Do you own both a dog and a cat? Ever wondered if you could feed them on the same meal? Well, this is the kind of scenario we sometimes find ourselves in. Dog food is mostly cheaper than cat food. This tempts some people to feed the cat on the dog food to cut on costs.
But then your conscience hits you and you ask yourself, can cats eat dog food for a day !? Pets sharing food might seem like a pretty good idea, but could there be any strings attached?
So can cats eat dog food for a day !? Are there any differences in their nutritional needs?
To find out, this article will lay bare all the facts so that you are well aware of any benefits or side effects of your cat feeding on dog food.
In order to better answer the earlier question, you should first understand what sort of nutrition that both cats and dogs need. Are they the same or different? Can either food substitute another?
First of all, dogs are more of omnivores than pure carnivores. This means that they are able to extract nutrients from a variety of foods. Meat is just part of the puzzle and a source of proteins that a dog needs. A dog would, therefore, require a generally balanced diet consisting of proteins and fiber. Plant foods provide the best source of the fiber.
Cats, on the other hand, are pure carnivores and require proteins entirely for survival. A cat will therefore not process some of the foods that a dog can process.
A number of proteins that a cat need stands at 45%, more than we need as humans and even dogs. All these can only be sourced from either fish or meat. All the plant-based sources of proteins are not very useful to cats.
So, how much of dog’s food can a cat have?
Now to the specific question, are you wondering if cats can eat dog food? Yes, they can. A one-day nibble on the dog’s food will not hurt your feline friend. It is the continued feeding of your cat on dog formulated food that is disastrous to your cat’s health and well-being.
If your kitty is interested in your dog’s meal, you can let the two pets share the meal for only a day or on very rare occasions. This should not be practiced regularly under any condition though. Your cat may like the food, but it will not be doing any justice to its health and digestive systems.
Reasons not to regularly or exclusively feed your cat on dog food.
To those of you whose cats cannot stand dog food, you can rest easy now. If your Kitty loves it, then you have some controlling to do for the following dietary reasons.
Protein deficiency: The protein levels in dog food are not always to the standards that cats require. High-end dog food may contain very high amounts of proteins, but these too are still insufficient. Depriving your cat of proteins makes her malnourished with time. The proteins in dog food may also be plant-based, making it impossible for cats to digest.
Amino acids deficiency: Meat and other byproducts contain about 23 essential amino acids of which a cat would need only 11 to survive. One of the 11 is taurine which is not necessarily included in dog food. The dog would be able to generate it on its own, but your cat will not. A deficiency of this protein can lead to heart problems, cat blindness, and even deafness.
Vitamins deficiency: Dog food lacks the essential vitamin A which is supplied in cat foods. This is because dogs are able to turn beta-carotene to vitamin A but cats cannot. For an optimum health, a cat will need this vitamin in their diets.
Can cats eat dog food for a day !? Yes, they can, but ONLY FOR A DAY! If you miss your supply of cat food for a day and the dog’s kibble supply is still there, then you can let your cat have some, but that is it.
Any prolonged and exclusive feeding of your cat on dog food is detrimental to its health. Dog food is mainly formulated for a dog’s needs which are different from those of a cat.