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Vegan cat: Can you have a vegan cat?

Noname (3)
Our cats... they are not vegan cats.

I love all animals, except for dogs. I have a fear of dogs that stems from my childhood. Even though I grew up with small dogs in our home, there were larger dogs that chased and scared me to the point that even today, as an adult, I have a horrible fear of dogs. I've even had panic attacks being around them. I'm more comfortable around snakes and alligators (I live in Florida and I'm an avid hiker, so I encounter them regularly). But... I love cats!

Growing up, my mother hated cats. I grew up listening to her talk about how they are sneaky, mean, evil, etc. She didn't like them, so we were never around them. My husband grew up with cats, so when we moved in together (26 year ago), he introduced me to cats. I was afraid of them at first, but quickly got over that. We've had cats in our house ever since, and I adore them. All of our cats have been rescued from animal shelters and they are loved members of our family. Right now we have two cats.

Many people who are vegetarians or vegans want to know if they can have their cat be a vegetarian or vegan, too. It's a fair question. After all, I consider my house to be meat free. At least for humans, but that's where it stops. Our cats are not vegans. They are not vegetarians. They are carnivores, as they were biologically intended to be. Granted, I hate the fact that they eat meat. In fact, the smell grosses me out to the point that I don't even feed them. The kids do the feeding now that they are old enough to do so. I don't like supporting the meat-based pet food industry, but I don't see a better option at this point. I know the animals are not being killed to make the pet food, rather the pet food is a waste product of the meat industry.

Around 10 year ago, I ran an experiment to see if I could turn my cat vegan (I had one at the time). I ordered vegan cat food from online. I was excited to see how it was going to go and if it would work in our family. Sure, I had read that cats are obligate carnivores and shouldn't eat a vegan diet, but I wanted to see if the cat liked the vegan cat food anyway. I put the canned food into a dish and gave it to the cat when it was her dinner time. She turned her nose up to it. Wouldn't touch it! I felt bad for her, because she kept acting as though I wasn't feeding her, which I usually do every day. 

I stuck with the vegan cat food for three days. My cat chose to go without eating. The poor thing let me know she'd rather starve than to eat the vegan cat food. The experiment was over. I tossed the food, laughed it off, and gave her the meat she craves and loves. We went on, happily ever after.

Cats are obligate carnivores. They are meat eaters. They should not be forced to eat a vegan diet. If it bothers you too much to have a meat-eating pet in your home, then don't have one. Opt for a pet that can biologically thrive on a vegan diet or a pet that is naturally an herbivore. Or don't have any pets at all in your home. But if you choose to bring a cat into your house, then you should choose to love the cat unconditionally. They are meat eaters, and you should provide them with the food they want, crave, and are biologically created to consume. Cats are not vegans.



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