Cat diet: can cats eat dog food?

July 27, 2018

No, cats cannot eat dog food. Cats have unique dietary requirements and unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they have to eat meat in order to survive. Taurine and arginine are essential nutrients that need to be consumed daily by a cat and they are found only in meat. 

Cats cannot taste sugar and they have fewer taste buds than humans. Cats have a small stomach designed to receive many small meals each day. In the wild, cats would choose to eat 5-7 small meals per day. Their stomach acid is more astringent than that of humans, facilitating digestion and helping to kill any harmful bacteria. Transit time through a cat’s intestine is between 12 to 24 hours (30 hours to 5 days in humans).

Cats need to eat more protein per day than dogs or humans. They are less able to regulate the activity of liver enzymes involved in the metabolism of amino acids. Cats’ enzymes are constantly set for a high level of dietary protein found in cat food.
®/TM Trademarks of Mars, Incorporated and its affiliates.
© Mars, Incorporated, 2021. All rights reserved