Dog Craves Cat Food. What’s Wrong With That?

This morning began as many mornings do, with Jen looking to me and asking, “What do you want to write about today, Rumpy?”

But this morning I was busy watching the cats eating their breakfast, and plotting a way to get a taste for myself.

Are you cats done yet?
Are you cats done yet?

Then it hit me: Why not write about why dogs love cat food?

So I sent crackpot reporter June Buggie to find out. He went to two websites, PetMD and VetStreet, and here’s what he learned:

Cats are carnivores and require a protein-rich diet, while dogs are omnivores and require more fiber in their diet. But dogs like the taste of meat, so they’re going to want to have a taste of the cat’s food. (OK you raw diet feeders, don’t go preaching now)

Did you know that some people feed only cat food to their dogs? It’s not a good idea. Why? Because the mix of high protein, high calories, and high fat is bad for a dog’s gastrointestinal tract and lends to obesity.

It’s also bad to feed your cat only dog food, because cats require certain nutrients that dogs can produce themselves, such as Taurine and Arachidonic acid. Did you know that a diet of only fish is also bad for cats, because fish lacks Taurine? It’s true. A cat whose diet lacks that vital amino acid can develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an abnormally enlarged left ventricle of the heart.

Dogs can get Vitamin A from carotene, whereas a cat needs  the real thing. A cat that eats only dog food will suffer, and may even die, from a diet lower in protein than needed. 

You can have a taste Buggie, but you should really eat your own food instead.
You can have a taste Buggie, but you should really eat your own food instead.

Now before you panic, we’re talking about a regular diet here. If your dog gets into the cat food, he might have an upset tummy, but that’s probably not life-threatening. And if your cat decides to help your dog eat his food, that’s not going to hurt kitty.

But it is best to feed your dog or cat foods specially formulated for them. 

46 thoughts on “Dog Craves Cat Food. What’s Wrong With That?

  1. My cats dry and moist food is high up on my washer yet my two dogs have their dishes on the floor. The cat thinks nothing of helping himself to the part of the dog food that looks like hamburger that is ground. He paws it out of the dish and eats it off of the floor. The dog may tower over him but will wait patiently till he has finished.

  2. Gosh….I’ve never tasted dog food…..but then I’ve only seen a dog once and he chased me up a tree so there was no food involved (unless that’s what he had in mind for ME when he chased me!). Happy Saturday Rumpy!!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  3. No dogs in our house, just us 4 cats. What is amazing is that all four cats get the same exact food but they eat each others. They will start eating their own, then halfway through, they will move to someone else who will get out of the way so the first cat can eat. That cat will then go pester someone else. Hey guys! It’s from the same damn can! Probably cuts the boredom!

  4. Wow, that was really interesting. Whee don’t know much about doggy and kitty food but whee have heard people feeding rabbit food to guinea pigs which is really silly. Rabbits produce their own vitamin c and guinea pigs don’t so they need a food with vitamin c . . . ie. special guinea pig food. Whee wonder why people feed their pets food for other animals. It doesn’t make sense. Whee would have thought the clue was in the name on the food!

    Have a great Saturday!

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil

    1. I think they probably don’t know the harm in it. It’s one of the reasons why owning exotic animals as pets is a bad idea. Humans think you can give them just anything to eat and it’s not good for the animal.

  5. We had a vet once who said we should give our dog cat food fo a while, that he will gain a little bit. Later I read, that this was exactly the wrong way, sad, if you can’t even trust your vet.

      1. Yes, it was not good for the stomach, the poor dog got scours and belly aches. Fortunately another vet gave him that space food and we could manage the problems.

  6. When we met Shiro(our first cat), we didn’t have any cat food here, so instead we fed him doggie food because we thought that doggie food and cat food must have been almost the same, but we were wrong. After reading several books about cats, we found out that we should eat our own food because of the difference of the nutrition.
    So since then, mom has stopped feeding any doggie food or treats to our cats.

  7. Absolutely right, though I have been known to throw in the occasional dose of cat food for the dogs when a bit of extra protein wouldn’t go amiss! Very nice of Rumpy to be so sharing and caring about his dinner!!

  8. This is good and informative post sweet Rumpy. Chancy licks our empty bowls but he never gets cat food to eat. Us cats have never eaten dog food. Hugs and nose kisses

  9. I’ve always wondered what’s up with the dogs craving cat food. I call it “cleaning the bowls.” We have 3 cats and one dog, Ashes. She won’t even sniff her own food until she’s had a chance to clean the cat bowls, and one of the cats likes to nibble on the dog food, if it has gravy.

  10. We have to have separated eating zones for cat and dog – for the reasons you give….but they like to sneak when no one’s looking…always looking for a few crumbs…and it’s the power nanana-booboo thing here.
    Interesting info!

    1. Each morning I put the cat food out before I go out with the dogs. Once we’re back inside, I feed the dogs. DeDe finishes before Rumpy will begin to eat. After he finishes, he lays on the floor like this, watching the cat food.

      And once I clear away the kitty dishes, he’s right there to clean the floor. But he does not help himself before I say so. Which is absolutely amazing, since I didn’t teach him that.

  11. It’s funny, I just recently heard that dogs are omnivores, I always thought they were carnivores like cats. I should have known. We had a doberman named Tasha that chose to live with us and she ate just about anything. I do know that cats need certain nutrients, like taurine, to survive. I assume dogs also need certain specific nutrients too but those are probably different than cats.

  12. Long ago, I cured an afghan hound of his obsessive love of cat food by feeding him nothing else for a few days. He never touched the stuff again. It made life easier for dogs, cats and hoomans.

  13. I don’t blame you rumpy, I’ve tasted kitty food at my nanny’s house before and its yummy. Sadly when I visit now they hide the bowls away so I can’t eat it:-(

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