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Food question...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Wow. I've been away from the forums for awhile folks, as life has gotten busy. Kinda leads me up to my question.

I've moved into a house with my girlfriend (dog person, but I forgive her). Well, now we have Turbo (her dog), and Jarama and Urraco, living happily together. But...

The kittens have started eating Turbo's food, and vice versa. Is this good ? Turbo gets Eukanuba(?) food, and Urraco is just addicted to the stuff... hardly ever touches his own stuff anymore.

Are my kids gonna start barking ?? Is this going to cause health issues ? Does this mean what I was feeding them (Nutro), tastes like crap ??
post #2 of 10
I think I read somewhere that large amounts of dog food isnt good for cats.

Maybe you could feed the dog in a separate room?
post #3 of 10
Cat food is much higher in protein, which is why dogs love it.

Cats are true carnivores - they need more protein than dogs do - a little bit of dog food every now & then is harmless, but if they're eating a lot of it they won't be getting enough protein in their diet, which can be harmful long-term (it can cause heart & vision problems over time). If the dog eats too much cat food, it will probably just get gas (phew!) - plus it would get expensive for you, b/c cat food costs more than dog food.

What we do in our house is put the cat food up high where the dogs can't reach it, and we feed the dogs set meals. If the dogs just nibble, we set their dishes out in the yard during the day where they can eat it but the cats can't (our cats stay indoors).

Nutro and Eukanuba are pretty good foods, BTW. As long as you're feeding a well-known brand-name food (and they stick to the proper food for their species!) your pets should be fine.
post #4 of 10
When I had dogs, I put the cat food up on the dryer and bathroom counters so the dogs couldn't get it. I also fed the dogs twice a day, but left their food bin open for mid-day snacks. The cats would eat some of the dog food, but mostly pull it out of the bin and bat it around for awhile. I fed the dogs science diet, so wasn't too concerned about the cats getting a little bit now and again.

Even though the dogs have been gone for about a year, I still feed the cats up high (they really like it and it encourages them to eat there) and the cats still occasionally find dog food chunks that they left tucked under things.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
So, does cat food have any ill effects health wise, on dogs ?
post #6 of 10
A cat must have taurine in its diet. This is an essential nutrient which helps to avoid certain deficiency conditions. As cats cannot make sufficient taurine for their requirements it is is supplied directly in the diet. Dogs do not need taurine in their diet, so for a balanced diet dogs and cats must stick to their own specific diets. Cats are carnivores and cannot live healthy lives on a vegetarian or low protein diet. The protein they need must be given in the form of meat, fish and fat. Virtually no taurine is found in plants or cereals. Dogs on the other hand can survive on a vegetarian diet, but this is not ideal.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
So... Urraco just needs some Red Bull then ?
post #8 of 10
Originally posted by ElecMoHwk
So... Urraco just needs some Red Bull then ?
And I'd just love to see a barking cat, or a meowing dog!

Agreed on all the above replies. Dogs and cats have different nutritional requirements, and your cats won't be getting all the good things they need eating Turbo's food. I don't think it's a big deal if they're sneaking from each other's bowls, but it shouldn't be a habit. Anybody who knows about dog food correct me, please, if there's anything bad for the cat.

Cat principles #9: Always sample the others' dishes - whatever is in the other's dish must be better than your own, even if it's the SAME darned food!!!!
post #9 of 10
Originally posted by superkitty
Cat principles #9: Always sample the others' dishes - whatever is in the other's dish must be better than your own, even if it's the SAME darned food!!!!

Actually, sometimes I use my cat Mr. Underfoot to inspire my finicky older dog to eat his supper...

When Petey (the dog) turns up his nose at his supper, I let Mr. Underfoot (the cat) start to head for the dog food bowl...amazing how quickly Petey decides he wants his food after all with a little feline competition around! It's seems like he decides it must be good after all if the cat likes it.

As for the question about the dogs eating cat food...I haven't personally heard of negative effects on dogs from eating cat food other than an upset stomach, but I've never let them get away with eating much b/c it gives them gas & it's expensive.
post #10 of 10
If it smells interesting they try it. I've had the same experience, cats eating dog food, dogs eating cat food. I've never noticed any ill effects, but the sampling has only been a little here and there.

As many dog breeds are larger than cats they tend to eat more and cat food is a little higher priced than dog food. So, while it might not hurt them, there is no need to spend more money to feed a dog ingredients that aren't necessary, like Taurine. But, it is important that a cat receive key nutrients not found in dog food.

If you can keep them seperated while they eat that is best. If you have to, you can buy supplemental treats to give the cats, to make sure they still get what they need. My cats eat cat/kitty food, whatever they can catch and kill, and I still give them treats, including these cranberry ones with Taurine. They love them and I love the response I get when I open the bag and they all hurry over.

On a side note, they only "cat food" I really worry about my dogs eating are the remains of animals that the cats caught. (If the feathers are any indication, Ginger is great at catching birds.):chicken:
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