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Don't Feed Dog Food to a Cat!

Don't Feed Dog Food to a Cat!

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,


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.


Join The Conversation
robit robit 9 years
A friend of mine got two kittens over the summer. She was searching for an apartment in the city that we grew up in, so she was living with her parents for a few months, and they have a dog. The kittens and the dog ended up getting along. The dog would not eat much of his dog food before - he preferred people food. Then the kittens started stealing bits of his dog food, and suddenly the dog wanted his dog food a lot more. The kittens were still eating their cat food, just going after the dog food as an additional snack.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
A lot of the cheaper grocery store brands don't have adequate amounts of Taurine either. I've been to that store you linked! I know the owner! It's in Dallas. :)
ehadams ehadams 9 years
As for dogs and cat food... My stepmother used to feed her dog only cat food because she was too lazy/cheap to buy two different kinds of food, and the dog developed a weird skin and fur thing. Not sure what it was, but the vet told her to stop giving the dog cat food.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
blue, I don't think it will hurt your dog. Cat food has a lot more fat in it, though, so it might fatten him (her) up!
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
bluecanary bluecanary 9 years
My dog gets into the cat's food - will it hurt the other way around?
lawchick lawchick 9 years
I feed my kitties plenty of good cat food, but they do like to sneak bites of the dog's food, too!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Could have told you that...
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