Is it possible to feed a cat with dog food? Are you familiar with the situation when your cat eats the food of its barking neighbor with pleasure and vice versa? Or when you have only one package of food left for two – a dog and a cat – and you can’t buy a new one for various reasons.
There are differences in the nutritional needs of cats and dogs. They need to be known and taken into account, since the systematic use of cat food for dogs or dog food for cats can lead to the development of serious diseases of your pet.
A cat, like a dog, is a real, albeit domesticated, predator, but it is more demanding on the amino acid composition of the feed, so there should be 10-15% more animal protein in its diet. A cat who eat the food of a barking «neighbor» in the case of regular food theft can have a serious heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, because their body needs taurine. It is responsible for the state of the heart, eyes and nervous system. If it is not enough, the reproductive ability decreases, and the kittens have an unhealthy development. In the body of dogs, this amino acid is produced by nature. Therefore, an additional dose of taurine from cat food for barking can be very harmful: first of all, the ears, eyes and skin of the animal suffer from this (otitis develops, a rash appears), and then kidney failure may occur at all.
Both cats and dogs need a full complex of vitamins of groups: A, B, C, E, however, there should be more vitamins A in dog food, and E in the diet of cats. In particular, cats lack an enzyme that can convert beta carotene into retinol (the active form of vitamin A). That is why their diet, which contains it in sufficient quantities. Lack of vitamin A can cause night blindness, growth retardation, poor skin and coat condition. In dogs, as in humans, this useful element is produced by nature, if beta-carotene enters the body with food. Such is sea fish, fish oil, oil.
And finally, essential fatty acids, which include Omega-3 and Omega-6. These include arachidonic acid, it helps them regulate the formation of new skin cells and serves to normalize blood clotting, the functioning of the reproductive and gastrointestinal systems. The dog’s body, unlike the cat’s, has learned to produce it from other fatty acids – linoleic or gamma-linoleic.
In general, cat food is more complex in its composition, since dogs are less demanding, and it is much easier for them to get the right proportions of the constituent elements. In the feed for dog, the content of calcium and magnesium is higher, in the diet of cat there is more iodine and phosphorus. Therefore, be vigilant and do not allow your cat or dog to encroach on the food of the «neighbor». An exception may be feed that is 100% meat. For example, canned food, which includes only turkey or pheasant and a little water. They learned to cook them using an innovative technology, during which the pieces of meat remain whole, and the bones are brittle enough not to cause discomfort to the pet. The useful qualities of the ingredients included in the feed are thus successfully preserved. Fortunately, the range of such «dinners» is so large that every four-legged gourmet will be able to find himself (with your help, of course) food to taste!