Cat Health: When The Dog Eats The Cat Food

cat health

If your household is like mine, it’s challenging when you have cats and dogs that enjoy eating each other’s food.  This can create problems for cat health, though, if left unchecked.

Pets enjoy anything that’s new, including new food in a new bag.  For pets on a special diet, it’s important to monitor his intake to ensure he’s getting the maximum benefit from the new food regimen.   When another pet eats the special diet, it can be a problem for both.

When Cat Is Eating Dog’s Food

In cases where the cat moves quicker and gets to the dog’s food before the dog does, it may be necessary to feed your dog in a different room. Close the door to keep the cat from entering.  Cats can jump over gates, so closed doors are one sure way to keep them out of the room while your dog eats.

When Dog Is Eating Cat’s Food

When the situation is reversed and the dog is eating your cat’s food, put your cat’s food dish up high enough so your dog can’t reach it but your cat can.

Another option is installing a baby gate to prevent your dog from getting access to your cat’s food.  Gates with a smaller door for cats to pass through work very well, especially if your cat isn’t able to jump to a higher spot for meals.

Although it’s definitely NOT recommended to feed your dog a steady diet of cat food, some can satisfy dog’s nutritional needs for a very short time.

It is important to note that this does NOT work in reverse.  Cats have very specific nutritional needs. They cannot get the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy with a steady diet of dog food.  In order to maintain cat health, they must have a diet specifically developed for felines.

If you have questions about nutritional needs of your cat or dog, check with a certified veterinary nutritionist.

Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.

4 Responses to "Cat Health: When The Dog Eats The Cat Food"

  1. for me there is an easy way to solve this problem. I feed my cat in the kitchen and our kitchen is baby gated to keep the dog OUT………..our dog eats in the hallway……

    As for our cat eating the food before our dog? Not in this life………

    1. In my case, Jessie would eat the cat food in a heartbeat if she could get to it. I have the baby gate thing going on too, works well!

  2. Any tips on how to keep two cats on eating each other’s food? 😉 Sometimes we have to feed Misha and Tippy different kinds, as Misha has a more sensitive stomach.

    1. The surest way is to feed them in separate rooms. I have three cats I petsit, the two boys gobble their food, then try to eat their sister’s. Feed her in separate room with the door closed. The boys sit outside, try to get into the room, but door is locked until sister is done eating.

      Do your cats eat dry food? Does one gobble food then want to eat the others? If answer is yes to both questions, might try a food dispensing toy to slow down the gobbler’s eating and give the other a chance to eat.

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