Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs? – Complications, Risks and Side Effects


I haven’t come across a doggy that would not gulp down the cat food and devour. Cat foods highly appeal to dogs. There may be multiple reasons for this. Maybe dogs might feel adrenaline rush while stealing cat’s food. Also, cat food may be left for a longer time than dog food which is fed at specific times only. Or maybe just maybe you would want to consider the fact that cat food actually tastes better than dog food.



Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs?

Cat foods are made considering the health and food requirements of cats. Cats are carnivores and depend completely on meat in order to sustain. So, their foods provide a very high source of proteins. Also, cat foods have fat content in large proportions. But dogs do not require proteins or fat in large amounts. They have a built-in system that provides them with these nutrients in sufficient amounts.

The food that is specifically meant for kittens would prove to be more harmful to dogs. The foods of kittens have higher amounts of proteins and fats as it is required for their growth. This would be very bad for the dogs to feed on.

So, I won’t say that feeding dogs with cat food is a bad practice to follow. But it should be done once in awhile. Too much consumption of cat food may lead to various health issues in your canine which may even prove to be fatal in some cases.

Why do Cat foods appeal Dogs?

At the first thought, we feel that both cat and dog food are notably similar to each other in all of the aspects. Both have similar shapes and sizes. But if you consider ingredients, then both of them are poles apart.

Cats are obligate animals. This means cats mainly rely on meat content in their diet in order to sustain. Their requirement for survival is meat. So, biologically speaking, it is necessary so as to feed cats with foods that have high meat content. Cat foods provide a rich source of protein. The smell of the cat food is much stronger as compared to that of the dog food. Dogs like to eat cat food more than the dog food as the smell of the meat is so much better than his dry kibble.

Also, cat foods are available in a variety of flavors to devour. It won’t hurt once in a while, but if your dog becomes habituated to this and feeds more on cat food, then it may result in serious health issues.


Occurring Complications

If the proportion of the consumption of cat food by your canine increases, it may lead to severe consequences. Multiple complications may arise if you feed your doggy with more of cat food than dog food.

It is very important for us so as to understand that cat and dog are two different species and have their own requirements and tastes. Cat food has different ingredients that are included by keeping in mind the requirements of a cat which are completely different from that of a dog. Cat food is a protein-rich diet with loads of vitamins and fats that they require to sustain. While dogs require carbs in high amounts which is almost nil in the cat food.

It may occur that you do not see any ill effects on the health of your dog, but there are chances that internal complications may have occurred. Cat foods have meat content in large amounts. Cat foods are a tremendous source of proteins and fats. But proteins and fats in such large amounts would have complications on the health of the dog. So, there may be serious complications as your dogs do not get the nutrients that they require to sustain and grow. The lack of carbohydrates in their diet would give rise to multiple health issues. These high-level proteins and fats would have a severe and hard impact on the liver and kidney 0f the dog.

Risk Factors & Side Effects

Dog eating cat food in too much amount would result in various factors that may prove to be risky for the health of a canine. It is not a good idea to feed your dog with only cat food in large proportions. Cat foods lack various vitamins and minerals that dogs require so as to stay healthy. It is not necessary that it would be fatal feeding dog with only cat food. But this would have a serious impact on the health of the dog and would create a nutrient imbalance which would be really bad for the dog’s health. This would lead to a variety of health issues – gastrointestinal problems, pancreatic problems, and also obesity.

The after effects of feeding cat food would differ from dog to dog. Dogs having strong defense system may not show any signs even after excess feeding on cat food. While the ones with weak defense may show signs of health issues like – diarrhea and vomiting.

How much Cat Food can Dogs eat?

As it is the fact, everything is good if it is within limits. Feeding your canine friend with cat food occasionally may not prove to be harmful. Its just you have to make sure that there are no signs of stomach irritations in your dog. If it is for the first time, start by feeding your dog with kibbles of small sizes. Look out for whether he can actually handle cat food without any kind of complications or not. Also, it is always advisable to keep in touch with your veterinarian and keeping him updated about the condition of your pet dog.

Also, the behavior is an important factor to watch out for the pet owners. So, teach your pet dog to not steal food and also not to eat cat food from somewhere else. Also, it’s important that you monitor your canine’s waistline regularly. Cat foods contain fats in higher amounts that dogs do not require. Your dog is likely to get obese. So, watch out!

 Possible Solution

If you want to keep feline furball and canine in the same house under one roof, you need to follow certain of the precautionary measures. You need to separate the feeding areas of your pets. Here are few possible steps you might consider taking so as to keep your canine from feeding on your feline’s food –

  • You can feed your cat at a higher level(height) where your canine would not be able to reach. It is easy for cats to climb on higher surfaces and not for the dogs.
  • You can consider feeding your pets in separate rooms so that there is no issue of mixing of foods.
  • Consider separating the area where you feed your feline by making a door which should be kept so small that your canine is not able to go through it.


Pets are lovely animals. From the moment they become our pets, they show their love and compassion towards us. And in return all they want from our side is love. So, being the pet owners it is our duty that we love them and take real good care of them. It is always best for your pets that they are fed with foods that help fulfill their nutritional requirements.

As mentioned earlier it would prove to be beneficial if dogs are fed with cat food once in a while. This would fulfill the nutritional requirements of your canine. But make sure that your canines do not overfeed on cat food which may affect their health in a bad way.

Your pets depend on you completely, so their life is in your hands. So, take good care of your pets and always remember Every Life is Precious.

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