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Vegan diet? - Page 3

post #61 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jisincla View Post
The original question asked if anyone has actually tried it. I have. For ten years my cats have been on VegeCat vegan formulas. For 14 years before that I fed an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet.

Results: The first cat, who was ovo-lacto from weaning at 7 weeks until she was 14 years old, then went vegan, lived almost 17 years and died from complications of thyroid disease, which is not known to be caused by inadequate diets.
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As a raw feeder who has done a lot of research on cat nutrition I find this *very* interesting. Given the period of time you have been using this diet I would think any nutritional deficiencies would be obvious by now. I took a quick look at the VegeCat website and they clearly understand what needs to be done in order to make a vegetarian diet work for an obligate carnivore. I do have a couple of questions but don't have time right now.

Please don't go away. I'll try to post again soon.

BTW - I recently read in an authoritative source that thyroid problems in cats can be caused by nutritional deficiencies. I think I can find that info and post it. Of course lots of cats have thyroid problems when they've eaten a conventional diet their whole lives.
post #62 of 75
Clearly all pet cats have no choice about what they eat. It's whatever arrives in their food bowls, provided by their "staff."

I'm curious - why do you want your cats on a vegan diet?

People might become vegetarian or vegan for several reasons - ethical / moral choices, health, religion (Buddhist) or a combination of these matters.

Cats are healthy on a meat-based diet, are not Buddhist, have few if any scruples about eating meat.

Just curious why you are making this choice for your cats.
post #63 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jisincla View Post
That is true, and I have done enough research to be satisfied that the animal nutrition experts who developed their diet are qualified to do so, and the veterinarians who monitor their health would tell me if they had any diet-related problems. I have always made a point of informing my cats' veterinarians about the diet I'm feeding, and asking the vets to check carefully for any sign of nutritional deficiencies.
Empirical evidence means that you have taken a random sample of cats who have a similar characteristics - healthwise, gene-wise, etc. You cannot simply conclude that you have dispelled a theory which has been tested by qualified scientists over many years because you have fed a few cats of your own a vegan diet. Sure, your cats may have lived 14 years but this could be due to luck, genes or whatever. Genetics, in my opinion, play a huge role in a being's health. Just think of people who can eat anything, junky, fatty, whatever and they never get sick or gain weight. So unless you can control for genes and other factors, you cannot claim your cats have provided empirical evidence. Evidence perhaps of the circumstantial kind or personal kind but not empirical.

While it's good to inform your vet about what food you're feeding, how much do they really know about nutrition? Granted, the up and coming vets are more informed but in general, vets learn about nutrition from Hills or whatever other company that sponsors their courses. Ultimately, they know it's their clients' decision about what to feed their pets and if they know your personal beliefs, are they really going to challenge you? Would you change the diet if your vet said to feed all meat? Possibly yes but it is also plausible that your vets may not want to offend you.

You just have to look at wild cats and see what they eat. They eat meat. They have not evolved much so even historically, they ate meat. Nothing empirical about that.
post #64 of 75
I just remembered something. A few years ago I was looking up something unrelated and came across a vegan forum where in one section about pets, a lot of people were discussing their problems with vegan diets for cats not being UTI friendly. Most of them had to supplement to keep the urine pH correct and prevent crystals.
I'm curious what the take is from vegans who have their vets suggest a prescription diet (which is the same as medicine) to prevent crystals yet ignore that vet advice? Many on that forum did just that, too.
Is a vegan diet for a cat that had reoccurring crystals still "ethical" when it's causing harm and could potentially cause death?

(The main cat, was one that the person started the thread about. It was recovering from it's third bout of crystals/blockage as the owner tried to get the supplement dosages right. I wish I could remember the name of the forum - but all I remember is the posts and the horrible yellow and brownish forum colors.)
post #65 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetPea24 View Post
Empirical evidence means that you have taken a random sample of cats who have a similar characteristics - healthwise, gene-wise, etc. You cannot simply conclude that you have dispelled a theory which has been tested by qualified scientists over many years because you have fed a few cats of your own a vegan diet.
Can you provide us with something that describes what "tested" theroy you are referring to and who the "qualified scientists" were who conducted the tests??? I'm curious because I have never heard of such tests being conducted and would be very intrested in what they did and what the rsults were.
post #66 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I just remembered something. A few years ago I was looking up something unrelated and came across a vegan forum where in one section about pets, a lot of people were discussing their problems with vegan diets for cats not being UTI friendly. Most of them had to supplement to keep the urine pH correct and prevent crystals.
I'm curious what the take is from vegans who have their vets suggest a prescription diet (which is the same as medicine) to prevent crystals yet ignore that vet advice? Many on that forum did just that, too.
Is a vegan diet for a cat that had reoccurring crystals still "ethical" when it's causing harm and could potentially cause death?

(The main cat, was one that the person started the thread about. It was recovering from it's third bout of crystals/blockage as the owner tried to get the supplement dosages right. I wish I could remember the name of the forum - but all I remember is the posts and the horrible yellow and brownish forum colors.)
Looking at the VegeCat website that appears to be a recognized potential problem. They have a version of their supplement that contains an acidifier. Just like what some RX foods contain for the same reason.
post #67 of 75
It was an iodine deficientcy that a study *inconclusively* suggested *might* cause hyperthyrodism.

