What’s the Difference Between Cat Food and Dog Food?

Dog food is the most popular pet food in most countries, which explains why we have traditionally given more attention to their nutritional and health needs. However, times are changing. In many places most of the cats outnumber dogs. Unfortunately, awareness of cats’ dietary needs has not kept up with their changing position.

The following are just a few of the reasons why cat food needs a well-balanced and high-quality list of ingredients.

Protein and Amino acid requirements in cat and dog foods

Even though both dogs and cats belong to the same animal class, only cats are “obligate” carnivores. This concept means that cats must consume some animal-derived protein or obtain dietary supplements in order to be healthy. Overall, protein should account for roughly one-third of a healthy adult cat’s diet, however, not all of it must be in the form of whole meat.

Proteins are composed of building units known as amino acids. Some of these amino acids, known as non-essential amino acids, can be produced by animals. In contrast, essential amino acids should be obtained through the diet. Cats have twelve necessary amino acids, whereas dogs only have eleven essential amino acids.

Taurine is an amino acid that is required by cats but not required by dogs. Cats who do not consume enough taurine in their foods might become blind, deaf, and have heart failure. Taurine insufficiency is now nearly always recognized in cats who do not eat well-balanced cat food.

Vitamins in dog food and cat food

Another substance that demonstrates special nutritional requirements in cat food is vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for improving the functionality of the eyes, skin, and other tissues in the body. Within their bodies, dogs may convert beta carotene to vitamin A. Cats are unable to. Cats, as a result, require a prepared source of vitamin A in their food. Liver has a lot of vitamin A, and it can be added to a cat’s food as a supplementation.

Cat foods require five times the amount of thiamine that dog foods. Thiamine insufficiency causes poor coat quality, loss of appetite, bent posture, neurologic issues including seizures, and eventually death in animals. Thiamine deficits can occur when cats consume a lot of raw, freshwater fish, which has an enzyme that breaks down thiamine, or when they are not fed a nutritionally adequate cat food.

What is the basic difference in dog and cat food?

Cats have higher nutritional requirements for many essential aspects, but dogs can survive on very little. As a result, cat food has more protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins. Cat food is likewise smaller and richer in calories to accommodate their smaller mouths.

Many of the ingredients in dog and cat feeds are similar, if not identical; the proportions required to balance the food vary. Cats, for example, are obligate carnivores with a higher requirement for protein, vital amino acids, fatty acids, and numerous vitamins. Their bodies are unable to produce necessary nutrients at all or at a sufficient rate to suit their metabolic needs.

So, while dogs can eat most cat foods, cats should not consume dog meals. However, some cat food ingredients are also harmful to dogs.

Ingredients that cat foods contain that dogs cannot consume

Vitamin D can make dogs sick and possibly kill them. This is why cat foods containing fish or seafood should not be provided to dogs.

Unlike cats, dogs do not hesitate to eat anything. However, cat meals contain slightly more fatty ingredients than dog foods. If a dog is intolerant to fat it should not eat cat food, as this is a typical cause of pancreatitis and intestinal discomfort.

Canned cat foods are higher in animal proteins, which might be hard on a dog’s system if given in excess.

Ingredients that dog foods contain that cats cannot consume

Cats may be harmed by substances included in dog food. Propylene glycol, for example, is often included in semi-moist and moist dog foods. It is completely harmless for dogs, but greater concentrations can cause health issues in cats.

Protein, fatty acid, and amino acid deficiencies would occur if cats were fed dog food for long periods. Since a dogs nutrition requirements are lesser, the content in dog food is frequently less concentrated.


Both dog and cat foods are divided for a reason. Pet ingredient manufacturers extract ingredients specifically for dogs and cats and in measurable quantities so that pet food companies can create their food with their basic requirements.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.