Tag Archives: cat diet

Can My Cat Eat Dog Food?

Can My Cat Eat Dog Food?

Cat Eating
elycefeliz / Foter

Your cat will not be directly harmed by eating some dog food. So, can she eat dog food? Well, yeah…BUT… Should she eat dog food? NO!!

Many cats will obviously walk up to the dog’s bowl and start chowing down. After all, the dog food looks and smells much like cat food. Eating a little here and there won’t make your cat fall over dead, but dog food is definitely lacking in specific nutrients that cats require to be healthy.

If you continue feeding your cat a food made for dogs, a cat can actually go blind or develop a heart condition.  Pregnant cats can have miscarriages and other negative issues with their pregnancies and the fetuses.

Taurine – found in muscle meat, heart, and liver – is the difference between dog food and cat food. Taurine supplement has been added to commercial cat foods for years and almost all cat foods contain it. Cats require higher amounts of protein than dogs. They need this amino acid – taurine – in their food for optimum health and to prevent heart disease. Dogs make their own taurine. Isn’t that weird?

Another nutrient or supplement that cats need is Vitamin A and in a different form than the type of Vitamin A that dogs need. Cats also require a specific B-complex vitamin that isn’t found in dog food.

Dog food and cat food are made differently, as you can see. If a cat continually eats dog food, the cat’s health will be compromised. Kitty is missing important nutrients!

Cats are carnivores. They need meat (protein) in order to have a quality life. Dogs are omnivores. Dogs can eat more non-protein foods which include vegetables and even fruits. Cats are not able to digest those foods very easily when they eat an excessive amount. Dog food will have very little nutritional value for your cat.

The reverse is true, too. In other words, it’s not a good idea to let your dog eat your cat’s food! Cat foods can be high in calories, if a dog is chowing on it, so a dog that eats cat food could get fat. And fat pets are at risk for health problems.

If your pets steal each other’s food, try your best to keep them separate while they eat. In fact, once the pet indicates they are finished eating at that time, you should pick up any bowls containing uneaten foods. Otherwise, for example: the cat could wander over to the dog’s bowl an hour later and start eating his food!

Don’t worry about the pet not completely cleaning out the bowl every single time they are fed. They won’t starve – believe me! And the next time you plop that bowl down in front of them, if they had not ate everything from the previous feeding, then they’ll likely lick that bowl shiny clean!

>Feeding Cat

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Jessie Cat says: Well, there are no dogs in my house. And if there were, after learning about their food, I’d stay away from it. After all, I’m the boss around here and have to stay in tip top condition to give orders to my humans!

Gina says: Yes – I agree with the first part. And yeah…*eyes rolling* for the second part.

Say No to Fat Cats

No More Fat Cats, Please

Fat Cat Picture - Moe
danperry.com /Stock Photos

Take a look at your cat. Be honest. Is she/he overweight? Maybe even slip the word obese into that thought?

We wouldn’t be surprised at all if you admitted that your cat looks a wee bit on the chunky side. According to reports, overweight and obese cats outnumber cats of normal weight. The extra fat can cause several health problems, including diabetes.

But what to do?

Keep this in mind:  any mammal (that includes humans, cats, dogs, etc.) will gain weight if it eats more calories than it burns as fuel for energy.

Humans can control how much and what our pets eat. Yes-WE have control over this, but must be disciplined.

Any cat that is overweight should be seen by a vet and a weight loss plan discussed and put into place asap. It’s important that this process of losing weight is gradual for the cat, though. Do NOT give it a crash diet as it can be dangerous to the cat’s health.

FREE CHOICE FEEDING

This method of feeding your cat is likely the main cause of obesity. Too much food is set out for the day as people tend to dump a bunch into a bowl and walk away. Experiment with feeding the recommended amount listed on the food package (bag, can, whatever). You may need to adjust that amount, too – usually to LESS.

Next, feed your cat two meals a day, preferably morning and night. In other words, whatever the recommended amount is for one day, or what the veterinarian instructs, divide that into two separate meals instead of one feeding. Think of cat food in ounces, not cups.

