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Vegetarian/Vegan diets for cats?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
What standpoint does Animal Control, in general, take regarding people/associations who stick to vegetarian/vegan diets for cats? Is such a thing a cause for intervention?
post #2 of 19
There are no legal repercussions that I am aware of. I have several friends with PeTA whose pets are on veg diets and the animals all appear healthy and alert.
post #3 of 19


I thought it was very dangerous for cats to be on a vegetarian diet.
post #4 of 19
If you look at many commercial cat kibbles -- at the ingredient lists -- they are high in vegetable matter (corn, rice, other grains and sometimes beet or other vegetables). Personally, I would never feed a cat a vegetarian diet, and my pets don't eat kibble or stuff with a lot of non-meat ingredients.

Some cats do okay on lots of grains and veggies -- I just think it is sad that they COULD do so much better on a more appropriate diet. I know that there's a perceptible improvement in my cats since I began feeding them according to their short intestinal tracts, and carnivore jaw structure. I also know that with fosters that I've been associated with rescuing, those cats avoid illness much more readily, and recover more quickly from URIs or minor injuries or illness, when they get LESS corn, rice, food coloring and preservative in their diet.

I'm happily vegetarian, and yes, it does sometimes disturb me to realize that I made a committment to care for these animals that require meat to live normally. But that does not mean that I feel the need to "convert" them to eating my diet! I'm convinced by all I have read, that dogs and people can be vegetarians, but cats in my house will not be required to become dogs or people!
post #5 of 19
The first link is the American Animal Hospital Association's Healthy Pet website, the second is the UK Vegetarian Society - both say that cats shouldn't be feed an exclusively vegetarian diet.

http://www.healthypet.com/Library/pet_nutrition-3.html
http://www.vegsoc.org/info/catfood.html
post #6 of 19
Cats are one of the most strictly carnivorous mammals. In nature, they eat nothing but meat. They need meat,and I can't imagine why anyone would want to feed them a vegetarian diet.
post #7 of 19
In most jurisdictions, I think there is provision for action when someone deprives an animal of wholesome nutrition. Depriving a carnivore of animal protein, something essential to its health over time, might be worth considering, at least, as a point for raising with an owner.

Linda
post #8 of 19
i think it is wrong to feed your cat on a vegetarian diet, if you are a vegi, that is fair enough, but cats are meat eaters, it is natural for them to eat meat and they need it, so i rekon you should have a think about that
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by linda_of_pgff
In most jurisdictions, I think there is provision for action when someone deprives an animal of wholesome nutrition. Depriving a carnivore of animal protein, something essential to its health over time, might be worth considering, at least, as a point for raising with an owner.

Linda
The reason I'm asking is that one German no-kill animal shelter (north of here) has already been feeding the dogs vegetarian diets for about three years, and is once again attempting to switch the cats over. When I contacted the German equivalent of the national humane society, I got a form letter saying they "supported the efforts of the shelter to promote healthy diets"!!!!
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kumpf
There are no legal repercussions that I am aware of. I have several friends with PeTA whose pets are on veg diets and the animals all appear healthy and alert.
Thanks Mark!

You guys, he answered your question. He's the expert.
post #11 of 19
Hypothetical here...

If it could be shown that vegetarian diets were not nutritionally sound for a cat, would this then become a citable offense?

Spotz
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinceneilsgirl
Thanks Mark!

You guys, he answered your question. He's the expert.
Hi,

He is an expert on animal control enforcement, perhaps. Mr. Kumpf is a nice guy, but he is not necessarily an expert on nutriton for dogs, cats, or any other species. My own views on this rely on a number of published books, the opinion of a biochemist and several veterinarians.

Different species DO have different nutritional needs; they fill different ecological niches.

With all due respect, I'd rather see citations than opinions.

