Is cat food bad for dogs?

Is cat food bad for dogs?

Let’s know about is cat food bad for dogs. If you’ve ever given cat food to your dog or if he managed to steal it from your cat, he probably gave it all. Luckily, if they eat it occasionally, they most likely will. However, continuously feeding cat food to your dog can seriously affect his health and lead to various health complications.

Why is cat food bad for dogs?

The main reason why cat food is bad for dog lies in the fact that cats and dog have different dietary needs. Cats are obligate carnivores and they need to eat meat. It is a biological necessity for them and they will not thrive without meat. This doesn’t mean that cats can’t eat other types of food – they can eat a variety of vegetables. However, they only need meat to survive and grow. Meanwhile, dogs are omnivores, contrary to some popular beliefs and despite being classified as Carnivora. This means they can eat both meat and plants and require a more varied diet than cats. Dogs require more than meat to meet their nutritional needs and can digest carbohydrate-based foods – an evolutionary trait due to domestication. Cat food is usually very high in protein, calories and fat, which is not a balanced diet for dogs. Also, this is probably the reason why many dogs love cat food and find it so appealing as the smell and taste are very strong. Some dogs may benefit from being fed cat food if they require a special, high-protein diet, but this should only be done if your vet can recommend it.

Taurine – Point of Difference

The main difference between cats and dogs when it comes to their dietary requirements is taurine. Cats have a strict, biological requirement for this amino acid, which is found primarily in fish and animal meats. Additionally, cats also need arginine, another component that is abundant in meat, as well as arachidonic acid. Of course, they also need a lot of protein. Dogs, on the other hand, don’t really need taurine and can do fine without it. In addition, dogs have the ability to make their own arachidonic acid from vegetable oils. Dogs also do not depend on protein from meat sources and do not need it as much as cats do to meet their dietary requirements.

What can happen if dogs eat cat food?

As we already mentioned, nothing will happen if your dog eats cat food occasionally. However, if he has a sensitive stomach, he may suffer from diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. On the other hand, if you feed your dog cat food regularly, he may eventually suffer from more serious health problems. For example, dogs who regularly eat cat food are at higher risk of obesity, as well as ankylosing spondylitis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Additionally, too much protein can be hard on a dog’s liver and kidneys.

how to keep your dog away from cat food

If you have multiple pets, including cats and dogs, you may need to take some precautions to prevent them from stealing the cat food.

  • Separate dining area. You can use a gate that is high enough so that your dog cannot jump over it or crawl under it.
  • Feed your cat on a higher surface if your dog can’t reach it
  • use a basket
  • install a cat door


Dogs love the smell and taste of cat food but that doesn’t mean you should allow your dog to eat it. Cat food can be bad for dogs if eaten regularly and it can cause stomach upset and lead to some long term issues like obesity and pancreatitis.