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Home > Cats > Do Cats Poop Less on Wet Food? Vet Approved Feline Digestion Facts

Do Cats Poop Less on Wet Food? Vet Approved Feline Digestion Facts

Tabby cat eating wet food

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Dr. Nia Perkins

Veterinarian, DVM

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If you’ve switched your cat to a wet food to help with hydration, you may be concerned if you notice that they have been pooping less. After all, our pets’ bathroom habits are an indicator of health and something that we monitor as dedicated pet owners.

Cat poop can be incredibly informative. If your cat isn’t pooping as much, it could indicate that their food is satisfying their nutritional needs with less waste. As a result, less of it ends up as poop.


Wet Food and Digestion

If you think your cat is pooping less, you’re smart to be concerned. Your cat’s poop habits can give you clues about their health, such as whether they’re constipated, have a litter box issue, or may have a medical condition that’s making toileting uncomfortable.

Cats typically poop at least once a day. If you clean your cat’s litter box every day, you may notice that they may go a large amount one day and not at all another day. Generally, this is normal and perfectly healthy.

If your cat is on wet food, you can expect less-frequent poop. Wet food more closely mimics the type of prey your cat would have in a wild environment, which is filled with moisture. Dry food not only takes away the moisture, but it may also have preservatives and fillers that contribute to its consistency. Dry food also has more carbohydrates than wet food.

When your cat eats dry food, it has more waste that isn’t absorbed. With wet food, your cat may be absorbing nutrients more efficiently, leading to less waste and less poop.

cat eating wet cat food indoor
Image By: Rutina, Shutterstock

Should I Feed Wet or Dry Food?

Both wet food and dry food have their pros and cons for your cat.

Wet Food Pros and Cons

Wet food has a huge benefit for your cat—namely, more water. Cats are prone to conditions like urinary tract disease and kidney disease, so they may benefit from having the additional water content. Wet food is also more palatable for some picky cats, ensuring that they get the nutrients they need.

The downside of wet food is that it’s more expensive than dry food, so you have to consider if you can afford it. In addition, wet food usually comes in cans and doesn’t have a long shelf life: 24 hours once opened and refrigerated. If your cat doesn’t eat all its food, you must either store it or discard it. This can lead to a lot of waste.

Dry Food Pros and Cons

Dry cat food is cheaper than wet food, so many people choose it as the bulk of their cats’ diets. If you’re on a budget or feeding a whole houseful of cats, this may be the better choice for you. Dry cat food also has a longer shelf life, so you can buy a big bag to save money and make fewer trips to the pet store. It’s also suitable for puzzle toys and interactive toys.

That said, there’s a strong correlation between obesity and feeding dry cat food to your cat, which might be because of the feeding habits more than the food itself. Dry food lasts longer, so many people just feed their cats freely. The food is put out for cats to eat whenever they want, so you can’t track how much your cat has eaten. Dry food is also a harder consistency for cats with dental problems or missing teeth.

cat eating dry and wet cat food
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Mixing Wet Food and Dry Food

If you want the balance of both, you can mix wet and dry cat food. Many people take this approach and feed their cats dry food with a wet topper, ensuring they have plenty of food (at a reasonable cost) and all the moisture and nutrients they need.

Be sure to speak to your veterinarian about your cat’s specific dietary needs and to find the best solution.

Make sure you’re feeding your cat the right amount, check out our cat food calculator here:

The exact amount of calories an individual animal needs to maintain a healthy weight is variable and influenced by many factors including genetics, age, breed, and activity level. This tool is meant to be used only as a guideline for healthy individuals and does not substitute veterinary advice 



Wet cat food has many benefits for your cat (and you!), including more nutrient absorption, more moisture, and less-frequent poop. If you noticed your cat poops less on wet food, no worries—that’s expected. If your cat seems uncomfortable or goes prolonged periods without pooping, however, it’s best to consult with your vet to ensure that there isn’t a health problem.

Featured Image Credit: thodonal88, Shutterstock

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