Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Facts You Must Know
Is it safe for your cats to eat your dog’s food? Some people are doing it, so why can’t you? There are things you need to know first before you let your cats eat dog food. An occasional bite of your dog’s food won’t hurt your cat. But, if you have plans of feeding your cat with dog food for a longer time, it’s a different story.
Feeding your cats the right food will keep them healthy and live longer. The cats have different nutritional needs than dogs.
5 Reasons Cats Cannot Eat Dog Food
Allowing your cats to eat dog food longer can make them malnourished. Some of the needed nutrients of these felines are not available on dog food.
Before, dogs dominate the household in the US, which explains why people are more focused on their nutritional and health needs. But now there are more cats than dogs that live together with humans. Sad to say, the attention given to the cat’s food remains the same.
1. Dog Food Lacks Taurine
Both cats and dogs belong to the Order Carnivora, but only cats are obligate carnivores. This means that cat should eat animal-derived protein to remain healthy. They also need it to supply their body the important nutrients. Protein should comprise one-third of the adult cat’s diet, although they can get it from other sources.
Proteins are composed of building blocks referred to as amino acids. Animals can produce amino acids on their own. These are the non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids should be supplied by the diet. Cats have 12 essential amino acids while the dogs only have 11.
Taurine is an amino acid vital for cats but non-essential for dogs. The cats that lack taurine in their diet may become blind and deaf. There is also a possibility they may develop heart failure if they do not get enough taurine in the food they eat. Taurine deficiency is diagnosed only in cats that eat other than a well-balanced cat food.
2. Cats Cannot Convert Vitamin A in their Bodies
Another nutrient unique in your cat’s dietary needs is Vitamin A. The primary role of vitamin A is to maintain a healthy skin and eyes. It is also vital to other tissues within the cat’s body.
Dogs can transform beta carotene to vitamin A within their bodies. Cats cannot. Thus, it is a must cat’s food should contain the right amount of vitamin A. A good amount of vitamin A is present in the liver. You can also search for a food supplement rich in Vitamin A that you can include in your cat’s diet.
3. Dog Foods Contain Less Thiamine
Cats also need five times more thiamine than dogs. Animals suffering from a low thiamine develop a poor quality coat, and poor posture. It may also show signs of loss of appetite. Others may have seizures and may die. A poor fed cat may experience thiamine deficiency. It may also occur when cats eat lots of uncooked freshwater fish. It contains an enzyme that destroys thiamine.
4. Dog Food Does Not Contain Arachidonic Fatty Acid
Dogs only need linoleic acid in their diet. Cats need both linoleic and arachidonic acids from animal-based fats. If you allow your cats to eat dog food, they will lack the needed fatty acid necessary to maintain their kidneys and coat. Feed your pets the right food, so they will get the right nutrients.
5. Dog Food are Much Drier
Cat food needs to have the right amount of moisture. As compared to dogs, cats do not drink enough water on their own. This is the reason cats food formula should produce extra hydration. Dogs can live with just kibble. Cats need to eat both wet and dry food all the time.
There are lots of food preparations for cats available in the market but only a few contain the right amount of nutrients. Below are some of them.
1. Purina Fancy Feast Poultry
One of the popular cat foods in the market, it has a good amount of protein (9%), fat (2%), Taurine (0.05%), Moisture (82%) and fiber (1.5%). The product is affordable, and it is available in different flavors. Each serving contains 100% complete and balanced nutrition. Your cat will get all the vitamins and nutrients required.
2. Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food
The Meow Mix cat food is available in 6 delicious flavors and you will love each variety. The food preparation provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition for your cat. Your cat would thank you for giving her this delightful treat. It has all the needed nutrients your cat need–protein, taurine, vitamin B, and others.
A single morning serving will enable your cat to nibble the whole day. You can adjust the serving size based on your cat’s activity level and age.
3. Purina Fancy Feast
The ideal size you can prepare an adult cat is one can in every three pounds of body weight every day. You can let your pet cat take this two times a day. For pregnant cats, you need to feed her two to four times. This cat can food contains all the nutrition and vitamins needed to make your cat healthy and live longer. To maintain a healthy body condition, you need to feed them both wet and dry food.
Understanding a cat’s special nutritional needs is important information every cat owner should know. Letting your cat nibble dog food once in a while will not affect your cat’s health. But, if you let them do this all the time you might put your cat’s health at risk. Keep in mind the above nutritional guidelines and your cat can live a healthy and longer life.
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