If you’re a regular on this blog, you’ll know that I’m a die-hard cat lady. I have 4 lovely cats of my own, Richard, Bingo, Pudding and Ebichu. They are the literal center of my world…which is why I’ve decided to write about a slightly controversial topic in the Vegan community – feeding your cats a carnivorous diet. Now, if you’re looking for an article that goes more into taking care of cats, cat supplies and all that jazz, do have a look at this article I wrote last year. Today, however, I want to touch on why my cats will only ever eat meat, or a carnivorous diet. Let’s get straight into it.
Cats Are Obligate Carnivores
Unlike humans or even Dogs, who are herbivorous/omnivorous by nature – depending on your personal beliefs, cats are obligat carnivores. For this reason alone, cats should always stick to a carnivorous diets, regardless of your personal ethics or beliefs. So, what is an obligate carnivore? An obligate carnivore is an animal that requires a diet consisting of mainly meat simply because it does not posses the physiology to digest plant or vegetable matter. Ever noticed that cats tend to throw up after they’ve chewed on flowers and glass? This is exactly why that happens. Cats are in no way adapted to a Vegan diet and their digestive systems are not geared to handle plant matter. Cats who follow a human-imposed Vegan diet will almost definitely suffer from Taurine deficiencies due to the plant based diet not being able to provide them with this very crucial amino acid.
Why Do Cats Need Taurine?
As mentioned before, Taurine is one of the key components to a healthy diet for cats. Taurine is absolutely critical for healthy heart muscle function, digestion, vision and the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Taurine is also incredibly important for cats that are pregnant as it is a key component of healthy fetal development. Unfortunately, Taurine is not naturally manufactured in a cat’s body, meaning that it is vital for them to receive it via their diet. Taurine is an essential nutrient that cats in the wild get from animal protein. Of course, the regular house cat does not have access to prey, which is why it is so important that the diet a pet owner feeds to their cat is nutritionally balanced and full of essential nutrients that contribute to the wellbeing of one’s pet.
What Happens If My Cat is Deficient?
If you choose to feed your cat a Vegan diet, I can almost guarantee you that your cat will be deficient. I personally consider feeding cats a Vegan diet the same thing as animal abuse, and I will explain why I have this belief. Cats that are deficient in Taurine and all the other vital amino acids and nutrients found in a meat-based diet will start to develop symptoms such as Feline Central Retinal Degeneration, Dilate Cardiomyopathy (the weakening of heart muscles) and growth deficiencies in cases where your cat is pregnant. Now, does any of that sound good? Obviously not. Would I ever risk my cats suffering from any of those diseases? Abso-f*cking-lutely not.
How Does A Vegan Get Themselves To Purchase Meat For Their Cats?
This is a question I get all too often. How do your ethics not get in the way of you purchasing meat based pet foods for your cats? The answer is pretty simple – my beliefs are not to be forced on any creature, human or non-human. Human beings have the cognitive ability to choose what diets they want to adhere to. Cats, on the other hand, simply cannot communicate anything of the sort, and by default, should be fed what nature intended them to feed on. Is it difficult knowing that I’m paying for dead flesh? Of course. But you know what would be more difficult? Having any one of my cats suffer or even die due to my personal ethics and morals. In my opinion, letting your cat or cats suffer because YOU are a Vegan is one of the most un-vegan things anyone could do.
Just as one wouldn’t go out of their way to feed their cats/dogs toxic food substances such as Chocolate, Onions, Garlic and so on, why would one go out of their way to provide them with a diet that is sorely lacking in essential Amino Acids and nutrients that are necessary for a happy and healthy life? I leave you with this – the next time you think about feeding your cats a Vegan diet, take a moment to sit down and think about whether you are doing it for YOURSELF, or for your cats. Chance are it’s the former. And if so, please consider other pet options. The end.