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Is It Ok For Cats To Eat Dog Food

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Keeping Your Pets Food Separate

5 Human Foods That Your Cats Can Eat and It Is Completely Safe

Keeping your dog away from your cats food is easy because you can simply feed your cat in a window-mounted bowl next to a window perch thats out of your dogs reach.

But keeping your cat out of your dogs food is a little trickier. One method is to try feeding them at the same time, so your cat is preoccupied with his own food. You might also try feeding your dog in a room that your cat cant get into. Another option is to feed your dog when you let her go outside and leave your cat inside.

Although a little bit of dog kibble here and there wont hurt your cat, your fur baby could have serious health issues if the majority of his diet is dog food. Your kitty can also have health issues if he gets into certain types of human food that can be toxic to cats. Overall, its best to stick to high-quality cat food when choosing what to feed your cat.

1. Burke, Anna. Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? AKC, 28 December 2016, .

2. Luna, Becca Risa. Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Rover, .

3. Flowers, Amy. Slideshow: Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat. Fetch by WebMD, 13 February 2020, .

Tips To Discourage Pet Food Sharing

Thankfully, keeping your pets’ noses out of each other’s bowls is possible with a little planning and forward thinking. The Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University explains that you can keep your pets focused on their own meals by trying the following tips:

If you’re still having trouble feeding your pets separately, seek the guidance of a pet trainer who can help you modify your pets’ behaviors. Or, let your vet know your dog ate cat food they may be able to share some feeding tricks to curb these habits.

Cat food is for cats. Dog food is for dogs. It really is best to feed them their respective food to ensure they get the proper nutrition they need and deserve. A random treat swap or hoovering a stray kibble from the floor won’t hurt your pet, but it’s not a good idea to offer up one big bowl of food each day and assume all of your pets are being nourished in the ways their bodies need. If you’re unsure which types of food would be ideal for your pets, chat with your vet about your pets’ current health conditions, ages and nutrient needs. After all, your pets deserve the best.

What Is Cat Food Made Of

According to Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, a small animal and exotic veterinarian in east Texas and a veterinary consultant for, cats absolutely need food with taurine in it. Taurine is an amino acid that is important for normal heart function, vision and reproduction. Since taurine is found only in animal-based protein, all cats need meat-based diets to meet their nutritional requirements.

Cat foods are very high protein, calories, fat, and contain the necessary amount of taurine. More specifically, Patrick Mahaney, DVM explains on PetSafe that healthy cat food looks like:

  • Natural, whole-food ingredients
  • Essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids
  • No by-products, fillers, or artificial additives

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What If My Cat Ate Dog Food By Mistake

If your cat accidentally eats dog food, do not worry. Dog food is not harmful towards cats. However, a cat should not be eating dog food on a regular basis although it is not the best nutrition for them.

If you are in an emergency situation or have forgotten to pick up cat food and the only food you have for it is dog food, feeding it dog food is fine and nothing to worry about.

In the long term, make sure your cat does not survive on dog food. Without the right amount of protein, it is unable to synthesize taurine and arginine, which will lead to multiple health issues such as loss of vision and heart diseases.

Cats And Dogs Have Evolved To Eat Different Diets

Can Cats Eat Dog Food

Cats are obligate carnivores, this means that they require animal-based protein and fat. Whereas dogs are omnivores like us so they can derive their nutrients from a mixed diet of meat, vegetables and sources of carbohydrates. Cats need animal protein because they cannot make certain essential nutrients from plant-based protein.

Although dogs can synthesise the two proteins, taurine and arginine, cats can not.

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If Its So Bad Why Do Cats Eat Dog Food

Just like humans, cats dont always know whats good for them, and many will happily tuck into a bowl of dog food. Some might simply like the variety cats seem to be fussier and more easily bored by their food than their canine counterparts. Other cats might prefer the flavour or texture of the dog food.

Lastly, some cats are just greedy. Theyll quite happily finish their bowl of food and scout around for anything else within reach. If its unusual for your cat to be greedy, it might be worth talking to your vet. An increased appetite is a symptom of hyperthyroidism and of diabetes, both of which need medical attention before they cause more severe symptoms.

Protein And Fat Content

Dog food is not that different from your food. Its made with some of the same proteins, carbs, fruits, veggies, and supplements that comprise your daily diet. In fact, many typical homemade dog foods are quite similar to the chicken-and-rice dishes you may make for your family.

Cat foods, on the other hand, are more like Atkins-inspired recipes. Theyre primarily comprised of proteins and fats, and they typically lack the assortment of fruits and vegetables that are often found in dog foods.

