Have you ever run out of cat food and wanted to feed your feline friend with dog food instead? At some point in a pet owner's life, we may have experienced this dilemma. But the question is: Can my cat really eat dog food?
Pet (for example, if you run out of cat food for the day). However, we do not encourage substituting your cat food with dog food for the long term.
No. Dogs are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and vegetables to be healthy. Cats, on the other hand, are carnivores, and they thrive on a pure meat diet. This being said, dog and cat food have different formulations suited for specific animal needs. Dog food lacks the nutrition that your cat needs to live a long, healthy life. Moreover, cats should be considered as individual species with specific needs. Some cats may eat unusual food, and some may eat the same item but severely affect its health.
Cats are carnivores. Therefore they need food that is rich in protein, fat, and taurine. Meat and fish provide fat, protein, and taurine. It also contains vitamins and minerals suitable for your cat's system. Overall, your cat needs 35-40% of the protein in their diet to prevent them from being lethargic and obese.
Here are some food that your cat can safely eat:
According to Patrick Mahaney, DVM, healthy cat food should consist of the following ingredients: natural whole-food ingredients, high-quality animal proteins, healthy animal-based fats, digestible carbohydrates and fiber, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and no artificial additives.
Dog food can NEVER replace cat food in your cat's daily diet. According to the Clinical Nutrition Service, "Cats have specific nutrient requirements that their diet must meet." Moreover, they pointed out that "the simplest and most convenient way to meet the nutrient requirements of a cat is to provide them with a complete and balanced commercial diet formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist or an individual with a PhD in animal nutrition." If your cat ends up replacing dog food instead of cat food in its diet, it won't be able to get all the necessary nutrients it needs, and its health will begin to suffer.
Dog food is not fatal to healthy cats. The only thing to watch is that your cat must not consume dog food for good, as it would not be the best nutrition for them. Do not worry if your cat eats some of your dog food from your dog's bowl, but make sure to feed them with cat food as soon as you replenish your supply.
If your cat accidentally eats something toxic to them, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.