With more and more people turning to a vegan lifestyle the number of people looking for a vegan cat food is ever increasing. Although having a vegan or vegetarian cat is controversial, cats can be relatively healthy on a vegan diet. A number of studies over the years have shown a vegan diet is not recommended but can be done. In this article, we will be going over how to make your cat vegan and healthy.
Cats have evolved over thousands of years to be apex predators in their environment and feed on meat. Due to this, their bodies have some unique evolutional traits you have to take into consideration. Cats have no natural way to produce vitamin D3, it usually comes from the meat in their diet. Some specific vegan pet food brands have included the plant-sourced vitamin D2 in an attempt to get around this. Although it is not an exact substitute is can help assist in your pet’s nutrition.
Vegan Cat Evolutionary Issues
Cats are also unable to naturally produce the essential amino acid Taurine. Thankfully, a number of vegan cat food brands supplement their products with vegan-friendly Taurine. Additional problems that a vegan based diet can include a lack of protein, lack of L-carnitine and arachidonic acid. Without meat in their diet, there is also a lack of vitamins such as B vitamins, iron, calcium, and phosphorus.
Although some people attempt to make their own vegan cat food recipes, it’s not recommended for a number of reasons. It is difficult to include all of the above essential vitamins and minerals in homemade vegan cat foods. The major vegan cat food brands put a lot of time and effort into sourcing quality vegan-friendly substitutes that are difficult to find on the high street.
Without these vitamins and minerals, your cat may not have a healthy lifestyle, even with specific cat based supplements. Over time this can lead to serious irreversible medical conditions in your pet cat. A number of vets have reported countless cat owners almost accidentally killing their cats due to this.
What Do Vegans Feed Their Pets?
This cat food is a non-GMO vegan cat food with the most comprehensive vegan kibble on the market. It contains only natural vegan-friendly ingredients that are totally free from slaughterhouse by-products. The food mix has been specifically formulated to give your cat a healthy lifestyle by using a number of vegan substitutes for the essential vitamins and minerals we touched upon earlier. This helps ensure your cat has a healthy coat along with a healthy shape and muscle tone.
Although relatively new to the US market, it has managed to earn over 65 positive reviews on amazon.com. There are a number of reviews from cat owners raving about the product.
One thing we have to stress is this should not be fed to kittens! The manufacturer specifically stresses that kittens should feed on their mother’s milk for the first month of their life. It is then recommended you use a traditional cat food with ethical values until your cat is at least six months old. Then spend a week transitioning your cat using a 50/50 split between their old food and the Ami cat food.
How To Make Your Cat Vegan?
That said, here is our quick and easy cheat sheet to convert your cat from a meat based diet to a vegan based one.
- Never try to convert a kitten to a vegan diet, wait until it is at least six months of age.
- Ensure you have at least a week of transitioning where you feed your cat half of its meat-based food and half of its vegan-friendly food. This is essential for a smooth digestive transition.
- Don’t waste your time on homemade vegan cat food recipes. Use vegan cat foods that meet the requirements of the AAFCO.
- Have regular blood work and wellness exams with your local veterinarian.
- Use vegan-friendly cat supplements when required.
- If your cat deteriorates, seek professional veterinary advice at once.
All that said and done there are some situations where your cat should never be transitioned to a vegan based cat diet. Some cats have very specific food allergies that can affect their ability to be healthy while eating vegan. Medical conditions such as bladder stones and liver disease can also present a large problem. If you feel your cat may be suffering from either of these conditions then seek advice from your veterinarian.
Although we have already mentioned this excellent book on how to make your cat vegan and healthy we have found some other useful resources. This article by Pets WebMD covers a number of considerations you should think about before transitioning your pet to a vegan diet. This article by PETA also has a bunch of useful information that we recommend you read and take onboard.
We hope that this article has helped our readers understand how to make your cat vegan. As we have mentioned, there are some situations where you should feed your a meat based diet but we feel this article will help the majority of cat owners.