The AAFCO guidelines call for 18% protein content for adult dog foods, while adult cat foods must contain 26% protein content .

Nevertheless, some authorities consider these figures too low for cats and recommend protein content in the 30% to 45% range.

The AAFCOs guidelines for fat content differ less, but they still recommend that cat foods contain 9% fat content, while dog foods only require 8.5%.

Keep in mind that these are minimum guidelines, and many cat foods have protein and fat content that exceed these recommendations sometimes significantly so. In fact, the high protein and fat content of cat foods is probably the reason dogs find cat foods so tasty.

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Q: What Are The Dangers Of A Dog Eating Cat Food

Dr. Leslie: Cats have a much higher safety tolerance than dogs to some nutrients. Cats appear to have evolved pathways that allow them to tolerate levels of Vitamin D that could make dogs very sick and even die. Fish- or marine-based cat foods should not be fed to dogs for this reason.

Its not difficult to convince dogs to eat, well, anything. But cat foods are made with a bit more fat than dog foods. Dogs prone to fat intolerance should also not be allowed to eat cat foods, as this is a common cause of pancreatitis and digestive upset.

Canned cat foods tend to be higher in animal protein sources, which, in excess, can be tough on a dogs system.

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Can Cats Eat Dog Food If Its An Emergency

People Eating Dog Food Without Knowing â Freshpet

Sometimes, even the most responsible cat parents run out of cat food. You thought you had more cat food than you did, and its the middle of the night so the pet store is closed, a freak snowstorm hits and you cant get to the store, etc. So, can cats eat dog food if its an emergency?

Dr. Werber explains that dog food is not inherently dangerous for cats and that ultimately, it will not hurt a cat if he eats dog food, Dr Werber says.

So, in case of emergency its OK to give your cat dog food for one meal . However, its not advisable that you feed your cat dog food on a regular basis.

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Keeping Cats Out Of Dog Food And Dogs Out Of Cat Food Feed On A Schedule

Another question that pops up when thinking, Can cats eat dog food? how do you keep your cat from eating his four-legged siblings dog food?

One of the consistent challenges of living in a multi-pet household involves pets trying to eat each others food. I share my life with three cats and three dogs, and each of mine have different diets including prescription foods, so keeping them out of each others food is a must!

Feed your cats and dogs two or three meals a day instead of free feeding , unless there is a medical reason your veterinarian wants your cat or dog to consistently have food available. Feed your cats and dogs in consistent places for each meal. Create a feeding routine, and reward your dogs and cats for eating their own meals.

Cat Eating Dog Food Side Effects

If your cat accidentally ingested some dog snacks or even a whole meal on purpose, your cat will be alright. It is generally safe but only in the short term.

There will be side effects if your cat eats dog food everyday.

One of the side effects is that your cat does not get its essential nutrients. Taurine and arginine are essential nutrients that are only found in meat. Your cat has to consume sufficient amounts of protein to synthesize these acids.

As cats enzymes are constantly set for a high level of dietary protein, another side effect if your cat is eating dog food for long periods of time is that they are unable to regulate the activity of liver enzymes involved in the metabolism of amino acids.

  • Loss of vision and eyesight problems
  • Metabolism being affected
  • Affecting the fur coat
  • Malnourishment

Dog food is also bad for cats as it lacks moisture. Usually, dogs will drink water when it senses it is getting dehydrated. However, cats are known for not drinking water. Wet cat food contains sufficient moisture in it to ensure your feline friend is well hydrated and as expected, dehydration in cats can lead to many health-related problems.

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Is Dog Food Safe For Cats

If your cat eats dog food, you do not have to worry about any fatal consequences. The problems with a cat eating dog food will only become noticeable if a cat eats nothing but dog food consistently. Lack of vital nutrients is what makes dog food dangerous to cats. Additionally, there are some ingredients in dog food that cats cannot digest properly.

Amusingly, you will likely find that cats do not like the smell or taste of dog food. Unlike dogs who are happy to gobble up virtually anything, a cat has a much more sensitive and picky brand of taste buds. If a food is not rich in protein and fat, felines will commonly turn away from the food. Add to this the thickness of dog food, and you have a situation that will not leave your cat feeling satisfied.

But if you think that your cat can eat dog food, rather he/she likes it or not, this is a dangerous assumption to make. As mentioned, cats have specific dietary needs that cannot be fulfilled by the omnivorous texture and nutritional value of dog food. On a prolonged dog food only diet, a cat could develop deadly taurine or arginine deficiencies. Cats will also be unable to digest the grains and vegetables in dog food properly.

