When dogs and cats live together, it is not uncommon to see them steal food from each other.
Cats are naturally very curious and do not hesitate to taste the kibble of their fellows. Dogs are very greedy and eat cats food with pleasure if they are accessible. Should you be concerned if your cat eats dog food and vice versa?
What is the difference between cat and dog food?
Cats and dogs have different nutritional and energy needs. The cat is a strict carnivore unlike the dog which is an omnivorous carnivore. The dry dog and cat so have different compositions.
In the wild, cats feed mainly on prey. It is a low-carb, high-protein diet Cat food is richer in protein and more energetic than dog food.
Cat food generally contains less starch than dog food. In fact, cats find it difficult to digest starch: too high a starch content can be responsible for digestive disorders as well as being overweight. On the contrary, most dogs have developed over time the ability to digest starch with the exception of a few breeds that remain sensitive, such as Nordic dogs. Read also:Raw Cat Food and Homemade Cat Food.
Good to know: all the kibble contains starch which is necessary for the production of kibble. Contrary to popular belief, grain-free kibbles also contain starch, and sometimes in larger quantities than in kibbles containing cereals.
Cats also need a food intake of taurine. It is an essential amino acid that cats are not able to synthesize in large enough quantities unlike dogs which make enough. Cat food brings enough taurine to cats, unlike dog food.
Is it dangerous?
If your cat eats your dog's kibble punctually and in small quantities (and vice versa), then there is no reason to worry. On the other hand, if he eats a large amount, there is a risk of digestive disorders . In fact, dogs and cats are sensitive to sudden changes in diet, without a food transition. The ingestion of a new food can be responsible for diarrhea.
In the long term, there are risks of protein and taurine deficiency for cats. Taurine deficiencies can be responsible for heart (dilated cardiomyopathy), visual (retinal damage) and reproductive problems.
If your dog regularly eats your cat's kibble, then he risks gaining weight because kibble for cats is fatter, all the more if he eats in addition his ration of kibble…. Likewise, a cat that eats the dog's kibble in addition to its ration is subject to being overweight.
There is also a risk that animals abandon their food if the kibbles of their fellows are more palatable.
How to prevent them from stealing their food?
To prevent your dog from eating your cat's kibble, you can first place your cat's bowl high. There is also a Surefeed feed distributor in which you can place your cat's kibble: it opens only after recognizing the animal's microchip.
To prevent your cat from eating your dog's kibble, we advise you to distribute meals to him at a fixed time , and to remove his bowl after 20 minutes even if he has not finished his kibble. You can watch your cat during your dog's meals.