Can Cats Eat Dog Food? CanOrCannot.Com – If you have both a dog and a cat in your house, they might steal each other’s food, but can cats eat dog food?
If you have been wondering whether you can share your pooch’s portion to your feline, we have some explanations regarding this matter.
After all, every cats owner wants only the best for their feline pal!
If you want a short answer, then it will be no. Eating dog food is definitely not good for your felines.
Although dog food is not toxic to cats and there is no bad short-term consequence, letting your cats eat dog food for a long time will be dangerous for cats’ health.
Hence, your feline friends should only consume cat food.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food – The Difference between Cats and Dogs
When it comes to pet food, you must consider that each animal is unique. Hence, the diets for cats are different from the ones for canines.
The reason is that these animals require a different amount of nutrients. Cats and dogs are also different when it comes to how to the way they get the nutrients.
Dogs are omnivorous which means that they can eat fruits and vegetables to complete their required nutritional values.
On the other hand, as an obligate carnivorous, cats’ healthy diet depends highly on meat.
As a result, their ideal and healthy food should include about 60 to 80% of fresh, raw meat.
Eating dog food will make your cats suffer from malnutrition.
The amount of nutrients required by your cats that the dog food contains is less than the ones contained in cat food.
This lack of proper nutrition is dangerous for your felines because it has been calculated that almost 90% of animal diseases are affected by malnutrition.
When it comes to protein, dogs can obtain this nutrient from both animal-based and plant-based sources.
However, cats can only get proteins by absorbing the protein from animal-based sources. In addition, the amount of proteins that both species need are different.
While the minimum amount of protein that dogs require is only 18%, the minimum level of protein a cat must get is 8% higher. Hence, cats at least need 26% of protein.
Furthermore, among the 23 essential amino acids which are produced by animal-based protein, cats need 11 of them.
The problem is that cats are not able to synthesize the amino acids by themselves.
They have to ingest them. Actually, dogs also need these amino acids too, but not all of them.
One of the amino acids that cats need to survive is taurine. Unfortunately, Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) states that taurine is not needed in dog food.
The reason is that dogs are able to produce this substance, while cats cannot manufacture it.
Therefore, your cats wouldn’t get this amino acid by consuming dog food.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food – Other Ingredients, Nutrients, and Natures of Dog Food
Dog food is dry and heat-processed. We already know that taurine is essential for cats’ health condition in a long term.
Unfortunately, during the heating process of cooking, taurine is destroyed. Therefore, if your cats do not get sufficient amount of taurine, they will easily get sick.
The deficit of taurine can lead to various heart complications.
Arachidonic and linoleic acids are both needed by cats to maintain their health. These acids can be gotten from animal-based sources.
On the other hand, dogs only require linoleic acid. Thus, you will not find arachidonic acid in dog food.
It turns out this essential fatty acid can support your felines’ kidneys and fur.
Both dogs and cats also need some vitamin and minerals in their respective diets.
Compared to cats’ needs, dogs require just a little bit of vitamin B, such as thiamin and niacin. Canines also need a smaller amount of folic acid.
As a result, dog food cannot provide sufficient amount of these substances for the felines.
Cats will suffer from nutrients deficiencies if they only consume dog food—which ironically has balanced nutritional values for canines—for a long time.
The forms of vitamin A that these species need also differ. Dogs may absorb and use beta-carotene as a source of the said vitamin. Yet, cats cannot use beta-carotene.
Letting your cat consume cooked meat which is supposed to be given to your dogs also causes another problem.
The digestive system will weaken which make it easier for infections and parasites to live inside your pets’ bodies.
Instead, the digestive enzymes will stay potent if you keep feeding fresh raw meat to your feline pals.
Thus, besides their bowel becomes not susceptible to parasites, their intestinal tracts will stay strong and clean as well.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Some Other Dangers of Letting Your Cats Eat Dog Food
Unfortunately, they are not all of the bad effects that might happen by making your cats get used to eating dog food.
The habit may be bad for cats’ livers too.
When consuming some food of which contents have a low level of proteins, humans and dogs can lower the activity of their liver enzymes.
Nonetheless, cats’ liver will constantly work hard by keeping its high enzyme activity as if it always consume diets with a high level of protein.
Cats’ digestive systems are also not able to break down the vegetable’s cell wall and extract their nutrients.
Hence, if you give cats the veggie treats you give to your dogs, they will not enjoy it.it will only make their digestive systems work harder.
Letting your cat eat dog food does not only affect its digestive systems, fur and other and consequences we have explained.
To make the long story short, this nasty habit can make your feline buddies suffer from several other diseases.
Usually, the disease affects your cats’ metabolism, eyesight, reproductive systems, kidneys, and heart. In addition, the dry dog food can cause dehydration as well.
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Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Conclusion
We can say that it is highly not recommended to let your felines eat dog food.
By making your felines share your canine buddies’ food, you expose them to various health issues.
If you have developed this habits, stop it immediately. “Can cats eat dog food?” Well, not on a regular basis.