Can cats eat dog treats?
If you’ve ever asked yourself “can cats eat dog treats?”, you’ve come to the right place! As a pet company that makes both dog and cat treats, we often have customers asking if it’s safe for cats to eat our dog treats (who can blame them… your kitty just wants to be a part of treat time).
With the variety of dog treats out there from raw bones, jerky, soft baked biscuits, CBD/calming chews, and more, what’s safe for your cats to eat? Are there harmful ingredients in dog treats for cats? How much is too much? Should cats only eat cat treats?
What’s the difference between cat and dog treats?
Firstly, dog treats and cat treats are specifically formulated for each pet, not both.
Cats are naturally carnivores, so they tend to be meat-centric and require a lot of protein in their diet. On the other hand, a dog’s diet typically includes more than just a meaty protein, like grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Take our treats for example. Our Catnip N Chill Cat Treat was specifically designed for a cat’s palatability. Meat is the number one ingredient, and it has the catto’s favorite ingredient: catnip. The crunchy shape of these are also great for removing plaque in cat’s teeth. While you could find another chicken-forward flavor, like Chick’n Colada Dog Jerky or Clucken Carrots Soft Baked Biscuit, these treats were made with our pups in mind, making sure the ingredients included vegetables and fruits for a more balanced, nutritional treat that appealed to our dogs.
Just because your cat doesn’t need other food groups in their diet, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad for them. After all, treats are meant to be a fun reward, or a just-because-they’re-so-cute snack. Our treats are not meant to be a full diet that they can or should rely on, and our dog and cat treats differ in the amount of protein, vitamins, and calories.
What to avoid
Though most dog treats shouldn’t pose a threat for your cats, some treats can include small amounts of ingredients that are safe for your dogs, but may be toxic for cats. These ingredients are propylene glycol, ethylene glycol, onion, and garlic.
The good news is, you can find great brands (like us, because we’re shameless) who use safe ingredients for both our pups and cats. If Shameless Pets is a household staple, rest assured your kitty will be safe if s/he decides to steal some of its dog sibling’s Shameless Pets treats!
Can cats eat dog jerky, or soft biscuit treats?
Shameless Pets’ jerky bites, soft baked biscuits, calming chews, and dental sticks are all safe for your cat, if consumed. Though we recommend sticking to our cat treat line for your cat, it’s okay if they sneak in a treat or two from your pup’s treat bag.
Outside of our treats, soft treats and biscuits may be appropriate, only if they don't contain any toxic ingredients mentioned above. A softer texture can be caused by increased moisture, which might mean the addition of propylene glycol.
Recap: Can Cats Eat Dog Treats?
In conclusion, most dog treats are likely safe for your cats to eat, though it’s not recommended that you completely switch them to dog treats permanently. It’s important you consider the amount of meaty proteins that your cats are able to get, even in their treats! We recommend talking to your veterinarian about the ingredients in the dog treats before feeding them to your cat.