Although the process might seem foolproof, many cat owners are confused about how to puree wet cat food.
Should you use a blender, fork, or masher? Should you add water to cat food to make it softer?
All of these methods are valid, depending on the food texture, your cat’s needs, and serving size. Some cats only eat smooth pate or soupy food, whereas others don’t mind solid chunks.
Whether to add water is a topic for debate, but the answer ultimately depends on your cat’s health. There are better ways to make wet cat food softer for easy pureeing.
Your cat might not need to have its food pureed at all. Healthy adult cats like chewing, and their gastroenteric tract should digest solid food without issue.
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Use a Blender
Using a blender is the best way to make wet cat food softer. This method is perfect for cats that won’t eat anything but smooth pate or those prescribed food through a syringe because of a medical condition.
Remove the food from its original packaging and transfer it into a blender. Ensure that the blender blades and bowl are clean before you begin to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination and prolong the life of the food.
There’s no need to add water if the food is already soft enough to blend into smooth pâté. If you add water, the food will become like tuna or chicken milkshake, unless that’s what you need.
However, wet cat food becomes harder in the fridge because it loses moisture. In that case, you might want to warm the food beforehand.
You can either warm the food in the microwave for up to eight seconds, in a saucepan, or in a zip lock bag under running hot water.
The food doesn’t need to be hot – just warm enough to revive its texture. Depending on your cat’s preferences, you can blend it until no chunks of solid food are left or only slightly for easier chewing.
As you blend the food, don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl, stir, and blend again to ensure the texture is even.
Some people are grossed out by the thought of using their blender for cat food. Fortunately, you can purchase extra bowls or carafes online for most blenders to use solely for your cat’s food.
Use Potato Masher
Use a potato masher if you don’t have a blender. Using a fork will be tiresome if you must puree several servings before transferring them into a storage container.
Note that achieving an equally smooth texture with a potato masher as with a blender is challenging. Even if you mash the food for long, some solid chunks will likely be left.
This option might not be suitable for cats that need to be administered food via a syringe. If your cat doesn’t mind chunks of solid food, transfer the can or pouch contents into a large bowl.
Ensure that the masher and the bowl are clean. If the tools have been lying in your kitchen cabinet for a while collecting dust, rinse them before you begin.
Ideally, the bowl should be ceramic or metal because plastic increases the risk of bacteria growth.
Furthermore, many cats are sensitive to plastic or don’t like its taste. This tip also refers to the masher – a metal masher is better than nylon for cats.
Try to mash the food without adding water because it might make the texture too liquid and affect the food’s flavor.
Even if you don’t notice the difference in smell, your cat will because the feline sense of smell is stronger than ours.
If the cat food is too hard, warm it in the microwave, saucepan, or under hot water. The food shouldn’t be too hot but slightly above room temperature, enhancing the flavor and making the texture softer.
Use a Fork
The easiest way to make cat food softer is by using a fork. It’s quick because you don’t need to assemble and clean a blender, and it is perfect for small servings.
Mashing cat food with a fork will make it easier to chew and digest for your cat. Plus, many cats don’t like eating food in large chunks.
Some commercially made wet cat food might also have leftover bone fragments, so mashing is your chance to remove choking hazards.
Serve the food on your pet’s plate and mash it using the fork’s flat side. You can mash the food slightly or make it proper puree if you spend a bit more time.
If you’ve just taken the food out of the fridge, it might be too hard because water evaporates after you open the can. In this case, warm the food by keeping it under hot water in a zip lock bag.
Alternatively, transfer the can or pouch contents into a saucepan and heat it for a minute on the stove. If you want to heat the food in the microwave, use the lowest heat setting for no more than eight seconds.
Should You Add Water?
Whether you should add water to canned cat food depends on your cat’s preferences, health state, food texture, and your goal. Water in food helps make it softer, which benefits cats with digestion and dental issues.
Adding water to cat food is also an easy way to deal with cat dehydration and related health issues, including constipation and kidney problems.
However, adding water to food can cause diarrhea in cats that receive sufficient hydration.
Water also makes cat food more filling and makes a cat eat less, which is great for cats with extra weight. Lastly, adding warm water is a simple trick for warming cat food that enhances the flavor and smell.
Note that cold water can make cat food taste and smell blander, thus less appealing to your furry friend. Many owners are confused about whether water makes wet cat food go bad faster.
If the water is clean, it shouldn’t affect how fast wet cat food goes bad. However, if water is contaminated with bacteria or the air temperature is too high, it can speed up the deterioration process.
If your cat’s food is too hard or you need to achieve an almost liquid texture, add a few teaspoons of lukewarm water.
Alternatively, you can add tuna broth because it will make the food more appealing and stimulate your cat’s appetite.
In most cases, however, adding water to wet cat food is unnecessary because it’s already high in moisture. Wet cat food consists of about 80% water.
How to Puree DIY Cat Food
Pureeing DIY cat food is no different from pureeing commercially produced food. The method depends on the food texture and amount.
You likely make enough cat food to last for several days rather than for one time, so a blender or potato masher is the optimal choice.
Blender is better if you need to achieve a smooth texture or use chicken or beef pieces. A potato masher cannot mash pieces of meat, so food will still have solid chunks. However, a masher can do the job with tuna.
For easier blending, add semi-liquid or liquid ingredients to the mix, such as eggs, tuna broth, or salmon oil. You can also add lukewarm water, but it might make the food taste blander and make the texture too soupy.
Warm the mixture slightly before you blend to enhance the flavor and make the ingredients softer. If you use vegetables as a fiber source, boil them thoroughly.
Blending will help eliminate potentially hazardous pieces such as leftover bone fragments, chicken skin, or eggshells. The risk is higher with a potato masher, so you need to mash the food more carefully.
Ensure that the bowl or carafe you use for pureeing the food is clean to prevent bacterial contamination.
Does All Wet Cat Food Need to Be Pureed?
Sometimes, pureeing cat food is a necessity, but does all cat food need to be pureed? No. Pureeing cat food has many benefits but also drawbacks apart from taking time.
Pureed food improves digestion and can help cats with constipation, especially if the food is mixed with water. Pureed wet food is also better for cats with dental issues such as gingivitis and stomatitis.
Cats after operations or those with trouble swallowing might need to be administered pureed food via a syringe. Pureed food is also better suitable for kittens being weaned from mother’s milk to solid food.
Kibble or meat chunks in wet food can be too heavy for their sensitive stomachs, so pureeing the food will help avoid digestion issues. Lastly, some cats are picky eaters and don’t like solid food.
However, pureeing food might affect a cat’s dental health. Chewing food helps cats remove plaque build-up, but if a cat doesn’t chew anything, it accumulates and can lead to dental disease development.
But wet food doesn’t require much chewing, even in its original state. Regular teeth cleaning is a better way to preserve your cat’s dental health.
To conclude, cat food doesn’t necessarily need to be pureed if your cat is healthy and likes the food in its original texture. But pureeing has many benefits for cats with special needs.
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