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Can a cat be vegetarian or vegan?

Many vegan and vegetarian people consider starting their animals in this same type of diet. However, it must be taken into account previously that the cat it is a strictly carnivorous animal, so at the beginning it does not seem to be the best option.

Still in the market we can find feed and cans of vegan food for cats. So, is it a good option? Can a cat be vegan or vegetarian? In this new article we solve your doubts, taking into account several scientific studies, keep reading:

Differences between vegetarian and vegan

The initiation to the vegan and vegetarian diets increases of remarkable form, even among the youngest population [1], or by the animal suffering, the health or due to the contamination.

Before getting into this article, it will be interesting to know how to correctly differentiate what is a vegan and a vegetarian diet, pointing out the basic characteristics of both:

  • Vegetarian diet: this type of food excludes the consumption of meat and fish, but allows eggs, milk and other products of animal origin, such as honey.
  • Vegan diet: on the contrary, the vegan diet rejects all kinds of food of animal origin, including honey and some common additives in food.

Can a cat be vegetarian or vegan on its own?

As we mentioned in the introduction, domestic cats are carnivorous animals. And although they may sometimes be attracted to a particular fruit or vegetable, they are not opportunistic omnivores, as with dogs or rats. [2]

The own morphology of the cat predisposes it to carnivorous feeding: the taste buds of cats have preference for amino acids, present in meat, fish, eggs or seafood. On the contrary, they reject monosaccharides and disacarcharides, present in fruit, vegetables, nuts or cereals. [2]

Because of all these factors, a cat can not be vegetarian or vegan by itself, it is a choice that takes its owners by him.

If cats are carnivores, can a vegan cat die?

Cats have certain Nutritional requirements [3] such as carbohydrates, fiber, fats, fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and amino acids. Some are more necessary than others, but after all, they are all vital to your survival. In the case of suffering nutritional deficiencies, a cat could die.

Is there vegan feed for cats?

Even knowing that cats are carnivorous animals, in the market we can easily find vegetarian feed and vegan cat food, how is that possible?

This type of food is specifically formulated with free ingredients of animal origin but at the same time provide the cat with all the nutritional needs it requires. That is, a cat that consumes daily a vegan or vegetarian feed that is labeled as “nutritionally complete” You will not suffer from health problems.

Generally supplements and additives are used that do more palatable this food, that is, more appetizing. However, not all cats will accept it positively. Therefore, if you are considering starting your feline on this type of diet, we recommend you to evaluate the opinions of the vegan feed for cats before purchasing it and supervise well any cheap vegan feed, as it may not be nutritionally complete.

Is homemade vegan cat food good?

As we have explained, commercial feeds are usually formulated for the cat to accept them positively, something that does not usually happen with vegan or vegetarian homemade diets. The morphology itself pushes them to reject this type of food. [2]

In addition, in the case of wanting to prepare ourselves the diet of our cat, we can create nutritional deficiencies without wanting it. Deficiencies of calcium, taurine or certain vitamins are common, which can cause anemia and other pathologies.

Veterinary follow-up

It is generally recommended that a healthy cat visit the veterinarian every 6 or 12 months to perform a general checkup, but in the case of following vegetarian or vegan diets, it is important to go more often, each 2 or 3 months.

The specialist will make a general observation and a blood test to promptly detect any health problem. Not going to the specialist can cause our best friend to get sick without knowing it. Remember that cats are very reserved animals and do not usually show symptoms of disease until it is too late.

If you want to read more articles similar to Can a cat be vegetarian or vegan?, we recommend that you enter in our section of Feeding problems.

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