Learn if it poses any health risks
Can cats eat dog food and not get sick?
You might have wondered if it’s bad for cats to eat dog food. Maybe you accidentally fed your cat dog food, or maybe your cat took some food from the dog’s bowl. Fortunately, small amounts of dog food usually won’t hurt a cat. However, problems could arise if cats are fed dog food over an extended period of time. Despite their apparent closeness, cat food and dog food have a number of key differences.
Nutritional Needs of Cats
Cats are considered essential carnivores. This implies that they require animal protein to survive and thrive. Insufficient amounts of protein, taurine, and other vitamins and minerals are present in dog food to support the health of cats. Additionally, cat food may not be ideal for cats due to the amount of water, fat, and calories in dog food.
Standards for pet food and animal feed have been established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. In order to determine which pet meals are appropriate for a specific species and life stage, the Food and Drug Administration and AAFCO work closely together. According to the AAFCO seal, the food is satiating and balanced for the designated life stage.
Only cat food with the AAFCO seal should be fed to cats. Read the food label attentively to gather information about recommended life stages. If you have a kitten, pregnant cat, or nursing cat, you should choose a meal labeled “for growth” or “for all life phases.”
Which Foods Can Cats Eat?
Commercial cat food is available in a range of forms, including canned, dry, and raw food. These have a completely different nutritional composition than dog foods that are dry, canned, or raw.
Many experts now suggest giving part or all wet cat food to maintain hydration, limit carbohydrate intake, and support a healthy urinary system. Dog food frequently contains considerably more carbohydrates than cat food because cats don’t need them for healthy growth.
In actuality, cats who eat a lot of carbohydrates are more prone to become obese and get diabetes. Additionally, cats often don’t drink enough water to be hydrated. Urinary tract and kidney problems could occur from this.
Despite the supposed benefits of wet food, some cats prefer dry food and won’t eat enough of it to stay healthy. For the sake of their health, it is vital to gradually transition cats from dry food to wet food because some of them even become addicted to it. Your veterinarian can help you decide whether you should transfer your cat from dry kibble to wet food.
The consumption of raw food by cat owners has increased. Those who prefer giving raw food to cats claim that the diet is similar to what wild cats eat. Many cats may thrive and even like eating raw food. However, there is always a slight risk to consumer safety when providing raw meat. Many cats can tolerate and digest the hazardous bacteria found in raw food, but cross-contamination can make these pathogens present in the home accessible to humans.
If you have questions about giving raw food to cats, see your veterinarian. Be aware that cat-specific pre-prepared raw food diets contain more amino acids and fewer plant-based ingredients than their canine counterparts.
How to Care for a Cat Who Consumes Dog Food
Your cat occasionally nibbling on some dog food is probably nothing to worry about. Watch out for problems with your cat, such as weight loss, nausea, constipation, terrible skin or coat condition, abnormal urination or feces, or other illness-related signs. Call your veterinarian right away if your cat isn’t feeling well.
It could be more difficult for your cat to eat dog food if they have an allergy, a sensitive stomach, or any other medical condition. Keep track of the food your cat ate and consult your veterinarian if there are any potential problems.
Consult your veterinarian for advice if you discover that your cat has been consistently ingesting large amounts of dog food. Your cat may need a physical examination as well as laboratory testing to evaluate overall health and search for signs of malnutrition.
To prevent your cat from obtaining dog food, keep the food out of reach. Don’t give free food to any family pets, and clear out any bowls of leftovers.