With the prices of cat food per kilo being higher than the prices of dog food per kilo, it is very tempting to feed cats dog food. Unfortunately do cats have a very different nutritional need than what is being put into dog food, so you cannot feed cats dog food. It is however not directly dangerous for cats either when they have some dog food.
Nutritional Need Of Cats
Cats are carnivores, which means they need meat to survive and thrive. They can derive everything they need to live from this meat. This meat is in nature usually a rat, mouse or something of similar size.
In some cases this could even potentially be a chicken or rabbit, although your cat needs to be very strong to take these creatures down usually.
They do sometimes eat grass, but this seems to be more about getting hairballs out of their stomach than that they would actually get a nutritional need from them. The only research on that is that there is a chance there are some B vitamins to get from grass and similar vegetation.
Note that rats and mice might eat these same vegetation and so get it in their stomach, which means that the vitamins will also enter the cat’s body upon eating said rat or mouse.
Nutritional Need Of Dogs
We generally do not write very much about anything else than cats on this blog, but we do have knowledge about dogs anyway. We have had dogs ourselves and we got family with dogs and there is plenty to find online about them.
While most dog foods are based upon a dog being an omnivore and needing both meat and plant material in their diet just like us humans. By biological nature, dogs are carnivores just like the cats. While dogs lived for many years alongside us humans, dogs have made an adaptation to be able to digest plant matter. Cats have never made this switch.
That dogs are actually carnivores is a more recent research outcome and this has probably led to that now so many raw meat food diets are available for dogs. As soon as more and more people are aware of the problem, people will want to switch to a food that is right for their pet. There are raw food diets for both cats and dogs.
Prices of Cat And Dog Food
Now that I have explained the nutritional need of both cats and dogs, you will understand better what the prices are doing concerning cat and dog food.
Let me first of all say that the original thought fact of dogs being omnivores and cats being carnivores is what is making the difference for the current way of pet food production.
Dog food having less meat and more plant material, means there is less meat in dog food than cat food.
Prices of Meat
Cat food bought of most popular pet food manufacturers contains more meat per kilo than dog food. As we all know, meat is generally more expensive than plant matter. Dog food contains more plant matter per kilo, but dogs also eat more. It is mostly the meat prices that will make cat food more expensive per kilo than dog food.
There is however one more thing that might have an impact on the prices of the food. The big commercial cat food needs also an additive named taurine. Without the taurine the cats would go blind. For some reason the taurine that comes natural within prey, doesn’t become part of the cat food through meat processing and extreme heating.
Where in nature they would eat raw meat, all the kibble and wet food produced for both cats and dogs is heated up at high temperatures and processed in such a way that all nutrients get destroyed.
To make sure that the cat and dog food is still having a dietary value, all these nutrients are then later added again to the food after processing. The big difference is that the additives are not natural.
There are a number of other additives such as fish oil and vitamins that are added to cat and dog food.
Can Cats Have Dog Food?
There is nothing in the dog food that is absolutely bad for cats, so they technically can have the dog food. The important additives such as taurine are unfortunately missing in dog food, so you cannot replace your cat food with dog food as a feeding method.
If your cat already is receiving a well-balanced cat food diet, than eating dog food will just mean extra carbs which can lead to obesity.
It is best to keep your cat on cat food and a dog on their dog food, but an occasional steal isn’t going to kill your cat either. Similarly, a dog eating some occasional cat food isn’t going to kill the dog, but also here is the story about balanced diets and obesity playing a factor.
Contents Of Popular Cat / Dog Food
Quite amazing actually, for the price that we pay for cat or dog food, there is actually very little meat in each of them, just more meat in cat food than dog food.
The big pet industry makes good money on selling in comparison rather low quality pet food and you really need to search the right cat food for your cat or dog food for your dog by checking out the ingredients listed on each package.
The higher quality cat and dog food will contain more meat protein than fillers such as the often used grains and potatoes.
Be careful however with the no grain foods, often they are replacing the grains by corn or peas, which are not any better to cats (and dogs).
Proper Cat & Dog Food
Now that we know that cats need a carnivore diet and dogs actually too, there are options out there that gives your animal the right balance of nutrients. You have to expect that it is going to cost you a bit more per kilo, but then you will be feeding your cat or dog the absolutely right meal they all so well deserve!
Proper cat and dog food contains a lot of meat protein. It is absolutely de-advised to go to the supermarket and buy left and right a lot of raw meat. Cats (and dogs) in the wild would kill and eat as soon as it is dead. Meat for human consumption have been processed many hours before we buy them in the shop and will therefore contain way more dangerous surface bacteria than the just-killed prey your cat would catch.
We have good experience with a producer of both cat and dog food as well as cat and dog treats produced of raw meat. They either freeze the meats immediately or freeze-dry them. All foods arrive frozen at your doorstep, so that the optimal freshness is kept.
Feeding your cat or dog raw food needs a bit more attention from your side, because the raw meat cannot be out in room temperature for too long before going bad. It is essential that you keep a close watch to expiry dates, how long something is in the fridge and how long something is in room temperature to maintain a healthy meal.