Feed Your Cats a Vegan/Vegetarian Diet Advised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Since felines are obligate carnivores; to keep our domestic kitties in the best of health and condition, it’s essential to feed them a species-appropriate diet; one in which meat is the main ingredient.

Cat inside a fridge
Photo: psyberartist (Flickr under CC)
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Unfortunately however for cats, the majority of popular cat food manufacturers continue to advertise ad-nauseum the benefits of dry cat food, touting the “incredible health benefits” that cats will get from their totally nutritionally balanced products.

Since even the highest quality grain-free dry foods are high in carbohydrates, are devoid of water- an essential ingredient cats require; it’s apparent to many feline experts that dry food is not a species-appropriate diet. So why do these cat food manufactures persist peddling a food that is inappropriate for felines? Follow the money, honey- making ways to feed cats conveniently is a great sales pitch!

Not only is feeding dry food extremely convenient for cat owners, (as opposed to the proper way wet food should be handled), it’s perfectly safe to leave a bowl of dry food out all day so the cat may enjoy a tasty snack whenever desired.

But even though dry food doesn’t provide cats with optimum nutrition, what’s even worse for felines is to feed them a vegan diet. Although this writer understands and appreciates what may motivate people to choose this lifestyle; since humans are omnivores, vegan diets are perfectly acceptable.

What makes this writer want to pull her hair out is that PETA still continues to recommend that cat owners feed their kitties with a meatless diet! Not only is this highly dangerous, it is completely insane!

Although the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives PETA the right to make such an outlandish suggestion, I think that it’s completely irresponsible for the organization to attempt to force their ideologies on cat owners. I guess they don’t quite get it that the feline’s anatomy anatomy is not at all equipped to eat a meatless diet. PETA’s suggestion is not only inappropriate; it is actually perilous for cats.

As obligate carnivores (obligate meaning obligatory), the cat’s anatomy was designed to prosper on a high protein diet. There are many reasons why cats will not thrive on vegetable protein, or to utilize energy from carbohydrate sources. Amylase is an enzyme that is necessary for digesting starches. Felines are missing this enzyme in their saliva and they have very little in their intestines. Cats also have a shorter digestive tract than most animals. The cat’s molars and premolars are not designed for grinding up their food.

According to an article in Scientific American, Marla McGeorge DVM, a feline specialist at Portland, Oregon’s Best Friends Veterinary Medical Center asserts that that forcing a cat to become vegan or vegetarian is unwise because cats need the essential amino acids that are not found in a meatless diet. Additionally, Vegan/vegetarian diets are too high in carbohydrates which the feline digestive system is not designed to digest.

Although manufacturers of vegan/vegetarian diets claim that their products are formulated with powdered supplements to assure proper digestion and complete nutrition for felines and other carnivores, Dr. McGeorge says that these formulations may not be easily absorbed as the “real thing” by felines.

This writer thinks that PETA needs to “get a life”! If they are claiming to treat animals “ethically”, suggesting that vegan/vegetarian cat owners stop feeding their cats meat protein diets, PETA is certainly not being “ethical” or even humane.

While offering a kitty a small piece of fruit or vegetable as a treat is not harmful, (and some cats truly enjoy a bit of banana or cantaloupe), switching them over to a vegan/vegetarian diet is the most species inappropriate one of all.

What’s your opinion about feeding cats a vegan/vegetarian diet? Tell us in a comment.

31 thoughts on “Feed Your Cats a Vegan/Vegetarian Diet Advised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals”

  1. Even though I stopped eating meat before I was in kindergarten, My cat gets wet food that is meat. He also has dry food and water available, but he is a cat and he needs what he needs. I refuse to eat dead animals, but he doesn’t.

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  2. I’m not a member of PETA, but I am concerned about animal cruelty, not only for our domestic pets, but for farm and wild animals. We are animals too, but we also have ‘ethics’ and ‘morals’, which apparently other animals don’t have. Personally, I struggle with trying to be vegetarian/vegan, while still feeding my cats factory farmed meat. It’s in all commercial pet food. I can’t justify harming other animals so I can feed my own. And yet I do, because cats are obligate carnivores. I try to feed mine ‘free range’ and grass fed meat, but it’s much more expensive, and I’m not sure they are getting ‘complete’ nutrition. So I also feed a portion of good quality dry food (which has factory farmed animal meat in it). As long as I want to have domestic cats, I guess I will live with this dilemma. I wonder if anyone else feels the way I do about this issue.

