Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? No-Go for Cavapoos

A cat is standing next to two bowls of food.

Can dogs eat cat food?

It’s a question that many pet owners have asked themselves at least once, especially if they own both dogs and cats.

Your dog can eat a small amount of cat food on the odd occasion. It is not recommended to only feed your dog cat food as this will have a huge impact on your dog’s health.

Read on to find the answers.

The Difference Between Cat and Dog Food Nutrition

Have you ever wondered why dog and cat foods are different?

It’s because they have different dietary requirements, and understanding these differences is crucial to ensuring your Cavapoo’s health.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need animal protein to survive.

In the wild, cats hunt and eat small prey, such as mice and birds, which are high in protein and fat.

As a result, cat food is formulated to provide a high level of animal protein and fat content.

Cats also require taurine, an amino acid that is essential for their health, and which is not found in significant amounts in plant-based foods.

Dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat both plant and animal sources of food.

While Cavapoos do require protein to maintain their health, they can also obtain protein from plant-based sources.

As a result, food specifically made for dogs is formulated to provide a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates from both animal and plant sources.

Some dog foods may contain grains, such as corn or wheat, which are not typically found in cat food.

However, grains can provide a source of carbohydrates and fiber, which can be beneficial for Cavapoos.

Can puppies eat cat food


When it comes to taste, cat food is more appealing to Cavapoos because it has a stronger meat smell and flavor.

Dogs have an instinct to crave protein, which is why they may be drawn to cat food.

But, just because it tastes good to them doesn’t mean it’s the best option for their health.

When choosing a food for your Cavapoo, it’s important to focus on high-quality food that is specifically formulated for their nutritional needs.

While it may be tempting to give them a taste of cat food, it’s best to stick with a food that is designed to keep them healthy and happy.


Taurine is an amino acid that is essential for the proper functioning of many bodily systems in dogs and cats.

It is particularly important for heart health, as well as the health of the eyes and brain.

As mentioned earlier, cat food contains more taurine than food for dogs.

This is because cats have a higher requirement for taurine than dogs do.

If a cat were to eat a diet that is deficient in taurine, it could lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease and retinal degeneration.

Your Cavapoo does need some taurine in its diet but just not as much as what cats do.

Some good dietary sources of taurine for dogs include meat, fish, and eggs.

These foods are also high in other important amino acids that dogs need for optimal health.


Protein is an essential nutrient for both animals.

However, the amount and source of protein needed by each species differ. 

As mentioned earlier, cat food has more protein because cats need it for their muscle, skin, and coat health.

The high protein content in cat food can make it more appealing to dogs, but it is not suitable for their dietary needs.

Cavapoos require a balanced diet that includes all essential nutrients, and excessive protein intake can lead to health problems such as kidney disease and liver damage.

The quality and digestibility of protein vary depending on the source.

Animal-based proteins such as chicken, beef, and fish are considered high-quality proteins because they contain all the essential amino acids needed by both animals.

Plant-based proteins, on the other hand, are incomplete and may not provide all the necessary amino acids.

Is It Bad For Dogs to Eat Cat Food

Is It Bad For Dogs to Eat Cat Food?

You may be wondering if this is okay or not.

After all, they both are furry pets, and their food looks similar.

However, the answer is no.

While dogs can, it’s not recommended for several reasons.

Firstly, cat food is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cats, not dogs. 

Feeding your Cavapoo cat food regularly can cause health issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, obesity, pancreatitis, and kidney or liver problems.

This is because cat food is high in protein and fat, which can be too much for a Cavapoo’s digestive system to handle.

For example, a Schnauzer developed pancreatitis after eating cat food regularly.

Another case is a Labrador who became obese and had kidney failure after he was only fed cat food.

It is much safer for your Cavapoo to eat dog food.

When Cat Food Is Safe for Dogs

The answer is that it depends on the situation.

Here are some scenarios where cat food can be safe for dogs:

When Your Dog Has Cancer

Dogs with cancer often have a poor appetite and may need a high-calorie diet to maintain their weight.

In this case, feeding them wet cat food can be a good option.

Wet cat food is higher in fat and protein than dry cat food, which can help your dog maintain their weight and get the nutrients they need.

When Your Dog Has a Poor Appetite

Wet cat food is more flavorful than dry cat food and can be more appealing to Cavapoos with a poor appetite.

