Will you give in to your cat’s cravings or stand your ground as the cat parent who knows what’s best for your cat’s health?
Today’s post will look into the risks of giving your cat dog food and answer whether or not an occasional treat made for dogs is ok for your cat too.
I’m holding a treat now and my cat’s begging me for it.
Ok, if you’re in that situation right now, then you should consider two things: distract or let kitty nibble on a few bits. Treats should be measured as part of a cat’s daily diet. Restricting your cat to regular meals will help your cat maintain a healthy weight.
Now dogs and cats have specific calorie requirements. The larger and more active canines will need more calories to keep up with their lifestyle. Dog treats may help maintain a dog’s energy levels.
Meanwhile, cats are designed to hunt and fast. So constant feeding is not encouraged for feline care. Occasional cat treats may help reinforce good behavior, keep their dental health in check, and supplement vitamin deficiencies.
Dog treats don’t necessarily have those benefits with them so giving your cat one won’t be as beneficial as a cat treat.
Can cats eat dog food?
In bulk, dog food may cost less than cat food. This depends on the brand, quality, and also on where you live. The general thought is that dog food may cost less since they consume a diet of greater variety than cats. Dog food may contain more fillers as they don’t require the same strict carnivore diet that cats do.
Cat food should incorporate more protein and the fresher the protein, the chunkier the meat, and the less processed, the more expensive it gets.
Feeding your cat food that is not designed to meet feline nutritional requirements can lead to diseases caused by poor nutrition.
While there are cat foods that don’t adequately meet a cat’s dietary needs, one can’t argue that dog foods are not made for this purpose. This makes nutrition-related risks higher when cats eat dog food.
Can cats eat beef jerky?
So we’ve settled on the fact that cats are carnivores so the dog-favorite treat jerky should be ok to give to cats, right? Beef or chicken jerky are meat-based, but also laden with salt and preservatives.
While it may not hurt to let cats have a taste of the jerky your dog loves so much, it is wise not to get into the habit of giving your pets jerky as a treat. Yes, your canine friend will do well on a limited consumption of jerky too.
Cat food vs. dog food
Ever wondered if your cats and dogs can just share their foods? While it would sound more convenient to buy only a single bag of foods for your furry pals, it’s good to know what components make these food options different:
- Vitamin A vs. beta carotene: Dog food makes do with beta carotene to maintain clear vision, but cats require Vitamin A. Dogs can easily convert beta carotene during digestion to get the Vitamin A that they require, something which cats can’t easily do.
- Taurine: Cats are more likely candidates of falling short of taurine owing to their largely fish-prominent diet. Taurine deficiency not only affects a cat’s vision but can also lead to heart disease. Meanwhile, dogs can make their own taurine.
- Essential fatty acids: Like taurine, dogs can make fatty acids like arachidonic acid. Cats, on the other hand, will need supplementation of this essential fatty acid through cat foods.
- Protein: Dogs are omnivores so they don’t have to consume protein levels as high as cats do.
Can cats eat bones?
Dogs aren’t the only ones who will jump at the chance to chew on some bones. Cats, being the carnivores they are, can devour their prey whole, bones included.
Chewing on some bones can be good for your cat’s teeth. Bones are also rich in calcium, so it can help prevent calcium deficiency in cats. Bone marrow also has a lot of iron and other minerals that can be good for a cat’s health.
The danger is in giving cats cooked bones which can splinter and cause digestive problems. With that, raw bones are preferred as long as it is from fresh meat to avoid contamination with bacteria. Bones for dogs may also contain preservatives.
Dog bone-shaped treats may also come with potential allergens for cats such as peanut butter-laden dog bones and cheese-flavored dog treats.
Can dogs eat fish skin and fish flakes?
If you prefer to give your feline and canine friends the same treats, you may want to lean towards your cat’s preferences more than your dog’s. Fish skin and fish flakes are good for the health of both.
Adding fish to a dog’s diet may even contribute to a longer lifespan. Fish treats are for cats and dogs, too. These are grain-free and rich in omega fatty acids and other essentials for a healthy coat or fur.
Can cats eat sweets?
While sugar is not toxic to cats, too much can lead to weight issues. Cats eating candy may result in diarrhea, vomiting, or an upset stomach. They may lick a bit of an ice cream cone, but lactose intolerant cats will have gastrointestinal problems eating ice cream, as do dogs.
Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs. If you have a sweet tooth, you will want to eat your chocolate bar in secret as chocolate can cause seizures and death in cats as well as dogs.
Are there treats dogs and cats can enjoy?
When your furry friends are fighting like cats and dogs over treats, opt for a compromise. There are treats made for multi-pet households. These treats should be packed with protein and are grain-free.
Liver is good for both dogs and cats, but only in small amounts. Cats consume organs of the animals they prey on. However, too much liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity. For dogs, just three servings of liver a week may lead to bone problems.