Is it possible to feed a cat with dog food: all about proper and healthy nutrition
General recommendations for feeding cats with industrial food
Industrial feeds are gaining more and more popularity. Of course, such products have a lot of advantages, but there are also disadvantages. The food alternative is a natural diet, that is, buying groceries and regularly preparing food separately for the cat. Owners with a busy schedule cannot always take the time to cook and switch the cat to industrial feeding.
It is not so important what type of feed you honor the pet, dry or wet, all industrial products are divided into classes:
- Economy is the cheapest segment, not recommended for constant feeding of animals. Products often contain soy, corn, carcass leftovers (referred to as meat mix or protein set aside).
- Premium is an everyday food for healthy animals. Some brands do not contain the full Spectra vitamins, and sometimes meat products are substituted with a surrogate (bone meal, carcass leftovers).
- Super-premium. logically, an optimal and fully fortified daily food for healthy cats. However, do not be lazy and read the ingredients on the packaging. All ingredients must be clearly spelled out, without vague wording.
- Holistic is the highest quality feed close to the natural composition. The holistic class also includes medicinal foods that are prescribed to cats with food allergies, urolithiasis and other pathologies.
Note! If we are talking about feeds of the same brand and line, the composition and quality of dry and wet product should not differ.
When choosing between dry, semi-moist and pate food, they often stop at granules.
- Better kept.
- You can leave it in the bowl for the whole day. by the way, it is recommended to feed the cats according to the schedule. If you can’t keep up with your feeding schedule, it’s best to purchase an automatic feeder. Leaving a cat with a full bowl of food for the whole day, very soon, you will face a problem. pet obesity.
- Easier to dose.
The cats’ reaction suggests otherwise. They gladly eat wet food and pates. The reason is the smell and structure, the cat likes aromatic, moist and warm food more. What are the disadvantages of dry food? An obvious disadvantage in tooth decay, as a cat’s natural food is meat. The enamel on the teeth of the animal protects the teeth, which should cut, not crush food.
If the cat only gets pellets, it may develop constipation and indigestion. Not so long ago it became known that cats do not suffer from addiction to food, and the difficulties with transferring to natural are associated with physiology. The fact is that the gastrointestinal tract “gets used” to the granules and loses the ability to digest natural food. For this and a number of other reasons, dry food cannot be mixed with natural food and drastically replaced with it.
Important! When feeding with dry food, the cat’s need for water increases dramatically! Make sure that the drinking bowl is always available to the pet and is filled with fresh water.
A lot has been said about the quality of the feed, it’s time to reveal the subtleties by which each owner will be able to determine how useful the selected product is. The first thing to look out for is authenticity. Many feeds of well-known brands are produced under patents, and the analogue is almost always inferior to the original in quality. A product officially launched on the market has certain obligations for the design of the pack, namely: placement of the complete composition, the line, the manufacturer’s and distributor’s data.
Let’s repeat about the composition, it should be understandable for a simple layman, complex terms are usually used to hide unwanted components. Do not forget to check the expiration date and try not to purchase feed that is sold by weight.
Why is the question of feeding cats dog food relevant??
Why, apart from the stock example, do cat owners have questions about feeding their cat dog food? The first reason is diversity. A wider range of treats and specific products are produced for dogs.
Dogs often prefer to feed natural food, and if the pet eats food, then its consumption is much higher compared to the cat. To maintain good purchasing power, retail dog food of the same class and quality is slightly cheaper than cat food.
If the owner does not go into details, but is guided only by the above arguments, then feeding the cat with dog food looks like a good prospect. Owners are especially confident in the correctness of their decision, who caught the cat eating dry food from the dog’s bowl. Here the logic is even simpler, the pet likes it, so you can feed.
For the sake of fairness, we note that some purrs literally lead their owners to make such a rash decision. The cat is starving and demands dog food, and getting his own, calms down. What is the reason for this self-harm? Remember, your cat will not eat harmful food if it is healthy. If a pet is drawn to unnatural food, its metabolism is already disturbed and it has vitamin deficiency. When infected with some types of worms, the cat eats feces with pleasure, and with secretive mental disorders, stones, but this is not the norm.
