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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Recently I've wanted to make my own cat food because I doubt the nutritional content of store bought foods. I've moved from dry, to a combination of dry and wet, to just wet.
looking into making my own food there would be things I would be uncomfortable buying and handling (I already feel uncomfortable with the wet cat food) and I feel many would question how is it any different feeding my cat meat as opposed to me eating it? I'd still be buying and supporting animal cruelty and it seems weird to feed another animal to my pet.
Obviously I understand how animals in the wild function and hunting is an animal instinct, as is the eating of meat. I just want to be a compassionate and responsible pet owner and also make sure I'm feeding my cat the nutrients and things she needs.
I guess I am looking for moral thoughts and logical reasonings to what is going on in my head at the moment; is it wrong to buy meat to make my own nutritional pet food or would it be worse to give her a vegan diet and risk sickness? It seems either option has consequences and I'm a little torn about it.

Responses (7)

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 01/22/15 08:45:37

    It's a very tough question.

    It's very difficult if not impossible to raise a cat as a vegan. They are true carnivores, while dogs are omnivores close to the carnivore end of the omnivore spectrum.

    It's one of the reasons I prefer living where I can let cats outdoors to practice their natural hunting skills.

    Wish I had a better answer for you.

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    Posted by shiawase58 at 01/23/15 14:32:23

    I am feeding my cats the vegan dry cat food Ami, which they seem to enjoy. Just switch slowly. While there are some nutrients cats can't get from plants, Ami adds these, as do most regular dry cat foods. If you'd like to make your own, be sure you add a cat-specific supplement, such as the website Vegan Cats makes, to be sure they're getting everything they need.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 01/24/15 09:23:16

    Thanks for embarrassing me!

    Just kidding!

    I should have known that. It's been quite a while since I had cats living with me, and I hadn't kept up on this issue.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by GayleMG at 02/20/15 10:32:05

    I have the same dilemma. I have both cats and dogs. I recently discovered that the Pet Supplies Plus store near my work has the Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food. I am going to get my dogs switched to it soon by gradually mixing until they are getting just that. The problem is my cats. i have 8 of them and whatever I do it will be expensive. Vegetarian cat food is pricey and feeding 8 of them might break my budget. I'm hoping I can find some type of middle ground at least with the cats.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 02/20/15 12:00:29

    Google "vegan diets for cats" and you will get good info.

  • gooeydoug 1509's avatar
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    Posted by gooeydoug 1509 at 02/22/15 10:57:16

    While I am vegan, I would be very careful or wary about a commercially-available vegan cat diet or homemade cat diet.

    Raw: I don't recommend a raw diet for the same reason I won't eat one. There is a dramatically-increased possibility of E. coli or Salmonella infection. A raw diet is also less likely to be well-balanced for a cat's special dietary needs.

    Vegan: Cats are obligate carnivores. My best advice is that if you don't want to feed your cat meat, be extremely careful about making sure a commercial cat food or homemade diet is appropriately balanced to meet the special needs of a cat. This includes looking for the following:

    1. Cats have higher protein requirements than dogs because they can't or have a very limited ability to synthesize some amino acids, the building blocks of protein. So even if there is "enough" protein from non-meat sources, it doesn't necessarily mean the animal can synthesize it.
    2. Cats require vitamin A in its pre-formed state, they can’t make it from beta-carotene the way humans or dogs can. Because of this, the only state of vitamin A that cats can synthesize comes from animal flesh.
    3. They have a high requirement for the amino acid taurine. A taurine deficiency can damage the heart and cause blindness. Taurine is found almost exclusively in animal flesh.
    4. Cats lack the ability to convert linoleic acid into arachidonic acid, making it an essential part of their diets. There is a commercially synthetic version of it, though.
    5. Cats lacks the ability to synthesize ornithine. The consequence of this metabolic deficiency in the cat is that the amino acid arginine--only found in animal flesh--is an essential nutrient. This is a unique example of a nutrient so critical that one meal without dietary arginine may result in death.

    I say this all not to discourage feeding a vegan diet to cats, but to make sure your pet remains healthy.

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    Posted by StephRCastillo at 02/24/15 06:59:41

    cats are true carnivores.

    You can try a vegan diet for cats but always under veterinary supervision to make sure they are getting everything they need (and make sure you get a vet that knows what he is doing).

    I tried feeding them raw, but honestly my cats didn't like it, which is weird because they do hunt sometimes.

    On my personal experience I had to learn to deal with the facts that cats are carnivores, and that's the way nature intended it.

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