When I had my first generation of cats, beginning in the early 1970s, they mostly ate canned cat food from the grocery store, supplemented by some choice morsels from the table. Twenty years later, with my second generation, the veterinarian's advice was to feed dry food only, better for their teeth, their weight, etc. We always bought premium dry food and put out lots of dishes of it for ad libitum (from the Latin) or "at will" feeding. They liked it and ate a lot of it, but they still needed expensive teeth cleaning from time to time and still enjoyed choice table scraps.
We started out on dry with this third generation only to have an emergency urinary blockage with Sylvan, our Maine Coon (more on him later). He is doing fine, but he is eating prescription food, from now on, to prevent further problems. So we were trying to figure out how to feed the others without leaving out dishes of dry food any more and yet still feed Syl separately, in another room.