Can a cat be vegetarian or vegan?

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Many vegans and vegetarians consider starting their animals on this same type of diet. However, it must be previously taken into account that the cat it is a strictly carnivorous animal, so from the outset it does not seem to be the most suitable option.

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

You may also be interested in: Can a dog be vegan or vegetarian? Index
  1. Differences between vegetarian and vegan food
  2. Can a cat be vegetarian or vegan on its own?
  3. If cats are carnivores, can a vegan cat die??
  4. Is there vegan food for cats?
  5. Is homemade vegan cat food good??
  6. Veterinary monitoring

Differences between vegetarian and vegan food

Initiation to vegan and vegetarian diets increases significantly, even among the youngest population [1], either due to animal suffering, health or due to contamination.

Before entering 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: excludes the consumption of meat and fish, as well as all derivatives of animal origin, such as milk, honey and eggs. There are some exceptions, such as "api-vegetarians " who do consume honey, "ovo-vegetarians ", who consume eggs, and "dairy-vegetarians ", who consume milk. There are also combinations, such as "ovo-dairy-vegetarian ".
  • Vegan diet: the vegan diet is more than a way of eating, it is considered a lifestyle. Vegans reject any food of plant origin, the use of products derived from animals and carry out, as far as possible, a sustainable lifestyle, respectful of animals and the environment in general..

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 specific fruit or vegetable, they are not opportunistic omnivores, as is the case with dogs or rats. [two]

Own morphology of the feline predisposes it to carnivorous feeding: the taste buds of cats have a preference for amino acids, present in meat, fish, eggs or shellfish. On the contrary, they reject monosaccharides and disaccharides, present in fruit, vegetables, nuts or cereals. [two]

Due to all these factors, a cat cannot be vegetarian or vegan on its own, it is a choice that his owners make for 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 at the end of the day, all are vital to your survival. In the case of suffering nutritional deficiencies, a cat could die.

Is there vegan food for cats?

Even knowing that cats are carnivorous animals, in the market we can easily find vegetarian and vegan food for cats, ¿How is it possible?

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

Supplements and additives are generally used that make more palatable this food, that is to say, more palatable. However, not all cats will accept it positively. Therefore, if you are considering starting your feline on this type of diet, we recommend that you assess the opinions of vegan cat food before purchasing it and supervise any cheap vegan food well, since it may not be nutritionally complete..

Is homemade vegan cat food good??

As we have explained, commercial feeds are usually formulated so that the cat accepts them in a positive way, something that does not usually happen with vegan or vegetarian homemade diets. The morphology itself pushes them to refuse this type of food. [two]

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

Veterinary monitoring

It is generally recommended that a healthy cat visit the vet every 6 or 12 months for a general check-up, but in the case of following vegetarian or vegan diets, it is important to go more frequently, every 2 or 3 months.

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

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