How to choose cat food?
There are some basic rules to keep your choice to a minimum. When choosing to keep your cat on mixed food, avoid common mistakes. Choose products according to your needs and age. Adult cats do not need to be fed kitten food. Healthy animals do not need medicated feed, moreover, they can have a negative impact on the pet’s well-being.
Be sure to consider the energy value of the feed. Cats don’t need a lot of carbohydrates. The diet should contain mainly proteins, and its caloric content should fluctuate in the range of 80–90 Kcal per 100 g. product.
Important! No manufacturer produces universal food for dogs and cats! If you see similar products, feel free to avoid them.
Why dog food isn’t good for cats?
What is the threat of feeding a cat with dog food? Unfortunately, many owners do not realize that they are harming a pet just because the changes are happening gradually. Even packs of high-quality dog food have an inscription stating that it is not suitable for feeding cats. The reason is that dogs need more carbohydrates and cats need more protein. The physiology of these animals is too different and, even in theory, the same nutrition cannot be suitable for them.
The first change you will notice is a loss of shine in the coat and a deterioration in the condition of the skin. Most likely, the cat will start to itch, although you will not find fleas or other visible reasons. Itching is a consequence of the death of skin cells that have been deprived of adequate nutrition.
The next negative change is weight loss. Obese pet owners might even be delighted. take your time. The cat will not lose fat, but muscle mass, which will further exacerbate the problem. Protein Deficiency Cause Muscle Loss.
Heart failure is common in cats that are fed dry dog food on a regular basis. The reason is a lack of taurine, which is not needed by dogs and is not included in their food. A hidden consequence of taurine deficiency is visual impairment. Against the background of shortness of breath, the cat will begin to have digestive problems. Dog food contains more carbohydrates, that is, cereals. Your cat’s digestive system can only digest small amounts of plant foods.
The obvious consequences are anemia and a deficiency of B vitamins. The cat becomes lethargic, gets tired quickly, and has a low body temperature. If in this condition blood is taken from an animal for analysis, a critically low level of hemoglobin will be found. Biochemical blood tests will show inflammation of the liver and the deplorable state of the kidneys, which have worked hard. Is the small savings worth such consequences?
Most owners have doubts about whether cats can be fed dry food, and whether it is normal if the cat only eats it. In fact, this is not something that is normal, but even useful, since it contains everything you need. But only if you buy super. premium. class or holistic food. Only such a product of proper quality, which really contains meat, and not substitutes. And if the feed has a good composition, then the development of many diseases will be prevented, which will help maintain excellent condition in animals.
A cat needs to be fed dry food also because its body gets used to one composition of food, and digestion may be disturbed when other foods are added.
Advantages and disadvantages
Each product has its pros and cons, and dry food is no exception. The more different additives, the worse the food affects the health of the cat. But problems may not appear immediately, but after a month or even more, when there is nothing to help the animal.
The negative impact on the body is influenced by such factors as:
- flavoring additives.
Choice of feed and nutritional norms
They are added to the product not only by economy-class manufacturers, but also by premium-class ones. But things are not as bad as they might seem. Because there are excellent options among all brands. And it’s mostly professional food.
The following components will have a positive impact:
- vitamin complex;
- amino acids necessary for animals;
- complex of minerals.
In order not to make a mistake when choosing a feed, you need to know some rules. Always remember about the characteristics of the animal, such as: pregnancy, castration, age. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the composition of the feed. Review the manufacturer’s information and understand the components in the composition. Avoid the side of food, where there are many different artificial additives.
You can also discuss this issue with your veterinarian. Monitor your pet for how it will react to food. He may have an allergic reaction, an eating disorder, or a change in behavior. And if everything is in order, then there is a high probability that the food came up.
You also need to understand the classification of feed.
- Economy Cheap feed option. Meat is not used there, but instead, by-products, cereals and plant components are added there. Such components are very poorly absorbed by the body. Such food should not be fed to the animal.
- Premium. This is the middle class. Unlike the first option, it contains a small percentage of meat. This also includes vitamins and minerals, but there are also harmful additives. Their price is not very high.
