Is it ok to feed cats with dog food?

Dog food

Dog food is the salvation of many people, who do not know which foods are suitable for the healthy lifestyle of their dogs. Dog food is a nutritious food that has been developed especially for dogs. It contains all the substances which are useful for dogs in certain quantities: carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, water, protein. People buy dog food and delight their pets with tasty and healthy food. However, it applies to dog owners, and cat owners wonder: Can I feed my cat with dog food if it contains so many substances for a healthy lifestyle? The answer is NO because the body of cats and their needs is different from that of dogs. You need to know some aspects to understand the reason fully:)

Why is dog food attractive to cats?

If you are a cat and dog owner, then you probably noticed that your cat is trying to eat food from your dog’s bowl. There are many reasons for their desire. The first reason is the smell of dog food ingredients. Cats are carnivores by nature and can easily understand the smell of meat from a dog bowl. The second reason could be the texture of the dog food. If your cat is trying to stick its tongue in your dog’s bowl, consider whether the cat might like the texture of the food. In this case, you can match cat food with a texture similar to dog food. The third and also important reason is the cat’s discomfort. Maybe the bowl you picked up for your cat is not suitable for her and it is more convenient for the cat to eat food from the dog’s bowl. Or it could be the size of the food, which also could cause discomfort. If dog food seems more attractive for the cat than cat food, then you should consider the comfortability of the food and the bowl.

Why shouldn't cats be given dog food?

As we mentioned earlier the structure of the cat’s body and its needs are different from that of a dog. In dog food ingredients are balanced especially for their body. For example, a healthy diet for dogs (carbohydrates, fats, and minerals) is more important. The cat’s healthy diet (protein)is more important, but dog food contains very little amount of protein. The minimum protein requirement of the cat per day is 5-6 grams, and dogs optimally need 4-5 grams of protein per day. Appropriately the dog food producers add an amount of protein that is suitable for dogs. As a result, it may cause protein deficiency for cats.

Protein deficiency can cause:
  • Hair loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Heart problems
  • Reproductive system disorders

In addition, dog food also differs in the number of minerals and vitamins. There is a very little vitamin (A) in dog food because dogs can produce vitamin (A) from the beta-carotene in their bodies, while cats do not have this ability. So cats are not getting enough vitamin (A) from the dog food. Cats and dogs need to get the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals for a healthy lifestyle, so dog food is not suitable for a cat's diet.

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 it’s cheaper than the cat’s 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 other’s 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 dog’s 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:)