Ask the Vets Pets
A weekly column about pet health care home
Pet Care Especially for Editors About Us Search

Dear Christopher Cat

My cat eats my dog’s food, and my dog eats my cat’s food. Is this okay?

Christopher Responds

No. Each of us should eat the food designed for our specific needs.

When a dog eats cat food, he’s ingesting more protein, fat and calories than he should. That can cause weight gain, pancreatitis and other problems.

A cat who eats dog food won’t get enough taurine, an amino acid that keeps feline hearts and eyes healthy. Cats require more than dogs.

Taurine deficiency in cats is associated with a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, which can be fatal. In addition, taurine is needed for optimal retinal health; inadequate intake causes blindness.

Moreover, cats that eat dog food ingest too little protein, fatty acids, and vitamins A and B6 for their needs.

So you must make sure your cat eats only cat food, and your dog eats dog food.

Mom ensures that the dogs in our family can’t reach the cats’ food by putting it up high, out of the dogs’ reach. The cats use a nearby chair to reach their food bowls.

She insists the dogs finish their twice-daily meals, so there’s no dog food sitting around for the cats to nibble.

When Christopher Cat occasionally pushes our submissive golden retriever aside and eats her food, Mom locks him in the bedroom for the remainder of meal time.

Devise a feeding plan that works for your pets so they get the nutrition they need.


back to index

  contact us