Cats love dog food

carmen_grower_2007November 28, 2010

What is in dog food that cats seem to love? I think the only reason our cats try to get in our main house is because that is where the dogs eat. Is it just because it is something different? It sure is cheaper than cat food so I will start supplementing their diets with dog food if it is OK. I know it doesn't have some of the nutrients that cats need but what about just mixing it with their cat food?

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sylviatexas1

I wouldn't feed cats dog food at all;
I figure, if they're filling up their bellies with inadequate food, they're not eating enough cat food.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 4:57PM
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sephia

Why would you want to feed a cat dog food? Cats have different nutritional requirements than dogs, and dog food doesn't provide it. Just because your cat(s) like dog food doesn't make it good for them. Cats/dogs like all kinds of foods that aren't good for them - that doesn't mean they should be fed those foods just because they like it. And re: dog food is cheaper than cat food - you'll make up the difference in vet bills when your cat(s) develop health issues from the lack of proper nutrition.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 5:12PM
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cynthia_gw

Most dog foods (especially the cheaper brands filled with carbs) will not have taurine which is an essential amino acid for cats. Cats are carnivores and shouldn't be eating low quality dog foods as their protein needs won't be met either.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 6:16PM
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calliope

If you can't afford to feed a cat an appropriate diet, and have to supplement it with dog food, you might consider keeping their population down to a size small enough you don't have to compromise their health.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 6:54PM
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carmen_grower_2007

Some good info mixed in with the snark attacks. The only time I would supplement dog food would be if I have run out of cat food. (the nearest grocery store is a 2 hr. round trip). We grocery shop once a month. I usually make sure I have enough cat food but with feeding 7 cats, I am just learning how much I need for a month.

As far as taurine goes, all of these cats get that in their 'hunting food' as well as deer/turkey/chicken liver and hearts.

I believe cats are finding something nutritious in dogs food and that is why they will snack on it. Just wonder what that 'something' is.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 8:46AM
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calliope

Carmen, that wasn't a snark attack. I have watched your posts for about a year now, am not a mean spirited person, but note almost without exception, they've all been right on the borderline of chain pulling. I sometimes wonder if it's not all just a big waste of time on the respondents' parts to answer and if you are just enjoying the commotion they cause.

What the cats see in dry dog foods is grease, plain and simple. You know, the same sort of stuff humans are drawn to burger joints for. That's why they add it to many dog foods, to attract dogs into eating the carbohydrate filler they'd otherwise turn their noses up and walk away.

Cat'll eat anything if they're hungry enough, including road tar and rotten rodents. I had five cats up until last year and it only took one span between shopping to get a very good idea of how much food they'll need in a month's time without desperation measures.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:23AM
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carmen_grower_2007

I didn't know there was fat in dog food --- I just know that the Purina One I feed them makes very healthy dogs. I don't ask questions just to get people riled up, but it seems to happen. Some people just seem to have a short fuse, I guess.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Elly_NJ

You asked: I know it doesn't have some of the nutrients that cats need but what about just mixing it with their cat food?

Bad idea. Everyone told you that. But you will feed them dog food anyway.

Why do you ask questions and then refuse the answers? Why don't you just cut to the chase, don't ask the question and do as you please?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 7:44PM
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kittens

Dog food doesn't have the same nutritional ingredients which would sustain a healthy cat so it's not okay to feed it to your feline crew. I wouldn't trust that they are getting enough Taurine in their hunting kill; but that's just me. I use Petfood direct to have food shipped to my home. It's convenient and they email me promotional codes continuously which saves me shipping costs (usually 15-20% off).

Here is a link that might be useful: pet food direct website

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 7:55PM
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oregpsnow

This forum is frequented by many experienced, smart pet owners who get testy when someone asks a question then ignores the answer and keeps doing whatever they were doing before. Why ask the question in the first place?

I have learned a lot from this forum and I appreciate the help. I was a first-time cat mom when I adopted my cat 2.5 years ago and the first thing I learned was to feed her good quality canned food. I now have a beautiful, healthy cat with lots of energy and opinions. She is worth every penny of the money I spend on the good food.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 1:33PM
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jomuir

One of our 2 cats loves to snack on dog food when we feed the dogs, she climbs up and eats maybe 6 kibbles but is run off when the dog comes in to eat, and we don't leave dog food out between meals, so she only gets a bit. I think it started as a way to mess with the dogs, but she seems to like it now.

We let her eat the little bit, but no way would we offer it as a main food source for her, it lacks taurine and other nutrients. Cat food is for cats, dog food for dogs. You may want to buy larger bags of cat food on your monthly shopping excursions, if cost is an issue, go to a cheaper brand. You will probably still get some flak on the quality of food you're feeding, but I'm sure it'll be less than telling us you're feeding the wrong species of food to your cats.

We feed Kirkland pet food from Costco, its very cost-effective and our pets are in good health. The cheapest band of cat food would be preferable the best brand of dog food, imho.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 1:52PM
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olyagrove

Cats are not dogs. Dogs are not cats. People are not reptiles...and so on and so forth. You know that.

Otherwise, have some fish flakes for breakfast.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 2:37PM
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oregpsnow

olyagrove - that is hysterical. Actually I prefer alfalfa for breakfast, grasshoppers for lunch and fish flakes for dinner. I try to eat light in the evening.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 6:41PM
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krycek1984

Sadly, some dog food has more meat in it than many cat foods.

