Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Important difference between cats and dogs
Dogs are omnivores, which means they are physically able to et and digest many types of food. There are many philosophical discussions about what dogs should eat, but their being omnivores regards their physical abilities to digest food. A dog can digest carbohydrates, and survive on plant based foods if need be.
Cats are carnivores. That doesn't mean that they like to eat meat - it means they cannot live without eating meat.
There are several vitamins and amino acids that cats can't produce on their own - they have to get them from someone who already converted these substances. This is one of the reasons carnivores don't normally eat other carnivores: they can't survive without eating animals who live off plants.
For a pet owner, this means that dogs can eat cat food, but cats should not eat dog food.
As an example, dogs have the ability to break down organic pigments from plants called carotenoids and convert them into active Vitamin A. Cats have to get Vitamin A already converted by some other animal.
Arginine is another good example. This is a building block for proteins that cats need to get with every meal. A dog can produce an enzyme that helps the body produce Arginine, but a cat cannot.
There are more examples of substances cats must get through their food, such as taurine, niacin and arachidonic acid.
~ Maria Sadowski ~