The Difference in Cats and Dogs

 "The cat (Felis catus) is a small domesticated carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and ability to hunt vermin and household pests."

"The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora."              Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia definition.

catvsdogcat.jpgUnarguably, the cat is what is known as an obligate carnivore. For physiological reasons, cats MUST have a meat diet in order to live healthy domestic lives. Dogs, on the other hand, are carnivorous scavengers. If meat is not available, they will scrounge for whatever is edible.

There are other differences.

  • Cats will only eat fresh meat, while a dog can eat a rotting carcass if he has to.
  • Cats taste and lick their food while dogs typically gulp it down. Texture is very important to cats. Dogs, not as much.
  • Cats need more protein than dogs do in their food. This is because they are incapable of obtaining certain components from anything other than animal protein. For example, dogs can convert Vitamin A from beta-carotene, whereas cats must get Vitamin A from meat.

catvsdogdog.jpgSome argue that the dog is an omnivore, like we humans are. Scientifically, the digestive tracts of dogs have NOT changed from their ancestors, the gray wolf. Dogs can eat plants but do best on the diet they were designed for, meat and bone. Grains have never been part of the canines instinctive diet. Yes, dogs are seen scavengering for berries, fruits and grasses occasionally but not enough to change their classification to omnivore.

Why then, is the typical cat and dog food full of the carbohydrates - corn, rice and wheat? It's simple. Without the starch produced by the grains, kibble would not be able to hold together. Grains are not bad in their whole form; they are just not very digestable for animals unless soaked in water or cooked. Many grains are high in plant protein. They can readily (and inexpensively) boost the overall protein level to meet percentage requirements. A label can read high in protein on the Guaranteed Analysis, yet contain very little that is bioavailable due to heat processing and sourcing. It is a fact that dogs and cats utilize animal protein much more efficiently than plant protein.    

When it comes to commercial pet food products, the safest thing to do is feed dog food to dogs and cat food to cats. Manufacturers and scientists are still discovering new facts about pet nutrition, but they are aware that cats have different nutritional requirements than dogs. Feline specific formulas generally will reflect this.

For those pet owners who wish to go ‘against the grain' and feed their cats and dogs as nature intended, unprocessed raw or lightly cooked home prepared meat meals in variety is the perfect solution. Read more about home prepared meals.

Against The Grain Pet Nutrition is a company that does things differently. We are a small business that is excited about offering pet owners better choices in pet nutrition. We believe that choosing appropriate pet food (be it commercial, raw or home prepared) is the most important factor in any pet's preventative health, convalescence and longevity.  Our name - Against The Grain - reflects our strong passion to provide pet owners with the knowledge to make healthy decisions about pet care even if we go ‘against the grain' of popular thinking.

To contact us:
1024 County Road 109
Montevallo, AL 35115

Phone: 205-665-9026
Fax: 205-665-5683
[email protected]