If you are having a cat and dog under the same roof, most likely they have a very strong bond and share lots of love with each other. But besides that, food is one of the most common things that they mostly share. And in that regard, you may always wonder that can cat eat dog food? Is it even safe for them? Keep reading this article to find out every essential thing related to feeding cat dog food.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food?
So, can cats eat dog food? The simple and straightforward answer to this is, yes. But remember, feeding dog food to your cat daily is not recommended at all. Consistently feeding cat dog food can lead to some health serious problems. So make sure you don’t let that happen. Wondering why you shouldn’t feed your cat dog food regularly? Let me explain it in a very short.
Cats are obligate carnivores which indicates that they mostly demand meals consisting of meat protein. And on the other hand, dogs are known as an omnivore which means they can easily eat a large variety of food like grains, meat, and vegetables.
In simple words, cats and dogs both are different animals and have different nutritional requirements. You must keep in mind that dog food can’t fulfill all the nutritional requirements of a cat. You should provide a well-balanced diet to your cat if you want to keep her healthy in the long run.
The Main Differences Between Dog Food And Cat Food
Cat and dog food is made by different experts and that’s the reason why both have far different nutritional values. Here I am mentioning some of the most important differences that you must be aware of.
Cats get the most energy from the protein so they require more protein than dogs. A few amino acids like taurine and arginine are building blocks of protein and very important part of a cat’s diet. Cats don’t have the ability to produce these amino acids on their own, that’s why they are added to cat’s food. Keep in mind that deficiency of taurine can lead your cat to some serious health issues such as digestion problems, blindness, and heart problems.
Let’s come to the dogs. Dogs can easily produce taurine on their own so their food is not formulated while focusing on these amino acids. So, if you feed your cat dog food regularly, it can lead to protein deficiencies which is not good for her health.
Vitamin A is one of the most essential nutrients that a cat and dog needs. Both cat and dog food contain vitamin A but still dog food is not good for your cat. Because a cat’s body can’t produce vitamin A and on the other hand, a dog can easily do that. Because of that, cat food is consists of more vitamin A than dog food. Also, remember that if your cat gets less vitamin A, it can cause health problems like weak eyesight, coat, and muscles.
Calories, one of the most important reasons why you must avoid feeding your cat dog food repeatedly. Cat food is very high in calories because of the protein requirement of a cat. Cats get most of their energy from animal-based fats and proteins and dogs get energy from both vegetables and meat. So, it won’t be a good idea to feed cat dog food in a long run.
Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid that is very important for cats. Again, cats can’t produce this fatty acid on their own but, dogs can. So cats get Arachidonic acid from their food and it is not found in dog food.
Should You Worry If Your Cat Has Accidently Eaten Dog Food?
Well, straight no. If your cat has eaten dog food accidentally, there is no need to worry at all. Dog food is not dangerous for your cat and won’t cause any health issues only if you are not feeding it regularly.
Also, if there is an emergency, let’s say it’s midnight and you don’t have cat food at your home. If that’s the case, you can feed your cat one meal of dog food, just make sure that she is not suffering from any underlying energy.
In simple words, one meal of dog food won’t cause any side effects to your cat.
How To Find Out If Your Cat Is already Eating Dog Food?
I’m sure that you are a pet owner who always tries to keep his/her pet very disciplined when it comes to eating habits. With that said, I’m also assuming that you have kept the eating bowls of your cat and dog at a fixed place. It is such a great and intelligent way for training and raising disciplined pets. But wait, you are not always having an on your cat so we definitely can’t say that your cat is not eating the dog food behind you. so, how can you know if your cat has been eating dog food?
As I have mentioned above that it won’t affect your cat in the short run, but if fed for a long time, it can cause some side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and hair loss. All these symptoms can turn into more serious health issues if not treated in time. Whenever you notice these symptoms in your cat, visit your vet ASAP.
Ways To Prevent Your Cat from Eating Dog Food (It’s Time For Solutions)
If you have found your cat eating dog food more frequently, don’t worry. Here are some concrete solutions that can help you in preventing your cat from eating dog food.
Fixing time for feeding your cat and dog can be very helpful. They will take notice of the time when they are getting fed. By doing this you are training your pets to eat their food at a specific time and not to put their paws in each other’s bowl.
Don’t Feed Freely
This one is very simple, you have to just make sure that food is not always available for your feline. Instead, feed your cat in 2 to 3 meals a day as your veterinarian advised. This is very helpful in avoiding overfeeding and keeping the track of your cat’s diet.
Set Both Pet’s Bowls At Different Places
Let’s says you are feeding your cat near her bed so you should feed your dog at a place that is out of the cat’s reach. When you allot a specific place to your pets, they will take note of it and won’t interfere in each other’s bowl.
So, a cat demands a few specific nutrients that can be provided by the cat food only. You should never replace cat food with dog food otherwise, it can lead to nutritional deficiency in your beloved cat. An occasional bite of dog food will not harm your cat at first, but it can if fed for a long time.
So, that was all about can cats eat dog food or not. I hope this article has helped you in any way. Any doubts? don’t forget to leave them in the comment section.
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