So while the occasional bite of dog food will not harm a cat, a dog food diet could eventually lead to death in a cat since your feline cannot process certain ingredients in dog food.

Cat And Dog Eat Each Others Food

Is it Safe for Cats to Eat Dog Food?

Outside of an emergency, you may find that your cat routinely snacks on your dogs food. After hearing all the possible health risks above, you may be worried that it will harm the cat.

Luckily, dog food wont harm your feline outright. Its body will use cat food as the primary source of energy and nutrients. Everything else is just a treat. The cat may experience an upset stomach, but it wont suffer from nutrient deficiencies.

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Can Dogs Eat Cat Food What Happens If A Dog Eats Too Much

Their kibble may look similar, but there are differences between dog food and cat food. Thats because dogs and cats differ wildly. Sure, both animals are mammals and both eat meat, but thats about where their similarities stop.

Dogs evolved to take advantage of a variety of nutrients, including the fiber found in plants. Theyre scrappier they make do with what they come across. For this reason, dogs can fast for longer, too. This ability means they require less protein and fats, and more plant content than found in cat food.

Cat food not only lacks crucial nutrients dogs require, its also overabundant in nutrients they do need. You could think of cat food as a cheat meal or junk food for dogs. But while some turn to cat food as a treat in a pinch, dog specific treats are better for their health in the long run.

So, whats the worst that could happen if your dog gets into some cat chow? While many dogs can tolerate the occasional sneak meal, some dogs may overeat the already rich food and vomit or suffer diarrhea. If thats the case, the pooch will probably stabilize on its own, but be prepared for a visit to the vet if symptoms worsen.

In the long term, the high protein content of cat food can tax a dogs liver and kidneys. And the high fat content can lead to pancreatitis, which gives them digestion issues, among other dreadful symptoms like diarrhea.

Why Cats Cant Eat Dog In The Long Term

The dietary needs for cats and dogs are quite different. For starters, dogs are omnivores, meaning they take on a more varied diet consisting of meat, grains and vegetables. In that case, meat alone will most certainly not meet the nutritional needs of a dog.

On the other hand, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they eat meat and thrive on it exclusively. The cats need a diet made up of meat-based protein and fats to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Therefore, feeding your cat food thats meant for dogs on a daily basis will make them malnourished because of a lack of the correct balance of vital nutrients. It will also lead to the development of a wide range of health complications such as gastrointestinal issues and heart disease.

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How Do Wean A Cat Not To Eat Dog Food

If you have a cat only, then just do not buy dog food anymore, even if its cheaper than the cats one, then your cat will get used to cat food. If you are a happy owner of a cat and dog and your cat has already tried and liked dog food, then you should take action. The first tip with which you can start is to feed the pets at the same time but in different rooms. This will help them not to be distracted by each others food and concentrate on their own. The second tip is to remove the dog’s bowl after approximately 15 minutes because dogs eat food at a time, and cats come up to the bowl several times and can eat from the dogs bowl too. The third tip is for the big dog owners. Try to put the bowl on the surface so that the dog can reach the food, but the cat cannot reach and see what is inside the bowl. In addition, try to store food in a closed container so that if the cat finds it somewhere in the kitchen, it cannot get it, because of the closed cap. Follow this advice and help your cat eat the right and healthy food for them:)

What Food Should Cats Eat

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There are several different types of commercial cat food available for purchase, including dry, canned, and raw. These are markedly different in composition to dry, canned, or raw dog foods.

Many experts now recommend feeding some or all wet cat food to help maintain hydration, minimize carbohydrate intake, and promote a healthy urinary tract. Cats do not need carbohydrates to thrive and cat food is generally considerably lower in this macronutrient than dog food.

In fact, a high carbohydrate intake in cats is associated with diabetes and obesity. In addition, cats don’t tend to drink enough water to stay well-hydrated, This can lead to problems with the urinary tract and kidneys.

Despite the reported benefits of wet food, some cats prefer dry food and will not eat enough wet food to stay healthy. Some cats even become addicted to dry food and need to be gradually transitioned to wet food for health benefits. Your veterinarian can help you decide if your cat needs to begin eating wet food rather than dry kibble.

Raw food has become increasingly popular among many cat owners. Those who support raw food for cats claim that the diet mimics the way cats eat in the wild. Many cats enjoy raw food and can thrive on it. However, there are always safety risks when feeding raw meat. Many cats will be able to digest and tolerate food-borne pathogens in raw food, but cross-contamination can expose humans in the home to these dangerous pathogens.

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