The source:

Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats
Animal Nutrition Series
National Research Council of the National Academies

FYI - "Lite", iodized salt is added to the raw recipe I use in order to provide iodine. I'm not suggesting you need to add it to your reciped. This is jusst an FYI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
BTW - I recently read in an authoritative source that thyroid problems in cats can be caused by nutritional deficiencies. I think I can find that info and post it. Of course lots of cats have thyroid problems when they've eaten a conventional diet their whole lives.
post #68 of 75
Dogs are Carnivores and thrive on a 100% meat based diet with bones and organs. Same with cats. Humans can be vegetarian but should not push their belief onto a dog or cat.

There is a cat that comes into my friends office. This cat has liver, heart, kidney and eye issues. Its only 3 years old. It is missing ALL but one of its teeth. Why? The owner feeds this cat nothing but vegatarian foods. It is not safe for dogs or cats. Just because some dogs live on this type of diet doesnt mean they are thriving.
post #69 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe16 View Post
Dogs are Carnivores and thrive on a 100% meat based diet with bones and organs. Same with cats. Humans can be vegetarian but should not push their belief onto a dog or cat.
Why not? *If* (big "if" here) it meets all the cats nutritional needs why not feed a vegetarian diet? You wouldn't be trying to push *your* beliefs onto a dog or cat would you?

Quote:
There is a cat that comes into my friends office. This cat has liver, heart, kidney and eye issues. Its only 3 years old. It is missing ALL but one of its teeth. Why? The owner feeds this cat nothing but vegatarian foods. It is not safe for dogs or cats. Just because some dogs live on this type of diet doesnt mean they are thriving.
That proves that it is possible to feed a vegetarian diet that a cat will not thrive on. It does not prove that it isn't possible to feed a vegetarian diet that a cat *will* thrive on.
post #70 of 75
For those who "Cats are carnivores and feeding them a vegetarian diet just ain't right" is the main issue then fine, don't feed your cat a vegetarian diet.

As far as I am concerned the only issue with feeding a vegetarian diet has solely to do with the well being of the cat. There are specific reasons why a vegetarian diet is considered ill advised for a cat. The biggie that always comes to my mind is the essential fatty acid arachidonic acid. Cats require it in free form. Tthey can't derive it from linoleate as dogs and humans can.

I've always read that arachidonic acid only exists in free form in animal tissue. The VegeCat website contends that it can be extracted from Ascophyllum Nodosum (a brown algae). *If* this is true and if it is true that the recipes they provide meet the other AAFCO nutrient requirements as they also claim, it seems to me that their product may well be a viable option for people who want to feed a vegetarian diet to their cats.

Edit - I had forgotten. I've read that taurine is only found in animal tissues also. The VegeCat supplement ingredients list shows taurine but they also say the ingredients are solely from non-animal sources. So where is the taurine coming from???
post #71 of 75
Seems like it´s very possible for cats to live a healthy life on vegetarian or vegan food. But why don´t more producers recognize this as it is cheaper than meat? Of course there is not alot of meat in many of the dry foods available anyway.
post #72 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Edit - I had forgotten. I've read that taurine is only found in animal tissues also. The VegeCat supplement ingredients list shows taurine but they also say the ingredients are solely from non-animal sources. So where is the taurine coming from???

Maybe it´s synthetic.
post #73 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogis View Post
Maybe it´s synthetic.
I did some more research and found it can be extracted from a plant source. That both taurine and arachidonic acid can be extracted from plant sources has been known for several years. I wonder why so many current references still say they are only found in animal tissues?
post #74 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogis View Post
Seems like it´s very possible for cats to live a healthy life on vegetarian or vegan food. But why don´t more producers recognize this as it is cheaper than meat?
Poor acceptance by the public might be one reason. I wonder if it isn't a lot more expensive also. It seems to me that obtaining some of the needed nutrients from plant sources might require very large quantities of plant material. The plant sources for taurine and arachidonic acid only contain very small amounts of those nutrients so they would have to harvest a heck of a lot of the plants to supply the entire pet food industry.

I'm still not totally sold on the idea of a vegetarian diet for cats. Cats have evolved to metabolize animal tissue to get the nutrients they need. Metabolizing plant sources to get those nutrients is quite a different process. Maybe they can do it just fine. Maybe they *almost* can and so seem to thrive for the most part but maybe there is still some little something missing even when a supplement like VegeCat is used.

Quote:
Of course there is not alot of meat in many of the dry foods available anyway.
Yeah, I almost posted that what most people feed their cats is probably a lot closer to "vegetarian" than they realize. Thought it probaby wouldn't go over very well though.
post #75 of 75
Quote[ I wish I could remember the name of the forum - but all I remember is the posts and the horrible yellow and brownish forum colors.)[/quote]

Could it have been the Post Punk Kitchen? I think it used to be very brownish (?), but looking at the site right now, they seemed to have changed their palette to white and orange.
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