Why Cats Should Not Eat Dog Food
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Q. Why is it a no-no to give dog food to cats?
 
A. NO! Picture of cat eating puppy foodAs we often say, "Cats are not small dogs." In the case of diet, it is important to realize a cat's nutritional requirements are much different than those of a dog. For example, cats require higher levels of protein than dogs. Cats must have the amino acid called 'taurine' in their diet; dogs can actually make their own taurine. A cat eating food deficient in taurine can develop severe heart disease and other health problems. Almost all cat foods now contain added taurine.

Cats require a different form of Vitamin A than dogs do. Dogs can use beta-carotene as a source of Vitamin A; cats cannot. Cats can not manufacture the fatty acid called 'arachidonic acid' and must have it supplemented in their diet; it is not essential for dogs to have this fatty acid in their food.

So, you see, if a cat is allowed to eat a significant amount of dog food, the cat would be eating a diet deficient in many of the cat's required nutrients. For your cat's health, be sure she is eating quality cat food.

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