Contrary to what Tom and Jerry made us believe in our childhood, dogs and cats can live together.
There are, in fact, many households with both dogs and cats as pets.
Usually, they can live peacefully together.
So, many owners often ask whether their pets can share each other’s food.
While it may appear an easy thing to do, it can cause trouble for your cat later.
Let us find out why.
Is dog food okay for cats?
The possibility of giving their cats dog food might appeal to the owners.
It is because not only dog food is cheaper than cat food, but it also comes in a wider variety of flavors.
Also, as sometimes cats steal a dog’s food and it may appear that cats like dog food.
So, you might think of just giving them dog food.
While it may appear like a great idea, it certainly is not.
If your cat keeps eating the dog food, it may develop health issues.
Try to think this with your perspective.
Just because something looks good and feels tasty, it does not mean that it is healthy too.
So, although your cat likes and ergo steals your dog’s treats, it may cause harm.
Consequently, it is better to buy cat food to ensure a healthy diet.
Do Cats Have Different Nutritional Requirements?
The nutritional needs of cats are different from that of dogs.
It means that their food should be different too.
So, if you keep on feeding dog food to your cat, it may cause malnourishment.
It is because your cat needs nutrients that dog food can’t provide.
Dogs are omnivores. It means their body can utilize nutrients of both animal and plant-based sources.
Cats, however, are naturally carnivores.
To be healthy, they need a protein-rich diet to get adequate nutrition from their meal.
Which Nutrients Do Cats Need?
Cats being carnivorous animals require a protein-rich diet for sustenance.
Dog food has less protein than what a cat needs.
Also, a part of this protein is plant-based, so cats can’t synthesize it.
It means that cats need specific food.
Cats require vitamin A.
As dogs can convert beta carotene to Vitamin A, not every type of dog food contains it.
Unfortunately, this process does not happen in cats.
So, their meal must contain vitamin A.
Similarly, cats need some essential amino acids that are not present in dog food.
There are a total of 23 amino acids present in animal proteins.
Cats require 11 of these to survive.
So, these acids must be supplied through food as cats’ bodies can’t generate them.
Dogs can produce two of these amino acids, namely arachidonic and taurine.
It means that these acids are not present in dog food.
So, if you feed dog food to your cat, it will lack those amino acids and can get sick.
Your cat may enjoy dog food, and small portions of it occasionally won’t be causing trouble.
Just make sure it does not become a part of their daily diet as it can cause serious health issues in the long term.
So, it is better to give your pet a fitting meal.