Unlike dogs and other omnivores, cats are obligate carnivores. This is how they meet their nutritional needs – by consuming other animals. Cats have a higher protein requirement compared to other mammals and meat is a good source of protein not only for humans but also for our pets.
But what if you are vegan? Should your cat turn into a vegan too? Can you even make them vegan?
Being a vegan or following a vegan diet means that you cannot eat or use all animal products. Somehow, pet owners who are vegan are also trying to convert their pet dogs and cats into veganism. Some would think that it’s okay, but Telegraph says otherwise. Recent Telegraph news revealed that owners are at risk of breaking the law if ever they force their pets into veganism!
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), a charity that operates in England and Wales who are strong promoters of animal welfare believes that cats can be seriously ill if they are only given plant-based food and drinks. Unlike dogs who are omnivores and can survive on a vegetarian diet, cats, however, need meat. If they do not get the nutrients that they need from meat, they can get really sick.
The RSPCA added, “Cats are strict carnivores and depend on some very specific nutrients that are found in meat including taurine, vitamin A and arachidonic acid so can become seriously ill if they are fed a vegetarian or vegan diet.”
The RSPCA further explains that under the Animal Welfare Act, this law requires that owners take reasonable steps to make sure that all of their pets’ needs are met. The Feline Nutrition Foundation also states that cats MUST EAT MEAT because this is a biological necessity of felines. According to the guidelines, if owners continue to force their cats to be vegan, they can be fined of a huge amount and possibly spend time behind bars if proven guilty under the Animal Welfare Act. That is if the animal is proven to be malnourished.
A lot of people are wondering how all this started?
The warning came after the National Pet Show held in Birmingham. This showcased the latest vegan pet food as well as the non-meat alternatives that pet owners can give to their fur buddies. This, however, is not the most recommended for our feline friends. For cats, meat means survival.
According to Healthy Pets, there are plenty of cases where cats and kittens are brought to an animal hospital in a near-death situation due to the dangers caused by feeding biologically inappropriate diets. The site stresses that cats are obligate carnivores. This only means that this kind of animal must eat meat in order for them to survive. This has something to do with the complete amino acid profile found in animal tissue compared to the amino acids from plants which do not have the nutrients that cats need.
A vegan diet might be a good choice for some people, but it is never good for your cats. That’s just how it is. If you love your cat, cut them some slack and do not influence them with what you believe in. Remember that they have needs and in order for them to be healthy and survive, provide them with what they need. If you do not want to spend time behind bars or pay a hefty fine, then stop forcing your cat to be vegan.