Can cats eat dog food? We find the truth
NO! Dog food diet is not good for cats and a cat can not survive long if fed on a dog food source.
If a cat is only fed to a dog diet for a long period of time, then adverse, even fatal, consequences can be observed.
Do you have a cat?
If so, you need to feed it special cat food. Most dogs will eat just about anything, but cats are very particular about what they eat. If your cat is getting only half its nutrition from regular dog food, it could be suffering from severe malnourishment.
This is especially true if he is fed only canned or dry dog food. Cats are obligate carnivores, and that is why they must eat meat to survive. They have an extremely high metabolic rate and need more protein than other animals their size. Thus, a cat’s requirement for protein is much higher than that of a dog.
Dogs are omnivores. An omnivore can eat both meat and veggies. A dog food diet, therefore, isn’t good for cats.
If you want your cat or dog to get all the nutrients it needs, you should feed it a good-quality, properly proportioned diet. Just because a particular food is labeled “for dogs” or “for cats” doesn’t mean that it is suitable for the other species. There are many common foods that are suitable for both dogs and cats. However, there are some specific foods that are only suitable for one or the other.
What does your cat like to have in food?
Cats like to eat a lot of red meat, for example, but that is not a good choice for a dog. A dog’s digestive system is not suited to the breakdown of animal protein, so a dog that eats a lot of meat can develop various health problems. Also, too much meat can cause a dog to become overweight, which can be very unhealthy.
Cats are very intelligent and they are very adaptable. They have nine different types of taste buds and each of these taste buds responds to a different flavor. And, because of this, a cat can enjoy a wide variety of flavors.
If you give your dog dry cat food, he will get all the vitamins and minerals that he needs from that. But, what he will get is an incomplete set of vitamins and minerals.
But there may be some problems that you may face. If you do that, there is a good chance that he will be fine. But, if your pet dog is suffering from any type of gastrointestinal upset, don’t wait for it to get worse. Take him to the vet right away. Make sure that you tell the vet that he is eating cat food.
The vet will then check his stool to make sure that there are no signs of parasites or other problems. Next, the vet will give your dog a complete physical examination. If everything looks OK, he will suggest some home remedies to see if your dog will start feeling better.
Other scenarios to worry about can include pancreatitis or obesity in your dog’s health. If you see any of the symptoms like diarrhea, lethargy and weakness, distended abdomen, fever, hunched back, etc then we recommend you immediately seek veterinary advice.
Differences Between Cat Food and Dog Food
Here are just a few key differences in the formulation of dog food and cat food.
In fact, most cat foods have around 25% protein. That’s not enough for a cat, so you should get about 30% or more. There are many good brands of cat food on the market, and they all have meat as their main ingredient.
Make sure the brand you buy has fresh meat and that it hasn’t been sitting around in a warehouse for too long. You should also look for a brand with the least amount of filler possible. Filler is anything that is not meat.
Cat Food With Filler Ingredients: Milk (lactose), Rice, Maize, Wheat, Soybean Oil, Vegetable Starch, Carrots, Potatoes, Vegetables, Dried Fruit, Salt, and Water.
Meat Only: Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken, Duck.
On the other hand, a dog food roughly contains 18-26% protein, while for a cat it is recommended to have 30-34% of the protein in its food.
Cats and humans don’t have the ability to make taurine so they must get it from their diet.
Taurine is an amino acid that’s important for cats. If they lack this essential amino acid in their diet, it can lead to a variety of health problems.
Cats starved off taurine in their regular foods may show the following symptoms:
dilatated cardiomyopathy (a type of heart disease that weakens the heart)
Loss of vision
Arachidonic acid is another essential ingredient in the cat diet that cannot be created by cats themselves and must be provided from outside sources.
Cats with low arachidonic-acid levels can suffer from Abnormal liver/kidney values. They also may exhibit other skin problems, such as itching and hair loss.
Cats are unable to synthesize their own vitamin A as well on their own and must have been supplemented in their diet. On the other hand, many dog foods contain supplements for vitamins A and C, but they don’t always contain enough of them to provide optimal nutrition. Poor quality coats, muscle weakness, and the possibility of night blindness are some of the symptoms of lack of vitamins A.
Cats cannot make their own Niacin, so as a pet owner you must ensure that a cat’s diet contains niacin. Plants also have low levels of niacin, but still, that is not enough for a cat. They need more niacin that can be found sufficiently in animal tissues.
Your cat will not get the right amount of niacin they need from their food if it has more of an animal-based composition and less of a plant-based composition.
So, can cats eat dog food?
They can survive for a few days on dog foods. But in the long run, feeding a cat, only dog food will ruin their health, psychological behavior and even lead to their death!
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