Is Dog Food Bad For Cats?

If you take a look at cats and dogs, it’s pretty obvious that they are different in every way possible. And so obviously, they also have different body types, physiques, and hence different nutritional requirements. But have you ever been short on cat food and wondered if you could feed your cat dog food?

That’s a pretty common question, and we’re here to answer it for you!

My Cat ate a little dog food by accident

Having a house with both cats and dogs, it’s pretty common that they’ll end up eating each other’s food every once in a while. But occasionally, having a mouthful or two of dog food won’t do your cats much harm.

So once in a while, eating dog food by accident is not that big of a deal for cats.

Can I permanently feed my cat dog food?

No, cats are unable to survive on a dog food diet for prolonged periods of time. If a cat is only fed dog kibble for an extended amount of time, it can have negative, if not fatal, repercussions. That’s because the dietary ingredients in dog and cat food are distinct in order to meet the nutritional needs of these two different species. Cats cannot thrive on dog food exclusively at all!

Dog food is deficient in vitamin A and Taurine, two elements that cats require for good health. Taurine is very important for cats as it promotes their vision and heart. Without this, there can be degeneration of cat’s eyes and retina and even cause fatal heart problems in cat. So why would you endanger your cat like this? Dog food is low in arachidonic acid and appears to lack quantities of animal protein for cats.

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Cats are not omnivores!

Among the most crucial aspects of your pet’s health is to feed them a well-balanced diet. Here’s a surprise for you: Dogs are omnivores!

Yes, you probably thought dogs were carnivores like cats, but actually, they are omnivores and eat both vegetables and proteins, so their dog food is a blend of these two and doesn’t contain the recommended level of protein per cup (30%). An omnivore’s diet is more versatile, as they can eat both meat and vegetables.

On the contrary, cats are carnivores and can not survive without protein. They need a high-protein diet and lots of Taurine, vitamins, fats, and other ingredients. Cats lack the power to create Taurine. Sadly, dog food does not contain them.

Although some varieties and kinds of dog food have higher protein content than others, even these specialized dog foods do not meet the high protein content required to keep cats thriving. Dogs are omnivores. Therefore, they can eat anything.

Cats usually don’t even like dog food.


Cat meals are designed to be highly appetizing in order to convince our often picky cat companions to consume them. They usually contain artificial additives or strong natural flavors. While dogs would eat almost anything, cats don’t usually want to eat dog food because it’s unappealing to them.

So if you’re thinking of permanently switching your cat to dog food: Don’t! Your cats have different needs and can only be met through good-quality, specialized cat food.

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