In some cases, cats like to eat food from a dog bowl, but can cats eat dog food, and is it helpful? Veterinarians replied in the negative answer, “NO.” Although dog food smells and tastes differently, which means that it may attract your cat’s nose and tongue, it is considered highly risky because dog food contains dietary elements that can damage your cat’s skin and cause stomach pains.
If you have a cat and a dog in one location, competition and greed emotions may appear, mainly if your cat and dog do not get along with each other. Therefore, your cat will seek to eat dog food in order to prove its supremacy and domination.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food And Consume Its Ingredients?
Dog food does not suit your cat, as cats generally have completely different nutritional needs. Unlike dogs, cats are obligate predators. So, they need animal protein sources – meat and offal.
Consequently, your cat requires higher protein intakes more than dogs. If you feed your cat only dog food, it will experience a nutritional deficiency that can produce digestion troubles.
Domestic dogs, on the other hand, are facultative predators. They are closer to omnivores. Therefore, they do not need much animal protein. In addition, dogs have totally different needs for vitamins and minerals. For example, Vitamin A can be produced in the dog’s body from beta-carotene.
Unfortunately, cats do not enjoy such a unique potential. Consequently, your cat will not get the recommended amount of vitamin A if you offer it dog food.
The Calories Value Is Also Different
It is known that dog food calories are always slightly lower than those of cat food. It is suitable for your cat to taste some food from a dog bowl for only one time, not to be a regular habit.
Cats need exceptional food, and they are picky animals. They are expected to dislike dog food because it contains less meat and lacks the essential minerals and vitamins that cats demand. For that, when someone asks you, “can cats eat dog food?” The answer is “absolutely not.”
Dog Food Is Harmful If Your Cat Eats It Frequently
Dog food contains too many grains. Your cat does not receive its nutrients mainly from grains. Thus, if your cat eats dog food all the time, it will fall ill because its protein requirements are entirely unsatisfactory. The essential amino acids will also be unattainable, and therefore, diseases symptoms are expected to appear and may threaten your cat’s life.
Nonetheless, veterinarians emphasize that protein and amino acid deficiency leads to many health problems, including heart disease – hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. If deficiency becomes severer, it causes hyperammonemia – ammonia poisoning, which can cause fatal consequences.
Additionally, dog foods contain less animal fat, and cats lack the essential arachidonic acid, which helps keep the reproductive, gastrointestinal, and other body systems healthy and fit. Any lack of fat-soluble vitamins can cause growth retardation, blurred vision, and hair loss as well.
It would be best to realize that all fats and vitamins are synthesized in the dog’s body. Therefore, its food has small amounts of amino acids, which are insufficient for your cat that gets all the energy needs from its unique food.
It is also significant to recognize that any sudden food change can cause digestive upset because your cat food differs from dry dog food in terms of composition and nutrient balance. For example, dog food contains less fat and lower carbohydrates. The food companies specialized in manufacturing dog food always add plant ingredients that dogs can easily absorb.
Your cat digestive system has an exceptional mechanism, and it is unable to cope with the plant components, primarily cereals, which are much found in dog food rather than in cat food. Dry dog food does not contain taurine, an essential amino acid that helps your cat digest fats.
Taurine is critically essential in enhancing your cat’s immune system and maintaining normal pregnancy. There is no taurine in any kind of dog food; so, your cat will experience serious health troubles when it constantly eats such limited food.
Ways To Avoid The Problem
Today’s question is, can cats eat dog food? And it has been answered. You also understood that dog food is dangerous if your cat eats it regularly without any observation and that your cat may get sick if you offer it any dog food for a long time.
When you observe that your cat is still drawn to the dog bowl, it is worth thinking about its diet. There is a probability that you provide your cat with insufficient caloric and protein intake. Therefore, it needs to have better quality food, urging it to search for another energy source in other pet meals.
Another danger is represented in the possible fight between your cat and the dog, particularly at lunchtime. When the dog finds that your cat became an opponent, who always shares its food, a kind of hostility will arise between them. Veterinarians advise you to do the following:
- Feed your cat in a different room, but at the same time;
- Get the dog food out of the bowl 15 to 20 minutes after eating. Dogs can eat their entire intake in one go, but your cat will get close to the bowl several times in order to have a little snack;
- If the dog is large, place the bowl in an elevated position, slightly below the level of the dog’s head. That will prevent your cat from getting to the bowl and eating the dog food;
- Store the dog food in a tight plastic container.
Tips For Feeding Your Cat
It becomes apparent that dog food should not be given to your cat as a permanent meal. But what if you have two pets, a cat and a dog, and you noted that your cat eats the dog food? Here are a couple of helpful tips:
- Try to diversify your cat food sources.
You can give it fish one time and eggs another time. Vegetables and fruits are also rich meals that can make your cat pleasantly obtain its needs. In addition, you can offer cheese and milk, as they are full of nutritional features, which protect your cat from viral diseases and bacterial infections.
- Train your cat.
Train your cat to eat its adequate portion at a time so that it takes its fair share of food and feels satiated on the first try.