In the event you are a cat lover (like us!), you understand just how essential it’s to offer our kitties the perfect possible life. But in the event you are also attempting to live a sustainable, eco-friendly and even vegan lifestyle you may have wondered – can I feed plant-based food to my cat?
Vegan cat food is an excellent complex subject with a number of differing opinions. This could make it hard to seek out the fitting option for you and your furry friend through all of the noise.
So we’re going to interrupt down the professionals and cons, and answer your common questions. Here’s a lowdown of what we’ll be covering:
- Veganism & cat owners
- The moral maze of vegan cats!
- The 5 reasons owners might desire a vegan weight loss plan for his or her pet
- Is vegan cat food protected?
- Cats are obligate carnivores, which suggests they’re designed to eat animal proteins
- For this reason cats don’t produce their very own taurine, a necessary amino acid found only in meat
- Supplements to supply all of the nutrients our kitties need on a plant-based weight loss plan
- What does the science say?
- The professionals and cons of a vegan weight loss plan for cats, in line with the present research
- Are you able to get vegan cat food?
- Vegan cat food is a possibility with the present advancements in nutrition and supplementation
- The right way to transition your cat to a vegan weight loss plan safely
But first, let’s get a little bit of background on the recent topic at hand…
Veganism & Cat Ownership
“Veganism is a philosophy and way of life which seeks to exclude…all types of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or some other purpose…In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dishing out with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
The Vegan Society
As we will see from the above definition, veganism is a life-style that’s centered on minimizing and eradicating the suffering of animals.
While there’s loads of debate across the topic of pet ownership and veganism, many vegan owners decide to still keep pets for just a few essential reasons:
- Caring for animals – Many vegans make the purpose that the overlap between loving animals and caring for one isn’t a tough gap to cross.
- Mental Health – For many homeowners, animals have an excellent essential therapeutic effect on their lives – young and old alike! Our kitties have been helping children with learning, and in addition bringing comfort to the terminally-ill as therapy cats.
- Animal Welfare – There’s loads of kitties on the market, rescues and newborns alike, that need loving homes. By giving them a sort home, a vegan owner continues to be reducing any possible suffering.
As you, our wonderful readers, prove – so a lot of us want our fluffy friends to have the perfect life they possibly can. We try to offer them a loving home, loads of enrichment, and a caring family (ie – us humans!). For a lot of vegans, this aligns with their reason for selecting a vegan lifestyle in the primary place.
But with regards to what to feed their feline friend, many vegans, vegetarians or sustainably-minded owners get a bit stumped!
Cats eat meat – that’s a fact right? But…
Why Might Owners Need to Remove Meat From Their Cat’s Food plan?
A plant-based weight loss plan is appealing to some cat owners for a bunch of reasons, including:
- Lifestyle – For owners who live a vegan lifestyle, which means excluding any animal derived products from their life and residential. Including meaty pet food!
- Aversion – Some vegetarian or vegan owners find meat hard to the touch, smell and handle.
- Animal Ethics – Some vegan owners consider that there’s a double standard between the best way society treats cattle and pets. They subsequently don’t want to feed their pets these commercially produced processed meats.
- Environment – Many vegans decide to stop eating meat as a result of its impact on the environment; due to the land, energy and water it uses. Reducing a pet’s meat intake is one other method to combat climate change on a private level.
- Health Advantages – With the rise in popularity in plant based/raw/vegan diets, owners will want to spread the health advantages they’ve experienced to their pets.
This last point is a well-liked one – and is the one which causes probably the most debate…
Can a cat survive on a vegan weight loss plan? While the advantages of a plant-based weight loss plan have been studied in humans…what about its effect on our furry friends?
Is It Protected for My Cat to Eat a Plant Based Food plan?
The fundamental causes for concern for plant-based cats are:
- Cats are obligate carnivores
- Dietary deficiencies – especially taurine levels
- These are animals whose weight loss plan is defined by eating “prey containing only minimal amounts of carbohydrates.”
- As our domestic kitties are descendants of untamed cats, who fall under this category, veterinarians agree that our cats are biologically designed to eat meat – and never much else!
- Meat has high levels of the essential nutrient taurine, a necessary amino acid found only in animal protein.
- Over their evolution, and regular weight loss plan of meaty things, feline bodies began to expect taurine often, and sooner or later now not produce it on their very own.
- We humans could make our own, but our kitties can’t. For this reason, cats must devour taurine on a consistent basis to remain healthy.
- Without enough taurine, cats can suffer from severe health complications, reminiscent of heart problems, blindness and gastro issues. It’s also essential to assist kittens grow properly within the womb, and once they’re out too.
