Can Cats Eat Dog Food is a very common question that often comes to people’s minds? If you have a cat and a dog and your cat enjoys eating the food you give your dog, don’t let them, as it could have consequences for their health.
Dogs and cats are very different. They also have different medical, emotional, nutritional, and other needs.
Some people think dog and cat food are similar. That both can eat it. What is it in reality? There are many reasons why a cat should not eat dog food. Let’s see which ones:
Can cats eat dog food ? Is dog food good for cats?
Yes, cats can eat dog food but for a very short period. a cat can not depend on dog food.
Dog food is low in fat and protein, and high in vitamins because dogs gain weight easily. The cats still need a high content of protein and fat. They are therefore at risk of malnutrition and serious illness if we serve them dog food.
Or at least if it’s a habit. Your cat won’t die if you serve dog food on a closed Sunday when you run out of food. However, it would be preferable in such a case that you give him your food, sausage or tuna for example. You can also leave it without eating.
Tips:- If you have just adopted a puppy or dog and wondering what to feed to your dog/puppy then you must read this article:-5 Best NutriSource Dog Food – 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide
What do cats need to eat ?
The ideal cat food consists of 50% boiled meat or fish, 20% bowls of cereal, 20% cooked green vegetables, and 10% vitamin supplements and oils. To respect this balance, several solutions are available to you:
Homemade Food : –
this is ideal, but you will quickly find that preparing a complete and balanced food every day for your cat takes time and energy! You might get bored very quickly. If you can’t decently devote your time to it, simply steer clear of and rely on a quality, ready-made diet, as you may not be getting what it needs.
The Croquettes : –
simple, practical, easy to give – especially if you use a vending machine – they are all good. However, it is important to choose a quality brand to cover your daily nutritional needs and respect your health.
Mash : –
it is advisable not to overdo it, but it is useful for elderly cats who have difficulty chewing, to hydrate a cat who drinks little, or to give medication discreetly. However, here too, think about quality!
What is cat food made of ?
Cats need a very high protein food & calories, fat, and contain the necessary amount of taurine. According to Patrick Mahaney ( Chief Veterinary Officer ), healthy cat food should look like
- Natural, whole-food ingredients
- High-quality animal proteins (at least 30%)
- Healthy, animal-based fats (about 15% to 20%)
- Digestible carbohydrates and fiber
- Essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids
- No by-products, fillers, or artificial additives
What’s the difference between dog food and cat food ?
We have simply described the difference between dog food and cat food. There are 3 major factors that play a major role.
Proteins and Amino Acids for Cats–
Although both dogs and cats are members of the Order of the Carnivores, only cats are considered “obligated” carnivores. This term means that cats need to eat animal protein to stay healthy. Overall, about a third of a healthy adult cat’s diet should consist of protein, although it is not necessary to provide all protein in the form of meat.
Proteins are made from just 22 amino acids. Animals can make some of these amino acids on their own. These are called non-essential amino acids. Conversely, essential amino acids must be supplied by the diet. Cats need 12 essential amino acids while dogs need only 11.
Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats, but non-essential for dogs. Cats who don’t get enough taurine in their diet can eventually become blind, deaf, and develop heart failure. Taurine deficiency is now almost exclusively diagnosed in cats who eat anything other than well-balanced cat food.
The need for vitamins in felines –
Vitamin A is another nutrient that illustrates the unique dietary needs of cats. Vitamin A plays a very important role in maintaining the health of the eyes, skin, and other tissues in the body. Dogs can convert beta-carotene to vitamin A in their bodies. Cats can’t. Therefore, cats need a source of vitamin A in their diet.
Cats also need five times more thiamine in their diet than dogs. Animals with thiamine deficiency develop poor coat quality, loss of appetite, hunched posture, neurological problems including seizures, and can eventually lead to the death of the animal. The thiamine deficiency can occur when cats eat a lot of fish fresh raw uncooked water because they contain an enzyme that breaks down the thiamine or when they are not fed well-balanced cat food and complete the nutritional plan.
Cats need cat food –
Understanding a feline’s special nutritional needs is essential information for any cat owner. All of our recipes provide your cat with the right amounts of healthy ingredients to promote health and longevity.
My cat eats dog food: how to avoid this ?
- Feeding your pets separately, in two different rooms, or at least in opposite corners of the same room can be a good solution.
- If you and your cat are already familiar with using a clicker , use it to distract your feline’s attention from the dog’s food.
- In addition, you can prevent your cat from snacking on your dog’s food by filling the bowls of the two companions at different times. By doing this, you have the possibility to monitor your animals and intervene if necessary. This is the most effective solution to prevent your cat from helping himself to the dog’s bowl. Ideally, your animals should be taught from an early age to eat only the food in their own bowl.
- Another method is to offer food to your animals for a defined period of 15 minutes. Place the bowl for your dog and remove it after the 15 minutes have elapsed. Thus, your dog learns to eat the entire contents of his bowl during the quarter of an hour at his disposal.
What if my dog eats my cat’s food?
If your cat has been eating dog food for some time now, it can lead to severe deficiencies, manifested in a dull coat and sick-looking eyes.
In the most severe cases, this deficiency can go as far as causing retinal degeneration, also called progressive retinal atrophy.
No treatment currently exists to combat retinal degeneration in cats, an irreversible disease that can lead to blindness in the long term.
Animal proteins are mainly found in meat and fish. In contrast, vegetables are high in carbohydrates.
This explains why dog food is rich in vegetables while cat food has more fish. Dog food does not meet the nutritional requirements of cats.
On the one hand, they are too rich in carbohydrates due to their high vegetable composition. On the other hand, they do not have a sufficient percentage of protein to satisfy cats. If your cat eats dog food, it is therefore far from consuming food suited to its needs.
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