How To Soften A Cat Food? – 5 Useful Methods

When dry food is too tough for cats to consume, it can be made more palatable by adding moisture and softening it.

This can be a convenient and affordable way to feed our pets when they are poorly or elderly without changing the diet that they are used too.

Additionally, it can assist in effecting diet changes such as weaning kittens from milk or switching from a diet of wet food to one of dry food.

Softening dry food does not only make it more edible but the additional water assists in preventing dehydration.

How to soften cat food – 5 Unique Methods

Dehydration commonly occurs in cats because they have low thirst drives and drink water sparingly.

Also, softer food is easier to digest but more difficult to gulp down than dry food, limiting the incidence of health issues such as bloating.

For fussy eaters that refuse to eat dry food, softening the food may help to create an appetite for it.

Cats smell their food before eating it and adding water results in the release of more aromas and flavors, which can increase interest in the food.

Softened food also has a different mouth feel, which can be of preference to some cats.

5 Methods To Soften Cat Food

Dry cat food is softened by simply adding water to it. Different textures, consistencies, and flavors can then be achieved by adjusting the technique used.

1. The Basic Method

Add 1 part warm water to 3 parts kibble and leave to soak for 10 to 15 minutes, then serve.

What We Love About This Method

It is simple, quick, and does what it is meant to do.

2. For A Chewable Texture

Add 1 part warm water to 3 parts dry food, soak for 5 minutes, and drain away excess fluid.

Leave the food to stand for another 5 minutes so that all the moisture is absorbed, then serve.

What We Love About This Method

It is ideal to use for cats that like textured food or as a transitionary food from a wet to a dry diet.

3. For A Creamy Texture

Add 1 part warm water to 3 parts dry food and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, mash the mixture using a hand masher or blender and serve.

The food can be crushed before adding water to aid in mashing it.

Additional water can be added during the mashing process to help smoothen and thin out the consistency.

What We Love About This Method

It is ideal to use for cats with chewing difficulties, particularly ailing cats and elderly cats, or as a weaning food for kittens.

4. For Added Flavour

Using any of the above methods, substitute water with a homemade unsalted meat broth or gravy.

Alternatively, you can mix the dry food with wet food, and it will soak up moisture and flavor from the wet food while adding texture to the wet food.

What We Love About This Method

It improves the taste and nutritional quality of the dry food while also softening it.

Additionally, you get to add flavors of your choice. It is another excellent method to use to make transitionary meals between wet and dry food.

5. For Weaning Kittens

To introduce solid foods to kittens, water can be replaced with kitten formula and used to make creamy and smooth meals (as laid out in method 3).

Over time, less and less formula can be used by substituting it with water.

A transition to more chewable meals can then follow (using method 2), before completely introducing wet or dry solid meals.

What We Love About This Method

It is an excellent way to introduce new textures and flavors to kittens in a gradual manner. This aids in developing a diverse palate and identifying foods a cat may be allergic to.

What Not To Do

Listed below are essential points that must be understood before attempting to soften any dry cat food and implemented accordingly, for the health and safety of your cat.

Do Not Forget To Consult Your Veterinarian

Before making any modifications to your pet’s diet, it is vital to consult with a veterinarian to check that it is safe to do.

This is particularly important for pets on prescription diets. Many pet foods are formulated to meet specific dietary requirements. And, uninformed modifications can have serious adverse effects.

Do Not Leave Out Softened Food For More Than An Hour

The food must be served as soon as it is prepared and removed within an hour, even if it has not been consumed.

When it is extremely hot, it is best to ensure that the food is consumed immediately and removed.

All this is important because while the high temperatures used to cook pet food kill germs, bacteria and other microorganisms often settle on the food in the subsequent drying and packaging steps.

Adding moisture to dry pet food activates the growth and multiplication of any microorganisms present. This can spoil food within hours and make pets ill.

Do Not Use Too Much Liquid

It is important to measure out the liquid required for your cat’s portion size accurately. This way, we can avoid adding too much water, as this may dilute the food.

Too high a dilution may dampen the taste of the food and put off your cat, or satiate your cat before it consumes enough nutrients.

Softened Cat Food Is A Good Way To Feed Any Cat When Done Correctly

As we have shown, it is easy to soften dry cat food to increase its water content. It also makes it more edible, more digestible, and more flavorsome.

This is beneficial knowledge for any pet parent to have, as it offers an option to provide moist food that is not traditional wet food.

Not only is it cheaper than purchasing commercial wet food, but it means we can give our cats softer foods without changing their diets drastically.

That may have significant consequences, such as introducing allergic ingredients or off-setting their nutrient intake.

Our suggestions are simple and fun to try, but always remember to consult your veterinarian on any diet changes you intend to make for your cat.