Cat Eating Dog Food

Why is a cat eating dog food a bad thing for a cat? At a fundamental level they are different animals when it comes to diet.

Although both are carnivores and classified under the Order "Carnivora", there is an argument that dogs could be classified as omnivores (an animal that eats plants and animals as its main source of food). Whereas a dog is not dependent on a meat diet a cat is an "obligate" carnivore (must eat animals to thrive).


A dog can eat a large amount vegetables and grain and can it seems live on a carefully controlled vegetarian diet. That said a lot of cat food is even advertised as containing vegetables. I've got some in the kitchen and it says things like "Chicken and carrots"! In my opinion, this is because cats in the wild eat the contents of the prey's gut and that might contain digested vegetation. Cat food should mirror the diet of the wildcat because they have the same physiology.

I have discussed cat food quite a lot on this website - see for example: Best Cat Food. The more I study it the more inadequate cheap cat food (and dry cat food) looks to meet the requirements of a healthy cat. If cats eat dog food they will not eat enough protein. They also need the amino acid taurine in their diet whereas dogs apparently make their own. Cat food should have taurine supplements and if you prepare your own cat food you'll need to add taurine supplements amongst other supplements.

Other areas where dog food is unsuitable is in providing sufficient Vitamin A. Another element missing in the dog food diet is the fatty acid, arachidonic acid, an essential part of a cat's diet. This is not essential to a dog.

Allowing your cat to eat dog food for long periods will be detrimental to his her health.

Photograph copyright and by Brit.

Sources:
  • Wikipedia on Dogs
  • Peteducation.com
From Cat Eating Dog Food to Cat Facts

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