Dog Food Vs Cat Food What Are The Major Differences?

Cats and dogs are the World’s most common pets and they bring us so much love and joy. If you happen to be both a dog and a cat owner you know that it’s not always economically easy to buy different types of food for both your cat and your pup and you probably thought ”why not just buy the same food for the two of them?”.

Well, we are here to tell you all the differences between cat food and dog food before you make any decisions. Make sure to keep up with the whole article for more pet health tips.

Cat Food Vs Dog Food

Cat Food

Cat Food


Cat pet food has a high amount of essential nutrients which cats need more of, and dogs can live perfectly fine with much less on regular basis.

If you’re a cat and a dog owner I am sure that curiosity got the better of you and you checked to see what are the actual ingredients in both the cat and the dog food. Turns out, many of the dog food ingredients are the same as the cat ones. Chicken, beef, fish, rice, etc… So what is the actual difference?

The first difference is the size of the cat and dog food. Cats are smaller creatures and require their bites to be smaller so they can fit in their mouth. Dry food for dogs is much bigger and harder for cats to swallow.

The second thing is that believe it or not, cats are carnivores(meat-eaters) but dogs are omnivores(plant and meat-eaters). This means carnivores(cats) require much more essential amino acids, fatty acids, meat-based protein, minerals, and vitamins.

If you’re both a cat and a dog parent you might have noticed that your dog loves to eat your cat’s food and, the reason why is all that meat-based protein levels and fats.

Although your dog seems keen on cat food, you shouldn’t let them eat cat food. The percentage of protein and fat in cat food might upset your pup’s tummy and even cause some more serious problems.

Dog Food

Dog Food

We concluded that cat and dog food are pretty much made from the same ingredients, but what is the difference in dog food? Contrary to some beliefs, dogs are omnivores and can survive on both meat and vegetables.

Dog food usually contains meat, vegetables, cereal, grains, amino acids, vitamins, and even some fruits. These are the main ingredients in both dry dog food and wet dog food. [Source]

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All dog foods are not the same even though they contain mainly the same ingredients. Make sure to always check the labels before choosing your dog’s(or cat’s) meals.

Some foods may not have the proper nutrition levels that your pet requires and some of them might have a little too much of.

Dog food is safe for cats except for the semi-moist kind that contains propylene glycol which is not safe for cats. Since dogs don’t need as much protein and nutrients, cats won’t get their dietary requirements by being fed dog food. Cat food is packed with much more nutrients, proteins, and fat cats need for having optimal health.

Again, every pet owner should always check the label to see if the food they’re buying is in proper quality with their pet’s needs. Every pet needs proper balanced nutrition and quality ingredients.

So, What Is The Difference Between Cat And Dog Food?

So, What Is The Difference Between Cat And Dog Food

  • The real differences between cat food and dog food are actually written on the back of the box. You’ll notice that the levels of Taurine and the moisture contents are different.

Cats and humans are mammals that don’t have the ability to make taurine so naturally, we have to get it from somewhere else. That’s why cat food has a high content of taurine. Also, the moisture contents of cat food are high as well. Cats have more delicate teeth than dogs and they require softer meals. [Source]

  • The pieces of food in cat food are smaller than in dog’s food well, for obvious reasons.
  • Cat food is has a high protein and fat content. Cats are carnivores and need a much more protein-based food diet. Dogs are omnivores and they don’t require as many nutrients as cats do. That’s why dog food and cat food have different nutritional levels.
  • Vitamin A is a vitamin that cats can’t produce on their own so they need a big dose of it. Pet food companies put these dietary supplements into cat food to make it even more nutritional. [Source]
  • Cat food also contains Arachidonic acid(Omega 6 fatty acid) which cats need since they can’t produce it on their own.

Can Dogs Get Sick Of Eating Cat Food?

As I said, cat food is packed with lots of fat and meat-based protein and that’s probably why your pup is always sniffing around your cat’s food.

Sure, a few bites of food for cats won’t hurt your pup if it has been an accidental food mix-up but try not to give them too much cat food as it can hurt their tummy and cause digestive upsets from the animal proteins.

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Canned food is especially bad for your dog’s health because it has even more animal-derived protein and fat. Most of the dogs don’t have the gastrointestinal tracts to handle that much fat and protein.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Cat Food Hurt Dogs

Cat food can hurt the dog’s digestive tract. Cat food has big doses of fat and protein that dogs should not consume.

Can Dogs Eat Tuna

Tuna is safe for dogs when consumed in small doses. Big doses of tuna can cause mercury poisoning not just for dogs, for humans and cats as well.

What Is The Healthiest Food To Feed Your Dog

Your dog should have a varied diet with many different types of food. Some of the best foods that are healthy for dogs are chicken, rice, raw and boiled veggies, raw bones, eggs, duck meat, etc…

Can Dogs Eat Wet Cat Food

Every once in a while it’s okay to give just a little bit of cat canned food to your dog but definitely not every day. Canned cat food has heavy doses of fat and a heavy caloric density that is not good for dogs.

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