Well, it ought to first be known that cats and dogs have totally different dietary needs.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which suggests that they eat meat. Dogs are omnivores, which suggests they eat meat, grains, and vegetables, so they want a lot of varied diets than only meat alone to satisfy their biological nutritional needs.
Dog food lacks the essential nutrition that cats have to be compelled to live an extended, healthy life. Cats can’t live on dog food, because it doesn’t meet their needs for protein.
The protein content in dog food is considerably less compared to the quantity of protein that is added in industrial cat food diets and also the level of protein that cats want. Your cat can become malnourished if fed a diet designed for canines.
Feeding a cat dog food as an immense portion of their overall diet cause a number of problems like poor digestion, organ dysfunction, poor skin and coat health and mineral deficiencies.
But the question still remains that; “Can cats eat dog food”?
Well, the answer is affirmative, however it's solely in emergency things or for a brief amount of your time.
If your cat eats dog food it’s not dangerous. Your cat won’t be straight off made sick by consuming dog food; it isn’t essentially healthy for him. Whereas an occasional nibble of your dog's food will not hurt your cat, long-run feeding of food formulated for dogs definitely will.
What Nutrients Do Cats Need?
Nutrients are substances obtained from food and utilized by an animal as a source of energy and as a part of the metabolic machinery necessary for growth and maintenance.
Here are the six essential categories of nutrients essential for your cat’s healthy living.
Proteins are the fundamental building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies, and are essential for growth, maintenance, reproduction and repair.
Proteins are obtained from a variety of sources. Animal-based proteins have complete amino acid profiles. (Please note: Don’t offer your raw pet eggs.) Protein is additionally found in, cereals, soy and vegetables, however, these are considered incomplete proteins.
- Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are divided into essential and non-essential amino acids
- Essential amino acids can’t be synthesized by the animal in decent quantities and should be equipped within the diet. Essential amino acids include; histidine, leucine, methionine, tryptophan, lysine, valine, phenylalanine, taurine, arginine, threonine and isoleucine
- Non-essential amino acids can be synthesized by your pet and are not needed to be added to the diet.
Dogs are omnivores and can get the nutrients they want from both plant- and animal-based sources.
Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need to eat animal-based proteins to get the nutrients they require to survive and maintain their health.
Not only does dog food contain less protein than is critical for a cat, but it may come from plant sources, that will not offer your cat the nutrients he must need to keep healthy.
Animal-based proteins like meats and meat byproducts are made up of 23 types of amino acids, 11 of which your cat needs to survive, in step with the contribution from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
A cat cannot synthesize these 11 essential amino acids and must ingest them to keep up her health; some dogs need them too. One such amino acid is taurine, which isn't required to be included in dog food. A dog's body can manufacture taurine, however, cats cannot.
Sadly, if a cat is consuming dog food, he will not get this important amino acid and can become sick.
The essential amino acid taurine is needed for companion cats. Taurine is required for reproduction, fetal growth and survival, and prevention of heart and eye disease.
This essential amino acid is only found in foods of animal origin, like meat, eggs and fish.
Since taurine is found solely in animal-based protein, all cats want meat-based diets to satisfy their nutritional requirements and biological process necessities.
Cats need supplementation of the amino acid taurine in their diet since they cannot synthesize it as dogs do. “This want for taurine in their diet is what classifies cats as Obligate Carnivores, whereas dogs are classified omnivorous.”
Since dog food doesn’t contain taurine, cats won’t get all of the supplements they need if they solely consume dog food.
Fats are the most concentrated form of food energy, providing your pet with over double the energy of proteins or carbohydrates.
Fats are essential within the structure of cells and are required for the production of some hormones. They are needed for the absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins.
Fats offer body insulation and protection for internal organs. Essential fatty acids must be provided in a cat’s diet because they cannot be synthesized by a cat in enough amounts.
Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid for cats. Arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, is additionally essential for cats for reproduction, kidney function, and the upkeep and maintenance of the skin and coat.
- Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in healing inflammation. Replacement of some omega-6 with omega-3 fatty acids can lessen an inflammatory reaction—whether it is within the skin (due to allergies), the intestines (from inflammatory bowel disease), the joints (from arthritis), or even in the kidneys (from progressive urinary organ failure).
Carbohydrates provide energy for the body’s tissues, play a vital role in the health of the intestine, and are likely to be important for reproduction. While there is no minimum carbohydrate requirement, there is a minimum glucose requirement necessary to supply energy to critical organs (i.e. the brain).
Fibers are kinds of carbohydrates that modify the mix of the bacterial population in the small intestine, which can help manage chronic diarrhea.
For cats to obtain the most benefit from fiber, the fiber source must be moderately fermentable. Foods that are high in fiber are not good for cats with high energy requirements, such as those who are young and growing
Vitamins are catalysts for enzyme reactions. Small amounts of vitamins are essential to cats for normal metabolic functioning.
Most vitamins can’t be synthesized within the body, and therefore are essential within the diet. For correct nutrition, cats and dogs need completely different amounts of vitamins and minerals in their diet. Dog food lacks vitamin A.
Cats need vitamin A. A lack of vitamin A in cats can lead to, weak muscles, a shabby coat and night blindness. The cat’s immune system needs a daily dose of vitamin A. Kittens and pregnant females especially need vitamin A to promote neurological development and growth. Vitamin A can be found in egg yolks, fish oil and liver.
Dogs will need smaller quantities of B vitamins, including thiamin and niacin, and less folic acid than cats. Their food thus contains less of these substances, in keeping with the Food and Drug Administration. This can lead to a deficiency in them if your cat consumes foods that are nutritionally balanced for dogs.
When feeding a whole balanced diet, it is inessential to give a vitamin or mineral supplement unless a particular deficiency is diagnosed by a veterinarian. Over supplementation may end up in poisoning with some key vitamins and minerals!
Minerals are inorganic compounds that yield no energy and aren’t metabolized.
These nutrients can’t be synthesized by animals and should be provided for within the diet. In general, minerals are most vital as structural constituents of bones and teeth, for maintaining fluid balance and for their involvement in several metabolic reactions.
Water is the most vital nutrient. Whereas food may help meet some of your cat's water needs, cats ought to have fresh clean water offered to them the least bit times.
A deficiency of water will cause serious health problems or perhaps death.
Can Cats Eat Dog Food — if it’s associated with an emergency?
Sometimes, even the foremost accountable and responsible cat owners run out of cat food.
You might think you had a lot of cat food than you probably did, and then discovered later in the middle of the night that the pet shop is closed, a freak blizzard hits and you can’t get to the shop, etc. So, can cats eat dog food if it is associated with an emergency?
In case of emergency, it’s OKAY to feed your cat dog food for one meal (assuming that your cat doesn’t have any other underlying health conditions or allergies).
Though dog food isn’t inherently dangerous for cats which ultimately will not hurt if he feeds on dog food, it is not recommended that you simply feed your cat dog food on an everyday basis.
How Does One Keep Cats Out of Dog Food?
Another question that comes up when thinking is “how do you keep your cat from eating his four-legged sibling’s dog food”?
One of the consistent challenges of living in a multi-pet household involves pets making an attempt to eat each other’s food, thus keeping them out of each other’s food is a must!
Feed your cats and dogs two or three meals on a daily basis (depending on the recommendation from your veterinarian) rather than free feeding (keeping food available at all times), unless there is a medical reason your veterinarian needs your cat or dog to consistently have food available.
Feed your cats and dogs in consistent places for every meal. Produce a feeding routine, and reward your dogs and cats for eating their own meals.