is cat food okay for dogs

The occasional stolen bite of cat food is unlikely to cause harm to your dog. However, it is not recommended to feed dogs cat food, especially not long-term as part of a regular meal. Feeding cat food to your dog is likely to have unintended consequences for their health and wellbeing.

When Cat Food Is Safe for Dogs

In fact, cat food might be a better option than many dog foods for certain dogs, such as those who are battling cancer and are losing weight, losing muscle, and not eating much.

In these situations, cat food is generally more palatable, offers more calories per serving, and is a more nutrient-balanced option than many home-prepared diets.

Likewise, compared to some popular human foods like cheese, chicken, or peanut butter, which offer a concentrated amount of primarily one nutrient, cat kibble can make for healthier, well-balanced treats or training rewards.

When Cat Food Is Harmful for Dogs

If there are underlying causes for why too much protein or fat is not ideal, then eating cat food, even as a treat occasionally, may become problematic for other dogs.


  • Because cat food is just too rich, a dog with a sensitive digestive system may vomit or have diarrhea after eating it.
  • To ensure that their kidneys and liver function as best they can, dogs with kidney or liver disease should eat moderate—not excessive—amounts of protein.
  • A dog that is overweight or has a higher risk of developing pancreatitis g. , many Schnauzers), need to eat a diet lower in fat to help them lose weight or reduce pancreatic inflammation.

Any quantity of commercial cat food fed to any of these dogs, whether occasionally or consistently, may make health problems worse

What’s the Difference Between Dog Food and Cat Food?

Since dogs are omnivores, they can eat a wider variety of foods, including both plant- and animal-based components.

Nevertheless, cats have higher needs for both protein and fat than dogs do because they are true carnivores, meaning they only consume animal protein.

Moreover, dogs only need 10 essential amino acids, but cats only need 11 to be obtained from their diet. The additional amino acid required by cats is taurine.

In comparison to commercial dog foods, commercial cat foods must have higher concentrations of taurine, fat, and protein to meet these higher nutrient requirements. This suggests that every commercial dog food is inadequate in nutrients for cats.

However, cat food’s higher protein and fat levels make it more appetizing, fragrant, and therefore appealing to dogs. It can also meet or even surpass a dog’s nutritional needs.


What happens if my dog eats cat food?

Cat food is not toxic to dogs and might cause a GI upset (diarrhea or vomiting), which should quickly resolve on its own. However, if diarrhea or vomiting persists for more than 24 hours, you should get in touch with your vet. If your canine companion eats a very big amount of cat food, they might become bloated.

Why do dogs like cat food?

The reason that dogs like the taste of cat food so much is because of the high protein and fat content. Compared to dog food, cat food typically contains 20-50% more protein and fat than dog food. This is because cats have a higher protein and fat requirement than dogs do.

Can I mix cat food with dog food?

Only mix foods for the same species and life stage (i.e. don’t mix dog and cat food, or puppy and adult food together). Make sure both foods are nutritionally complete and balanced, with similar nutrient profiles.

Can dogs and cats eat the same food?

Cats and dogs have different nutrient requirements. Although similar ingredients may be used, dog and cat foods are not formulated to the same recipes. Dog food will be deficient in several key nutrients required by cats. Consuming a small amount of food intended for the other species should not be an issue.