TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › vegan cats
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

vegan cats

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
i've always been told is was potentially dangerous and wrong to make your cats go veggie or vegan but the vegan society is posting this advice

http://www.vegansociety.com/html/animals/care/cats/

i'm in no way thinking about changing my cats diet to meat free. i just wanted to see what people with more experience in health and nutrition felt about this.
post #2 of 16
Maverick, what you were told about it being "potentially dangerous and wrong to make your cats go veggie or vegan" is absolutely right!

Cats are obligate carnivores - they must eat meat. Their digestive systems are made to process meat, not large quantities of carbs. They require a high percentage of their diet to be protein, and the best source of that for felines is meat.

I feel so sorry for cats living with people who try to force an unnatural diet on them. I understand that vegetarians and vegans may be uncomfortable or repulsed by using meat products. I'm a vegetarian but I wouldn't consider for one second trying to make my cats eat what would be for them an alien diet simply because it makes ME happier or more comfortable. How selfish!!!
post #3 of 16
cats need meat. on an episode of animal rescue or animall 911(it's on the animal network) this lady didn't give her cats any animal products and it really messed up thier vision. I am not sure if they went blind ,but I remember seeing thier eyes were abnormal looking.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
thats exactly what i thought. cats are not humans and cannot make the same 'moral' choice not to eat meat and are not equipped to do so.

its worrying they can publish/promote this advice
post #5 of 16
It's taurine that they need. Offer your cat a live mouse, or a carrot, see which one she goes after? Pure vegan diets can be harmful for cats IF the owners are not supplementing what vegetables lack and meat has. But if the cats are being supplemented correctly, that is another story. Though I do feel for the cats not getting a satisfying meal in their day-
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
arent plant proteins harder to absorb though? i'd be worried thry wouldnt be getting enough nutrients on a veggie diet. though in their defence they do tell you to use vegecat taurine suppliment.
post #7 of 16
As a pet owner we have the responsibility to feed them for optimum health. It's been proven over and over again that cats digest and use animal tissue a lot better that vegetable matter. Feeding cats a vegetarian diet means supplementing with synthetic vitamins, minerals and amino acids and I don't believe in synthetic supplements, I think we might miss out on other important ingredients that we today don't know much about.

Cats are obligate carnivovors by nature, accept it or buy a rabbit instead. Animals aren't moral agents and shouldn't be forced to live an "ethical correct" life.

I'm a vegetarian but I wouldn't dream of feeding my cats veggie food. Quite the contrary, I feed my cats a raw diet based on organic meat. My ethics are applied on me only, I don't try to force it on others; people or other animals.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol
Cats are obligate carnivovors by nature, accept it or buy a rabbit instead. Animals aren't moral agents and shouldn't be forced to live an "ethical correct" life.
post #9 of 16
What a dangerous article imo! You've had some good replies on things I wanted to bring up i.e. that cats are obligate carnivores, they do not have the necessary enzymes in their liver to convert linoleic acid ( a component of flax seed oil) to a precursor of arachidonic acid, and that means that cats must have arachidonic acid in their diet. Cats can not utilize plant nutrients, can not convert them to what they need to obtain from meat sources. My understanding from a clip of an article I read on another list, is that "The only practical dietary source of arachidonate has been animal fats and tissues particularly fatty acids from membranes. This is one of the reasons why people should be discouraged from offering exclusively vegetarian diets to cats."

Second point - cats do NOT have a sweet tooth! click here and in the top 3-4 paragraphs is one that addresses this. Plus...many preimum canned cat foods use NO caramel for coloring, and have NO added sugars.
I was stunned to see this article recommend raisins as a treat for cats...they are poisonous for cats! A simple websearch will bring up that both grapes and raisins are not to be fed to cats.

Garlic...I don't care what used to be believed, the fact is there is no study that can show what is too much re garlic and cats, instead, it is acknowledged that the sensitivity of cats to garlic varies cat by cat; garlic and onions both contain a alkaloid disulfide compound that is toxic to red blood cells and can cause Heinz body anemia Period.

And finally, 'cause by then I'd seen enough, the recommendation to make up a spray with tea tree oil to spritz your animal with...Hissy can painfully tell you how dangerous tea tree oil is to cats, as well as a good web search will bring up other's experiences with this. It is NOT for use on cats.

I am it's fine to have a strong difference of opinion on how to best feed one's cat, and I understand more than many would know, the desire to live simply, eating organically, but this article is ignorant and it is dangerous, imho.
post #10 of 16
I'm really tempted to entitle that article, "How to harm your cat" - that's how irresponsible I find it. People and dogs are omnivores, but cats aren't. I came across a case where the head of a German animal shelter was trying to make all the dogs and cats accept a vegan diet, and found that the animal protection laws didn't cover such a contingency. The cats in the shelter under his control didn't cooperate, and I personally won't buy any food from a company that produces vegetarian/vegan cat food, including Yarrah, which is mentioned in the article.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I'm really tempted to entitle that article, "How to harm your cat" - that's how irresponsible I find it. People and dogs are omnivores, but cats aren't. I came across a case where the head of a German animal shelter was trying to make all the dogs and cats accept a vegan diet, and found that the animal protection laws didn't cover such a contingency. The cats in the shelter under his control didn't cooperate, and I personally won't buy any food from a company that produces vegetarian/vegan cat food, including Yarrah, which is mentioned in the article.
Why not: "How To Kill Your Cat In A More Sofisticated Way"?
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol

Cats are obligate carnivovors by nature, accept it or buy a rabbit instead. Animals aren't moral agents and shouldn't be forced to live an "ethical correct" life.

