Can Puppies Eat Cat Food?

Did you run out of puppy food? Did you see your puppy stealing cat food? Are you wondering if you can replace a meal or a treat with cat food?

You are at the perfect place and at the perfect time to search for the answer to the question that many puppy owners have especially if they have a cat too.

Can puppies eat cat food?

Keep reading and you will not get only the answer, but also you will find the knowledge about puppy nutrition you need to know.

You can check our article Can Dogs Eat Cat Food? for more detailed information and some extra advice.

Can Puppies Eat Cat Food? Is It Safe?

Although adult dogs may have some cat food from time to time, puppies shouldn’t eat cat food.

Cat food isn’t good for puppies.


Puppies don’t have developed a good gastrointestinal tract still which leads to a sensitive stomach. That’s why most puppy foods are exactly for sensitive stomachs. Every type of new food that is included in that stage of the lifespan of your dog will cause diarrhea, vomiting, and probably some stomach pain.

Puppy nutrition vs Cat Nutrition

The nutrition puppies need

Puppies are in their developing stage. They mustn’t eat adult and senior dog food. So, if they can’t eat some type of dog food, then they wouldn’t be fine with another type of food too, right?

Yes, puppies need more protein and fat than adult and senior dogs but that still isn’t a good reason to give cat food to your hungry puppy. As they grow fast they have the biggest need for a balanced diet. Dogs need different amounts of minerals and vitamins that cat food can’t give.

The nutrition cats need

The food of cats is richer in fat, protein, and calories. As carnivores need a meat-protein-based diet. Cat food doesn’t have the variety of veggies that dog food has.

It’s obvious that cats have a need for nutrients too but cat food and dog food aren’t comparable as the ingredients and macronutrients are too different.

Why Puppies Shouldn’t Eat Cat Food?

Puppies need an appropriate amount of nutrients to keep developing strong bones and immune system. Puppies need a lot of energy as that is the most active stage of their life. Yes, puppies need more calories, cat food will provide these calories but will not provide the needed amount of nutrients.

Another thing you should consider is that usually puppies have much more sensitive stomachs than dogs. You want to make your puppy enjoy their meals and not feel bad after them, right? Then don’t try to give them food that can’t provide them with what they need and it’s difficult to digest.

Another problem cat food can cause to your puppy is the easy weight gain that turns fast in overweight. Puppies are very active and burn a lot of calories during the day but they need a balanced diet, so they don’t get only calories from fat and protein but also good calories from veggies and fruits that are included in puppy food.

How to Keep My Puppy Away From Cat Food?

  1. Put the cat bowl in a high place that’s difficult to be reached from the puppy but of course easy for the cat.
  2. Make them eat in 2 separate rooms.

And there is a third option which is a Microchip Pet Feeder. The feeder has sensors that recognize when your pet approaches it.

What does that mean?

If you use this feeder for your cat, it will open only for your cat, it will not open and let your puppy eat cat food.


You can do this by programming your cat’s microchip and that’s super easy. All you need to do is to press a button and then this chip will be permanently stored. And this will not let the lid open to unauthorized pets. There is also a program to teach your cat how to use it properly.

What to Do If My Puppy Eats Cat Food?

If your puppy had stolen some bites of cat food from the bowl of your cat, then it’s fine. That little amount of food will not cause health problems for your puppy. It’s very possible for your doggo to have diarrhea or to vomit but that will get fine very soon so no need to worry. Of course, if it stays like that for more than 24 hours, then your puppy will need veterinarian help.

If you run out of puppy food and you can’t buy it right now, then you can replace one meal with cat food but be sure that change of food will cause some diarrhea and vomiting and maybe some abdominal discomfort. This all will get fine with the next meal when it should be the puppy food your puppy usually has.


Puppies shouldn’t be fed cat food as it’s not the balanced meal they need. As they are still little they need more energy to keep the fast-growing rate and to develop all systems and bones properly. The immune system needs to be strong as there are many changes during this life stage.

You can give puppies a few kibbles as a treat but that’s it, nothing more, as they can get diarrhea or vomiting.

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Desislava Asenova
Desislava Asenova

Desi is a dog-lover and proud parent to Daisy, her sweet and sassy Chihuahua. She's always been fascinated by the different diets and eating habits of different animals, and she's especially interested in how food affects a dog's overall health and happiness.

When she's not busy writing about dog food, Desi enjoys pampering Daisy with long walks and playtime in the park. She's also an avid home cook and loves coming up with new recipes for her and Daisy to try out together. She's excited to share her passion for dog food and help other pet owners find the best food for their fur babies.

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