Can Cats Eat Dog Food?

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By Life With Cats

Curious about whether your cat can eat dog food or not? Then this is the perfect guide for you. When you have both a cat and dog as pets, it’s important to keep in mind that even though they both may share the same home and similar looks, they’re not the same species. Meaning that they don’t share the same habits and personality traits, nor do they have similar nutritional needs.

Difference of Nutrition in Cats and Dogs

According to every reputable pet website that you read, cats are carnivores by nature, which require lots of animal protein in their diets to have clear eyesight and a well-functioning heart.

Taurine is also needed by cats, as it’s an amino acid that helps cats in digesting food easily and maintains a strong immune system. Whereas arachidonic acid is found in animal fats that helps in the clotting of blood in a cat’s body as well as maintain a healthy reproductive system.

As for dogs, these omnivores require lots of fats and carbs in their diets as their main sources of energy. They also require linoleic acid which is one of the most important fatty acids that a dog needs to have healthy skin. Therefore it’s important to feed them foods that consist of these nutrients.

Types of Food to Feed Your Cat

As stated in the above paragraph, your cat needs to have lots of protein to maintain a healthy body. That’s why you feed your cat food that’s not only rich in proteins but also taurine and arachidonic acid.

You should also make sure to include vitamin A in your cat’s diet as it helps to strengthen its muscles and prevents chances of your cat getting night blindness. There are 2 types of foods that a cat can eat, they are dry foods and wet foods.

Dry Foods

This type of food is recommended by many vet clinics because they help in reducing tartar and plaque buildup in your cat’s teeth which reduces the risks of dental infection. Some examples of dry foods are:

Royal Canin Indoor Dry

This brand of dry food is the most recommended by vets for cats. It’s a mixture of ingredients such as vegetable fibres, chicken meal, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals. Cats can digest this easily and are provided with the energy that they need to get through the day.

Orijen Biologically Appropriate Cat Food

With ingredients like wild-caught fish, cage-free eggs, and free-range chicken, this type of dry food is everything a kitten needs to grow.

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused

This type of dry food is packed with animal protein, dried pieces of raw fish and game birds that is perfect for people with raw ingredients loving cats. It’s also rich in fatty acids that help your cat’s fur and skin stay healthy.

Wet Foods

Wet foods are suitable for cats that want to have a higher fill of protein in their diet. This type of food also helps cats in sustaining strong muscles and muscle mass.

It’s also been said that feeding your cat wet foods is a good way to give them their fill of water instead of just making them drink water. Some examples of wet foods are:

Wellness Health Turkey Salmon Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

This is one of the most recommended brand wet foods for cats because of its richness in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. This canned food also consists of ingredients such as salmon, turkey, chicken liver, and whitefish containing taurine.

Purina Pro Plan Senior Canned Wet Cat Food

This is a wet food that is easy to digest and helps your cat in improving its immune system and strengthening its muscles. With ingredients containing nutrients like Vitamin E, protein, antioxidants beta carotene, and prebiotic fibre, this grain-free mixture is perfect for adult cats.

Purina Fancy Feast Grain-Free Pate Wet Kitten Food

If you’re someone who owns a kitten and wants to provide it with the best kind of wet food then this is perfect for you. This grain-free blend is easy to chew and digest and is made up of nutrients that your baby feline needs such as protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Another benefit that this wet canned food offers is that if your kitten leaves some behind, then it can be covered, refrigerated, and given to your kitten the next day. They can also stay in good condition for up to 3 days.

You can also feed your cat simple foods that you know are good for its health, if you’re unable to get a hold of any dry or wet foods. Here is a list of simple healthy foods that you can feed your cat:


The best way to keep your cat’s brain, vision, and joints in a healthy condition is by feeding it baked, boiled, or oily fish. This type of food is also highly rich in taurine.


Avoid feeding your little feline cold and raw meat, as they can cause food poisoning. Instead, feed it cooked meat as it contains protein.


This is another food that is rich in protein and fats. They’re best served cooked and not raw as raw eggs can cause your cat to fall sick. Eggs are also in Vitamin A and amino acids such as taurine. Your cat should have half an egg to eat at least once or twice a week.


Although liver is a healthy food, it’s been advised that you feed this to your cat in small quantities. This is because of its richness in Vitamin A, which can be quite toxic if consumed by your cat in large quantities.


With the help of this food, your cat can get its fill of amino acids which are important for your cat because they help your cat in keeping a healthy immune system, properly functioning senses, and a normal reproductive system.

What Happens if Your Cat Eats Dog Food?

If your cat accidentally took a bite from your dog’s food bowl, or if you ran out of cat food and fed your cat some dog food instead, then you don’t have to worry about it getting sick.

However, you shouldn’t make this a daily thing, as dog food doesn’t contain the necessary nutrients that a cat would need. When you feed your cat dog food for a long time it could develop many health issues that could become fatal as the amount of fat, calories and water may be too much for it to digest.

Why Does Your Cat Eat Dog Food even if it’s Harmful to it?

When a cat likes to eat dog food, then the reason is most probably because it’s tired of how its food tastes and prefers the flavour of dog food.

When you think about it, they’re quite similar to how we humans behave when we have to eat something that’s healthy for us but doesn’t taste good. We instead crave to eat something that is unhealthy for us but tastes good.

Another reason could be that your cat is just greedy. When you put food for your dog at the same time and place as your cat, and if your cat is a fast eater then chances are that it will move towards your dog’s bowl too.

However, if you notice this behaviour in your cat that isn’t normally greedy when it comes to food, then you must take it to the vet for a check-up. This is because an increase in appetite also known as polyphagia could be a symptom of diabetes and hyperthyroidism.

How to Stop Your Cat from Eating Dog Food?

Separating both of your pets’ when it’s time to give them food is the best way to make your cat stop eating your dog’s food.

You can help your dog eat its food in peace by putting it in a crate or a separate room with the door completely closed and only opening the door once all of the food is gone. This way your cat won’t try to look for your dog’s food bowl after it’s done with finishing its own food.

It’s also best to make sure that you don’t leave any dog food that’s in your cat’s reach. You should keep them on the top shelves and only take them out when you need to feed your dog in another room.


While it’s ok for a cat to eat dog food once in a while, it’s definitely not advised by vets. If you have a cat and a dog cohabiting it’s best to feed them separately to prevent your cat from consuming dog food.

Every pet has its own nutritional requirements, and it’s crucial to follow them in order to sustain the health of your pets. This guide summarizes not only the differences between a cat and a dog’s nutritional needs but also the types of food that are healthy for them.

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