Cat care

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.


Purred: Tue Apr 24, '12 5:40pm PST 
It's ok to feed your cat dog food


Purred: Wed Apr 25, '12 1:34am PST 
when i was living with my mom there was a few times coons would steal our cats food so we ran low so my mom would make her own food for them it was cooked rice a cup of ground up cat food with a can of tuna and a pinch of garlic powder the vet said it was ok to do it and my kitten loved it plus the whole time he ate it he never once had fleas but as soon as we stopped feeding it we would have to give him a flea bath


Tigger is my- favorite!
Purred: Wed Apr 25, '12 12:26pm PST 
Important garlic is not good for cats, it can make them very ill, and cause blood count problems - and dog food while I guess might be ok in an extreme emergency situation, does not have the vitamins & minerals cat's need. They are very very different in their nutritional needs than dogs. Now there are a couple brands of dog food had the same ingredients as their same brand cat food, but you must READ INGREDIENTS CAREFULLY.


Purred: Wed Apr 25, '12 12:40pm PST 
my mom is very health causious she always buys animal vitamine for all of her animals even for her bird she just mixes it in their food i just dont know the names of the vitamines


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Thu Apr 26, '12 4:49pm PST 
Yasi, can you be more specific? Generally the only difference between canned dog food and canned cat food is taurine that is added for kitties. Some dog food has taurine in it but you have to read the labels. I don't suggest giving dry dog food and I certainly wouldn't feed a cat rice. Carbs and grains are not good for cats. They are obligate carnivores and can not process or get nutritional value from things like vegetables and rice.


Tiny girl, tiny- peep voice.
Purred: Wed May 2, '12 5:25pm PST 
Whooo! Don't do it unless you have to and only for a very limited time.

There is a big difference between protein requiremenbts for cats versus dogs. Cats need a higher protein load. A few nibbles of dog food won't hurt but don't make it a regular thing. Cats are obligate carnivores, dogs are like people - omnivores. They can eat things a cats cannot digest - non plants, veggies, etc. Feed a cat dog food long enough and it will bring about some severe health issues. A cat could literally go blind and develop cardiac issues.

In the old days we used to say that a cat would starve on dog food.


I fetch,- therefore I am.

Purred: Wed May 2, '12 8:55pm PST 
I agree with Daigon: I would never feed food formulated for dogs to a cat exclusively.

In addition to not having enough taurine or protein for cats:

Dog foods often use beta carotene as a source of vitamin A and tryptophan as a source of niacin. Cats, unlike dogs and humans, can't convert beta carotene and tryptophan into vitamin A and niacin.

Dogs also have the ability to produce their own arginine (the same way that they produce their own taurine), so dog foods generally aren't supplemented with enough of this nutrient for a cat.

Cats also need an amino acid called cysteine, which is not usually added to dog food.

Cats who eat only food intended for dogs run a high risk of developing multiple nutritional deficiencies. Dogs who eat only cat food are at high risk of becoming obese and developing bladder stones. I'm always suspicious of pet food companies who claim that their cat and dog formulas are the same. They shouldn't be--cats and dogs are completely different species with very specific nutritional needs.

Edited by author Wed May 2, '12 8:56pm PST

Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Thu May 3, '12 9:04am PST 
Nature Variety uses the same formula for both the canned Instinct dog and the Instinct cat lines. So for that brand, it is ok to feed the dog canned food to a cat.

But for many other brands, dog food does not contain all the important vitamins and minerals a cat needs. A cat may initially do well on dog food but will develop serious health issues and nutrient deficiencies.


I\\\'m A Dallas- Cowboy Fan Too!
Purred: Thu May 3, '12 2:33pm PST 
Are you asking us, or telling us?