This is a controversial subject. However, I believe that there are some misconceptions which provoke incorrect responses. This Auckland lady, Aya Oba, is a vegan, as stated, but she is not feeding her cat the kind of diet that she, herself, eats. She is feeding her cat a specially prepared vegan cat food with added supplements designed ensure that the commercially prepared vegan diet for cats is complete and contains all the nutrients required.
I believe that the key issue in this matter is that with care and precision, pet food manufacturers can create successful vegan cat food. I know some visitors to this website have disagreed with me but I think they are visualising providing a cat with a human vegan diet such as vegetables and fruit without supplements. That obviously wouldn’t work under any circumstances. But commercially prepared vegan pet foods are completely different.
And I am not pushing a vegan diet. Far from it. I am reporting on it and discussing it. Also I would add that cat owners who recklessly put their cat on a homemade vegan diet for ethically reasons are highly irresponsible unless they are genuinely expert in this area of feline nutrition.
Veterinarians repeat what all cat owners understand nowadays namely that domestic cats are obligate carnivores which means that they need meat. And if they don’t receive the essential nutrients that they need that can become very ill and even die in the worst case scenario.
However, I believe that you will find that veterinarians agree (at least in principle) that it is possible, although difficult, to prepare a vegan cat food diet commercially provided supplements such as bioavailable taurine is added to the food.
Concerned cat owners should check the ingredients as stated on the packaging. It appears that vegans are divided on whether they should feed vegan food to their cats. You can see where this issue comes from. These people know that cats are obligate carnivores and therefore they are fearful about doing anything other than feed their cats meat based pet food. It’s a good thing that cat owners know this.
However, I think it they discussed the matter with their veterinarian they would discover that she might well agree on a plan to feed their cat a vegan cat food. It is a question of sourcing the food carefully.
It’s interesting that in New Zealand, a shop owner of vegan foods both for pets and people says that she sells more pet food than she can get hold of. In other words vegan pet food is very popular in New Zealand
“It comes in, I’ve got shelves full of it and in a few weeks time, my shelves will be empty. There’s no more of a demand for it, it’s always been popular, but there is less abuse about it.”
It is interesting that she says there’s less abuse about it. This implies that in the past people were criticising her for selling vegan pet food. I suspect that what happened is that people have read about this and decided, in conjunction with advice from the veterinarian, that they vegan pet food is all right provided it is sourced sensibly and prepared to a high standard and contains all the required nutrients that domestic cats need.
P.S. Any changes to diet of this magnitude must be discussed with a qualified veterinarian and introduced carefully under veterinary supervision.
Source: stuff.co.nz and myself.
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