Is a Vegetarian or Vegan Food plan Even Possible for Cats?
Pet food has come a good distance in recent times, right? With human grade, homemade and even raw food options being available for owners with different needs. Do these advancements in animal nutrition mean that a vegan weight loss plan is healthy for our cats?
Prepare to hit your brain’s “power boost” button, because we’re about to hit the science section! 🙂
Vegan Cat Food Study Roundup:
If deficient in nutrients, a vegetarian or vegan weight loss plan may cause health issues – This 1992 study confirmed that a poorly managed vegetarian or vegan weight loss plan may cause health problems for cats.
Vegan pet food brands could also be deficient in nutrients – A 2020 study analyzed 4 vegan pet foods & found them to be inaccurate on their reported dietary profiles. The researchers didn’t recommend using vegan brands, and encouraged manufacturers to be more accurate.
Vegan diets are possible, but folic acid could also be low – A 2014 study examined indoor cats who had been on a vegan weight loss plan for at the least 6 months. No abnormalities were detected that were related to weight loss plan, apart from lower folic acid levels.
Feeding an unconventional weight loss plan would require supplements – A 2017 review suggested that vegetarian (and vegan) feline diets have to be supplemented with six key nutrients, which suggests that feeding a veggie-based weight loss plan requires special attention and additional time.
Vegan diets can provide enough taurine – In a 2006 study 34 vegetarian (mostly vegan) cats were compared with 52 cats on meat-based diets. They found no difference in reported health, condition or behavior. Taurine levels were also similar between the 2 groups.
Owners with vegan cats see them as healthy – A 2021 questionnaire found that owners viewed their cats to be healthy and comfortable when feeding a plant-based weight loss plan. Additionally they found no reported differences in lifespan between meat-eating and plant-based cats.
Vegan diets are palatable for cats – One other 2021 questionnaire found that owners reported vegan pet foods are generally as palatable to cats as conventional meat or raw meat diets. In that way, even for fussy eaters, a vegan weight loss plan doesn’t appear to upset their relationship with food or behavioral welfare long run.
So What’s the Right Decision?
With out a fully conclusive answer from science, your best bet? Follow whatever feels best for you and your kitty!
While a standard meat-based weight loss plan is likely to be the safest & easiest option for you and your fur-pal, vegan diets have gotten more researched and more understood day by day.
Andrew Knight, a professor of Animal Welfare in England, writes:
“Cats, dogs, and indeed all species, have requirements for specific dietary nutrients, not ingredients…There is no such thing as a scientific reason why a weight loss plan comprised only of plant, mineral, and synthetically-based ingredients can’t be formulated to fulfill the entire palatability, dietary, and bioavailability needs of the species for which they’re intended.”
Suggestions for Transitioning Your Cat to a Vegan Food plan
Excited about transitioning your feline friend to a vegan weight loss plan? It’s smart to concentrate on the next top suggestions from Professor Knight:
- Seek the advice of along with your vet – While they will not be super supportive, they could at the least help to offer you the important thing nutrients to concentrate on when searching for business vegan food. They can even help monitor your cat’s condition, bloodwork, urinalysis and overall health.
- Double your check ups – Kitties on an unconventional weight loss plan must have twice yearly checkups as a substitute of 1.
- Do some serious research – We all know most of our community have an interest of their cat’s nutrition, but for vegetarian or vegan brands be sure you double down in your label checking. Why not contact the manufacturers to get them to prove to you the dietary soundness and consistency of their feeds?
- Go slow – In the event you are going to alter your cat’s weight loss plan, start slow and step by step phase in latest feeding regimes. Monitor them steadily too, and possibly book in just a few checkups over the months of your transition to be double sure.
- Complement – Your vet can guide you on supplementing your cat’s plant based weight loss plan, some prefer to add a multivitamin that comprises that every one essential taurine.
- Support – It may well be useful to seek out yourself a supportive facebook group to affix, or discover a vet that can take a non-judgemental approach.
Final Thoughts on Can Cats Be Vegan
Because the guardians of our furry friends, it’s as much as us to work out what’s best for them. And that may look different for everybody – whether it’s budget constraints, a medical condition, lifestyle selections, or personal preferences.
So long as your cats are comfortable, healthy and getting their snuggle quota – you’re doing an incredible job!
Plus, If a vegan weight loss plan isn’t something you wish to your cat, but you continue to want to seek out ways to be more sustainable, why not try these eco-friendly blog topics for some green reading?
We hope this text gives you all the data it is advisable to make the fitting dietary selections to your cat. We’d love to listen to your thoughts, and know if any of your kitties live a plant-based lifestyle?
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