Can You Raise a Cat on Vegetarian Cat Food?

A proper cat food diet is essential at all stages of your cat’s life. When he is a kitten, a well-balanced food source will help to promote healthy bone and muscle growth. In the prime of his life and into old age, a proper diet ensures that his overall health, appearance and mood function at a high level. As a domestic pet, it is not your cat’s responsibility to feed himself, it is yours. Read on to learn the basics of feline dietary needs so that you will be best prepared to provide your cat with an adequate and balanced diet.

What Nutritional Elements Does a Cat Require?

Cats are entirely carnivorous animals. Simply put, a cat that is raised on a vegetarian or vegan diet will not receive the nutritional requirements that it has evolved to require, and it will suffer a variety of adverse consequences, including death.

Cats in the wild eat every part of an animal after catching and killing it. By eating the vital organs, bones and other portions of the animal, cats ingest a full complement of vitamins and minerals.

Each cat’s diet should consist of proteins from meat sources and their associated fats, basic minerals like calcium and phosphorus and a full mix of both fat- and water-soluble vitamins.

A trend of vegetarianism in cat diets has developed in recent years, oftentimes in conjunction with sustainable and locally-sourced food movements. While these diets may be viable options for humans, they will not lead to a healthy, happy life for your cat.

Types of Adequate Cat Food

Cat foods on the market today are formulated to contain all of the proper and necessary components of a cat’s diet. These foods are generally available in three types: dry, soft and canned. These types of food differ in moisture, flavor and texture. Selecting the right food for your cat depends on a few factors.

Perhaps the most important factor to consider when purchasing food for your cat is your cat’s taste and preferences. Cats tend to be finicky eaters, and each cat may have his own preferences in terms of type and taste of food. Some experimentation may be necessary to determine the food that your cat enjoys the best, or even to find a type of food that your cat will eat at all.

It is also important to consider any underlying health concerns that your cat may have. There are a variety of specialty diets available, including those designed for young cats, old cats, diabetic cats, cats with renal and other organ failures and more. Before putting your cat on a specialty diet, consult with your veterinarian.