Cats vs. Dogs - Nutrition

Let's talk about cats vs. dogs - nutrition.

Most people know that cats and dogs are indeed very different creatures. Some people love one and not the other. Some people love both furry creatures. Not only are cats and dogs different in their physical appearance, and personalities, but they have very different nutritional needs. This article will explain some of those nutritional differences.

First, it's important to understand why their nutritional needs are so different. To put it simply, their metabolism and chemistry are different. Also, cats are strict carnivores while dogs are omnivores. Dogs can actually live on a vegetarian diet. It is not recommended or the healthiest diet, but it's possible. Dogs should have meat-based diets, but in the wild a dog could survive eating vegetation, berries, etc. Cats cannot be vegetarians, they must eat meat.

Check the ingredients of your cat or dog food. Neither should be fed grain-based foods, which unfortunately many commercial pet foods are. Paying extra money for quality pet food is well worth it.

Cats need various chemicals and nutrients that they can only get from eating meat. A cat's body makes enough vitamin C that they don't need to consume any, however that's not true for everything. Therefore, cats must eat prey (or pet food) that contains those essential chemicals that cat needs, but doesn't have on its own. Cats produce little to no enzymes that break down the plants while dogs do have enzymes that break down plants and convert them into active A. Cats need to eat prey for vitamin A.

Other nutritional differences between felines and canines include their metabolisms. Cats need more protein in their diet. For example, for every 100 percent of protein in a cats diet, 20 percent is used for growth metabolism and 12 for maintenance. Dogs would only use about 12 percent for growth metabolism and 4 for maintenance.

If you ever thought about feeding a cat dog food or feeding your dog cat food you now know why that isn't a good idea. You also now have a better understand of the differences between cats and dogs besides things like cats are litter box trained and don't wag their tails when happy.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.