I would recommend adding a little bit of wet cat food to your dog’s normal kibble to encourage them to eat.

Can Dogs Eat Wet Cat Food

Can Dogs Eat Wet Cat Food?

While it’s generally safe for dogs to occasionally feast on cat food, there are some things to keep in mind, especially when it comes to wet cat food.

Wet vs. Dry Cat Food

Before we dive into the pros and cons of feeding wet cat food to dogs, let’s first understand the difference between wet and dry cat food.

Wet cat food has more moisture, fat, and protein than dry cat food, while dry cat food has more carbohydrates, fiber, and preservatives than wet cat food.

Pros and Cons of Feeding Wet Cat Food to Dogs

Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons.


  • Hydration: Wet cat food can help dogs stay hydrated, especially if they don’t drink enough water on their own.
  • Urinary tract health: Wet cat food can also prevent urinary tract infections in dogs, as it helps flush out their urinary system.
  • Coat and skin condition: The high-fat content in wet cat food can help improve a dog’s coat and skin condition.


  • Dental problems: Wet cat food can cause dental problems in dogs, as it sticks to their teeth and can lead to plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Spoilage: Wet cat food spoils faster than dry cat food, so it’s important to only serve what your dog can eat in one sitting.
  • Cost: Wet cat food can be more expensive than dry cat food, so it may not be the most cost-effective option for feeding your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Dry Cat Food?

While dogs and cats have different nutritional requirements, it’s not uncommon for dogs to sneak a few bites of their feline housemate’s food.

The short answer is that it’s not recommended.

Dry cat food is formulated specifically for cats, and it contains a different balance of nutrients.

While dogs can technically eat dry cat food, it’s not nutritionally complete and could lead to health problems if fed regularly.

Dry cat food can be more convenient and economical than wet cat food, which can be a plus for some pet owners.

There are also some downsides to feeding your Cavapoo dry cat food.

One of the biggest concerns is that it can cause dehydration.

Dry cat food tends to have a higher protein content and lower carbohydrate content.

This can lead to dehydration in dogs, as they may not be getting enough moisture from their food.

Another potential issue with feeding your Cavapoo dry cat food is that it can cause constipation.

The low moisture content of dry cat food can make it difficult for dogs to digest, leading to constipation and other digestive issues.

Lastly, some dogs may be allergic to certain ingredients in dry cat food.

While rare, dogs can have an allergic reaction to ingredients like chicken or fish, which are commonly found in dry cat food.

Can Dogs Eat Cat Treats

Can Dogs Eat Cat Treats?

If you have both a cat and a dog at home, you might be tempted to give your dog some of the cat treats.

But cat treats are not the same as dog treats, and feeding your Cavapoo cat treats can have negative consequences.

What are Cat Treats and How Do They Differ from Dog Treats?

Cat treats are small snacks that are given to cats as a reward or a supplement to their diet.

They come in a variety of flavors and textures, including crunchy, soft, and chewy.

Cat treats are usually higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than dog treats, reflecting the dietary needs of cats.

On the other hand, dog treats are designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs, which are omnivores.

Dog treats come in a wide range of flavors and textures, and they can be used for training, dental health, or as a supplement to their regular diet.

Why Feeding Cat Treats to Dogs is Not a Good Idea

Feeding your Cavapoo cat treats can be harmful to their health.

Cat treats can be too rich or salty for dogs, which can cause digestive upset, dehydration, or kidney damage. 

If you want to give your dog treats, it’s best to choose treats that are specifically formulated for dogs.

Can Puppies Eat Cat Food?

While it may seem like a convenient option, it is not recommended to feed cat food to Cavapoo puppies.

Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs.

They require more calories, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins to support their growth and development.

Feeding them cat food can provide too much protein and fat, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, obesity, or pancreatitis.

Additionally, cat food may lack some essential nutrients that puppies need, such as vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, or glucosamine.

These nutrients are crucial for the healthy development of bones, muscles, and joints.

It is important to provide your Cavapoo puppy with a well-balanced diet that meets their specific nutritional needs so that they can mature into healthy adult dogs.

Should Dogs Ever Eat Cat Food

Should Dogs Ever Eat Cat Food?

It is not recommended as a regular part of their diet.

