If you have both a dog and a cat in your home, you could occasionally catch them taking bites from each other’s bowls. Swapping meals isn’t the most advisable habit that pet owners should adopt, even though they may easily share their favorite people’s time and space. What is it about dog food that a cat might enjoy since cats are known for being particularly picky eaters? Is it okay for cats to graze on a dog’s food bowl?
reasons cats are attracted to dog food
There are several reasons why cats prefer particular foods. The aroma of a certain dish is among them, according to Royal Canin, that are most prevalent. Being meat eaters by nature, cats may be tempted to approach your dog’s bowl if it smells particularly meaty, especially if there is wet food available. Your cat may be so interested in inspecting your dog’s meals if she doesn’t like her own food but thinks they smell good enough to eat.
Your cat will also choose what she puts in her mouth based on the texture of the food. Although each cat is unique and has her own preferences, if your cat is frequently found sauntering over to the dog’s bowl, it’s possible that she prefers the texture of his kibble to that of her own. This may be especially true for short-nosed breeds like Persians, whose faces may make it difficult for them to reach specific food items in their dish.
Finally, given the option, cats will choose to consume whatever makes them feel good. Even though dog food doesn’t have all the vitamins and minerals a cat needs to stay healthy, some food may be consumed just for the flavor or fun of it.
Is dog food bad for cats?
According to PetMD, cat food made from dogs is not recommended for use as a regular diet and should never be the sole source of food for cats. Why? because key nutrients that are necessary for sustaining a cat’s health are absent from dog food. In contrast to dogs, whose bodies can convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, cats need an extra boost to stay healthy, which is why vitamin A is added to cat food.
The same is true of the fatty acid arachidonic acid and the amino acid taurine. Since both of these acids may be produced by dogs, they are not frequently used as additional ingredients in commercial dog food. On the other hand, a taurine-deficient cat might develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that, if untreated, can lead to heart failure. Finally, because they are obligate carnivores, cats simply need more protein than dogs do, so most dog foods won’t meet their requirements.
How to keep your cat out of dog food
Even though it’s perfectly safe for cats to occasionally graze on dog food, some owners might prefer to keep their feline companions away from the dog bowl. According to Catster, the best way to handle this is to establish a feeding schedule for both animals. This way, no food will be left out and no animal will go too long without food.
Feeding your cat and dog small amounts of food several times throughout the day as opposed to one large meal can help prevent leaving food out for other animals to eat. In shared homes and spaces, setting up separate feeding areas is always a good idea because it’s safe and can help cut down on temptation.