- Super. premium. class. A relatively expensive option, and a very good one. There is a large percentage of meat content, and there are no harmful additives.
- Holistic. The most expensive food. But it contains only natural meat and all the necessary components.
Do not give dry food to animals if they have additional needs.
For example, a cat does not drink the required daily amount of water. Then, in this case, it would be better to give wet food, pate or natural food. The best deal is if your pet will consume 3 times more water than food. The average volume should be approximately 20-30 ml per day, but it may vary slightly. It is also forbidden to feed dry food to animals that have very sensitive digestion, their food texture will only harm health, and can also cause bleeding.
It is strictly forbidden to give pets economy and premium food. Because they contain many different artificial additives that will cause health problems over time. Basically, everything develops for a very long time and imperceptibly. And when they do appear, it is usually too late to do something. Also, on an ongoing basis, cats cannot be fed with various treats, and all because they cannot provide the body with everything necessary for its full-fledged work.
In no case should you mix dry food with natural products. Since the body gets used to one composition, and if you add another, then there may be an eating disorder. Also, the combination of foods violates the daily intake of vitamins and nutrients. And in order to digest a different type of food, you will need different enzymes, and in this regard, problems with the pancreas may arise.
Dry and wet food also cannot be mixed, can only be given separately.
And if the animal is weakened for some reason, for example, illness or vaccination, then you can add sauce from wet food to the feed. This will help stimulate the cat’s appetite. But the brand should be the same. This will save the pet from gastrointestinal problems, and the balance of nutrients will not be disturbed. But if for some reason you cannot provide wet food from the same manufacturer as dry food, then they must be of the same class. It is forbidden to give wet food Whiskas or Purina One to a cat that eats Eukanuba or Royal Canin.
It is strictly forbidden to additionally give vitamins to the animal, if they have not been prescribed by the veterinarian.
Since there are water-soluble substances that are removed from the body without any problems if there is an excess of them. And there are fat-soluble ones, which can accumulate, and because of this, an excess of various elements and vitamins can occur. Permission to take any supplements is accepted only based on the results of examination and analysis. Also, you can not give medicines for a treat.
The daily rate of the product is selected for each animal in its own way, it is necessary to rely on the weight, age, activity, size of the pet and the calorie content of the feed. Usually, all manufacturers write about the nutritional norm, but still you should not follow their recommendations, because for one cat it will not be enough, and for another too much.
Be sure to monitor the physical condition of the animal.
The ribs are not allowed to stick out, but they should be felt. Also, the cat should not be too well-fed or, on the contrary, the hips and chest protruded. Therefore, you always need to calculate the rate yourself, and if you transfer your pet to feed from another manufacturer, you will have to recount everything again. You can also consult your veterinarian. If you are using measuring cups, then it is worth checking the information that the manufacturer indicated.
Is it possible to feed a cat only dry food and how to do it?
Dry food is a solution for many owners, since it takes less money and time to feed the animal. It is easy to store, has a long shelf life, has a variety of flavors, you can put it in a bowl and go about your business. But before buying this type of product, it is worth figuring out whether it is safe and will not harm the animal.
Almost all veterinarians still recommend dry food, because they are already balanced, have the correct vitamins that animals need. The main task here is to choose the right brand of the manufacturer that will not harm the cat’s health. Also, veterinarians are sure that the food that a person consumes is not suitable for good nutrition for cats, and can even lead to disorders in the gastrointestinal tract.
Therefore, do not spoil your pets with food from your table.
Perhaps dry food may not seem as appealing as natural food. And this can be considered a small disadvantage. But this is easy to fix. It will be enough just to add a little water there, and the food will seem more interesting for the animal. Of course, dry food makes life a lot easier for cat owners, because you don’t have to spend time and money preparing food. But this is only if the product is of proper quality. The main thing is not to interfere with different products and give the animal a sufficient amount of water.
For helpful tips on how to properly feed your cat dry food, see the video below.