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    • Kathleen, I have the same dilemma. It is difficult. I feel guilty and weak but it is hard to fight against nature and natural desires. We are omnivores and I find a vegetarian diet okay but dull over time. It is a question of will power and when it comes to food it is one of a few pleasures I have left at my age.

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    • I understand your concerns, but even if you have made the choice to be vegan, you are NOT an obligate carnivore and can live very well on a vegan diet. Cats cannot. That simple. If you cannot tolerate feeding a cat what they need to survive, just don’t have a cat. PETA advocates the extinction of all domestic animals, so advocating a diet to kill cats serves their purposes. They are disgusting liars trying to get vegans to kill their cats.

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  3. If the entire Planet earth became totally vegetarian then there would be a “FAMINE” on planet Earth. I totally oppose “P.E.T.A” for the fact that its slogan is a ” VEGAN DIET” to save animals from slaughter by humans .This is ridiculous where they now advertise a “VEGETARIAN CAT FEED” for vegetarian cat owners ! Next they might come up with a formula to feed large carnivores like tigers, lions, etc in zoo’s with “VEG FOOD” .Nature has created a environment where carnovores and herbivores exist simultaneously, exch dependent on the other with we humans on the top of the food pyramid.Would there be any trees or grass in the jungles if all animals became herbivores. The continent of Australia once face a epidemic where rabbits ran riot literally destroying all vegetation since there were no large carnivores on that continent to keep the rabbit population in check !Cats, are totally carnivore animals unlike dogs which can survive on a vegetarian diet.

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    • If the entire Planet earth became totally vegetarian then there would be a “FAMINE” on planet Earth

      This is a good point, Rudolph. In Britain, they say there’s plenty of land which is not built up and therefore we can accommodate mass immigration by building new houses on it. However, the truth is that we need all that land to grow crops.

      Peta seemed to be denying that nature exists. I think we have to accept that nature made animals, including the human animal, this way and we have to live within that parameter whether we like it or not.

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  4. This group is definitely not ethical. What they are, I can’t quite define; but they are on record as killing over 98% of the animals they collect from trusting people who believe they are going to “find good homes” for them; their leader is quoted as saying she loves to kill animals, and their over-the-top, in-your-face shock campaigns, drawing heavily on D-List “celebrities”, repel most of of us the real animal advocacy community. Why should anyone be surprised at this stance, since they quite obviously do not care about cats at all?
    Cats being obligate carnivores need more meat in their diets than members of any other species; those who aren’t comfortable with this should never, ever, be cat caregivers.

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      • While very alienating to most of us in the advocacy community, that alone isn’t the reason so many of us are completely turned off by this group; their KILLING of innocent animals while claiming to be an animal advocacy group IS.

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        • jmuhj-

          The organization really has quite an enticing name actually. One would think that they are animal friendly and love them and want to protect them and make sure they are treated humanely and well taken care of.

          So many people get duped by their name and think it is a great organization, and don’t do the research or fact check- believing the lies that they perpetuate.

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          • THEY NEED TO. People are advised all over the media to ALWAYS background check any charity they are thinking about contributing to/advocating for/volunteering at. *sigh* This has been common knowledge in the animal advocacy community and well-substantiated by quotes and facts for YEARS. Why it isn’t shut down, IDK, but it needs to be.

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  5. the first amendment only goes so far. You can’t scream fire in a crowded theater, you can not incite violence, and they should not be allowed to harm cats like this..

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    • Nice point Connie. As you say, freedom of speech does not mean anything can be said. There is a lot of discussion in Europe about the freedom given to cartoonists to mock the prophet Mohammad. Views are divided on this.

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  6. WHAT? I guess they haven’t seen that commercial with the kitty that says, “Do I look like a vegetarian? Am I stalking plants?”

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    • I like that. Neat. It does not surprise me that PETA advocate a vegan diet because they hold extreme views. Part of their ethos is to shock.

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