are hoping it will prevent dental tartar. However, unless you are feeding a specially formulated dental diet, there is very little evidence that dry food prevents tartar any better than wet food does.
Dry food is undeniably convenient: you can put out a fresh bowl of dry food in the morning and your cat will snack on it all day. However the disadvantage of this method of feeding is that many cats will eat far more calories than they need, and this can contribute to the problem of obesity, particularly in indoor, inactive cats. Wet food, on the other hand, has fewer calories than dry food because it is 80% water, and it may be a better option if your cat is overweight.
And speaking of water, wet foods have another advantage. Because the ancestors of cats lived in a desert environment, cats have a “low thirst drive” which means they don’t drink much water. Cats eating wet foods will have a significant intake of water through their food, which is particularly beneficial for cats with kidney disease or lower urinary tract disease (for example, male cats that have had urinary obstructions in the past).
No matter what food the cat is eating, it is important to provide fresh water daily, preferably in a container your cat enjoys using, such as a large shallow bowl, fountain, or dripping tap.