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

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

Among the many habits is dog’s obsession with cats, cats eating dog food, seeking individual attention, head pressing, and marking territories.

I can assure you that it is completely normal to see your cat or dog sneaking to eat the other’s food, and you don’t have to worry about it.

Reasons Why Your Cat Is Eating Dog’s Food

1. The Scent Of Food

It is common to find cats easily attracted to a meaty aroma.

They are naturally carnivorous, and their instincts make them be drawn to the dog’s food.

This also works for any other kind of food that seems much better than what they currently have on their bowl.

This may also happen if your cat isn’t satisfied with what you have offered it.

2. The Texture Of Food

The texture of the food also matters.

The same way we have likes and dislikes of the kind of food we prefer, cats are also choosy.

Whenever you note that your dog is constantly eating the dog’s food rather than his or her own, you need to take action.

This will help you to get food that has the same kind of nutrients for the cat.

It may also be a result of the cat not being able to eat its food.

This should prompt you to find softer food for the cat, depending on its age.

Some cats may have issues in reaching particles or pieces of food in the dish.

Hence, change the bowl to ensure they eat peacefully.

3. Satisfaction

Some cats also prefer to eat dog food because it satisfies and makes them feel good.

The flavor of the food may be hugely enticing to the cat. Hence, try your best to ensure your cat is satisfied with what you offer it.

Also, provide regular treats to keep it on track.

4. Attention Or Nutrient Deficiency

A cat may also decide to eat dog food if it has a specific nutrient deficiency.

Thus, ensure you provide your cat with all the necessary nutrients in the diet.

It may also be a way to seek attention, though this might not be the main reason.

However, if you are highly neglecting your cat and giving too much attention to the dog, it might be disastrous.

5. Mimicking The Dog

At times, the cat may be mimicking the dog’s behavior. The cat might want to do exactly as the dog is and even opt for its food rather than its own. They may also want to be like them.

Reasons Why You Need To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Dog Food

As much as you might see as if the dog food is not harmful, you need to be cautious.

1. Lack Of Certain Important Nutrients

In as much as it might not seem harmful, you have to note that some dog foods lack certain nutrients that are important for the cat’s growth.

For instance, cats heavily need Vitamin A, which dogs don’t need because of their body mechanism.

Thus, find food that has the same nutrient composition as specific dog food.

2. Some Foods May Not Satisfy The Cat’s Needs

Cats need more protein than dogs which makes many manufacturers not to include too much protein in dog foods.

Thus, it is not efficient to feed the cat entirely on dog food, or it might end up being sickly easily.

3. Diseases

Some ingredients in certain dog foods can be harmful to cats and even cause diseases, illnesses, or abnormalities.

What we need to understand is that these animals have been made differently, and their mode of feeding and foods they need is different.

4. Lack Of Some Digestive Enzymes

You also shouldn’t allow your cat to eat dog food because dogs can easily digest both animal food and plant food.

However, for cats, it is different because they lack the digestive enzymes in their bodies that help to break the nutrients into a usable form.

This makes cat food to have more supplements than dog food.

This is why it is recommended for cats to eat their food.

How To Keep Your Cat From Eating Dog Food

1. Feeding Schedule

The feeding schedule for the cat and dog needs to be similar.

This will ensure that no food is left out and no pet is left hungry.

For the pets to stop leaving some food when they get full, feed the pets a small amount of food multiple times.

The feeding schedule is good as it helps prevent obesity and turn food into a training tool.

2. Have Separate Points

Have separate points for your dog and cat to eat.

Thus, they will focus on eating their food without being tempted to want to eat the other’s food.

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

This can help tame your cat in a long way.

3. Don’t Let Them Share The Same Bowl

Ensure the cat has its bowl, and the dog also has its bowl. This will help them to be more specific in what they eat.

The cat will also be respectful and stick by its food. They should be helped to distinguish their bowls.

4. Get A Similar Type Of Food For Your Cat

You can observe your cat and see the kind of dog food he/she mainly likes to feast on.

With that in mind, it will be easier to buy similar cat food.

The food won’t be harmful to the cat and will offer the same kind of nutrients.

5. Play With The Dog

Also, while your dog is eating, you can decide to play with your cat. This will help the dog to eat in peace.

Also, you can decide to close the door behind when the dog is eating.

What To Limit Your Cat From Eating

As much as you allow your cat to eat dog food, there are certain limits concerning that.

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

All the various foods have different effects on the cat.

In every case, you need to know that dog food is not 100% fit for cats because of the various ingredients it is comprised of.

The cat food is normally 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.

However, much, you might consider that a cat is carnivorous; you shouldn’t give it just any type of food.

You can consult your veterinarian to know the best food to give your cat.

For the treats, you can provide your cat with boneless well-cooked beef or brown rice.


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

That’s why it is important to give just the right amount of food to the cat to prevent any obesity.

Protect your cat from feasting on any dog meal.

You wouldn’t want your cat to have an unbalanced diet, right? The dog can easily feel stressed when its food keeps on being eaten by the cat.

This may have a dire effect on the dog. It can also make the dog aggressive towards the dog.

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


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