If you have both a cat and a dog in your family (or even if you don’t), you may be wondering if you can give your feline some canine dog treats.
After all, a treat is just a treat, isn’t it? On the other hand, why do they make both dog treats and cat treats? There must be some difference between the two?
Let’s explore what happens if your cat tucks into your pup’s treats, and whether it is a good idea for them to share.
Can Cats Eat Dog Treats?
Don’t give your cat dog treats, as they may contain ingredients that are toxic to them, such as onion or garlic, propylene glycol or ethylene glycol.
Cat and dog treats are very different, even though they may appear to be quite the same to our human eyes. Dog treats are formulated specifically for different sizes and breeds of canines, while cat treats are designed to meet the needs of our furry feline friends.
In fact, cats don’t even require treats. While they are used as a reward when training dogs, they don’t serve the same purpose in a cat’s world.
If you want to treat your cat, buy them cat-appropriate treats. You most likely won’t need to worry if they have managed to snag a couple from the dog, but try to ensure they don’t make it a habit, as they may start to experience different side effects, like an upset stomach.
Can Cats Eat Dog Chews?
Cats shouldn’t eat dog chews, as they may damage their teeth or mouth, or contain ingredients that are harmful to them.
Your cat most likely won’t be all that interested in a dog chew in the first place. But if they are, make sure they only get their teeth and paws on ones that don’t contain onion, garlic, ethylene glycol, or propylene glycol.
Dog treats are made for a dog’s teeth, and they may break a cat’s finer ones. Larger chunks may also get stuck in a cat’s throat. They may lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea too, so aim to keep the dog chews away from the cat.
Can Cats Eat Dog Jerky?
You shouldn’t give your cat dog jerky, as its texture is too tough for easy chewing, and it may also contain ingredients that are toxic to cats.
Jerky is softer than dog chews, so it’s less likely to damage a cat’s teeth. However, it’s still much tougher than cat food, or even raw food.
Dog jerky may also contain onion or garlic powder,which is toxic to cats.
Cats shouldn’t eat beef jerky made for humans either, so give them something healthier instead.
Can Cats Eat Soft Dog Treats and Biscuits?
You can give your cat soft dog treats and biscuits, as long as they don’t contain any ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, garlic or onion.
Softer dog treats usually feature propylene glycol, an ingredient that makes them softer. This is the type of treat your cat definitely shouldn’t have.
Also note that dog treats tend to be high in calories, so you definitely don’t want to give your cat more than one or two, as they can start to gain some excess weight.
Can Cats Eat Dog Bones?
Cats can eat fresh bones, but the ones you would give your dog might be too large for them. Opt for raw chicken bones instead.
Cats can eat raw chicken, and that includes chicken bones. They are rich in calcium that is good for a cat’s bones, and the chewing itself is great for their teeth, jaw and mental health.
Aim for fresh, raw bones instead of cooked ones, as they are more likely to splinter. Also make sure they are as fresh as possible, to prevent any bacteria forming on them that could harm your cat.
Watch your feline while they munch on the bones, to make sure they don’t hurt themselves on any sharp bits. Since cats want you to watch them eat anyway, they will certainly appreciate the company.
Can Cats Eat Milk-Bone Dog Treats?
Cats can eat Milk-Bone dog treats, but only the kinds that do not contain propylene glycol.
This is again not the best choice of treat for your cat. However, if they tend to steal Milk-Bone treats from your dog, aim to buy the kind that does not contain any ingredients that can harm your feline.
Can Cats Eat Greenies For Dogs?
Cats can eat Greenies Dog Treats, as they contain no toxic ingredients. However, since they also contain no meat, they have zero nutritional value for a cat.
Cats need a lot of protein and a bit of fiber. They don’t actually require carbs, so while the occasional Greenies treat can be good for their teeth, don’t give them to your cat too often, as they aren’t at all that healthy.
Can Cats Eat Dog Dental Sticks?
Cats can eat dog dental sticks as long as they are free of any toxic ingredients (onion, garlic, propylene glycol and ethylene glycol tend to be the most commonly used ones).
Dental sticks are not the best choice since they have zero nutritional value in most cases, unless they contain some meat too. Your cat will be better off chewing on some raw chicken bones, instead of a dog dental stick.
There are dental sticks made for cats that are a much better choice as well, if you want to ensure your pet’s teeth stay clean and strong.
What Happens If My Cat Eats Dog Treats?
Your cat will likely experience no side effects if they eat some dog treats, especially if they eat a small amount. However, they may get an upset stomach, especially if some of the ingredients are toxic to them.
Dog treats are made for dogs, not cats, and they often contain mostly ingredients that aren’t beneficial for cats, or that may even be toxic.
However, if your cat has eaten a couple of dog treats, you most likely have nothing to worry about. Just monitor their behavior and check to see they don’t vomit or have diarrhea. If they seem unwell, contact your vet and tell them exactly which treats the cat has had, if you can.
Are Dog Treats Bad For Cats?
Dog treats are not outright harmful for cats, but they aren’t beneficial for them either, as they contain very little or no meat.
As long as your cat’s diet contains no more than 10% treats, they are not likely to gain weight or experience any nutritional deficiencies, as long as the other 90% are well balanced.
However, the real issue with dog treats is that they may contain the following ingredients that are harmful to cats:
- Garlic or garlic powder
- Onion or onion powder
- Propylene glycol
- Ethylene glycol
Onions and garlic damage a cat’s red blood cells. While one dog treat that contains either is not likely to cause any harm, eating these treats on a regular basis can lead to anemia. The same goes for propylene glycol and ethylene glycol.
Cats are also sensitive to glycerin, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), as well as rosemary extract.
If you have both a dog and a cat, aim to buy your dog treats that don’t contain any of these harmful ingredients. That way, even if the cat does manage to get its paws on some of them, they will be just fine.
What’s the Difference Between Cat and Dog Treats?
Cat treats contain a lot of protein, as this is what cats need to thrive. Dogs on the other hand are omnivores, so their treats are high in grains, vegetables, fruits and peanut butter.
Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs, and their respective foods and treats reflect this. However, as treats are only an occasional snack, you don’t need to worry about the nutritional values as much. As long as your cat gets the high-quality nutrition they need 90% of the time, the sparing treat won’t hurt them.
What you do need to be mindful of are any potentially harmful ingredients in dog treats that are bad for your cat: onion, garlic, propylene glycol and ethylene glycol.
To be perfectly safe, you can ask your vet to recommend treats for your cat.
Wrapping It Up
While dog treats are not the best choice for your cat, don’t worry if they occasionally eat one or two.