Vegan Cat Food

There is a lot of debate whether you could feed your pet vegan cat food only. On one hand, cats require proteins from meat sources; on the other hand, some specialists will claim that cats can do well on a diet that contains only vegetable sources of proteins and will not need dairy products. A vegan diet involves eliminating the meat and dairy products from the meals and introducing more vegetables, seeds, essential vitamins and minerals. If you choose to feed vegan food to your cat, you should know a few basics about what the cat needs to eat, so that he can be active and in a great shape.

The Nutrients Needed by Felines

Given that a vegan diet doesn’t contain any meat or dairies, you will have to know that felines require proteins and will not be healthy if you fail to administer the needed 18% to 25% of proteins in his diet. You can introduce seeds and soy beans, which are rich in proteins. Dairy products are not essential in the cat’s diet and many cats are actually allergic to milk and cheeses.

You should also be aware that there are a number of nutrients that are found only in meats such as:

  • Taurine, which is a nutrient that helps in the development of the bones. For this reason, many vets advise against starting a vegan diet before the cat is fully developed
  • Arginine
  • Niacin and cobalamin, from the B vitamin groups

Consequently, these lacking nutrients should be administered in the form of supplements. Consult your vet about the exact amounts needed.

The amounts of fats and fibers that are normally present in a feline diet can be obtained from seeds, vegetables, plants and fruits.

The Advantages of a Vegan Diet

Specialists haven’t agreed on whether a vegan diet is healthy for cats. There are some specialists that claim that cats are carnivores and cannot live on a vegan diet. However, this type of diet may have a number of benefits such as:

  • May prevent digestive system cancer or the occurrence of other tumors that are often associated with diet
  • The vegan food will be easier to digest by the cat
  • The diet will provide immune system support, as the vegetables and plants contain a variety of vitamins and minerals

There are owners that have opted for vegan diet for their cats and they are healthy even without meat. However, additional research is needed to establish if a vegan diet is indeed a healthy choice.

Disadvantages of a Vegan Diet

A vegan diet may have a number of shortcomings including:

  • A cat may experience weakness and lethargy, especially if the amount of proteins in the diet is not sufficient
  • A vegan diet will make the urine more alkaline and this will facilitate the occurrence of kidney and bladder stones as well as urinary tract infections
  • Muscle spasms are more common in cats with a vegan diet.