The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Owning a cat is something that can bring you a lot of joy in life. Cats are fun pets that can be affectionate, but they also go off and do their own thing and that is nice.
Some people like cats more than they like dogs, but others like both of the most popular pets equally. If you have both a cat and a dog, then you certainly aren’t alone.
Many people own both cats and dogs, and they can get along very well so long as the animals are trained. You might notice that your animals are very comfortable with each other, and sometimes you might even spot your cat eating dog food.
Why would a cat try to eat dog food, though? Keep reading to learn more about why cats might choose to eat dog food and whether or not you should allow your cat to do so.
1 – The Scent of the Dog Food Is Appealing to Cats
One of the most common reasons why cats might be attracted to dog food has to do with the scent of the food. Cats like to eat meat, and many types of dog food are made using meat.
This means that the dog food is going to have a rather meaty aroma that will be quite appealing to cats. Your cat might get curious about the food in the dog’s bowl and decide to partake in some.
Sometimes cats might wind up liking the scent of dog food more than the scent of cat food. This can be especially true if you’re feeding your dog “wet food.”
The wet dog food is going to smell delicious to your cat, and it might not be able to resist it. In this situation, you can hardly blame your cat for wanting to take a bite.
2 – The Texture of the Dog Food Appeals to the Cat
Cats can be very finicky animals, and they have likes and dislikes. It’s possible that your cat might have tried the dog’s food and discovered that it has a more appealing texture than the cat food that you try to feed it.
If a cat enjoys the texture of dog kibble more than cat kibble, then it might try to keep coming back to the dog’s bowl for more. This is just an issue of preference, and your cat is just being honest about what it enjoys.
If your cat doesn’t seem to want to eat its own food, then you might want to try a different brand. There could be something about the cat food that isn’t doing it for your cat.
Also, some cats prefer the texture of wet food versus the texture of dry food. If your cat seems to be going after the wet food that you try to give your dog and ignores the dry food, then you’ll be able to tell what it really wants.
3 – The Taste of the Dog Food Is Something the Cat Likes
The taste of the dog food could be something that the cat likes, too. As mentioned above, cats have likes and dislikes that they will make known.
If your cat thinks that the dog food is tastier than the cat food that it is being given, then it’s going to keep going after the dog food. Cats just sometimes do whatever they want to do because they like it.
When something tastes good to a cat, it’s normal for a cat to try to eat it. If you’re leaving dog food out in the bowl, then it isn’t too weird that the cat will eat it if it is hungry.
You might just be able to chalk it up to the fact that your cat likes the taste of dog food. The meaty taste of the dog food might be slightly more appealing to the cat than what you’re giving it currently.
4 – The Cat Is Simply Hungry
Of course, it’s also possible that the cat is seeking out the dog’s food because it is hungry. Does your dog always seem to have food in its bowl while your cat’s bowl is empty?
Maybe your cat is just the type of animal that wants to eat more often. It might be seeking out food because it feels hungry even though it has indeed already been fed.
Some cats will go overboard with eating and wind up gaining a lot of weight if you feed them freely. This is why many people choose to feed their cats and dogs on schedules; they don’t always have good self-control.
Leaving dog food out this way might not be ideal if you don’t want your cat to eat it. Consider changing the way that you do things and only feeding your dog when it’s time to eat.
If no food is left in the bowl, then the cat won’t be able to eat the dog food. This will force the cat to simply eat what you choose to feed it so that you can be more in control of its diet.
Is Dog Food Bad for Cats?
Dog food is formulated to give dogs the nutrition that they need to thrive. Cat food is made to give cats the proper nutrition that they need.
It’s not a good idea to feed your cat dog food every single day. If your cat sneaks a bit of dog food here and there, it isn’t going to be a horrible thing.
You’ll just find that dog food is lacking in certain nutrients that cats need to thrive. If your cat only ever eats dog food, then it’s not going to be getting the nutrients that it needs.
For example, cat food contains vitamin A, which is a crucial thing that cats need. Dogs don’t need to have vitamin A added to their food, and this means that dog food is lacking something that is highly necessary for cats.
Overall, you’re not going to need to worry too much about your cat eating a bit of dog food. It isn’t outright bad for your cat, but it’s not great for them either.
You shouldn’t allow your cat to eat dog food too often because it might prevent the cat from eating enough of its own food. Also, you don’t want your cat to get overweight due to eating food that it shouldn’t eat.