Can Cats Eat Dog Food Or Is It Bad For Them?

What will happen if a cat eats dog food? Is dog food safe for cats to eat? Can dog food replace cat food?

Before we start with the details, here’s a quick fact – most cats won’t even be tempted to taste dog food, let alone munch on it on a regular basis.

Dog food is very different from cat food.

But as for your questions…

NO! Cat’s should not be eating dog food. Regular feeding can be fatal.

Cats and dogs have VERY different nutritional needs. Dogs are omnivorous, while cats are carnivorous. Thus, canines and felines need different types of nourishment in order to grow and thrive.

How And Why Is Dog Food Bad For Cats?

For starters, the ingredients found in dog food aren’t in any way dangerous or unhealthy for your feline furball. On the contrary – they offer just as much nourishment and nutrition as any food should offer. Unfortunately, the amounts of nutrition in dog food do not meet a cat’s essential need of proper nourishment.

Cats rely on Vitamin B, A, C, taurine, healthy acids and fats, and lots of proteins in order to survive.

Since their little bodies cannot produce these ingredients on its own, their food must offer plenty of of said ingredients/supplements, otherwise they’ll remain malnourished and underdeveloped.

Sometimes cats need additional vitamins and supplements even if their diet is made out of well-balanced meals.

Of all vitamins and acids found in cat food, the most essential ones are Vitamin A and the amino acid taurine. Canines can produce them on their own, but cats need them as additional supplements to their diet. They are vital to a feline and without them your cat may develop various heart diseases.

A Simple Explanation And The Risks And Consequences

Here’s the short answer – dog chow lacks enough vitamins, proteins, meat products, and taurine.

By eating dog food your cat will suffer in many nasty ways affecting its fur coat, eye sight, metabolism, kidneys, reproductive system, and heart.

Without a well-balanced diet consisting of special cat food for baby kittens, adult cats, senior cats, or exotic breeds your indoor kitty will remain malnourished and prone to dangerous diseases.

On top of it all, your indoor cat needs much more nourishment than the wild one, since the outdoor one will likely supplement with hunting mice and other small animals, as it has evolved to do. So dog food will harm the indoor cat even more.

Another reason why dog food is bad for cats is the lack of moisture.

A dog can sense when it’s getting dehydrated, so if the food is a bit dry, it can drink up. A cat’s sense of dehydration isn’t as developed, so it may not realize the food is dehydrating it and can suffer the consequences.

Your cat’s wet canned food offers enough moisture to keep your kitty’s organism well hydrated, while dog food is simply not designed to meet a feline creature’s daily water intake requirements. And dehydration can lead to many health-related issues.

Furthermore, cats also need special diets based on their breed and age. For example, exotic cats like the Sphynx have different nutritional needs than notoriously big breeds like the Maine Coon.

Last but not least, comes the taste factor.

Cat food is designed to have a better, richer, fuller flavor because of its proteins, vitamins and diverse meat-by ingredients, whereas dog food tends to be blander, flatter, duller, and basically tasteless compared to a typical cat meal.

Thus, your cat won’t be really tempted to try out a bowl of canned or dry dog food, regardless of its smell and substance.

Nevertheless, many cats may feel the urge to get a taste of the dog’s bowl out of simple curiosity or revenge. So, what will happen if your kitty eats dog food?

If it’s a one-time bite, your cat won’t be affected by it.

However, dog food is potentially lethal to cats in the long run.

Therefore, dry or canned dog food should be out of your cat’s reach at all times. If your feline pal is refusing to eat from its bowl and is seeking the dog’s food, stuck up on various types of cat food in order to make sure that your cat is no longer tempted.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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