Why Is My Cat Eating Dog Food? – 5 Reasons Explained

why is my cat eating dog food

If you live with a cat and a dog in your house, you might have noted that they possess different habits.

Some of these many habits include dogs’ obsession with cats, cats eating dog food, seeking individual attention, head pressing, and marking territories.

Be assured that it is normal to see your cat or dog sneaking to eat the other’s food, and you don’t have to worry about this behavior.

5 Reasons Why Your Cat Eats Dog’s Food

1. The Meaty Aroma

Cats are easily attracted to the scent of dog food, which is meaty, and the sweet, salty taste of dog food.

Cats are naturally carnivorous, and their hunting instincts automatically draw them to the aroma of dog food.

This instinct also works for any other food that seems much better than what they currently have in their bowl.

Lastly, cats can eat dog food if they aren’t satisfied with the food offered in their bowls.

2. Food Texture

Cats are picky about food; therefore, their texture matters a lot.

In the same way, human beings have food likes and dislikes; cats, too, possess this trait.

However, whenever you notice that your cat is constantly eating dog food rather than its own, you need to take action because it may also result in the cat’s inability to eat its food.

More so, ensuring your cat eats its food will help maintain its immunity with nutrients needed for survival.

It is advisable to ensure your cat’s food is soft and easy to swallow, depending on your cat’s age.

Some cats, especially older ones, may have issues reaching large and complex food particles or pieces of food in the dish.

Besides making the food softer, changing the feeding bowl is vital in ensuring your cat eats peacefully.

3. Enjoyment

Since the flavor of dog food is hugely enticing to cats, some cats prefer to eat dog food because it satisfies them and makes them feel good.

Cats greatly enjoy the meaty aroma and the salty taste of dog food.

It is essential to try your best to ensure your cat is satisfied with the taste and aroma of its food.

Also, providing regular treats for your cat helps keep it on track.

4. Nutrient Deficiency

It is essential to ensure that you provide your cat with all the necessary nutrients in the diet because your cat may be eating dog food to supplement specific minerals and vitamins in the body, causing a nutrient deficiency.

Also, your cat may be eating dog food to seek attention, though this might not be the main reason.

Please note that it might be disastrous if you neglect your cat’s needs and give too much attention to the dog.

5. Copy Cat!

 Your cat may want to be like your dog. That’s why it may sometimes be mimicking the dog’s behavior.

The cat might want to do as the dog is and even opt for its food rather than its own. 

Proper training is the best solution to this “copycat” situation.

Can Cats Have Dog Food as A Treat?

Although it’s not advisable, giving your cat some dog food to eat and enjoy from time to time is not harmful.

If your cat behaves well, once in a while, you can allow them to go to the dog’s bowl and eat a few pieces of dog meal as you monitor.

However, it is important not to frequently treat your cat with dog food as this might become a routine that can harm your cat’s health.

This event should only happen on rare occasions.

Just like humans, we know junk food is not good for us, but we like to eat it occasionally because it is delicious; the same applies to our cats.

You should never feed your cat your dog’s food every day because that would be extremely unhealthy.

Most importantly,  if you can, teach your cat to stay away from dog food!

 Reasons Why Dog Food Is Not Good For Your Cat.

Dog food is not harmful; however, It would help if you were cautious about your cat constantly eating dog food.

1. Vitamin Deficiency

Dog food lacks essential nutrients for a cat’s growth, and as much as it might not seem harmful, your cat might be subject to stunted growth as long as they keep enjoying dog food.

For instance, cats heavily need Vitamin A for good vision and healthy skin, which dogs don’t need because of their body mechanism.

Thus, finding food with a balanced nutrient composition for cats is the first step in preventing your cat from eating dog food.

2. Lack of Satisfaction

The immunity of cats depends on large protein portions; cats need more protein than dogs.

Many dog food manufacturers do not include too much protein in dog food because dogs don’t need protein as much as cats do.

