If you're lucky enough to have a doggie and a kitty in your furry family, you may run into problems with pets trying to make sneaky snacks out of the other one's yums. North has never sniffed cat food, but I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to take a nibble. Many cats are more discerning than that, but there is a necessary ingredient in their food that they cannot get in dog food – and kitties fed a steady diet of dog food may develop retinal degeneration and go blind. If you're curious what the missing nutrient is, read more.
Cats need the amino acid taurine, which is not present in dog food. In addition to preventing the blindness-causing disease called feline central retinal degeneration, it helps to combat dilated cardiomyopathy (a failure of the heart muscle when the heart tissue swells to try to meet the animal's circulatory needs), as well as being very significant in helping cats carry babies to term.
It's believed that wild cats got taurine from their diet of rodents, who have significant levels of this substance in their bodies. Kitties are different from other animals in that they cannot make enough taurine internally to meet their needs, and they must have enough taurine supplied to them in their food. Be certain to check the amounts of this on your cat food label and, if you feed a raw diet, purchase it as a supplement.