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How to soften a dry cat food

Why look for how to make dry cat foods soft?

A few reasons:

  • Dry cat food can be difficult for cats to consume, especially for those senior or with dental problems. If that’s the case, softening can help your feline chew and swallow her meal.
  • Moisture in dry food makes it more palatable and smelling, increasing a cat’s interest in it. More than that, softening allows you to control a cat’s hydration: Given that dry food lacks water (as a rule, it’s no more than 10% of it in dry formulas), softening provides a cat’s diet with additional moisture for better health.
  • Plus, some cats do nothing else than refuse to eat dry food. In this case, softening can motivate them to take meals. The same is true for kittens: When weaning from milk to regular diets, it can be challenging for them to eat dry cat food.

But regardless of your reason to soften dry cat food, it’s critical to understand how to do that right.

Did you know? There’s a wide selection of commercial soft-dry cat foods, maybe this option will fit you better?

In this article, you’ll find five methods of how to soften dry cat food and four don’ts of doing that so your feline would stay satisfied and healthy.

How to make hard cat food soft

It seems simple: Take water and add it to your cat’s dry food. However, this process requires some tricks if you want to prepare food of different textures and flavors.

Here go your five methods of how to soften cat food, depending on your feline’s needs:

1) To make it more chewable

This method is ideal for cats who enjoy eating textured food but still need additional moisture to support a water balance. Also, it works if you need to switch a cat from canned cat food to dry food diet.

How to soften dry cat food with this method:

  • Take 3 parts of dry food
  • Add 1 part of clean, warm water
  • Leave it for 5 minutes, and then drain all the excess fluid away
  • Give it five more minutes to absorb the moisture
  • Serve

2) To make it more yummy-smelling

This one will work for fussy eaters, those refusing to consume dry cat food or preferring specific flavors. Use any method described here, but substitute water with meat gravy or broth you’ve made at home.

It will make the food smell tastier for a cat and allow you to diversify her diet with extra flavors.

Or, you can use wet cat food for softening the dry one. It will improve the latter’s nutritional composition, providing your feline with mixed feeding, full of benefits for her health.

3) To make it creamy

This method is the #1 choice of elderly cats or those with dental problems. It may be not easy or even painful for them to chew and swallow crunchy kibbles, so why not make their dry food creamy?

That’s how to soften cat food with this method:

  • Take 3 parts of dry food
  • Add 1 part of clean water
  • Leave it for 10-15 minutes, and then blend it until smooth
  • Feel free to crush dry food before softening or add extra water while mashing, to control food consistency
  • Serve

4) To soften it for kittens

The #1 and #3 methods are your best helpers here.

For weaning kittens, you can replace water with wet kitten formulas to make the food smooth and creamy. (Consider the method #3.) Later, in a feline’s growing, substitute kitten formulas with water (as described in the #1 method) gradually.

It will help introduce new flavors and textures and switch a kitten to a regular diet.

Read this article if you’re looking for homemade kitten formula ideas.

5) The “Just do it!” method

This method is the simplest and, therefore, most traditional one among cat owners. All you need to do is take 3 parts of dry food, add 1 part of warm water, and leave it for 10-15 minutes before serving it to a cat.

That’s it!

It works best for adult cats with no allergies and other health problems. Fuss-free felines will enjoy it too.

Don’ts of softening dry cat food

With all the above methods on how to soften dry cat food, pet owners often forget about a few tiny yet essential details.

Please consider the following:

1) Don’t mix the kibbles with milk or other perishable liquids.

First, most cats are lactose intolerant (and that’s fine!); so, if you decide to soften their dry food with milk, it may involve stomach ache, diarrhea, and other digestion problems.

Second, such perishable liquids like milk and others may turn cat’s dry food into stale soup, unpleasant for felines to consume.

2) Don’t leave the softened food portion for a long time.

Make sure to serve the softened food as soon as possible, and don’t leave it for more than one hour. Remove it once a cat has finished eating.

Manufacturers cook dry cat food under high temperatures to kill all germs in it. But when you add water, it activates the growth of microorganisms “living” on surface and packaging. The longer it stays untouched, the more dangerous it becomes for a cat’s health.

3) Don’t add too much water.

Otherwise, you risk diluting the food and dampening its taste for a cat. Plus, she will get fewer nutrients than needed to thrive.

4) Don’t forget to ask your vet.

Please don’t make any changes to your feline’s regular diet before consulting your vet. And this is especially true for cats on prescription diets because of health issues. Self-activities like this may hurt your cat.

In a word

Many pet owners ask, “How can I soften my cats dry food?”

No wonder:

When done right, softening provides benefits to a feline. It makes food more palatable and digestible, gives extra moisture for a cat’s proper hydration, and prevents health risks such as weight problems and urinary tract problems.

So, it’s time to try softening a dry cat food with any of the above methods and see what your pet thinks of it, agree? But don’t forget to consult your vet first!

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