I love feeding my dogs Purina ONE. It is much better than the lower quality stuff while still not costing me an arm and a leg.

Meanwhile, Purina ONE cat formula, most of them have something other than meat as the first ingredient. Which is ironic because cats are the ones that don't even *need* the corn.

We've come a long way with the quality of dog food...not so much with cat food.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 7:17PM
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carmen_grower_2007

Yes, I have often wondered why Purina One dog food has meat first and the cat food doesn't. That would explain lots --- they are probably after the meat! Anyway, I only mix some dog food into their cat food if I can't make it a few days till we go shopping.

I mixed turkey in with leftover mashed sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving and they absolutely loved that.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 8:49AM
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cynthia_gw

If you read the label completely you'll see that Purina One isn't a very good food for dogs or for cats. And if meat is listed first, that doesn't mean there's a lot of meat in the food. The listing order is based on weight, and the water content in chicken beef or lamb may get it in to first position, but (specified)meat meal first is a better indicator of more meat in the food. You will feed *less* if you buy a better quality food without all of the fillers, so cost will be about the same but your pet will get a more nutritious food.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 7:34PM
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Elly_NJ

Carmen, why do you ask for advice, then? Curious.

Also: if you know you will run out of cat food and not dog food, why not have more cat food on hand?

I just don't get it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 7:35PM
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cynthia_gw

One other note - if you shop in a supermarket for pet food you won't find good quality foods unless you hit the meat counter. Shop on line at Pet Food Direct mentioned above,or DoggyFood.com or go to a good local pet store. There are excellent dog and cat foods out there but they are not in the supermarkets!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 7:38PM
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krycek1984

There are plenty of choices for quality pet food at my local pet stores.

If I had the money, I'd feed them all blue buffalo wilderness formula.

I don't have that money, though. It's very true that the better the food you get, the less pooh there is and the less they will eat.

However, super premium foods are much, much, much more expensive than something mid-range like Purina One.

Not everyone makes enough money to be able to afford these super premium foods. Blue Buffalo wilderness cat food is literally x3 the cost. Maybe when I'm done with school I'll make enough to afford that, but it's not an option right now.

There are much worse foods to feed your dogs than Purina One, lets be clear about that.

I put money aside every month for future vet bills and refuse to feed my dogs low quality super market brands. And they don't eat people food. And we give them occasional treats of blue buffalo soft food. What more do you want from people?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 9:20PM
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lily316

Krycek. I fed my greyhound Purina One on the advice of my vet. I feed my five cats Purina ONE salmon or Pro plan and I feed my two dogs Purina ONE Chicken. All are healthy with shiny fur. My dogs inhale their food so there is none around for the cats to eat. Likewise the cats food is on the island so the dogs can't snack. The Dachshund made a fast track to daughter's cats food when he was visiting last week. Both rescue groups where I got my dogs recommended Purina ONE. We had a coupon for a very expensive dog food recently and it was not a favorite. I stick with what works for me and my pets. I DO give plates to lick every night but only good things like bits of chicken and sweet potatoes.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 2:51AM
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carmen_grower_2007

Many years ago when I had $$ and only one dog, I fed gourmet dog food to her. Then, lost the job, life changed and switched to Purina One. Sorry people, the poops were the same -- the 'less waste' thingie just isn't valid. My vet told me that the designer dog foods are no better than Purina and I was wasting my money. That was a high-priced vet in a wealthy Chicago suburb.

Fast-forward to today - decades later: We still feed Purina to the dogs and have never met a vet that recommended anything else. Yes, they sell the gourmet stuff but all tell me that because you can buy your food at WalMart doesn't make it bad. It just makes it less expensive because most people buy that food.

Now, back on-topic: We did our monthly shopping yesterday and bought 3 bags of Sam's Club brand of cat food. Hope that will make it through for another month. With that and the Purina One for the dogs, we spent over $125 for pets. That is lots for us, but well worth it for our animals. The cats didn't die or even get sick because they had to eat dog food for two days. Sorry to disappoint.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 2:07PM
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krycek1984

Unfortunately, I have found the generic and "regular" dog food to be terrible...makes lots of pooh, is full of corn...such as Ole' Roy, Purina Chow, etc. The difference in pooh mass between Ole' Roy and Purina One is huge.

The difference between the pooh mass between Purina One and Taste of the Wild was not nearly the same.

If I have to pick the cats or dogs to buy super premium for, I'd choose the cats since I am concerned that they get as much meat in their food as posisble - they just don't need all that corn.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 11:06PM
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carmen_grower_2007

Well, our experiences with amount of poo sure doesn't match. I guess it is up to everyone to experiment with the foods themselves. In cases like ours where we have two large breed dogs and 7 cats, gourmet cat food is out of the question -- and then when I realized I was just paying money for advertising (when buying the high priced stuff), I felt better about giving my animals good food for less.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 4:06PM
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cynthia_gw

Carmen, the better quality foods don't advertise at all. So I wonder what food you're referencing as 'Gourmet'? Gourmet doesn't mean good. Most high quality foods simply sell themselves based on ingredients - they aren't labeled as 'gourmet' so perhaps that's the confusion? I've often noticed that's it's the poorer quality foods which seem to spend dollars on advertising instead of on quality ingredients. The Sam's club store brand dog food(Kirkland) is good quality food. I haven't read the label on their store brand cat food yet. It all comes down to reading the labels :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 7:35AM
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