Can Cats Eat Dry Dog Food? The Differences Between the Feline and Canine Diet

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can cats eat dry dog food

Can cats eat dry dog food? The quick answer is yes; cats can eat dry dog food. However, there are a few differences between cat and dog food, and you shouldn’t give your cat dog food over the long term as it could affect your pet’s health.

Dog food lacks all the nutrients and vitamins that cats need to stay healthy. So, while your cat may be able to eat dry dog food, it’s essential to not to give your cat dog food if other options are available.

This article will answer the question, ‘can cats eat dry dog food?’ We’ll look at the differences between the feline and canine diets and discuss why switching your cat to dog food long-term is not a good idea.

Can cats eat dry dog food?

can cats eat dry dog food

There are a few reasons why you might be considering feeding your cat dry dog food. Maybe you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to cat food, or perhaps you just ran out of cat food and need to feed your feline friend.

Although cats can eat dog food in an emergency, it’s important to remember that cats have different dietary needs than dogs. This means that while dry dog food may not harm your cat in small quantities, it’s not the best option for a long-term diet.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to cat food, many brands of budget-friendly cat food are available.

The differences between cat and dog food

If your cat steals the occasional bite of your dog’s food, there’s no need to worry. However, if your cat keeps eating dog food and refuses to consume their own food, you may have a problem. Cats that eat dog food over the long term won’t get the nutrients they require to live their best lives. 

  • Dog food is nutritionally deficient for cats
  • In small amounts, dog food won’t affect a healthy cat, but it isn’t a good long-term choice
  • Dog food doesn’t contain taurine, which cats need to be healthy
  • Cat food is richer and contains more protein and fats
  • Cat food contains more calories per serving than dog food
  • Cats with sensitive stomachs may experience issues after eating dry dog food
  • Dry dog kibble is larger than cat kibble, making it harder for cats to eat
  • Cats are prone to dehydration and won’t get enough moisture if they eat too much dry dog food

Vegetables and grains

Although meat should be a main food source for dogs, they are omnivores and can eat a much more varied diet than cats. For this reason, dog food contains a higher percentage of vegetables and grains than cat food. 


Cat food is richer and higher in fats and protein than dog food. The feline body also needs more amino acids to remain healthy than dogs. Cat food contains 11 amino acids, while dog food contains ten. Dog food doesn’t contain taurine, which cats require to stay healthy. If your cat doesn’t get enough taurine, it can suffer from serious health issues in the long term, including heart problems which could prove to be fatal. 

Can cats eat dry dog food: Final thoughts

While some cats may be able to tolerate small amounts of dry dog food without any problems, others may experience digestive issues or other health problems due to eating it. Dog food contains more fillers, such as grains which are bad for cats.

While both dog and cat foods contain meat, there are slight differences between the two, and dog food isn’t a good long-term diet for a cat. These two foods aren’t interchangeable, and it’s best to feed your pets in separate rooms if they regularly eat each other’s food.

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