You’ll often see the old dog versus cat trope in movies and tv. Except, how well does that trope play out in real life?
If you believe everything you see on tv, you would be surprised to know that cats and dogs can actually get along. Yes, cats and dogs not just get along but can be pretty good friends. But can a cat and dog share something as personal as a water bowl?
While cats and dogs can safely share a water bowl, you will find that not many cats will be up to the idea because they don’t like to share.
Getting both a cat and a dog can bring lots of joy to a household. However, double the fun and love comes with double the mess and cost!
The endless pet toys littered on the floor can drive anyone crazy. Cutting down on some of those pet products is a good idea.
Why not have them share a water bowl? Having your cat and dog take turns drinking from the same bowl couldn’t be that bad.
Well, it’s a nice thought, but not so practical.
If there is one thing to know about cats, it’s that they don’t like to share! Cats are naturally highly territorial.
Due to their territorial trait, cats don’t enjoy sharing their things, especially if that is something essential.
A cat’s essentials include food, water, shelter (their bed), and a litterbox. Chances are, if a cat drinks from a water bowl, they believe it’s theirs and theirs only.
There might be a cat out there that is fine having their canine friend share their water, but they are far and few.
So even though some cats might be okay with sharing their water bowl, most will not. There isn’t any medical reason why cats and dogs can’t share a bowl of water.
In fact, it’s completely safe for cats and dogs to share their water. It’s just that cats are picky! In the wild, cats will hunt their food and eat it alone; it’s just how they are.
Water might have more wiggle room; every cat has its own limits. On the other hand, dogs are more willing to share and might not mind having their feline friend drink some of the same water as them.
To be safe, it’s best to get each pet their own bowl!
The main reason why cats don’t like to share is that they are territorial. Cats require separate things to keep them from fighting with other cats, or in this case, dogs.
Cats will mark their things as their own: the litterbox, food, bed, and water. While cats are more likely to be more possessive of the above items, they might not like seeing a dog drinking from their bowl.
A cat might get aggressive if it feels like its territory is being invaded. This aggression can make things worse if your cat and dog already have trouble getting along.
When it comes to water, cats don’t love the idea of sharing with a dog, but what about food? Would it be safe for a cat to share their cat food with a dog and vice versa?
Putting aside the obvious that cats and dogs don’t like sharing food, it isn’t healthy for cats and dogs to share food, and this is because cats and dogs have different dietary needs.
If they eat food that isn’t specifically tailored to their needs, they won’t get the necessary nutrients. Cats are strictly carnivores, while dogs are omnivores.
Mixing those two different diets won’t be well received by either party. Although, it might be fine for cats or dogs that don’t have sensitive stomachs to have some of the other’s food only once in a while.
Feeding your cat or dog food that isn’t made for them can lead to health issues.
Dogs are drawn to the smell of cat food because of the strong scent of meat, and that’s why a dog will be so willing to eat cat food. However, that doesn’t mean they should have any.
If dogs eat cat food for a meal, they will be left without the nutrients they need to be healthy. A meal that consists strictly of meat isn’t going to fulfill a dog’s dietary needs since they also need vegetables.
Cat food has high fat, protein, and calorie content, which isn’t great for dogs.
As for cats, dog food doesn’t contain enough meat and protein to sustain their diets adequately. Cats also need a certain amount of vitamin A, arachidonic acid, and taurine in their food, which dog food lacks.
What Happens If Dogs Eat Cat Food?
If you find that your cat and dog keep eating off each other’s plates, there may be room for worry. Some health complications may develop in cats and dogs if they eat each other’s food.
If dogs were on the same diet as cats, they would lack some serious nutrients to stay healthy. Dogs that eat cat food may develop obesity, gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. In dogs, it’s a severe issue that needs the treatment of a veterinarian.
If you suspect your dog may have pancreatitis, medical attention must be taken immediately. Common symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Hunched Over Back
- Pain in the abdomen
- Decreased or loss of appetite
Some dogs may not show signs of sickness after eating cat food. However, if they are continuously eating cat food, it isn’t good for their liver and kidney and may be causing damage to it!
It’s best to stick to dog food to keep your dog healthy and satisfied!
What Happens If Cats Eat Dog Food?
When it comes to cats, giving them a diet that consists of dog food can leave them extremely malnourished. This is because dog food doesn’t contain the right amount of protein that cats need.
Cats can lose muscle mass without this protein and become weak and lethargic. Not only will eating dog food leave cats tired and weak, but it could damage the function of their entire body.
One major ingredient that dog food lacks is taurine.
Taurine is essential to a cat’s well-being and is needed for them to remain healthy. Lack of taurine can damage a cat’s vision, immune system, heart function, and fetal development.
That’s why keeping cats on a diet of cat food is so important. Maybe that’s why cats go crazy for Fancy Feast!
Tips To Avoid Your Cat And Dog From Eating Each Other’s Food:
Put Away Unfinished Food
If your cat leaves unfinished food on the plate to finish later, this leaves an opening for your dog to get some. Always put away unfinished food that your cat leaves unattended, and the same for your dog.
If you find that your dog doesn’t finish all his or her food right away, put it away. This ensures no opportunity for your cat or dog to eat the other’s food.
This is also a great tip because if your pet notices you take away their food when they don’t finish it, they will be more inclined to finish it all at once.
Make Different Feeding Stations
Another great tip is to set up different feeding stations on separate sides of the room. If your cat and dog are eating next to each other, it’s easier for one to swipe some food off the other’s plate; so we don’t want that.
This will also give each pet the privacy to feel comfortable and eat.
Hide The Food
Any food on counters or lying around gives your cat and dog easy access to munch on it. Hide the food in a place where both pets cannot get it.
Cats are curious and love to get into high places, so it’s wise to keep food somewhere even a sneaky cat can’t get to.
Can cats and dogs share a water bowl? Sure, as long as they are okay with it! It’s just unlikely that they will be up for it.
Especially since cats are territorial and don’t like to share their things, if a cat and dog share a water bowl, there is no reason to worry. It’s safe!
Unlike sharing a water bowl, it isn’t so safe to let cats and dogs share their food. The dietary needs of a cat and dog are entirely different.
Letting both pets share the food off their plates every once in a while might not cause damage. However, consistently sharing food is not a good idea.
It may lead to health issues for both the cat and the dog. You can follow some easy tips discussed above to keep each of your pet’s paws to themselves!