Providing treats for your cat can be such a lovely activity. It can be a great way for the two of you to bond and is known to be a great training tool. It’s true to say, cats absolutely love a treat so it’s always wise to monitor their intake carefully.
There are a wide variety of cat treats available on the market to choose from. Whether you are looking for biscuit treats, tasty chews, or some other weird and wonderful treat for your kitty, there is generally something available for every feline taste bud.
However, despite this, we still get asked regularly whether cats can eat dog treats. It is often the case that this question comes from owners who have both cats and dogs in the household and have run out of cat treats completely. This is a very valid question and one that we will explore further.
So, can cats eat dog treats? It is not ideal for cats to eat dog treats. Dog treats do not provide the nutrition that a cat needs. Many dog treats also contain small amounts of ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze which is toxic for cats. Ingestion in small amounts is usually not harmful, however, this is not a good idea long term.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about feeding dog treats to cats.
Will dog treats hurt cats?
Dog treats are not ideal for cats. There are many ingredients used in dog treats that are questionable even for canines to consume and these would make cats pretty sick if they ingested too much.
One of the ingredients that can be seen regularly used in dog treats is ethylene glycol. This ingredient is most closely associated with anti-freeze and can be highly toxic for cats especially if consumed in large doses.
In theory, it is also toxic for dogs; however, they seem to have a slightly better tolerance level to it. In theory, it should not be used in any animal products, but that is a different article altogether!
Ethylene glycol is known to have a very narrow margin of safety and even the smallest amounts can result in severe poisoning which could end up being fatal for our feline friends.
Cats and dogs have very different taste buds too and treats are usually formulated to be appealing to a certain specie rather than animals in general. You will probably find that cats are nowhere near as interested in dog treats as they are cat treats and therefore will not be overly excited about the prospect.
Dog treats can also be much larger than cat treats making it much harder for your kitty to eat. It could also potentially cause havoc with their digestive system.
It is always best to feed your felines treats specifically designed for cats to ensure they receive all the right nutrition in the right doses.
To recap, dog treats are not ideal for cats due to the following reasons:
- Ingredients used in dog treats can sometimes be toxic for cats to consume.
- Dog treats do not provide the right type of nutrition your kitty needs.
- Cats and dogs have very different palates and cats may not find dog treats quite so exciting.
- Some dog treats can be far too large for your cat to consume.
Can cats eat dog jerky?
Dog jerky is not usually the kind of treat that you would use to feed your cat, but it is a very valid question and one that should be cleared up. Cats tend to chew far less than dogs do and therefore they would find eating dog jerky very hard going.
Jerky is very tough and usually much more dehydrated than other meats meaning your cat may find this type of treat very hard to digest.
Our feline friends have very delicate stomachs and you may find your cat is sick after trying to eat pieces of dog jerky. This type of treat always a risky one even for dogs. The meat is so dried out that there is always the chance the meat will splinter into sharp pieces that can cause your cat injury to the throat. It is also very much a choking hazard.
Dog jerky is not something that most cats will find particularly appealing, partly due to the difficulty factor in eating this type of foodstuff. We would advise leaving dog jerky out of your cat’s diet. There are plenty of cat treats on the market that are much more suitable for cats to consume and pose less of a risk.
Can cats have dog bones?
Dog bones can be an ideal chew toy for cats. These bones are usually much more substantial than cat chews and will not break down easily.
As long as the bone has not been precooked, these are usually quite safe for cats. Cooked bones can break much more easily which can splinter and cause a choking hazard.
Dog bones are not necessarily a treat in the conventional sense for cats and should be used for chewing rather than eating.
Bones that are sold for use with dogs are usually quite large and do not break down very easily which is ideal for cats. They can be a great way of assisting with dental hygiene and a fab way to clean your cat’s teeth which we can all agree is often a challenging part of feline care.
It is true to say however that most cats do not tend to chew on bones quite like a dog does, however it is always worth a go and is reasonably safe for them. You will find that cat chews are often made with large quantities of fillers or grains and are designed to be consumed by your kitty.
Fillers and grains are not necessary for your cat’s diet and you will find dog bones are much more ideal particularly for your cat’s dental health.
Can cats eat peanut butter dog treats?
You will find that most cats really like the taste of peanut butter and in theory, it is generally quite safe for cats to consume this. When we look at peanut butter flavored dog treats however there are a few issues with feeding these to cats.