I won’t push the debate over DRY vs. CANNED (wet) food and which type you should choose. Personally, I use BOTH. Jessie Cat eats dry in the morning and canned at night. And I do not want to claim a “favorite” brand as even that causes debate. Here are some thoughts to consider…

CARBOHYDRATES

Dry pet food is loaded with carbohydrates. A cat is a carnivore and doesn’t need all those carbs so in turn can more easily gain weight on dry food.

PROTEIN

Most dry cat foods are low in protein… especially if corn is one of the first major ingredients. Protein is THE key nutrient in a healthy weight carnivore diet.

>>Dry food is more convenient, too. No spoiling or drying up during the day like wet food will do. And when I say, “during the day”, I’m still referring to a specific measured amount of food that she will either gobble up in the morning or nibble on throughout the day. Jessie devours her entire morning meal within 30 minutes. Her evening meal, which is the wet food, is gone within 5 minutes.

CAT TREATS

Stop feeding treats to fat cats. If you do give your cat treats, keep it to 2 – 4 a day in between the other meals. That’s it!

EXERCISE

Increase kitty’s calorie burning activities. Add interactive toys to the cat’s environment. Get another cat so the two can play with each other. Buy a cat harness and leash to safely walk her. Spend 15 minutes zipping a feather toy through the air and have her chase it.

WHAT ABOUT DRY FOOD TO HELP CLEAN THE TEETH?

Do not worry about the teeth needing dry, crunchy food to help remove tartar. Cats fed soft, meat-based food have fewer teeth and gum problems than cats eating all dry diets! (according to studies) So if you want to feed only wet food (good quality), go for it! I’ll reiterate, I give Jessie both dry and wet foods (measured amounts). And she gets only a mere 4 treats per day which are always a tartar control type.

THE WEIGHT LOSS PLAN

First, if this is truly a serious weight condition, take your cat to a veterinarian. The vet may do blood work (looking for health problems), an exam and record the weight.

If changing the actual food, then gradually over a period of three to four weeks add more of the new weight-loss food/diet with the old, decreasing amount of the old diet and adding more of the new one. Feed foods high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. Feed the proper portion size twice a day. Skip treats if possible during the weight loss program.

Don’t forget about increasing her activity level, as mentioned earlier, to burn more calories.

Weigh the cat at least once a month. Or every week if you can to track it. If your scale doesn’t register when you sit her on it, then weigh yourself – write it down. Grab your cat and step on the scale holding her and check the weight. Subtract one from the other and you have her weight. If her weight isn’t budging at all after a month, decrease the total amount you’re feeding her – by a tiny bit. You’d be shocked how a little makes a huge difference in affecting a cat’s weight.

If you do have a fat cat, it can take several MONTHS until she reaches an ideal weight.  Once this happens, maintain it. That means if she hits the weight that is about perfect but keeps losing, then you need to increase the food amount just a smidgen.

With her weight loss, she should be more active and happy. Her appearance and fur will look healthier. Hopefully you’ve helped her avoid diabetes, arthritis and other health issues related to being overweight. You’ve likely added years to the length of her life, too! Isn’t that wonderful?

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>Feeding Your Cat

 

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Jessie says: I was a stray, hungry and UNDERweight when my human adopted me. She pampered me with lots of goodies to eat and I gained weight…about 2 pounds more than she wanted me to weigh!  What’s 2 pounds? I thought. But she didn’t like that my belly looked pudgy and kept saying over and over, “No fat cats in this house!”

Gina says: She hadn’t gotten to the point of being fat, but I wanted her to drop those couple of extra pounds, and put a halt on gaining anything more. Over a period of many weeks, she’s lost one pound. It IS tough, no lie, but I’m hoping to have her drop one more pound to have a nice, lean body shape.

Jessie says: And don’t forget all the toys I have!! I think I’m up to 12 now! I LOVE that birdie feather thingy on the string and my stuffed mousie and all three of my balls that I play bowling games with! And now I can even go outside and walk around in my new Kitty Holster! Ahhh-to smell the grass, feel the breeze and the sun, and to see the world without looking through a window!

Gina says: Yes, she’s got it made.