When it comes to debating about the absolute best cat food that money can buy, it's almost always a comparison between dry cat food formulas on one side and wet cat food formulas on the other side, since different formulas in either category have stood the test of time by now and have proven to be able to provide cats of all different ages with just the nutritional requirements their bodies need.
However, it's not all just about wet cat food or dry cat food - have you ever heard about a third variety called semi moist cat food (also called soft dry cat food)?
Unfortunately though, and as we'll be discussing in detail in this article in just a bit, semi moist cat food formulas are no longer produced and sold in today's feline market.
The only semi-moist cat food you can get is cat treats, which you can only feed to your cat in minimal amounts and have to make sure they don't constitute a large portion of their diet.
If you're interested in learning about the best semi moist cat treats of today, then here's a quick look at our top 5 most favorite semi moist cat treat options of today.
Best Semi Moist Cat Treat Options Of Today
Top Pick: Pet Greens Semi-Moist Cat Treats with Tuna
Pick #2: Pet Greens Semi-Moist Cat Treats with Roasted Chicken
Pick #3: Get Naked Furball Relief Semi-Moist Treats
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Semi Moist Cat Food - The Rise And Fall
A few years back, a third category of cat food other than the nowadays popular wet and dry varieties greatly rose in popularity, a category called semi moist cat food (a.k.a soft dry cat food).
At that time, these semi moist cat food pouches offered somewhat of a middle ground between dry kibble and wet cat food, as they were more moist and contained more water than dry cat food, but not to the extent of moisture and water contained in wet cat food.
These semi moist cat food pouches were a dream come true for countless cat owners who wanted the best of both worlds (dry and wet) in one single product.
Achieving that middle ground when it comes to texture between the two extremities of wet cat food and dry cat food was a dream come true for many people, and many cats as well.
And, since cats that were given these pouches to eat seemed to absolutely fall in love with them, it looked like this category of cat food was soon going to be the dominant category in the market.
However, and as the saying goes, "all good things come to an end". After some time and many complaints of cats getting sick after they consumed these pouches, these semi moist cat food formulas were tested after consumer and veterinarian complaints and were found to cause anemia in cats.
These semi moist cat food formulas were found to contain very high levels of sugar and salt as well, both of which can be very problematic for a cat's health if consumed in excessive amounts.
The exceptionally high levels of sodium were required to preserve the texture of this kind of cat food, while the exceptionally high levels of sugar were just there to make it tasty and popular with cats.
If all of that wasn't enough for you, these semi moist cat food formulas were also found to be full of chemical preservatives and artificial coloring, two elements which can also prove to be fatal for cats if consumed in excessive amounts over a long period of time.
The artificial coloring and dye used in this type of cat food was mainly used to catch the attention of cats, make it more visually appealing to them and increase their temptation to eat it, so you can see how commercial and profit-oriented these formulas really were.
For these reasons, these formulas were gradually taken off the market and were no longer for sale, all the way up to today where you can no longer find semi moist cat food formulas being manufactured and sold anymore.
How Is Semi Moist Cat Food Offered Nowadays?
Semi moist cat food is no longer manufactured and sold on the market the same way it used to be back in the day with pouches.
If you see a cat food formula that's labeled as "semi-moist" (which is going to be a very rare occurrence in and of itself), be very weary of it and have a very thorough look at the ingredients list before you pick it up, as there's a strong chance that it's very poor in quality and is actually harmful for your cat.
There still are, however, semi moist cat treats being manufactured and sold, as these have not been found to cause any illnesses in cats so far.
This means that we're back to square zero again where the only two cat food varieties you're able to offer your feline are dry cat food or wet/canned cat food, and semi moist cat food is no longer an option for you to consider.
If you want to get your cat some semi moist cat food nowadays, you can cook up some homemade cat food via special recipes that allow you to achieve this balance once again.
However, this is way too much of a hassle and time drain for many cat owners who don't have the time, energy or resources required to commit to it for a continuous period of time, especially when you consider the effort you have to put in to best meet your cat's nutritional requirements from their diet.
Besides going down that route, there's always the option where you can buy dry kibble for your cat to eat and mix in some water with one of their meals in order to soften it up.
Now of course, it's not going to be as good as the semi moist cat food pouches that used to be available before they were taken off the shelves, but it's still a good natural alternative nonetheless.
The Difference Between Dry And Wet Cat Food
As we all know by now, dry cat food and wet cat food are both proven to be able to meet the nutritional requirements of cats of all different ages, but they obviously aren't the same in nature.
So, let's have a quick look at some of the most notable differences between the two types of cat food.
Water Levels: Possibly the most notable difference between these two types of cat food is, obviously enough, water levels they both contain.
Wet cat food contains significantly higher levels of water (around 80% of it is water) than dry cat food (around 8% of it is water).
A few years back when semi moist cat food used to be manufactured and sold, it was required by law in the USA to include a minimum of 20% moisture so it can be legally labeled and sold as a semi-moist cat food formula.
Water in a cat's diet is exceptionally important, which is why experts always advise that you feed them at least 50% of their diet from wet cat food and the other 50% from dry cat food.
Sometimes, your veterinarian may even deem it necessary for you to be feeding your cat 100% wet cat food.
This is especially important for cats that suffer from certain health problems such as kidney problems, urinary tract infections, etc ..
So, in addition to providing your cat with adequate amounts of water to drink throughout the day in order to stay properly hydrated, it's also very important that you dedicate the major part of their diet towards feeding them wet/canned cat food for that reason as well.
Storage: While dry cat food can be left outside for hours and hours on end without it going bad and becoming harmful for your cat to eat, possibly even left outside for the entire day, the same can't be said for wet cat food.
If you open a can of wet cat food and leave it out for more than a few hours, it'll spoil and may possibly poison your cat if eaten.
For that reason, wet cat food must be stored in a fridge after it's opened, or at least not left outside the fridge for more than a couple of hours at most.
The same holds true for the wet food you pour into your cat's bowl to eat, it should not remain outside for a long time if your cat hadn't finished it.
Any remains from that specific meal should be stored in the fridge so it can be consumed at a later time.
What Do I Do Now That Semi Moist Cat Food Is No Longer Produced?
Since semi moist cat food is no longer produced and sold nowadays, you have to get by with the only other two options available, dry cat food and wet cat food.
Feeding your cat a diet that puts both dry cat food and wet cat food to good use is an excellent option and a route that many pet owners take and swear by.
Some cat owners find that feeding their cats a diet comprised of 50% wet cat food and 50% dry cat food is the sweet spot for them, while others find that they have to go with a diet comprised of more like 70% wet cat food and 30% dry cat food to reach that sweet spot. Regardless of the exact ratio, be sure to buy the best cat food possible to maximize your kitty's health.
It's up to you to experiment and see what your cat responds to best, as no two cats out there are identical, and there's always going to be differences in what one cat responds to best when compared to another cat.