Can Cats Eat Dog Food?
Can cats eat dog food? The answer to this is yes they can, but really they shouldn’t. A cat’s nutritional requirements are very different from that of a dog, therefore their diet is different.
While to us humans a slop of wet dog food may look just the same as some chunks of canned cat food, the truth is they are very different indeed. Cat food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of cats, where as dog food ingredients are meant for the health of dogs.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food – Any Benefits
What I have written above says it all really, although some elements of dog food will benefit a cat, the ingredients will be in the wrong form, or maybe too much of a certain vitamin or mineral that will be counter productive and might even harm your cat.
They share some of the same nutritional needs, but by being different species they need to be delivered in a non-similar ways. This negates any potential health benefits you think your cat might get by eating dog food.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food – Why is it bad for them?
Because a cat has different nutritional demands, by eating dog food they may eat too much of one substance and not enough of another.
For instance, cats are actually carnivores, (where as dogs are omnivores). Because of this cats require higher levels of protein than dogs in the overall cat food ingredient ratio.
Cats also need an amino acid called ‘taurine’ in their diet. Cat food includes taurine as part of its ingredients.
Dogs on the other hand are able to physically create taurine within their own bodies – this means dog food lacks this compound that is in fact vital for cats. Without taurine in their diet a cat can develop heart disease and other health problems.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food – Essential Vitamins
A cat needs a different form of Vitamin A compared to dogs. Dog food contains lot of beta-carotene and becomes a good source for vitamin A for canines. Cats need their vitamin A delivered in a form different to this, and proper cat food supplies this. Dog food on the other hand does not.
Again, another deficiency that a cat will experience if fed dog food would be absence of arachidonic acid in their bodies. This is a fatty acid that cats cannot produce without it being in their diet. Dogs do not need this.
Cats Are Carnivores – Dog Food Just Doesn’t Hit The Mark
Some sources estimate that 90 percent of diseases in our pets come from poor nutrition. If you feed you cat dog food you are not looking after them properly, as this translates as a poor nutritional diet.
As I have said, the fact cats are obligate carnivores and dogs are not, means their requirements are quite different.
Cats are dependent upon meat as the basis of their diet. In the wild they would eat 60% to 80% meat. Dog food does not deliver the protein levels that a cat naturally requires.
Dogs on the other hand are omnivores, like humans they can consume a lot of non-protein foods such as vegetables or fruits – these make up a large portion of average dog food ingredients, they are also ingredients that can disagree with cats.
The Bottom Line
While a little bit of dog food won’t ham your cat, if they eat dog food over a long period of time they will be missing out on a lot of nutrition that they actually need to have a healthy balanced diet and therefore life.
To a large degree we are in control of our cats overall health. Feeding them proper, quality cat food is all part of that. Feeding your cat dog food on the other hand, is merely selling them short.