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Is Cat Food OK for Dogs?

Category Food
Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs, but sometimes dogs enjoy cat food. This guide is about whether cat food is OK for dogs?


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
October 13, 2008

My Rat Terrier likes cat food better than dog food. Could someone tell me if it's bad for her? I would like to feed her dry dog food, but she won't eat it. Any suggestions?

Catbuttons from KS

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 14, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

According to my vet, cat food has more calories than dog food and that's why they like it. Most terriers are pretty hyper to begin with, so they probably burn the calories off better than other dogs; at least our Jack Russell Terrier does. What you might try is to mix the cat food with the dog food for a couple of weeks, then slowly wean the dog off the cat food - using less each week - until he's completely off the food.

Our dog would eat the cat food, but I keep it on top of the clothes dryer. The dog food stays on the kitchen floor and many times the two cats will help themselves to the dog food too.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 15, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

My understanding is it's the reverse. Cats should not be fed dog food, which some are tempted to buy because dog food is often cheaper. Cats have more complex needs than dogs, and dog food doesn't give them the nutrients they need. Dogs can eat cat food on an emergency basis, but should not be fed it as a regular thing.

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October 15, 20080 found this helpful

Yes, it is bad. It's like letting your children eat french fries every day. Just because he likes it more, doesn't matter. He'll eventually get hungry enough to eat whatever you put in front of him, but keep that cat food away! It's not healthy! The answer above about the Cesar Milan Dog Whisperer information is right. Make sure to check that out!

-Lee in Florida

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October 15, 20080 found this helpful

Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs. Cat food is made for cats and dog food for dogs. I know they can have allergic reactions which can be very serious. Stick to the dog food. Your dog will eat when she's hungry. She won't let herself starve.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 16, 20080 found this helpful

Yes! A few years ago, my dog had to be rushed to the vet and given 15 injections of liquid. She was severely dehydrated. The reason? She had been eating the cat's food, which I now put up on the clothes dryer like another poster. The vet bill was high - thank goodness she has pet insurance!!

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

My rat terrier isn't the only one eh? LOL...she eats the cat's food every chance she gets! It's in the bathtub but sometimes we forget to put it back in after baths. She gobbles it up.

But the cat loves the dog's food also (caesar which is softer) so have to watch them both. Sometimes I think they just want a change. Take care, grammar

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 8, 20090 found this helpful

My Maltipoo likes cat food more than dog food and my cat does not like that what should I do!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 14, 20090 found this helpful

my mother in~law feeds my dog (molly) cat treats and wet food ever time we go to her house. I under stand that she whats to spoil her grand pup but it makes her sick. Cat's and dog's are different and we should respect that

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March 9, 20090 found this helpful

I have a rat terrier almost 17 yrs. old that prefers our cat's food to her own...even though both are dry. At her advanced years she is missing some teeth & can't chew dry too well. So...I tried buying chicken broth at our local grocery store & put enough in her dog food the just cover the dry food. I also warm the broth slightly before mixing with food. Now she gobbles up her own food & pretty much stays away from the cat's. Same is true with our 4 year old long-haired chihuahua.

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June 16, 20090 found this helpful

While some dogs can survive solely off cat food and do fine (my mom had a Pomeranian that did), it isn't recommended as many dogs can react VERY badly to it. My dog, Sandy, was fed a can of cat food every morning when we first got her because it was cheaper (I find it funny someone said dog food is cheaper. I think it's the other way around). It literally tore up her system. Luckily, we caught it before it did permanent damage. But, we learned our lesson and right after that, All our cat food eating dogs were switched to dog food. If your dog doesn't like kibble, why not try canned?

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By 3 found this helpful
January 19, 2011

A lot of people use treats for dog training these days. A handy and convenient treat to use is dry cat food. The pieces are small, which prevents over feeding your dog. They are dry, so they are nice to put in a pocket for outdoor training. They seem to be much more tasty than dog kibble (I have never tasted them to find out!), but dogs seem to find them a lot more exciting as a reward.


By Kathy from Superior, WI

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

I assume you are not attending a professional obedience class? Without speaking to the chief instructor about the cat treats, they may not be in the best interests of your dog's health. Please consult you veterinarian. Good luck.

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