How to Get Cats and Dogs Eating Together in Harmony

It’s not uncommon for cats and dogs who coexist to be fed simultaneously. But problems can arise if your dog takes more interest in the cat’s food and vice versa. So why is this a bad thing? We’re on hand to explain.

Why do Cats and Dogs Eat Each Other’s Food?

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they depend on meat to thrive. The average tin of cat food is loaded with protein, ensuring a healthy cat. Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivorous, meaning their diet is slightly more varied. For a more balanced diet, a dog should be eating a mixture of meat, grains and plant matter.

So why do dogs love cat food and vice versa? Dogs will eat almost anything, so when you open a fresh tin of cat food, your dog will begin to salivate at the very sniff of those delectable, meaty aromas. So don’t be surprised if you put out a bowl of delicious meat for your cat and you find your dog has given into temptation.

Cats are interested in dog food because they’re inquisitive by nature. Putting a bowl of dog food down for your canine companion will only draw the cat’s attention further. They’ll want to check out the smell and texture, as well as being interested in what it was you were putting on the floor in the first place and why the dog is even there. They may well have a play, a sniff or a nibble of your dog’s evening meal, but they probably won’t be tempted to scoff it.

Dog food bowls

Why Cats and Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Each Other’s Food

This may seem silly because cat food contains meat, dog food contains meat and both animals predominantly eat – you guessed it – meat. So why is it bad for them to eat each other’s food? Well, the simple answer is, it isn’t designed for them.

Cat food wasn’t produced with dogs in mind and vice versa. Cat food simply doesn’t contain the nutrients a dog needs for a healthy, balanced diet. A little nibble here or there isn’t detrimental, but it’s not recommended.

Cats shouldn’t really be eating dog food either as they don’t need grain or plant matter in their diet, instead, it could give them an upset tummy. This is mainly because their digestive system isn’t really used to processing anything other than meat. Dog food also doesn’t contain the same nutrients as cat food does. Cats need a rich protein diet, along with Taurine (an amino acid critical for vision, digestion, heart function, fetal development and a healthy immune system) and Vitamin A. Dogs can use beta-carotene as a source of Vitamin A, cats, on the other hand, can’t, so it’s important they stick to their designated food. Again, a tiny amount won’t hurt, but if you can help it, don’t let your cat eat dog food.

How to Stop Dogs and Cats from Eating Each Other’s Food

There are many ways to try and stop your furry friends from eating each other’s food, here are just a few:

  • Supervise mealtimes
  • Feed to dog(s) first
  • Feed them at the same time, but in separate rooms or corners of the same room
  • Put cat bowls on elevated spots (countertops, tables etc)
  • Put either the cat(s) or the dog(s) outside to eat
  • Use physical barriers (baby gates, cat flaps etc.)
  • Have allocated feeding times, 10 minutes apart (feed the dog(s) at 6pm and the cat(s) at 6:10pm)
Dog with dog food

Here at Jaycliffe Pets, we’re committed to ensuring the health of your pet when you board them with us. We have a variety of cat and dog food available, both wet and dry, so your furry friend will feel right at home and receive hearty meals that they’ve always been used to. Our aim is to make your pet feel as comfortable and as happy as possible during their stay with us. For more information about our boarding and grooming services, contact a member of our friendly team today – we’re always happy to help.