Can Cats Have Dog Treats

Can Cats Have Dog Treats?

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Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

No, cats should not have dog treats as they contain different ingredients tailored for dogs and may not meet a cat’s nutritional needs. Cats require a high protein diet, while dogs have a lower requirement.

Additionally, dog treats may contain substances that are toxic to cats such as xylitol, chocolate, and garlic. Cats are beloved pets that bring great joy and companionship to their owners. As pet owners, we often want to treat our furry friends with tasty snacks or treats.

However, it is important to be mindful of what we feed our pets to ensure they are receiving the proper nutrition. One question that pet owners ask is whether cats can have dog treats. While cats and dogs may have similar tastes, it is not advisable to give your cat dog treats. In this article, we will explore why cat owners should avoid giving their feline friends dog treats and what treats are appropriate for cats.

Can Cats Have Dog Treats?


Understanding Cat And Dog Diets

Can Cats Have Dog Treats?

If you’re a pet owner with both cats and dogs, you may find yourself in a tricky situation when it comes to their treats. While they may look similar and have some overlapping nutritional needs, cats and dogs have different dietary requirements.

In this section, we’ll help you understand the differences between cat and dog diets, their nutritional requirements, and potential food sensitivities.

Differences Between Cat And Dog Diets

  • Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require meat to survive. Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores, so they can survive on both plant and animal-based diets.
  • As obligate carnivores, cats require a higher protein intake than dogs to maintain optimal health. They also require more taurine, an amino acid found only in animal-based proteins.
  • Dogs can convert some plant-based nutrients into essential nutrients. In contrast, cats aren’t able to convert plant-based nutrients into essential nutrients, making it challenging to provide a balanced vegetarian or vegan diet for them.

Nutritional Requirements Of Cats And Dogs

  • Both cats and dogs require essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. However, the quantities and sources of those nutrients will differ depending on their species and life stage.
  • Cats are obligate carnivores and typically require a high-protein diet obtained from animal tissues. They also need other essential nutrients found in animal-based products, such as vitamin a, niacin, and arachidonic acid.
  • Dogs, being omnivores, can tolerate a more extensive range of foods and absorb more nutrients from plant-based foods such as vegetables. However, they still require a well-balanced diet consisting of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Food Sensitivities And Allergies In Cats And Dogs

  • Cats and dogs can develop food allergies, but it’s more prevalent in dogs than cats. Common food allergens for cats are fish, dairy, and beef. For dogs, it’s usually beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, and soy.
  • When it comes to food sensitivities, cats are more prone to lactose intolerance and require less protein than dogs. In contrast, dogs can tolerate lactose and require a higher protein intake.
  • It’s always best to feed your pets a diet that meets their nutritional requirements and doesn’t contain any allergens or irritants that trigger adverse reactions.

Understanding the differences between cat and dog diets, their nutritional requirements, and potential food sensitivities will help you make informed decisions when it comes to choosing their treats. Remember that while it may be tempting to give your cat a dog treat or vice versa, it’s always best to provide them with species-appropriate treats that meet their dietary requirements.

Can Cats Eat Dog Treats?

Pet owners love to give treats to their furry friends, whether they have a dog, a cat, or both. However, while dogs and cats may seem alike when it comes to food, they have different nutritional needs. So, what about dog treats for cats?

Can cats eat dog treats?

Ingredients In Dog Treats And Their Potential Impact On Cats

It’s essential to know that dog treats and cat treats are not the same. Most dog treats contain ingredients that may not be beneficial to cats, such as:

  • Garlic and onions: These ingredients can cause digestive upset, anemia, or even be toxic to cats.
  • Protein sources: Some dog treats may contain protein sources like beef or chicken that a cat is not used to eating. This kind of sudden diet change can cause gastrointestinal issues.
  • Carbohydrates: Some dog treats are high in carbohydrates, which can lead to obesity in cats.

Risks Associated With Feeding Dog Treats To Cats

Feeding your cat dog treats poses a risk to their health. Giving them something that they’re not used to digesting can cause digestive upset or even lead to more severe medical issues in the long run. Additionally, some dog treats can be harmful to cats, causing toxicity or severe digestive problems.

Tips For Introducing New Treats To Cats

If you want to give your cat dog treats, it’s essential to follow a few tips to ensure their safety:

  • Consult with your veterinarian first. This professional can provide insight regarding your cat’s health status and confirm if it’s okay to give them dog treats.
  • Choose dog treats with simple, natural ingredients that won’t irritate a cat’s digestive system or trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Introduce new treats gradually, starting with a small amount and monitoring how your cat reacts. If there’s no digestive upset, you can gradually increase their intake.

While it may be tempting to give your cat treats meant for dogs, it’s best to avoid it as much as possible. Dogs and cats differ in their nutritional requirements, and what may be safe for one is not always safe for the other.

Consult with your veterinarian for guidance and choose cat-specific treats to keep everyone happy and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Can Cats Have Dog Treats?

Can Cats Eat Dog Treats?

Yes, cats can eat dog treats, but they are not recommended for their nutritional needs.

What Happens If A Cat Eats A Dog Treat?

If your cat eats a dog treat, they may experience digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea.

Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Rawhide?

No, it is not safe for cats to eat rawhide as they may choke on it.

Which Dog Treats Are Safe For Cats?

Limited-ingredient treats made with natural ingredients and no preservatives are safe for cats.

Should I Give My Cat Dog Treats If They Like Them?

While cats may enjoy dog treats, it is recommended to stick with cat-specific treats for their nutritional needs.


It’s understandable that as pet owners, we want to spoil our furry companions with treats. However, it’s important to remember that cats and dogs have different nutritional needs and what may be safe for one may be harmful for the other.

While some dog treats may not pose a significant threat to cats in small amounts, it’s best to avoid them altogether. It’s always recommended to consult with a veterinarian before introducing new treats or food into your pet’s diet. Instead of risking your cat’s health, opt for cat-specific treats or regular food as a reward.

Your feline friend will still appreciate the gesture and you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re providing them with safe and healthy options. As pet owners, we have a responsibility to prioritize the well-being of our furry friends over our own desire to spoil them.

About Author (Pauline G. Carter)

Pauline G. Carter

Pauline G. Carter is a well-known pet blogger who has written about the world of pets for several years. She is passionate about pets, from cats and dogs to birds, reptiles, and poultry. Her blog, which is updated regularly, is filled with articles and guides on pet care, nutrition, and training. She also shares her experiences and observations on pet ownership, making her blog relatable and informative for pet lovers. She is a true animal advocate and is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Let’s Go …

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