Can cats be fed dog food: everything an owner needs to know
Many, even experienced owners, are concerned about the question of whether it is possible to give dogs dog food to cats? Recently, more and more owners have become fans of industrial feeding, since this method is more convenient and faster. Dry food has a longer shelf life, does not spoil in a bowl, provided it is of high quality, it is completely balanced. An important plus is the existence of therapeutic food lines for cats with various ailments and allergies.
General recommendations for feeding cats with industrial food
All commercial feeds have advantages and disadvantages. The former usually outweighs the latter due to the lack of time on the part of the owners. An alternative to food is a natural diet, that is, regular preparation of food for the pet.
Industrial cat food is divided into classes and types:
- Economy, premium (everyday), super premium, holistic.
- Wet, semi-moist, dry food.
Super premium cat food and above contain all important nutrients, vitamins and trace elements. At the same time, the owner can feed the cat with dry food, alternating with semi-wet or wet (of the same brand and line).
Economy and premium classes are not fully fortified and may contain preservatives. At the same time, premium food is considered everyday, that is, it is suitable for regular feeding of healthy animals. The economy class is a dangerous line, produced with the expectation of the illiteracy of the owners. Bright advertising and a relatively attractive price play a significant role. Trying to do what is best, the owners literally sacrifice the health of their pets. although if the owner reads the composition of the product, then the risk is quite conscious.
The modern assortment of food allows you to choose a balanced diet for any, even the most fastidious pet. At least the cat will definitely not refuse to eat wet food or pates. Some difficulties may arise with the selection of dry food, since it is not so fragrant.
Dry food is more popular for a number of reasons:
- Lower cost compared to semi-moist feed and pate.
- Do not spoil in the bowl, which means the owner can safely use the automatic feeder.
The disadvantage of drying is that the enamel on the teeth of the cat wears off faster. While the pet is young, this problem is not obvious, but when the four-legged grows old, the teeth are so damaged that they cannot be removed without removal. Veterinarians often warn that feeding exclusively “drying” can provoke rapid weight gain and regular bowel disorders. The most important reason why a cat cannot be fed only dry food is addiction, that is, an addiction that will cause the pet to starve and demand pellets.
Now there are a few rules that you should start from when choosing industrial cat food:
- A well-known, proven trademark, which has an official representative (distributor) in your country.
- Availability of specialized lines for pregnant and lactating cats, animals with allergies, etc.
- Each pack of feed should contain information that is understandable for an ordinary person about the composition of the product and the place of its production.
- Each package must be designed in accordance with the rules (barcode, full details of the manufacturer, place of production, supplier in your country, necessary warnings, trademark logo).
- Each package must contain information about the batch number, production date and expiration date.
If you decide to feed your cat commercial food, it is worth considering the common mistakes of the owners:
- Products must be appropriate for the age, breed, weight, lifestyle, type of coat, health status of the pet. That is, you do not need to feed an adult cat with kitten food, etc.
- The energy value of the feed should not exceed 85-90 calories per kilogram of cat weight.
- Never feed cats dog food, especially if such a recommendation is on the pack. Obviously, this is a surrogate. There is no one-size-fits-all food for dogs and cats because these animals have different needs.
- Always focus on the preferences of the pet, what kind of food he eats more willingly (except for economy class) is the one that needs to be bought.
- Do not mix different brands of feed.
- Do not add bait to holistic and super premium feed without veterinarian recommendation.
Note! If for some reason you have to change the type or class of feeding, transfer the animal to another brand of feed gradually.
Why is the question of feeding cats dog food relevant??
Logically, everything is clear, cat food for cats, dog food for dogs. Why do the questions arise about whether it is possible to feed a cat with dog food? After examining thematic forums, there are several main reasons:
Having weighed the pros and cons, the owner decides that there is nothing wrong with non-core feeding. The opinion is confirmed by the delight of the pet, who eats dog food with pleasure, but refuses from her own, cat’s. over, some pets arrange a hunger boycott and require dog food. What is the reason?
Perhaps you initially picked up a not entirely balanced diet for the pet and now, experiencing vitamin deficiency, the animal rushes to any tasty food. The dog food may have a pungent or attractive smell. In fact, there are a lot of probable reasons and in order to identify them, you need to understand where you went wrong initially.
