Can my cat be a vegan?
Embarking on a vegan diet might be suitable for some people but what about our feline friends? The truth is that a cat cannot survive on a vegan diet. These diets simply do not provide all of the nutrients that your cat requires for a healthy life.
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they require meat in their diet and have specific nutrient needs that can only be supplied through the ingestion of animal meat.
Taurine is an amino acid that all cats need in their bodies – and they can’t create it themselves. If they’re low in taurine, cats can experience heart disease, vision problems, and other health issues. Taurine can only be provided through the diet, and is only available through animal sources. Although there are synthetic supplements available these are not recommended.
Vitamin A and arachidonic acid also need to be provided in your cat’s food and these are primarily available through animal sources.
As a result of these unique dietary requirements, a cat is unable to safely eat a vegan diet. Even with synthetic supplementation, producing a cat food that is complete and fills all of the nutritional needs of a cat is difficult (and dangerous) without adding meat to the diet.
So if you choose to adopt a vegan diet, we ask that you please do not expect your cat to eat the same way!