Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Stick to Cat Chow, Vets Say

Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Stick to Cat Chow, Vets Say
  • Cats and canines have unique dietary needs, so the very same food will never work for both of those pets.  
  • Dog food won’t have sufficient unwanted fat or taurine, and it also has grains that may possibly upset a cat’s abdomen.
  • Taking in canine foods often could guide to vision troubles, weak point, fur decline, and heart failure.

Plenty of curious cats like to nibble their housemates’ foodstuff. Who wouldn’t want to test new flavors from time to time? 

If your cat prefers your pooch’s morsels about their have, you may possibly even take into account swapping out their typical cat chow. 

But industry experts say it is not a very good thought for cats to try to eat doggy food routinely. 

Which is since cats have unique dietary needs from puppies, and pet food is not developed with the demands of cats in brain, says Dr. Hunter Finn, veterinarian and operator of Pet System Vet Clinic.

Get the details on why cats should not try to eat canine food items under, along with vet-approved tips for feeding your cat a well balanced eating plan. 

Why should not cats have pet foods? 

Your dog’s food items would not fulfill your cat’s nutritional wants for a few crucial explanations.

1. Cats have to have nutrition only found in meat

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they want nutrition observed only in animal sources, says Dr. Katja Lang, veterinarian, clinical director of Heart of Chelsea Veterinary Group, and feline health marketing consultant for cat foodstuff brand name Created By Nacho

In distinction, canines are omnivores, which suggests they can get nutrition from plant and animal resources. As a outcome, your dog’s kibble could possibly contain plant-dependent meals that may perhaps not agree with your cat’s tummy. 

“Many pet dog food items comprise grains, such as corn and wheat, which can trigger digestive troubles in cats,” says Dr. Audrey Wystrach, veterinarian and CEO and co-founder of Petfolk

2. Cats require far more body fat than dogs

Most cat foods also has a greater fat written content than pet food stuff. Cat foods have to have a least of 9{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} fats, though doggy meals only requires a minimal of 5.5{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} extra fat, in accordance to the Association of American Feed Manage Officers (AAFCO).

Unwanted fat is vital for a cat’s food plan, in accordance to Lang, since it: 

Regularly having a low-fat diet plan could go away your cat deficient in important fatty acids, like omega-3s, which could raise their chance of creating well being issues, including:

  • Scaly pores and skin
  • Fur reduction
  • Vision complications
  • Finding out complications

3. Cats have diverse amino acid wants

Also, doggy food items may possibly not include adequate of the amino acids cats need to have to survive and prosper, like taurine. 

Taurine is not critical for puppies, but cats need to have it for their bodies to perform thoroughly

Consequently, cats who regularly take in pet dog food may perhaps establish a taurine deficiency, which can result in significant or likely lethal wellbeing difficulties, like: 

  • Retinal degeneration or blindness 
  • Deafness
  • Poor immune reaction
  • Cardiomyopathy and coronary heart failure

If you’re apprehensive your cat may well have a overall health situation from a taurine deficiency, a handful of signals it’s time to make a vet appointment include things like: 

Will taking in puppy food make my cat ill?

If your cat is a serial snacker, here is some superior news: Consuming a couple of pieces of dog kibble from time to time will never damage your cat or make them unwell — as extended as canine foods won’t make up a frequent aspect of their food plan, Wystrach claims. 

So if your cat only nibbles an occasional bite from the dog’s bowl, you usually only require to stress about your doggy pleading for a several extra bites of supper. 

Nevertheless, if your cat consistently sticks their nose in your dog’s bowl and fills up on pet foodstuff as an alternative of their personal, it may well be time to contemplate microchip feeders.

Microchip feeders preserve a retractable defend in excess of the meals within them. When you sync the feeders with each of your pets’ microchips, the protect will only open up when the suitable pet will come close to.

What to feed your cat for a balanced eating plan

To make absolutely sure your cat’s meals has all the needed nutrients, you’ll want to decide for cat food items that are substantial in protein, low in carbohydrates, and include taurine, according to Wystrach. 

Taurine primarily arrives from animal resources. So, try out to get meals with animal protein in the vicinity of the prime of the ingredient record. “Chicken, fish, turkey, and beef are all rich in amino acids,” Lang states.

You’ll also want to steer clear of meals that include grains, preservatives, colorings, and other artificial ingredients, Wystrach claims. 

Also, keep an eye out for a nutritional warranty from the AAFCO. They set up dietary pointers for pet meals, and vets frequently take into account cat foods with an AAFCO assertion nutritionally balanced

In accordance to the AAFCO, your cat’s diet regime should really consist of:

  • At minimum 26{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86}-30{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} protein
  • A least of 9{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} fat 
  • About .10{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} taurine

You also want to maintain components unique to your cat in intellect, which include their: 

  • Age: “Cats have distinctive nutritional requirements at unique stages of their life, and a foods that is appropriate for a kitten may perhaps not be correct for an grownup cat,” Wystrach suggests. Test the advised age variety on the bag or tin right before putting it in your procuring cart.
  • Lifestyle: If your cat loves to hunt, engage in, or go outdoor, they could need a formulation built for energetic cats in its place of one intended for a sedentary indoor cat. 
  • Body weight: If your vet claims your cat may well want to fall a number of kilos, a foodstuff made for fat command may assistance them keep away from health problems involved with weight problems. Your vet can endorse a couple alternatives and offer you advice on how considerably to feed your cat
  • Total wellbeing: If your cat has a health care problem, like diabetes or kidney condition, you can will need to pick a food items formulated for their precise demands, Wystrach suggests. Request your vet what foodstuff they recommend for your kitty’s problem. 

Is wet or dry food improved? 

Making an attempt to pick out in between dry or moist food? Either can be a superior selection. 

“Both of those forms of food stuff have their own set of added benefits, and the choice finally is dependent on your cat’s personal demands and tastes,” Wystrach claims.

The added benefits of soaked foods involve: 

  • More dampness: Quite a few cats notoriously consume considerably less water than they require, quite possibly because they descended from wildcats that lived in the desert. Moist food stuff could help your kitty continue to be hydrated, many thanks to its better humidity content material, Lang states. 
  • A lot more palatable: Lots of cats like the style of damp food stuff, building it a fantastic selection for finicky eaters. 

On the other hand, dry meals is often:

Of system, it is really correctly fine to feed your cat a blend of moist and dry foods, so they can have the finest of each worlds. Right after all, you’d in all probability get bored ingesting the similar point just about every day, and your cat may possibly enjoy mixing issues up, as well. 

Insider’s takeaway

Does your cat love to sneak bites out of your dog’s evening meal bowl? When cat and pet food may look the exact same on the surface area, they contain extremely distinct dietary material. And feeding your cat a diet regime meant for pet dogs could set them at chance of severe well being concerns, like heart illness or vision issues. 

To make sure your cat receives all the nutrition their organs want to purpose, it truly is greatest to only feed them meals exclusively made for cats. 

When buying for cat foods, choose a person with a high animal protein material. You are going to also want to think about your cat’s other specific requires — like their age, fat, and any underlying wellbeing disorders. 

It is always fantastic to go over your cat’s diet with your vet, since they know your cat and can handle any precise requires they could have, Finn says.