Why dog food isn’t good for cats?
What consequences can be expected if a cat eats dog food? At first, none. Changes will occur gradually, and when they make themselves felt, you are unlikely to connect cause and effect.
- Muscle loss and fat replacement. Cats need more protein than dogs as dogs are more omnivorous. Dog food contains more carbohydrates, as their energy consumption is higher during walks and triner exercises.
- Visual impairment and heart failure. cat food contains taurine, dog food does not. Taurine is an amino acid that plays an important role in the metabolism of cats.
- Disruption of food digestion because dog food contains more herbal ingredients.
- Deterioration of coat and skin. dog food contains less fat.
- Anemia and loss of energy. Cats synthesize fewer amino acids than dogs. Dog food does not include eggs (a rich source of amino acids), but feline foods do.
Note! Lack of B vitamins is a very dangerous condition. Dog food (usually) does not contain even a third of the required vitamin group for cats.
What is the difference between dog and cat food
To understand why a cat cannot be fed dog food for a long time and vice versa, let’s figure out how food for cats and dogs differs.
Dry cat foods differ from dry dog foods in their composition and nutrient balance. For instance:
- Dog food contains significantly less protein, since the body of these animals needs less than the body of cats. The digestive system of cats is less able to cope with the digestion of plant components (primarily cereals), which are more in dog food than in cat food.
- Dry cat food contains more vitamin A, therefore, when feeding a cat with dog food, there will be a shortage of it. This can lead to blurred vision, hair loss and other health problems.
- Dry dog food does not contain taurine, an essential amino acid for cats that plays an important role in the digestion of fats, blood clotting, the maintenance of the nervous system, immune defenses, heart function, etc. Taurine is also found in meat, and, as we have already noted, there is less taurine in dog food.
To each his own! Cat food and dog food.
In general, feeding a pet food that is not intended for him can lead to a shortage of nutrients that his body needs. This, in turn, can provoke serious health problems.
Can a cat be fed dog food?
Probably everyone who has both a dog and a cat has at least once faced a situation where one pet steals food from another. In this case, the question usually arises, is it generally possible for cats to eat dog food and vice versa??
Can Cats Eat Dog Food? What Would Happen?
Some pets may experience indigestion (diarrhea, constipation) after a sudden change of food.
Can I feed my cat wet dog food? The answer will still be the same. it’s better not to do this on an ongoing basis. However, canned wet foods for both dogs and cats are not intended as the main diet, so they do not contain all the nutrients your pet needs anyway.
That is, even wet cat food does not contain all the nutrients a cat needs. Therefore, giving liquid dog food to a cat and vice versa, to a feline dog, is less dangerous for the health of the pet. But do not forget that this is in case such food serves only as a delicacy, and not as a constant diet.
Can cats eat dog food: yes, no, and why
Conclusions and tips for feeding your cat
And so, we learned that dog food should not be given to a cat as a permanent food. But what if you have two pets and the cat eats dog food by stealing it from the dog’s bowl? Here are a couple of helpful tips:
- Feeding pets in different rooms at the same time will help the most effectively. Everyone will be busy with their portion and will not see the other’s bowl, respectively, there will be no desire to try what is in the bowl by the saucer.
- Train your pets to eat a portion at a time so that the food does not stand for several hours in a bowl in case someone later wants to finish the portion.
- Store food out of the reach of pets, ideally in tight-fitting plastic containers. If the food is in a regular bag and in plain sight.
your cat or dog may want to get it on their own. The case when the package turned out to be gnawed is not uncommon.
These tips are valid even if everything happens the other way around and the dog is stealing dry food from the cat’s bowl.
By the way, if you have a similar situation, share your experience whether you managed to solve it and how! Your advice in the comments below will be very helpful to other visitors to our site.!
How to wean a dog from eating cat food?
If there is no cat in the house, then you just need to stop buying cat food. Most likely, in the first few days, the dog will go through the offered food or refuse it altogether. This period needs to be waited out and not to be manipulated. Disregard the plaintive looking eyes. Over time, the dog will understand that there will be no other food, and will begin to eat normally.
