Can cats eat dog food? Ugh… I guess we can if we really want to. But there are several reasons why we need cat food, too.
Can cats eat dog food, Thomasina? My cat likes the dog’s food better than her own.
Ugh. Dog food is about the last thing I’d want to eat. But it’s okay if cats eat dog food, as long as it’s just a bite or two and they eat cat food too.
Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements. And when cats eat dog food and nothing else, they’re not getting the nutrients they need to be healthy.
Why Cats Need Cat, Not Dog, Food
Cats are obligate carnivores and need to eat protein from animal sources or meat. Dog food doesn’t contain nearly enough animal protein for us.
One of the reasons our meat-based diet is so important for us is that protein from meat contains taurine. Dogs can make their own taurine, but we can’t. We need to get it from our food. But some kinds of dog food contain no taurine at all, and that makes it dangerous for us.
Cats who don’t get enough taurine can develop all kinds of health problems, including heart disease, blindness and deafness.
Okay, so my human typist looked this up. Dog food doesn’t contain the arachidonic fatty acid found in animal fat either. But we really need that to maintain our coats and keep our kidneys healthy. And we need more niacin, thiamine, and folic acid than dogs do.