Pet Food & Nutrition: Can Cats and Dogs eat the same food?

Can cats and dogs eat the same food?

Having both dogs and cats under the same roof is undoubtedly a thrilling experience. But only do pet owners know the perils they face every day, especially during mealtime! The dogs lurk around hoping to catch pieces of cat food; the cats gather the dog bowls hoping to snag a bite, and controlling them is crazy hard. And one thing that haunts multi-pet owners is:

Can cats and dogs eat the same food?

The short answer is It is not recommended! Of course, nibbles of cat or dog food won’t cause much of a problem. But feeding dog food to cats should be monitored closely. Both cats and dogs have different digestive systems, and many food elements may be suitable for one but harmful to the other. Also, food designated for one may not provide necessary nutrients for the balanced diet of the other. So, it is recommended to stick to the diet set for each pet!

See also: healthy homemade dog food on a budget

If you have a combo of dog and cat then you are declared as the luckiest being on planet earth. I know you can’t decline this fact too if you are one of those.

Both pets together make an adorable couple. They look so cute playing together that I may not be able to explain in words.

Let’s stop this cherishable discussion here. I know it’s difficult to leave. Isn’t it?  

As we are here to discuss their lives concerns here, which is a more reasonable discussion as it is about your best counterparts.

You would have noticed that while eating, both wait and find a chance to conquer each other’s food. My dog finishes my cat’s dry food in a glimpse.

Why your dog finds cat food more appealing?

Well, first think of the aroma of freshly served cat food from a can. No doubt, it’s for getting your cat’s attention but each time your dog too can approach at serving place.

Many vets recommend, to waste the food on your pet (either cat or dog) after they leave the serving place.

The other main reason that your dog eats cat food is that the food remains there for a long time.

Scientific Fact: Can you imagine that a dog can smell 40 feet underground?

Is it good to feed him cat food on a daily bases?

It would be heaven for a dog then…

As cat food is enriched with proteins and other nutrients primarily healthy for cats but not for dogs. Because cats are carnivores and need a meal with a large number of proteins.

Although your canine is a carnivore as well yet the amount of protein is not so good for your canine as compare to your cat.

So, what’s your favorite restaurant to eat fast food?

Let’s suppose KFC. Letting your dog eat cat food daily will be exactly equal to go to KFC daily. It sounds really delicious but in the long run, it is too bad for health.

What effects a dog can have after overeating or eating on a daily bases of cat food?

Surely, each thing is made for a specific function. Dog food is for dogs and cat food is for cats. If served to opposite pets they would leave unhealthy effects on pets.

Note that: You don’t need to be panic if your dog overeats cat food as some medical care can cure this.


  • Cats need a much higher quantity of proteins and other dietary fibers. Feeding your dog cat food regularly may cause an imbalance in proteins, fibers, and other nutrients.
  • Serving your dog cat food can also lead to Gastrointestinal upsets, Pancreatitis. Symptoms of Pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, fever, and distended abdomen.
  • It can also lead to Obesity, which means the dog may quickly gain much weight.
can cats and dogs eat the same food?
can cats and dogs eat the same food?

Which parts of your canine can be affected more after intake of the cat food?

With high protein concentration it directly affects on;

  • liver
  • kidney.

How can I avoid my dog to eat cat food?

Cat food is not life-threatening for dogs. It may lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and other diseases discussed above. But they all can be cured. It does not mean to serve dog feline food.

Because Who wants to get diarrhea and vomiting after all?

The other way is to serve the cat food to your feline at a safe place, which means where the dog could not reach it. Place your remaining food (in the packet) in a closed chamber.

What are the major nutrients cats need but not present in dog food?

You might be thinking of this question…

If it’s so then I am so catchy.

Let’s find out the major ingredients in a feline meal.


Taurine is an amino acid that helps the cat in heart function, vision, digestion, and a healthy immune system. Cats usually get this from a source of high protein more specifically from a meat-based diet.

Industries that make a commercial cat or kitten food add an extra amount of taurine into food. So, to recover the loss during processing.

High protein concentration

As explained above that cats need a high quantity of proteins in food. But if not given the appropriate amount may lead to loss of muscle mass and also lethargy

Vitamin A

Dogs in their diet can use beta-carotene as a proper source of vitamin A but cats can’t. Commercial cat food has an appropriate amount of vitamin A in it.

What are the key reasons to not serve cats dog food?

Deficiency of taurine

As I have written above that is how much necessary Taurine is for cats. Dog food is lacking in this amino acid. So, if a cat eats food deficient in Taurine concentration can lead to cardiovascular disease, impact the cat’s eyes and development.

Large kibble

Have you heard this proverb before?


This means that cats are really smaller than their counterparts in size. With small size they have small jaw for catching, eating, and tearing food.

Kibble present in dog food is of larger size and if taken by cats at regular intervals can cause choking hazards.

Deficiency of protein

I think I should not repeat it again but let’s get it in a nutshell.

So, cats are carnivores as your canine but and need more protein than dogs.

A food with a deficiency of proteins can lead to the cat, breaking down its own muscles.

don't try this, this is not good for you.

Arachidonic acid

Arachidonic acid is fatty acid a dog can naturally build by itself, but a cat needs a really real thing to get it.

In any case, if your cat feels hungry all the time and eats, again and again, her or your dog’s food then you should discuss it with your vet.


Let me share my doings with you. I use to give cat food (only a very small amount) to my dog after he does the work, I command him. As a treat, it’s not a bad thing to do.

But unknowingly, giving them food opposite to their needs will surely make some health issues.

If you come to know this now and use to feed other species food then make contact with your vet and follow his instructions.

Kasim Kittiban

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