I don’t see what the allure of dog food is for my cat, but I do know that once I pour out both of their morning meals, my cat immediately begins crunching on the dog food while my dog tries to nose her way into the cat food (that is, if she’s not too lazy to get her big ass off the couch). Either way, cat food is designed for cats, and dog food is for dogs, but try explaining that to my furry kids. At any rate, a cat eating dog food is not only weird, it’s actually unhealthy, as dog food contains too much calcium and not enough protein, which over time can lead to nasty kidney stones in cats. Yikes! Here’s how to keep the cat out of the dog food.
Keeping your cat out of the dog food is fairly easy to do, particularly if you have a jealous dog who lords over its own bowl. Since my dog does not (she used to allow chickens to dine out of her dog food bowl the same time she was eating, and does the same with the cat), it’s up to me to take my curious cat out of the dog food and place her back at her own bowl. Simply pick up your cat and place them in front of their own dish, shaking their cat food bowl or grabbing a handful of it to tempt the cat (when you grab a handful of their food and then place it back in their bowl, they think they are being fed something new) whenever you catch them in the dog dish.
Perhaps your cat food bowl is dirty, or your cat can’t get to their own cat food bowl. Make sure that your cat food bowl is in clear view and reach of the cat, as cats often scoot their bowls around in play or boredom, and perhaps have moved their own dish somewhere where they now can’t get to it. Maybe your cat is eating dog food because they can’t find their own dish, or the dog already ate their food, and they are HUNGRY, mom!!!
Try feeding your animals one at a time. Anyone who owns multiple pets is rolling their eyes right now and thinking, yeah, right, but in some cases, this really works. My cat is an early AM eater, whereas my dog likes to eat later in the day. Whichever animal is begging first, feed them, and if it’s your cat that is acting like they’re starving all the time, feed them first. By the time the dog is fed, hopefully your cat is full, and they will leave the dog food alone.
Try feeding your dog outside. Oh, how inhumane! Actually, feeding a dog outdoors can actually be relaxing for a dog, especially for dogs who chow down so quickly you fear they will eat their own bowl. Without “competition” over their food, dogs can eat in comfort and serenity outside, and then get their after-meal poop out of the way. Meanwhile, your cat can be chowing down inside, and when your cat it lovingly cleaning themselves after a great meal (before they make their after-meal trip to the litter box), let the dog back in. Happy critters all around!
Since it’s way easier to move a cat food bowl where a dog can’t reach it than a dog food bowl where the cat can’t reach it, feeding the cat and dog in separate areas is simply the best solution. If your dog is fed where your cat can’t reach their food, then the cat cannot eat the dog food, and it’s the greatest solution overall for both pets.