Here is some authoritative information for your consideration:


The Vegetarian Society UK

http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/repo...e-of-diet.html
The Winn Feline Foundation -

and there are others, but these are good for a start -- note that the first is from a source that might be expected to promote vegetarian cats if there were good basis for doing so, in particular!
post #13 of 19
[quote=linda_of_pgff]

<<I'm happily vegetarian, and yes, it does sometimes disturb me to realize that I made a committment to care for these animals that require meat to live normally. But that does not mean that I feel the need to "convert" them to eating my diet! I'm convinced by all I have read, that dogs and people can be vegetarians, but cats in my house will not be required to become dogs or people!>>

Hi Linda,

I totally agree. I'm been a vegerarian and now vegan almost my entire life.
I don't like feeding my cats meat but I'm not going to take a chance on their health.

Ellen
Waldorf
post #14 of 19
I'll have to go along with the cat being a carnivore argument. I live on a farm and whenever my cats return from a hunt, they always present their alpha cat (me) with the fruits of their hunt. I have received mice, rabbits, snakes, crawfish, and birds; but I have never received any uprooted plants. There's a lesson to be learned there.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by linda_of_pgff
Hi,

He is an expert on animal control enforcement, perhaps. Mr. Kumpf is a nice guy, but he is not necessarily an expert on nutriton for dogs, cats, or any other species. My own views on this rely on a number of published books, the opinion of a biochemist and several veterinarians.

Different species DO have different nutritional needs; they fill different ecological niches.

With all due respect, I'd rather see citations than opinions.

Here is some authoritative information for your consideration:


The Vegetarian Society UK

http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/repo...e-of-diet.html
The Winn Feline Foundation -

and there are others, but these are good for a start -- note that the first is from a source that might be expected to promote vegetarian cats if there were good basis for doing so, in particular!
That's all fine and dandy but you seem to be forgetting that the question Jcat asked was; "What standpoint does Animal Control, in general, take regarding people/associations who stick to vegetarian/vegan diets for cats? Is such a thing a cause for intervention?" She didn't ask anything about nutrition.

I have never understood people who ask an expert on a subject a question and then if they don't like the answer try to act like that wasn't what they asked. Odd.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinceneilsgirl
That's all fine and dandy but you seem to be forgetting that the question Jcat asked was; "What standpoint does Animal Control, in general, take regarding people/associations who stick to vegetarian/vegan diets for cats? Is such a thing a cause for intervention?" She didn't ask anything about nutrition.

I have never understood people who ask an expert on a subject a question and then if they don't like the answer try to act like that wasn't what they asked. Odd.
Honestly...

I think Mark answered the question as well as he can.

He did talk about nutrition, but AC has to have a reason to believe that an animal is malnourished before they can act. There is always a burden of proof in any law enforcement occupation.

If the dietary needs of a cat were so black and white, then there wouldn't be 40+ different brands/types of feed for these animals. Scientifically cats evolved to naturally feed on a Carnivorous Diet. Vegan diets, grocery store diets, premium diets, etc...all can be used to provide a sufficient level of nutrition for the feline to live a long life, but there is still no scientific evidence to suggest that any SPECIES does better on a diet formulated contrary to their natural diet.

Unless Animal Control has proof to the contrary, if the animal appears healthy and properly cared for, then there is not much that they can do.

I don't think anyone here is trying to undermine Mark, or otherwise discredit him. A question was asked, and a question answered...Thanks Mark!

Spotz

PS If we want to discuss the merits of Vegan vs Carnivore diet, then I would suggest we take it to the proper forum.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spotz
Vegan diets, grocery store diets, premium diets, etc...all can be used to provide a sufficient level of nutrition for the feline to live a long life, but there is still no scientific evidence to suggest that any SPECIES does better on a diet formulated contrary to their natural diet.

Actually, the scientific evidence does prove that humans do better on a vegan diet. But yes, it would be wise to move this to a different forum if we're going to get into that type of discussion.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinceneilsgirl
Actually, the scientific evidence does prove that humans do better on a vegan diet. But yes, it would be wise to move this to a different forum if we're going to get into that type of discussion.
Would you say that a human's natural diet is Vegan? If so, then I believe I accurately stated the truth. I know Kumbulu started an offshoot thread for the discussion of feline diets in IMO. So I will be posting there from here on out.

Spotz
post #19 of 19
Since cats are natural meet eaters i wouldn't feed them only veggies. How do you get a cat to eat it's vegitables anyway???? I can't get my kitten to eat anything but cat food and tune!!
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