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Can My Cat Eat A Vegan Diet?

Updated on January 31, 2016
This cat is terribly sad because you refuse to let it eat meat.  Cats are not vegans.  They need meat in their diet to maintain proper health.
This cat is terribly sad because you refuse to let it eat meat. Cats are not vegans. They need meat in their diet to maintain proper health.

The Hot New Trend

A newer trend among the hipster set to make their pets vegans seems to be picking up steam on the interwebs. Vegan cats, I am guessing, exist somewhere on some planet far away that no one has ever seen. It's like an urban legend. Like.... so and so's mom's uncle's brother's landlord's mom has a vegan cat that she only feeds vegetables and plant based proteins.

There is alot of anecdotal evidence that leads us to believe that people out there feed there pets a vegan only diet

...but there are also tons of stories on the internet (some may say anecdotal evidence) about lizard people living underground and controlling the government.

...and we all know those people are little "different."

So that being said, who can you trust in this situation?

In this hub I will be pulling information from experts on the topic to plead my case against vegan cat diets. Not those phony experts that are trying to sell you a pet supplement or some strange vegan food that is over priced. No! I looked for information from actual experts (veternarians and biologists) to support my argument.

Your Cat is Not Vegan!

Would you feed your cat a vegan diet?

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Why Cats Are Not Vegan

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they are dependent upon animal protein and the nutrients it provides. Feeding your cat an exclusively plant based diet can be detrimental for the long term health of your cat.

Let me take a moment to clear up the difference between vegetarian and vegan. The American Veterinary Medical Association, while it does not endorse a vegetarian cat diet, it acknowledges that some people will choose to feed there cats a vegetarian diet and that practitioners need to take the time to make sure the cat is doing okay on this diet by measuring different nutrients and metabolites in the blood and stool. This is not a vegan diet though. A vegan diet is different.

Vegans don't eat animal products at all. That mean no eggs, fish. or dairy. No animal protein in any shape or form. This is impossible for a cat to maintain a diet like this more a long period of time.

Many mammals are not obligate carnivores. That is why humans, with care and consideration to diet needs, can maintain a vegan lifestyle. It takes a lot of food and lot of different kinds of food. We are not obligated to eat meat. Cats kinda are. It's part of their genetics and their evolution.

Cats Love To Hunt


How A Vegan Lifestyle Can Kill Your Cat

Some quotes from real veterinarians...

“Trying to feed a cat a vegan diet would be like me feeding my horses meat. You’re taking a whole species of animal and trying to force it to eat something that it isn’t designed to handle.”

  • Lew Olson, PhD, author of Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs,

“For cats, it’s really inappropriate. It goes against their physiology and isn’t something I would recommend at all."

  • Cailin Heinze, VMD, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist

Cats cannot handle plant protein in the same ways we as humans do. There digestive systems are not built for it. Some side effects of a plant based diet include undernourishment, urine crystals, weird behaviors,

Cats do not create their own vitamin D. They need it from meat. There are two different types. There is a Vitamin D found in plant based food and one found in meat. Guess which one your precious kitten needs to get the vitamin in their system. Yep, your right. The one that is found in meat.

Cats cannot make their own taurine like other mammals. This amino acid is an essential building block in protein creations. Guess where your cat gets this essential nutrient. Yep, you are right again. They get this amino acid from meat.

Nutrient deficiencies and kidney failure are real problems you could be facing if you feed your cat a vegan diet.

Don't Believe Me, See For Yourself...

In Conclusion

Your kitty needs meat to be happy and live. There are ways to make sure this meat is free from cruelty and not factory farmed. There are ways to make sure your cat food is humane but it is impossible to feed your cat a vegan diet.

If you would like an animal that can go vegan, look into a dog or a bird. Do not try to manipulate evolution, it's not fair to the poor cat you are going to subject to torture because of your personal beliefs. Trust me, you kitten loves to hunt and eat meat. It's part of their soul. They do not have the same hangups about it that you do.


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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 6 months ago from USA

      I'm on a Vegan for a Month Challenge myself right now, and I'd never, ever try to make my cats go vegan. They're obligate carnivores and need taurine, as you point out.