No sooner than you set out your dog’s food, the cat comes running to eat out of the bowl. You move your cat away from your dog’s food, but this is not working because the cat keeps coming back to eat more. Feeling frustrated, you wonder why the cat wants to eat dog food even after he or she has been fed.
Here are 5 Cute Reasons Your Cat Is Eating Dog food
- The Scent of the Food
- The Texture of the Food
- Attention Seeking
- Mimicking the Dog’s Behavior
Read on to find out more about this interesting behavior of your cat.
Why Is My Cat Eating Dog Food
You may be surprised to know that there are many reasons that a cat will eat dog food. The five most common reasons will be outlined below.
The Scent of the Food
Your cat may simply be going over to eat your dog’s food because he or she likes the scent of it. This is especially true if your dog’s food omits a very meaty aroma. Cats are carnivores thus are attracted to anything that smells richly of meat.
Cats hunt for their meals in the wild. Because of this, cats are instinctually attracted to anything that has a strong meaty aroma. So, your cat’s instincts may be what is driving him or her to eat your dog’s food.
The Texture of the Food
Along with liking the scent of your dog’s food, your cat may also be attracted to the texture. Like humans, some cats are picky about food textures and may prefer certain textures over others.
Your cat may get satisfaction from eating your dog’s food. It is entirely possible that your cat finds the dog food to be more satisfying than his or her own. You will especially notice this if your cat goes for the dog food first even if the cat food has been set out.
If your cat is feeling jealous of your dog, he or she may eat your dog’s food at a way to seek attention from you. This may be your cat’s way of telling you to pay more attention to him or her, especially if you pay more attention to your dog.
While cats are more independent and self-sufficient than dogs, they still crave love and attention from their owners.
Mimicking the Dog’s Behavior
Surely, you have heard of the saying, “Monkey see monkey do.” While this can be applied to children, this can also be applied to our pets. Your cat may be eating your dog’s food simply because he or she wants to mimic your dog.
[Related Article: Why Is Cat Food Bad for Dogs? See How You Can Prevent It!!]
How to Stop the Cat from Eating Dog Food
You may think that it is impossible to keep your cat out of the dog bowl, especially if your cat is very persistent. The good news is that there are five strategies you can implement
Put Your Cat and Dog on the same Feeding Schedule
If you want to keep your cat out of the dog’s food, put your cat and dog on a similar feeding schedule. If your cat and dog eat on the same schedule, there will be no dog food left over for your cat to eat.
Set Feeding Stations in Separate Areas
Another way to minimize your cat getting into your dog’s food is to set up your cat’s and dog’s feeding stations in separate areas. If your cat and dog are eating in separate locations, your cat will be more focused on eating his or her food rather than bothering with your dog’s food.
Never Let Your Dog and Cat Share the Same Bowl
Some pet owners will use the same bowl to feed both animals. One animal uses the bowl first, and then the other animal will eat out of the bowl when the first animal is finished. It is strongly discouraged to use the same bowl for feeding both pets because this can cause confusion.
If you use the same bowl to feed your dog and cat, your cat will see nothing wrong with eating out of the bowl when the dog is eating. Your cat may se the bowl and think it is time to eat again. Always use separate bowls for feeding so your cat will be used to eating from his or her own bowl instead of the dog’s.
Get Your Cat a similar Food to Your Dog’s
To ensure complete satisfaction with the food, feed your cat food that is like your dog’s. Make sure your cat’s food is similar in both texture and scent. You can also make sure both foods contain similar ingredients.
Give Your Cat Attention While the Dog Eats
If your cat has finished eating before your dog, give your cat extra attention. You can have play sessions with your cat so he or she can release energy and bond with you. These play sessions will also distract your cat so he or she will not have any motivation to eat the dog’s food.
[Related Article: 8 Fantastic Ways To Keep Ants Out Of Cat Food]
What Happens If a Cat Eats Dog Food
If your cat eats a small bit of dog food, this will not cause any issues. But if your cat eats dog food on a consistent basis, he or she will develop serious health problems.
Dog food is formulated differently than cat food. Cat food is higher in protein since cats are obligate carnivores. Cats’ digestive systems are structured differently than dogs so are unable to properly metabolize the large number of carbs that are found in dog food.
Cat food also contains different quantities of vitamins than dog food. For example, cat food contains high amounts of vitamin A since cats need more vitamin A than dogs do. Cat food also contains taurine which is essential for maintaining organ function.
Cats cannot make taurine themselves, so taurine needs to be added to their diets. When cats do not get the taurine that they need, they will have vision problems, experience heart failure, and even death.
To make sure your cat lives a long and happy life, you must keep the dog food away. Now that you have tips and tricks you can implement to keep your cat from eating dog food.