Can Cats Eat Dog Treats?

We all love to treat our feline friends, and we all know they love their treats. Perhaps you have run out of cats treats, and you’re wondering if a dog treat would be safe to let them eat. First, it’s important to understand that cats and dogs are different species and require a separate diet. So let’s find out if dog treats are okay for them to eat?

Yes, but only as a short-term solution. Stealing the occasional snack from your dog’s bowl is not cause for concern, but to be safe and uphold a cat’s dietary needs, it should never happen regularly as the cat’s diet is much different to dogs.

Why Can’t I Give My Cat Dog Treats Regularly?

Filling their tummies without these essential must-have portion sizes won’t help their health in the future. They could become deficient in vitamin A, taurine, arachidonic acid and protein.

Essential Ingredients That Cats Need

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps and improves your cats night vision, and it protects a cats body against cancer and pollution. Vitamin A is much needed for a healthy immune system and contains antioxidant properties for cats. A Lack of vitamin A will cause your cat to lose weight, lack appetite, and muscle wasting will commence. In addition, their skin and fur will become very unhealthy.


Taurine is an amino acid and is critical for cats health. Taurin helps with the brain, heart, muscles, nerves, cats vision, digestion and immune function. So as you can see, taurine plays a vital role in a cats health. If a cat lacks taurine, there are many health problems such as feline central retinal degeneration (FCRD), which affects the eyes. Or a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which is the weakening of muscle in the heart.

Arachidonic Acid

Arachidonic acid is an essential dietary nutrient for cats, and it plays a vital role in the reproductive system of cats. This is because arachidonic acid keeps the normal platelet functioning. Platelet is the blood cells that stop bleeding that create a clot to fix and repair the damage.


Protein is the building blocks to a cats health, and it helps with energy, hormones, repairing and growth of organs and tissues, hair and skin and even blood. So protein is vital to a cat.

Why Do Cats Need More Protein Than Dogs?

Cats need a lot more protein than dogs, who are omnivores. This is because cats use protein for energy. Cats are omnivores; their bodies are built to absorb more protein than carbohydrates.

Compared to a dog, cats need much more daily amounts in their diet to stay healthy. Dog treats will lack these extras and take up tummy space.

A pile of dog treats, bones, chews, and all different colours
Dog Treats – Dogs Only

What Will Happen If I Give My Cat Dog Treats?

Dog treat now and then won’t affect their health too much depending on what’s in it the treat, however, nor will it benefit them. A cat will use up its belly space eating a dog treat. Since cats don’t tend to overeat as much compared to, say, a dog, instead of filling up on the usual healthy diet that provides them with the health benefits, they will be filling up on dog treats not aimed for a correct cat diet. Cats will be losing the vital goodness they need, especially if you have a fussy feline. They may not eat their typical food, resulting in them not getting the nutrients and vitamins they need. It would be best if you didn’t feed your cat dog treats.

I Always Feed My Cats Dog Treats And They Are Fine

As discussed dog treats are made with dogs in mind, it lacks the essential daily intake of protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. Therefore, by feeding your cat dog treats, they will be missing out on essential goodness that they need, and over time, this will cause health problems to them.

Can Cats Eat Dog Dental Treats?

It would be best if you didn’t give your cat dog dental treats. Dental treats have no benefit to cats. Cats and dogs have different diet from each other and require different ingredients. Cats dont have a strong chaw like a dog, and dental treats are too hard for a cats chaw. It would be best if you didn’t give your cat dental treats that are meant for dogs.

Can Cats Eat Milk-Bone Dog Treats?

It would help if you did not feed your cat milk bone dog treats. In fact, milk is a big problem for a cats digestive system. The lactose is hard to digest, resulting in an upset stomach or diarrhoea. Dogs have a different diet from cats. Dog treats are for dogs, not cats.

Symptoms Of A Poor Diet In Cats

  • Mineral Deficiencies
  • Organ Dysfunction
  • Poor Digestion
  • Unhealthy skin and fur


All in all, if you want to be a responsible owner and keep your feline healthy, don’t feed them dog regularly treats that are meant for dogs. Cats have a different diet to dogs and require more protein, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins to stay healthy. This also goes the other way dogs shouldn’t eat cat treats, cat treats re often more fat and too much fat added to a dogs diet can lead to obesity and pancreatitis. The best thing to do it buy treats for cats and treats for dogs. I hope this has helped answer your question on whether or not cats can eat dog treats. I know the importance of feeding your beloved pets the correct food. I made that mistake many many years ago and wouldn’t want you to make the same mistake.

Good luck and happy pet parenting!

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By Teresa Mine

Teresa has studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition. She loves sharing her knowledge and educating through her articles. She loves binge-watching animal documentaries. Teresa has some pets; she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster.