Having a furry pet is everybody’s dream, but if you have one, then that doubles the fun! Cats are your lifelong friends. As humans, we form an adulation with anything it is that is close to our heart, and the same remains true in this case as well. Seeing your cat in front of you may be a source of solace. When you feel that the going is getting tough, they may be the only companions you would like to have.
However, these comrades of yours need care. Care comes not only emotionally, but it is attached to physical aspects too. The primary thing here is their diet. Many wonder whether cats can ingest dog food because they are nonetheless animals at the end of the day. In order to provide you with a definitive answer, we will in this article dissect everything one by one. All we require for you is to continue scrolling.
Is it Nutritionally Recommended to Allow Cats to Eat Dog Food?
To answer “can cats eat dog food?” we must consider a range of factors. First, if you trace the origins of both a dog and a cat, you’ll notice that cats are born carnivores. This means that they can only rely on the nutrients that are derived from animal products. Their carnivorous nature is what essentially differentiates them from dogs, who are omnivore creatures. An omnivore has a diet that consists of both plants and food items.
Therefore, in this situation, if you allow a cat to eat dog food, it isn’t that they are unable to. However, the nutritional balance will be disrupted. Once in a blue moon causes no harm, but making it a habit and incorporating a diet of dog food can have adverse reactions on your cat in terms of their health, and consequently, on their wellbeing. An example is Taurine. Cats need Taurine in their food. On the other hand, dogs are able to produce this amino acid on their own.
What are some key differences between Dog and Cat Food?
To aid you in understanding the proposition “can cats eat dog food or not,” we have drafted some principle variations that exist and need your attention.
A different taste:
The taste receptors between the two differ highly. Whereas dogs can taste and sense the food’s sweetness, the cat cannot. They have 470 taste buds, and therefore, to make the food palatable to these picky creatures of yours, it has to undergo some engineering. If it does not, your furry friend may never want to eat its food!
Cats need Taurine:
As slightly discussed above as well, cats cannot produce Taurine on their own. Owing to this fact, the meal your cat pet must eat consists of this essential amino acid. If they do not get their recommended dose of Taurine, then the implications of this could be life-threatening for them. They could suffer from:
⦁ A loss of vision.
⦁ An unstable heart.
⦁ Weakness and digestive issues.
All the cat food that is manufactured commercially will consist of Taurine. However, this may not be the case in dog food, as they entail the capacity to produce it on their own.
Cats require protein:
Because cats are carnivores, they need protein levels that are higher in comparison to what dogs require. Thus, if you come across cat food that has undergone commercial production, you will notice that the protein levels are high.
For adult cats, the protein recommendation is 26%. If your cats are not getting this intake, then you must feed them food that ensures otherwise.
The PFMA and AAFCO’s role in this?
The Pet Food Manufacturers Association and the Association of American Feed Control Officials all propagate cat food usage in conjunction with agreed nutritional levels.
The life stages of a cat can be broken down into three segments:
⦁ Their growth cycle.
⦁ Their maintenance.
⦁ The rest of their life stages.
To guarantee that your cat lives a healthy life, and can see all of these cycles, what matters is that the food you give them is in accordance with their basic needs. So albeit the answer to “Can cats eat dog food?” is not inherently an uplifting one, it doesn’t mean they can’t eat dog food at all. In case of emergencies, or shortages, they certainly can. However, as stated by the PMFA and the AAFCO, their regular food intake should be under regulation.
If they are regularly eating dog food, then the result will be nutritional deficiencies, a lack of Niacin (Vitamin B3), and much more. Additionally, they could end up losing weight, stop eating, and eventually, one can only then consider the worst. Thus, you should follow the guidelines as put forward by PMFA and AAFCO and strive to ensure that your cat can get its nutrients regularly.
What is our take on the matter?
In essence, if you scrutinize the nutritional factors and weigh the pros and cons, it is safe to conclude that cat food is not a substitute, no matter how great the marketing is. The debate “Can cats eat dog food” remained a myth before the advent of science and technology.
But, now that fascinating discoveries such as the Black Hole have been made, it is upon the researches that have been conducted in many years that dog food cannot suffice a cat’s dietary needs. Cats need food that is specifically before them and contains the dietary requirements they need to sustain themselves.
While eating dog food in the short term won’t exhibit any negative impacts on your friendly companions, but in the long term, it can pose a severe health risk. We value the safety of your pet above all, which is why we consider it our duty to inform you. Whether you have a cat or intend to get one, its responsibility lies in your hands once you do. Nonetheless, the choice is yours, and we want you to have the knowledge to make a wise decision!