Many people don’t just have a dog OR a cat – they keep both. Can these patchwork holders also give your cat dog food in an emergency? PetReader reveals what you need to consider when it comes to food for dogs and cats.
Perhaps you are familiar with this situation: After a long day, you find that there is no more cat food in the house. Have you ever asked yourself whether you can give your kitty dog food as an exception? As long as this remains the absolute exception, a healthy cat will cope with it. However, you shouldn’t feed your velvet paw regularly with dog food.
The reason for this is actually quite logical: dogs and cats need different nutrient compositions. The diet should therefore be tailored to the needs of the respective species.
Cats Need Animal Proteins
Both dogs and cats eat meat, but with one difference: cats have to eat meat to survive – dogs, on the other hand, could get by on a plant-based diet. However, cats lack the necessary enzyme to digest vegetable proteins just as well as animal proteins, and they also need a lot more protein. The need for kittens is one and a half times greater than for puppies, and adult cats even need two to three times more protein than adult dogs.
In addition, cats get certain amino acids from meat. Taurine, for example, does not occur in plants, but it does in animal muscle mass. Cats need taurine, and a deficiency can cause them serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease and blindness.
Cats Need Certain Vitamins and Fatty Acids
If you look at the ancestors of cats and dogs, it is noticeable that they had completely different hunting preferences – their nutritional needs are correspondingly different.
For example, cats need a lot of vitamin A for their eyesight as well as bone and muscle growth. However, they lack the intestinal enzymes that convert B-carotene from plants into vitamin A.
Compared to dogs, cats also need more vitamin B1 and arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Both dogs and cats need to get vitamin D in their food because they cannot get enough of it through their skin. The liver and fatty tissue of prey animals contain a particularly large amount of vitamin D.
Cat Food Needs to Be Very Moist
Dog owners often have a choice between dry and wet dog food. However, it is particularly important for cats to eat moist cat food. They take in almost all of their water through their food.
The reason is: Cats do not respond as well to being thirsty or dehydrated. As a result, if cats do not get enough fluids from their food, they can become slightly dehydrated all the time. In the long run, this leads to the urinary tract and kidney disease.
Conclusion: It is best to feed your cat so that its needs are perfectly met. Constantly feeding your cat dog food is therefore not a solution – exceptions are usually not a problem.