Thus, it is not efficient to feed your cat dog food every time, or it might end up being sickly quickly.

3. Diseases

It is essential to understand that the body mechanisms of dogs and cats are different, and they function differently.

 Some ingredients in dog foods can harm cats, causing diseases, infections, illnesses, or abnormalities.

Therefore finding cat food designed for your cat is crucial as it caters to their mode of feeding and the supplements needed in their bodies.

4. Poor Digestion

Dogs can easily digest animal and plant food, but cats cannot.

Unlike dogs, cats lack the digestive enzymes in their bodies that help break these nutrients into a usable form.

Excessive eating of dog food can cause constipation in cats; that’s why your cat should only eat its food since it contains more digestion-aiding supplements than dog food.

It is recommendable for cats to eat their food at all times.

5 Ways On How To Keep Your Cat From Eating Dog Food

1. Similar Feeding Times

It is essential to ensure that the cat’s and dog’s feeding schedules are similar.

This feeding strategy will ensure that your cat does not eat dog food and that pet is left hungry.

 Feeding your cat and dog a small amount of food multiple times helps prevent them from leaving food in their bowls that the cat can creep on and eat.

This feeding schedule is a good strategy that helps prevent pet obesity and turns food into a training tool for your cat

2. Separate Feeding Points

As much as your cat and dog eat simultaneously, it is advisable to have separate points for them during feeding times.

Different feeding points help them to focus on eating their food without being tempted by the other pets’ food.

This strategy also helps the cat and dog to possess their food and not give in to the other pet’s greediness.

Possession can help tame your cat to abstain from eating dog food and concentrate on its food.

3. Separate Feeding Bowls

Cats are territorial and don’t like sharing their belongings; therefore, having separate feeding bowls for the cats and the dog helps prevent them from eating each other’s food.

This bowl strategy ensures that the cat and dog are more specific in what they eat and where they eat their food.

Assist your cat and dog in distinguishing their feeding bowls and watch your cat respect dog food and stick to its cat food. 

4. Similar Pet Food in Color

Take time and observe your cat. See the dog food your cat is attracted to and likes to eat.

With that in mind, buy similar cat food with the same aroma and color.

Since it’s cat food, it won’t harm your cat. It will offer the needed nutrients in a cat’s body and help prevent your cat from eating dog food.

5. Play With The Cat

Also,  Play with your cat while your dog is eating; this helps distract the cats and gives the dog adequate time and peace to eat.

You can also decide to close the door behind when the dog is eating.

Cat Food Limitations

As much as you let your cat eat dog food, there are certain limits to what cats can and cannot eat.

Be cautious not to let your cat eat large amounts of; tuna, onions, garlic, dairy products, alcohol, grapes, caffeine, chocolate, raw eggs, raw meat, fresh fish, liver, many treats, and the kitchen pantry.

These various types of foods have different diverse effects on cats.

It is essential to understand that dog food is not 100% fit for cats because of its various ingredients that are not recommended for cats.

Cat food is generally made with the required diet for the cat, with enough proteins, vitamins, and fatty acids.

Dog food, in severe cases, can cause your cat to be malnourished and Obese

Because cats are carnivorous, you shouldn’t give them just any food.

Please consult your veterinarian to know the best food types for your cat according to its age, breed, and medical history.

You can provide your cat with boneless well-cooked beef or brown rice for healthy treats.


It is essential to prevent your cat from feasting on any dog food at all costs.

If your cat consistently eats dog food, it may also become obese or it may experience malnutrition.

That’s why giving the cat the right amount of food is essential in maintaining its immunity.

You wouldn’t want your cat to have to eat an unbalanced diet and develop diseases and immunity disorders.

Dogs, too, can quickly feel stressed when your cat eats its food, which can make the dog aggressive towards the cat, causing injuries.

Take all necessary measures to ensure your cat doesn’t eat dog food!