As the name suggests, cat food is for cats and dog food is for, well, dogs. Also, you might have heard a lot of pet owners say that there’s no big difference between cat food and dog food. After all, they look and smell the same. The two can’t be all that different, right? Wrong! But, what is the difference between cat food and dog food?
Just like the two pets are different, their nutritional requirements are also different. Therefore, the food they consume can never be the same. Our team of experts deep dived into the differences between the two pet foods to help you understand how cat food and dog food are different from one another. Continue reading to get your question answered!
Nutrients Required by Cats
Many primary ingredients used in both cat and dog food are similar if not the same. What’s different then you may ask; it’s the amount of the ingredients used. Allow us to explain further.
First things first, the nutritional requirements of cats are higher than those of dogs. Because of this, cat food often has higher levels of fats, minerals, proteins, and vitamins. They also need higher levels of amino acids and fatty acids.
Not only this but cats are also born carnivores and require more proteins than dogs. Therefore, it’s important to consider all these factors while buying cat food as a cat’s body is not capable of self-synthesizing these essential nutrients.
Some essential vitamins required by cats include:
• Arachidonic acid
• Vitamin A
So, ensure the cat food you buy next comprises all the essential ingredients listed above. Keep in mind that the level of Vitamin A in a cat’s meal also plays an important role.
If cat food has a higher amount of Vitamin A than is required, it could result in different health issues. Similarly, if the required amount of Taurine is not consumed, cats may suffer from blindness, heart-related issues and respiratory tract disorders. Since Taurine is not a critical requirement for dogs, the amount of this particular vitamin in dog food is comparatively lesser.
Moreover, a pet’s food requirements change as it grows older. For example, kittens, cats, and senior cats, all need different types of cat food and the level of nutrients will differ for each stage. The same applies to dog food. On the one hand, kittens require higher amounts of fats and proteins for their developing bodies. And, on the other hand, older cats require nutrients to help maintain their health.
How Are Dogs Different From Cats When It Comes to Food?
Unlike cats, dogs can get most of their nutrients from plant sources. You can also easily find different kinds of supplements on the market to boost your dog’s immunity. These supplements contain essential nutrients such as Niacin and Vitamin A that can improve your dog’s immune system.
Cats are fussy eaters. If they don’t like the appearance, smell, or taste of their food, they’ll simply walk away. On the other hand, dogs are less picky when it comes to their food and are even receptive to green vegetables. All that matters to them is taste. If it’s yummy, it goes straight into their tummy!
Can You Use Cat Food and Dog Food Alternately?
While dogs may be able to ingest cat food, the vice-versa may not hold true. Nevertheless, using cat food instead of dog food and vice-versa is a bad idea.
Although cats and dogs display many similar behaviors and traits, their diet is one of the most critical distinguishing factor between the two. It’s vital for both cats and dogs to get the required amounts of essential nutrients or they may succumb to serious health issues.
Especially in the case of cats, an improper diet can lead to issues such as hair and vision loss, and heart failure. The last thing you would want is for your pet to suffer because of you, right? Therefore, it is extremely crucial for cats and dogs to consume food that is appropriate for them.
If you have any questions, doubts or queries, feel free to drop a comment in our comment section below, and our experts will get back to you with an answer in no time. If there are any products you have in mind that you would like for us to review and compare, do write to us!