Can My Cat Eat Dog Food?
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!