Can Cats Eat Dog Treats? Are Dog Treats Bad For Cats?

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Can cats eat dog treats? Cats can eat dog treats, but there may be better choices for them. Dog treats are specifically designed and formulated with the nutritional needs of dogs in mind, while cat treats are formulated for cats.

It’s best not to give your cat dog treats, but if your cheeky cat has stolen a dog treat, there isn’t anything to worry about. Dog treats are generally larger than cat treats and are formulated with dog’s nutritional needs in mind.

The ingredients used in dog treats are unlikely to harm cats in small amounts but are likely to contain more fillers, such as grain which cats require in smaller quantities. This article will answer the question, ‘can cats eat dog treats?’ We’ll explain why buying separate treats for your cat and dog is best.

Can cats eat dog treats?

can cats eat dog treats

Generally speaking, it is not bad for cats to eat dog treats occasionally, but their regular diet must consist of food that has been specifically formulated for cats. If your cat is prone to eating dog treats, you may like to have your pet checked by a vet.

Cats that regularly eat dog treats can suffer from various health problems, including upset stomach, digestive issues, and other nutrient deficiencies. Cats require certain nutrients and minerals, such as taurine.

Additionally, the size and shape of dog treats are typically made for larger breeds and may be a choking hazard for cats. You should always check the label before giving dog treats to your cat, as some dog treats are marked as not suitable for cats. However, not all treat manufacturers will include this type of warning.

Propylene glycol toxicity

It’s also important to be aware of propylene glycol, often found in dog treats. This ingredient is often found in moist dog treats as it’s used to soak up excess water. It’s also similar to the chemicals used in antifreeze but in a much lower quantity. 

Propylene glycol can be toxic to cats and dogs in large doses, but cats are smaller than dogs, so they are much more sensitive to the ingredient. Food-grade propylene glycol has now been prohibited from being used in cat foods and treats but is still used in dog treats. 

Cats are much more likely to suffer from propylene glycol toxicity than dogs and can experience the following symptoms:

  • Involuntary muscle spasms
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Anemia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart failure and seizures, in the worse cases

The difference between cat and dog diets

Cats and dogs are both carnivores, but there are slight differences in their diet and nutritional needs. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat to survive, and their health will suffer if they don’t get enough animal protein. Meat contains taurine, which cats require to be healthy. 

Dogs, on the other hand, are facultative carnivores; while they also naturally eat meat, they are able to eat other foods. Dog’s natural diets are mainly meat-based, but due to domestication and evolution, dogs have developed and can eat many other foods, including vegetables, fruits, and grains. 

There is, therefore, a slight difference in the ingredients used to manufacture cat and dog food. So, it’s best not to interchange these foods or treats for your pets. Dog treats often include ingredients that aren’t good for cats, such as grains or peanut butter. Your cat can occasionally eat a small amount of dog treats without experiencing health issues as long as they are provided with a good quality feline diet and are generally healthy. 

Can cats eat dog treats: Final thoughts

In conclusion, cats should not eat dog treats regularly. If your cat enjoys the taste of a particular dog treat occasionally, it is not necessarily bad for them. However, make sure you read the ingredients list to ensure that it is safe for cats. It’s best to stick with cat treats that have been specifically formulated for felines, as this will provide them with the necessary nutrients and minerals they require for a healthy diet.

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