It is more difficult to cope with the problem in a family where a dog and a cat live together. Just not buying food is no longer possible. But there are tricks to keep your dog’s health and keep the cat bowl safe:
- Feed your cat and dog in separate rooms.
- Train your pets to eat a portion at a time so that bowls do not stand with leftovers for 8 hours and do not tempt animals to finish eating one after another.
- Place the cat bowl at a height that the dog cannot reach.
- Buy an interactive bowl for your cat. From it you need to get food with a paw, which is quite difficult for a dog to do. You won’t be able to eat with a muzzle. the bowl consists of frequent and high silicone protrusions.
- Make or purchase a cat shelter. Place the bowl inside the house. In it he will be able to retire and dine.
Poor appetite can be caused by illness. A healthy dog will never starve to death next to a full bowl of food. Maximum. a couple of days to be capricious, begging for “tasty”.
What happens if you feed your dog cat food?
It’s no secret that pets often eat up from each other’s bowls. But can dogs eat cat food? Although many dogs are crazy about it, it is not worth giving it on an ongoing basis. The nutritional requirements of tetrapods are very different. Regular consumption of cat food will negatively affect the dog’s health. There is a high risk of developing diseases such as obesity of the liver, gastritis, stomach ulcers, hair loss, diabetes mellitus, urolithiasis.
What is the difference between feed?
Separately produced dog food and cat food are not a marketing ploy. The contents of the packages are different. Manufacturers release it taking into account the nutritional needs of a particular type.
- less protein;
- more herbal ingredients;
- higher vitamins A, C, D3 and K (and in cats. E and H);
- more magnesium and calcium, while for cats. phosphorus and iodine;
- does not contain taurine, whereas it is a mandatory ingredient in cat food.
In addition, cat food is more acidic, while dog food is alkaline.
Can Cats EAT DOG FOOD?
All ingredients are selected taking into account not only species, but also physiological characteristics. Food for a dog from one company may have a different composition depending on its age, breed, body weight, pregnancy. Pedigree dogs are very picky about food. Any violation of the diet is highly undesirable for them.
Difference in nutritional needs of dogs and cats
Despite the fact that both cats and dogs have lived near humans for a long time, their specific features cannot be canceled. Let’s note the main points:
- Cats are obligate (unconditional) predators. Therefore, 80% of the diet should be meat and offal. Cats need an increased dose of protein. Taurine is also vitally important for them. an amino acid that plays an important role in digestion, blood clotting, heart function, immune defense, etc. Cats do not spontaneously produce taurine in the body, just like vitamin A. Previously, they received the necessary substances from the brain of mice, but hunting cats are rare today.
- Dogs are also predators, but optional. They don’t need as high a protein intake as cats do. Dogs are closer to omnivores. A third of the diet comes from plant foods, which are difficult for cats to digest. In addition, both taurine and vitamin A are produced in the dog’s body.
Dogs often eat from a cat’s bowl. But this is not because their food is healthier or more nutritious. The reason is rivalry and greed, the desire to show who is in charge in the house. And curiosity also plays a role. food in someone else’s bowl and smells differently, and tastes different.
If there is no other food
The most acceptable product for a dog:
- without fish and salt in the composition;
- with an amount of protein about 15–20 g per 100 g;
- without soy, starch, flavor enhancers;
- without taurine.
In order not to risk the health of the pet, it is preferable to take premium quality food. It will be dry or wet, it doesn’t matter. But it should be borne in mind that canned food is used as an addition to the main diet. this is a kind of delicacy. If the task is to feed, it is better to take the dog dry food. Just don’t mix it with natural food. It is harmful to digestion and will permanently disrupt eating behavior.
So, you cannot feed a dog with cat food. If she eats it 1-2 times, it’s okay. But with constant feeding, the animal’s health will be impaired. And if yard breeds have strong immunity and can hold out on unsuitable food for a long time, then purebred dogs will begin to suffer from an unbalanced diet almost immediately. Develop healthy eating habits. Don’t be tempted by the fleeting gratification of the dog‘s whims. And remember: if a pet eats something with pleasure, this does not mean that such food is useful and necessary for him.