My ethics are applied on me only, I don't try to force it on others; people or other animals.

HEAR, HEAR!!!!!

Thank you for putting this so well!!
Cats are obligate carnivores . It is wrong and cruel and abusive to try to feed them a diet that is guaranteed to make them malnourished and to cause many other problems, not the least of which is blindness caused by insufficient proteins to the retina. Cats cannot process proteins from any sources other than meat. It just is not in their design! It is like trying to force a rabbit to eat nothing but beef and chicken! Would that make sense? Or giving a horse nothing but eggs to eat. Or.............
ok I will get off my soap box now.
But it makes me angry when people think that it is perfectly ok to mess with the natural and necessary diet that is healthy for an animal and which that species of animal has been eating for thousands or even millions of years. It is wrong to do that in my opinion.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
the irony is people think they are being kind to animals by depreiving their cats of meat when really the are seriously endangering thier cats health.

if your so morally against meat why own a carnivore?

grrrr! like jcat said in another thread, maybe there should be a nutritional clause under animal protection acts?
post #14 of 16
I had one friend whose family fed their dogs an all vegetarian diet and ended up needing to give away one of the dogs to another friend of mine. The woman who recieved the dog ended up giving her the option of eating the vegetarian food or regular Iams dog food. The dog actually picked the Iams out of the bowl and ate only that. She had been forced into a veggie diet for 13 years and as soon as she was offered meat-based food she never looked back. I was vegan for three years and vegetarian for seven. I can't even imagine asking my cats to eat that sort of diet. It isn't even remotely healthy or possible for them. I've met other vegans who said they actually hated cats and dogs because they refused to adhere to that diet. Several I knew took animals back to shelters for that reason. I'm with the person who said they should just adopt rabbits! Heck, when we had our rabbit we actually ate more leafy greens. She made us healthier!
post #15 of 16
Cat's are obligate carnivores that require the bulk of their diet to be meat. It is unhealthy and not natural for them to eat otherwise. They can't digest and metabolize large amounts of plant matter, and as such, it get's stored as fat. They do not use carbs for energy, like humans do. They use animal protein and fat. This is largely due to the fact that carnivores cannot break down the cellulose bonds found in plant matter. Only herbivores can, and that's because of the microorganisms in their guts. They break down the bonds, which then makes the food bio-available to the herbivore.

Due to more and more cats eating dry form food - which is largely plant based - we are seeing an over abundance of overweight cats. Canned food can also contain grains/plants, but because plant matter is almost required to make dry hard kibble, it's seen more in dry food. The only reason that plants were added to cat food initially was because the protein they provide is less expensive animal protein - not because it's better or even equal. Obesity can cause all sorts of health problems, most commonly diabetes. Just take a look at a cat's teeth. They are sharp and pointed - designed for cutting, slicing, tearing, and ripping. They have little to no molars, which are designed for grinding grains/plant products.

Vegan and vegetarian diets are perfectly acceptable for humans, because we are omnivores. We are biologically designed to get nutrients from both plant and meat based foods. It's a bit harder to find decent protein sources for a vegan, but it is possible. I know that vegan/veggies are trying to live a lifestyle that isn't contradictory, but to feed a feline diet that is not species appropriate is not going to help their cats. Another agruement is that they don't want to kill one animal to feed another because they believe they are all equal. I'm sorry, but that is life. One species eats another, which in turn is eaten by another. If the food chain did not exist, than there would be no life on earth. You cannot grow enough plants or grains to sustain all animal life on earth.

A feline fed vegan only may be healthy initially, but they will suffer ill health later in life. Just because they can survive on it, doesn't mean they thrive, or that it's healthy. Just look at sub-par commercial cat food that is laden with grains and plants.

*note* This is not an attack on vegetarianism or vegans in general. I have no problem with people adapting that lifestyle. I do have a problem with people pushing it onto their animals, though, because it's not species appropriate.
post #16 of 16
I have been veggie for around 7 years, and was exclusively vegan for about 18 months of that. I do it because I HAVE a choice; I can live healthfully eating just plants, legumes, grains and a small amount of dairy. I also can feel whether or not the diet is adequate, and I can talk to doctors and nutritionists about how to remedy my diet if there is someting wrong. I also know a couple things about how humans process food versus how cats do. A veggie diet can be safe for us, because we're capable of absorping the nutrients we need from just the aforementioned sources; there is VERY little we get exclusively from animal sources, and we don't need much of it that often. Cats on the other hand...

Cats often develop allergies because of all of the non-anima sources we fill their food up with. Veggies and fruits can exacerbate allergic reactions of gastric symptoms. When a cat kills its prey, they DO get the plant nutrients they need, but nature's got it all planned out: cats need and can process partially digested grains and legumes, but they can't process them on their own. We're seeing such a large increase in things like feline diabetes and renal failure and obesity. Coincidence?

We're also seeing lots of benefits from grain-free, moisture-rich super premium ALL WET diets. Coincidence?

I just think if you can't accept nature's way, you have no business owning a cat. It's also always struck me as ironic that many vegans CAN'T accept something natural. On the other hand, I have several vegan friends that feed a homemade raw, citing that that's the kitty equivalent of vegan diet in their eyes...fresh, natural, underprocessed. But I'm in the midwest where we have the benefit of several organic farms and co-ops where we can meet the farmers and tour the farms our meat is coming from. I know several vegs/vegans who are worlds more comfortable with that meat and dairy than the stuff at Jewel.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Nutrition
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › vegan cats