Peanut butter is also very high in fat content and is very likely to contribute to obesity. If you have a cat that needs to shed a few pounds (don’t we all) then providing any type of foods with peanut butter on is not a wise idea.
Peanut butter also contains a decent amount of carbohydrates which can be a causing factor for diabetes. We would recommend your cat gives peanut butter dog treats a wide berth.
Can cats have dog chews?
Dog chews are usually a bit too big for cats, however, that does not mean that your kitty will discard this type of treat. Unlike dog bones, dog chews can be broken down usually much more easily. They provide an element of chewing before breaking down for a tasty snack.
One of the key problems in these types of treats is the high quantity of fillers and grains which are completely unnecessary.
Rawhide chews are very common for dogs and it is quite a debatable subject about how safe these chews actually are for them. This is partly due to how dehydrated these chews are.
They are liable to splinter very easily which can cause injuries to the mouth and are also known to potentially be a choking hazard. It is always best to avoid giving these to your cat (and maybe your dog too to be on the safe side)
Can cats have dog biscuits?
It is not completely out of the way to provide your cat with dog biscuits on the odd occasion or in an emergency (i.e. you have run out of cat biscuits) however it is not a wise idea to provide these consistently. There isn’t much need since cat biscuits are so widely available.
Cat and dog biscuits are made with different ingredients and although most of the biscuits designed for dogs will be safe for cats to consume (except for ‘ethylene glycol’) there are certain nutritional elements that differ considerably.
Cats require a certain level of nutrition to stay happy and healthy and these dietary requirements do not often figure in commercial dog biscuits. Taurine and Arginine are two vitamins that are absolutely essential to your cat’s diet.
Cat biscuits are often fortified with these vitamins to ensure your cat is receiving the right nutrition. It is true to say however that these vitamins are usually only found in meat products which factor into cat biscuits in only small doses.
Cat and dog biscuits are also made with very different flavorings. You will likely find your cat is far more excited about eating biscuits specifically designed for cats rather than ones that are made for dogs.
Can cats eat Greenies for Dogs?
It is perfectly ok for cats to eat Greenies for dogs although it is fair to point out that the Greenies brand makes their own feline version of this too. Both types of chews are made similarly, but you will find that the feline version will be much more appealing to your kitty.
The flavoring differs slightly and your kitty will find Greenies for Cats much easier to eat and much tastier. The texture is also much easier for cats to consume.
Greenies are wonderful treats for cats. Your kitty will love chewing on these tasty treats and they can be fantastic at taking care of your cat’s dental health by removing plaque and tartar.
It is recommended you feed them a chew twice a day for optimal health. Greenies for cats are small in size and can be an ideal treat if you are worried about your cat’s weight.
Can cats eat Beggin strips?
Beggin strips are not good for cats. They are designed specifically for dogs, but if we are delving into the nitty-gritty they are not particularly good for dogs either. These streaks of bacon may look and taste good, but in terms of nutritional value, they are very unhealthy for cats.
Beggin strips have an extremely high-fat content that has been preserved with BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) which is known to potentially be a cancer-causing agent. These dog treats are full of artificial colors and preservatives which is also not a healthy option for your kitty’s diet.
If you have a cat that is overweight or trying to reduce their weight these types of treats should be avoided at all costs. They are awful for your cat’s health and we would recommend sticking to regular cat treats that have been made as naturally as possible.
Can cats eat dog ice cream?
Despite what we have always been told about cats and dairy products such as milk, in particular, most cats are lactose intolerant. This means that cats’ digestive systems are unable to digest dairy products successfully. Feeding cats these types of foods can result in bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
There is also a possibility of vomiting as a cat’s delicate stomach just cannot cope under these conditions. It is not the end of the world if your kitty does consume some dairy products, however, it is likely to make them feel very uncomfortable.
Dog ice cream such as brands like Frosty Paws is therefore not a good idea for cats. It may seem like a great idea as a treat when the weather is warm and your kitty needs a ‘cool me down’ but in reality, this will cause your cat more harm than good, unfortunately.
Frosty Paws are also full of chemicals and preservatives. It contains BHA and BHT which are known to be cancer-causing for animals and the fat content is also very high. This kind of treat is best avoided for both cats and dogs.
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