Transitioning from dry kibble to wetfood for our pets

Ever since the posts I put up about the benefits of wetfood (raw, homecooked or canned), some of the readers have written in with various feedback. Some have been successful and are seeing the immediate benefits. Some are struggling with their pets’ insistence on kibble. Some are on the verge of giving up!

To those on the verge of giving up, I’d say, “Please don’t, if you believe in the benefits! Dr Lisa Pierson took 3 months. Dr Susanna took 3 YEARS with one of her most stubborn cats.”

So, for those who want to carry on trying to transition your pet from dry kibble to wetfood, here are some tips: (same article, in a different font).

Dr Lisa Pierson says that any canned food is better than the best kibble. I know many vets will not agree, so please do your research and decide what’s best for your pet.

A quick recap from Dr Lisa Pierson from

Before you get too confused when reading this page, I will say at the outset:  I would much rather see a cat eat any canned food versus any dry food – regardless of quality level of the canned food.  This includes Friskies, 9-Lives, Sophisticat, Fancy Feast, etc.

This is because:

  1. All canned foods contain an appropriate (high) amount of water which iscritical for urinary tract health.  Please see Opie’s page – Feline Urinary Tract Health.
  2. The protein in canned food is more apt to be higher in animal-based proteinversus plant-based protein – contrary to most dry foods.  Keep in mind that we are feeding cats (strict carnivores) not cows.
  3. The carbohydrate level of most canned foods is lower than that of most dry foods.

There is no dry food that covers all of the very important points listed above.

Important note:  Keep in mind that grains and vegetables contribute to both thecarbohydrate and protein content of food but understand that the protein from these ingredients is plant-based, not animal-based.  As explained in my Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition, cats are strict carnivores and need to get their protein from other animals – not plants.

Therefore, when comparing two foods with the same percentage of protein, it is very important to note the quality (biological value) of the protein.  Plant-based proteins are very low in quality/biological value.

If you do not want to read any further and want two quick bullet points, here they are:

For me, personally, I have seen the amazing results of taking off kibble and putting my brood, especially Indy and Bunny who were sick at that time (we were almost losing Indy and the two best vets I know in the Klang Valley did not know what was wrong with him) on homecooked and canned food. Of course, I totally believe acupuncture helped. But here is the thing, before acupuncture can work, we must give the right food. This is because acupuncture opens the energy channels to get the qi flowing, and the qi is totally dependent on food. Nothing else. Just food. We ARE what we eat.

My cat brood are currently on, in this order, Natural Balance canned, homecooked (not daily, as some days I’m just too busy to cook) and Go! kibble as a treat once in a while. They would much prefer canned food as a treat since Natural Balance comes in 5-6 flavours, but I thought I’d just give them a change once in a while.

Bobby (my 15 year old dog) is on canned food plus his favourite Canine Caviar. I was told Orijen is good, but he cannot take Orijen “neat” because it is too rich in protein and it makes him have soft stools or even diarrhoea. I do mix if I can get the small packet of Orijen chicken.

All said, this is just a sharing. I am aware there are various schools of thought, so it is best to do your own research and decide based on information, trust, faith and experience.







5 responses to “Transitioning from dry kibble to wetfood for our pets”

  1. mas

    even there’s lots of vets saying kibbles are always better than wet food. i think i’m one of wet food fans. ever since during my mom’s period, we’ll always feed our cats with mix of kibbles n wet food (sometimes home cooked, but unfortunately, i dont cook now..:P). the portion is 60-40 (wet-can). up till now i maintain the mixture for every meal, 3x daily. once a week/fortnight give them steamed chicken for treat.

    by mixing kibbles & wet food, i find that my cats are not so choosy in it’s kibbles choice. they will eat any type/brand of kibbles, as long as there’s wet food mix in it. so at times when their usual kibbles are out of stock, i have no problem substituting the kibbles with other brands temporarily. except for kittens i newly foster/adopt, i found that most of my adult cats are generally healthy.

    one problem is that most of the community cats i fostered during recovery period, they tend to run from their old neighbourhood and have their meals at my place..currently use 30-32 cans per week for feeding all my cats in the neighbourhood 🙂

    We are what we eat. that’s totally true (reminding me on myself..hehe)

  2. Wong Yoke Mei

    Hi Dr Chan,

    Both my cats are on kibbles and i would love to introduce wet food to them, but i just feel that it is troublesome to warm the can food everytime i take them out of the fridge during feeding time.

    On the other hand, i am also concern about their dental care if they are on can food most of the time. How do you manage the dental care of your cats? Any advice? I tried putting toothpaste on their teeth and they absolutely hate it. Now, whenever i take out the tube of toothpaste, both of them will run away from as if i am a ghost.

    1. chankahyein

      Hi Yoke Mei, Why would they have a dental problem if they are on wetfood? If you are worried, pls source for some dental paste at petstores. Toothpaste may not be suitable. Also, instead of having to warm the food, take it out of the fridge earlier so that it thaws and won’t be so cold when it’s feeding time.

      1. Wong Yoke Mei

        Hi Dr Chan,

        The toothpaste that i mentioned was for pets use but they have a minty flavour to it.

        I tried feeding both my cats Evo can food over the weekend. One of them did ok, but the other had soft stools. Not watery but it’s very soft towards the end. Will continue to try and see how they fair on can food.

        Will try to source for other dental paste for cats in petstores.


        1. chankahyein

          Food change should be done very gradually, otherwise it can cause diarrhoea.