Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated February 17, 2009)
This hopefully is an obvious statement; cats are cats and dogs are dogs, meaning they should eat different food. As human beings, we eat different food from horses because we are a different species; the same principle applies to cats and dogs. If you have a dog and a cat, you might be tempted to buy one type of food in bulk for both of them. Resist the temptation; you should never feed dog food to cats. This is for several reasons, not the least of which being simple common sense. There are a few things you should keep in mind regarding cat food versus dog food, and once you understand some of the differences, you'll never be tempted to feed your cat the convenient dog food again!
Cats and dogs are different—I know, go figure. Because cats and dogs are different, they require different nutrients, and different proportions of those nutrients; hence, dog food is significantly, and importantly different from cat food. Cats need five times as much protein as dogs do, and they require more vitamins and fatty acids than dog food contains. In addition, they must have the amino acid taurine which is added to cat food because they can't make it themselves.
Dog food doesn't contain the proper nutrients and amounts of nutrients for a cat; because of this, there is cat food, which has in it what cats need. A cat that's fed a steady diet of dog food will eventually show signs of illness, including heart disease and eye problems that can lead to blindness. One of the easiest ways to prevent health problems with your cat is simply to feed your cat the right kind of food. If you do that, then you're already preventing many problems that occur with a lack of proper nutrients and amounts of nutrients.
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