Difference Between Dog and Cat Food

If you have a dog or cat as a pet or even have both together in your home, it is natural that the question might arise in your head that what do your pets eat and why is it that there is different food for two of you similar-sized canine friends.

Dog vs Cat Food

The main difference between a dog and cat food is that they vastly differ in their nutritional components. Cat food is made keeping in mind the nature of food habits of a cat who is an obligate carnivore, while dog food is made keeping in mind the nature of food habits of a dog who is not an obligate carnivore but a facultative one.

Dog and Cat Food

Thus the food made for a dog has multiple sources, including both animal and plant sources.

Cat food is made keeping in mind that cats are almost entirely carnivores. Thus the food made for a cat is made from only one source, which is animal proteins and products.

Comparison Table Between Dog and Cat Food

Parameters of ComparisonDog FoodCat Food
PelletsDog food is usually prepared in the form of larger pellets than cat food.Cat food has smaller pellets than dog food.
ProteinsDog food has lower protein content than cat food.Cat food has higher protein content than dog food.
FatDog food has a very low-fat content.Cat food has a good percentage of fat.
VitaminsDog food lacks many vitamins present in cat food.Cat food is enriched with more vitamins than dog food.
TasteDog food is blander than cat food.Cat food tends to be more juicy and tasty than dog food.

What is Dog Food?

A dog or Canis lupus is neither a whole carnivore nor a whole herbivore. It relishes food from both worlds.

Due to their varied food habits, it is also easier to share human food with dogs as humans are also omnivores in terms of habit.

Secondly, the levels of vitamins in dog food are also low, especially vitamin D, as dogs cannot digest it easily.

Dog pellets usually have a balance of proteins, minerals, calories, vitamins, fibres and so on, and a special ingredient called propylene glycol is mainly found in wet food products for dogs.

What is Cat Food?

A cat of Felis catus is a whole carnivore animal solely depending on animal products for nutrition.

Cats are also opportunistic feeders, which means they eat whenever they can; thus, they need to be fed multiple times in a day in comparison to a dog which can adapt to 2-3 meals stretched along the entire day.

Cat food has almost up to 26-30% of animal protein only and contains a high percentage of fat in comparison to dog food.

It is also known that due to more added nutrients, cat food is tastier than dog food.

Main Differences Between Dog and Cat Food

  1. Dog food is considered to be less tasty than cat food due to its high protein and fat percentage.
  2. Dog food usually has larger pellets or chunks, while cat food has smaller pellets for easy ingestion.
Difference Between Dog and Cat Food


Mixing must be avoided as each of these foods are rich in nutrients required for the specific organism while it can be harmful to the other like fat or vitamin D found in cat food is not suitable for dogs.

While dogs can find cat food tasty due to its high protein content, it must be avoided. Also, cats may not like dog food due to the small amount of fat in it.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1681106/
  2. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jvms/63/12/63_12_1355/_article/-char/ja/
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