Here’s why:

  • Nutritional Needs: Both animals have different nutritional needs. Cat food is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cats, which are different from those of dogs. Dogs require a balanced and varied diet that meets their specific nutritional needs, which cat food cannot provide.
  • Health Risks: Feeding your dog cat food can lead to various health problems. Cat food is often higher in fat and protein, which can cause obesity, pancreatitis, kidney or liver failure, or dental issues. 
  • Veterinary Care: If you are concerned about your dog’s diet or have questions about what to feed them, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist. They can provide you with expert advice and guidance on what foods are safe and healthy for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food in An Emergency?

In an emergency, you may be wondering if it’s safe to feed your Cavapoo cat food.

While it’s not recommended as a regular diet, dogs can eat cat food in an emergency if there are no other options.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have no other food options for your dog, there are better emergency food alternatives that may be found in your kitchen.

Some examples include cooked rice, chicken, or eggs.

These options provide your Cavapoo with the necessary nutrients and are more easily digestible than cat food.

What Happens to Dogs That Eat Too Much Cat Food

You may be tempted to feed your dog some of your cat’s food, especially if your dog seems to enjoy it.

However, feeding your dog too much cat food can cause a range of health problems.

One of the most common issues is gastrointestinal upset.

If your dog starts to vomit or have diarrhea, it’s best to stop feeding it and consult your veterinarian.

Another issue is obesity and weight gain.

Cat food is often higher in calories, so feeding your dog too much of it can lead to excessive weight gain.

Obesity can cause a range of health problems, including joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes.

According to Bottletree Animal Hospital, feeding your dog too much cat food can also cause pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas.

This can cause abdominal pain, fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can be life-threatening.

In addition, feeding your Cavapoo too much cat food can put stress on their kidneys and liver.

This is because cat food often contains higher levels of protein and fat, which can be hard for dogs to process.

Over time, this can lead to kidney and liver damage.

If your dog shows any signs of illness after eating cat food, it’s important to consult a veterinarian.

They can help diagnose and treat any health problems your dog may be experiencing.

A veterinary nutritionist can also guide you on the best diet for your dog’s individual needs.

is cat food okay for dogs

Why Do Dogs Love Cat Food?

Have you ever caught your Cavapoo sneaking around the house, trying to steal some cat food?

You are not alone.

Many dog owners have experienced this peculiar behavior.

But why do dogs love cat food so much?

Dogs are opportunistic eaters.

They will eat anything that they can find, especially if it is different or forbidden.

Cat food is an easy target for dogs because it is often left out for cats to graze on throughout the day.

Dogs may also enjoy the challenge of stealing cat food from their feline housemates or getting an adrenaline rush from doing something naughty.

But, there is more to it than just the thrill of the chase.

Dogs love cat food because it is rich in protein and fat content, which makes it more tasty and fragrant.

What to Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Cat Food

If your Cavapoo has eaten a small amount of cat food once or twice, there is no need to panic or rush them to the vet.

However, it’s important to monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort or illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or a lack of appetite.

Providing your dog with plenty of water can also help flush out their system.

On the other hand, if your dog has eaten a large amount of cat food or has a pre-existing health condition that could be worsened by cat food consumption, it’s best to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

The vet can assess any potential health risks and provide appropriate treatment.

How Can I Stop My Dog from Eating Cat Food?

One of the easiest ways is to feed your pets separately or at different times.

This can be done by feeding them in different rooms.

Another way is to put away uneaten cat food immediately after your cat has finished eating.

This will keep your dog from accessing the cat’s food bowl when you’re not around.

You can also move the cat’s bowl to another room or a high place that the dog can’t access.

Using a gate, a flap, or a shelf to create a barrier for the cat food is also a good option.

Why Do Dogs Love Cat Food

Conclusion – Can Dogs Eat Cat Food

While it is not recommended as a long-term nutritional option for Cavapoos, a few bites of cat food should not harm your dog.

Keep in mind that cat food is formulated specifically for cats and may not provide the necessary nutrients that dogs need in their diet.

Feeding your dog a proper and balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being.

While it may be tempting to give your dog a treat of cat food, it is important to ensure that they are getting the proper nutrients from their regular dog food.

Here are some great options of dog food for your Cavapoo.

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