1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Can cats be vegan?

Discussion in 'Vegetarian Diet Forum' started by Oldvatr, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,112
    Likes Received:
    7,484
    Trophy Points:
    198
    No. They’re obligate carnivores.
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Like Like x 2
  2. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    1,273
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Well actually, having listened to the video, you can probably/possibly get their requirements from a vegan source. Not sure whether this is a good idea (for a cat). Veganism for a human is totally different.
     
  3. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,112
    Likes Received:
    7,484
    Trophy Points:
    198
    The issue is that vegan diets are usually way higher in carbs than a cat can tolerate - even if you can supply the nutrients they need with supplements. And it’s not very good for their teeth either.
     
  4. Dr Snoddy

    Dr Snoddy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    872
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Cats have to have the amino acid taurine supplied by the diet and therefore they naturally need to eat meat. I do not know if artificial supplementation is as effective as eating a natural source. Despite not eating meat myself for the last 40 years (ecological reasons) I do feed my cats meat. One of my cats lived to be 19 years of age and another 16 years. Both were in excellent health.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

    Messages:
    10,582
    Likes Received:
    6,973
    Trophy Points:
    278
    One would surely have to keep a cat indoors (and/or provide a caged garden) to ensure that the animal would not prey on wild creatures? This is imo a form of cruelty. Cats are solitary (mostly) and they would naturally roam their own territories in search of prey or a mate.

    This also lends money to the argument that a cat's vegan diet would necessarily require supplementation so it begs the question why?
     
    • Agree Agree x 6
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,398
    Likes Received:
    1,577
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Test your cat with a choice of chicken or carrot. If your cat has an ethical problem with eating meat it will go for the carrot.
     
    • Funny Funny x 9
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  7. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,112
    Likes Received:
    7,484
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Mine does like mushrooms, to be fair. And they try to snaffle quorn ham. But they do prefer dead animals...

    One came home with a live chicken one day, and a month later one of the others came home with a leg of breaded, fried chicken :D
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,372
    Likes Received:
    1,786
    Trophy Points:
    178
    If a healthy animal (or human) can only exist on supplemented specially made foods, then there is something wrong with the thinking of the human involved.

    Cats are not omnivores, like dogs and humans. They have a different digestive system.

    Its funny how a famous dog, who lived to be 25 (?) as a vegan is touted as proof of success, when hundreds of us on here show how low carbing helps and are dismissed as merely anecdotal exceptions.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,986
    Likes Received:
    3,026
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I came home from work one day. and one of my cats had stolen a frozen chicken from a neighbour, and had dragged it through the cat flap. It was still in its plastic wrapping and still a solid lump of flesh, but it had been severely licked, Our present cat totally refuses to eat meat, but will eat meat flavoured biscuits, Fish is also not partaken unless in kibble form.

    In my opinion, I believe a choice on vegetarian or vegan diet should be a matter of conscience, and an individual's choice. It should not be mandated by anyone, even an owner foisting their decisions from above. That goes for humans as well as pets.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  10. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,372
    Likes Received:
    1,786
    Trophy Points:
    178
    would we sanction a goldfish owner dangling a bit of meat in the tank and saying, after the fish gets ill, 'well, I did feed it'?

    cats do not have the digestive system required to be totally meat free without considerable supplementation, and even then, the natural behaviour of the cat is badly restricted. A cat is not a dog.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  11. thepolly

    thepolly Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    58
    If you want a vegan pet, buy something that isn't a carnivore...... Not hard really. Just look at mad cow disease which happened because humans decided not to feed them their natural diet in a bid to make them more profitable. We already fiddle with nature too much imo
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    20,044
    Likes Received:
    33,785
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Kittens are taught how to eat (what is edible) by their mother, in a very short learning window.
    Once they have learned this, they become very reluctant to change their eating habits in later life. Some cats would rather starved than eat new foods.

    When we take kittens away from their mothers before they are able to fend for themselves, then the responsibility falls to us to teach them how to eat for their own physical, mental and dental health. Not everyone appreciates this.

    This means that if a kitten is ‘taught’ to only eat rubbish ****** meat ‘flavoured’ cat biscuits during those formative months, then the cat will be very resistant to a diet change later on, even if the new food has better nutrition.

    In other words, giving kittens a restricted diet of processed **** is likely to doom them to malnourishment and a miserable old age - assuming that they make it that far. We have an exploding population of diabetes in cats and dogs for this very reason.

    It is possible to ease them onto healthy foods, but it takes time, effort and is more trouble than many are willing to make.

    Personally, I think it is the responsibility of any pet owner to feed their pet (cat, dog or fruit fly) to the best of their ability, and the closest to the natural diet on which their species evolved. Processed tinned or dried biscuits are nothing less than animal abuse in my opinion. Your mileage may well vary, but if that is the case, then I bet my pets see a glossier, happier, brighter eyed old age than yours.

    https://www.petful.com/pet-health/cat-is-a-finicky-eater/

    https://www.knowbetterpetfood.com/pages/feeding-kittens
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    1,273
    Trophy Points:
    198
    When I lived in Australia I knew many people who kept their cats inside - if you let them out they eat the native animals. Having said that, most cats I've met would eat animals inside the house (mice, rats etc) but most people seem ok with that. Not that I've had a cat since childhood, because my husband is allergic to them. We have/had dogs and though I guess it would be a lot easier to feed a dog a Vegan diet, I agree it would be bad for their teeth.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    8,956
    Likes Received:
    13,900
    Trophy Points:
    198
    It's the carnivore in cats that win out.
    Cats in Australia are a feral pest, they have killed to extinction more Australian fauna than any other animal.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Safi

    Safi Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    801
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Yep. We live on a small acreage so it would be cruel to both the cat and the wildlife to let her roam free. We've turned our house into a sort of kitty disneyland though so madam is well occupied & seemingly as happy as a clam :)
     
  16. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,986
    Likes Received:
    3,026
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Are Polo Mints vegan? We have now had 2 cats that salivate copiously at the sniff of a polo mint. And I am talking copious drooling.
     
  17. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    8,956
    Likes Received:
    13,900
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I have a smallish piece of land with a shed on it in the middle of nowhere, I fenced it off with my neighbour and got rid of all the feral animals on it. It is now home for Australian animals recovering from injuries from getting hit by cars etc.

    I have some very good cat traps baited with roadkill, that we used with success to get rid of them. Waste of time trying carrots or polo mints with them.
     
  18. Boo1979

    Boo1979 Other · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    1,060
    Trophy Points:
    198
    My mum had 2 cats (brother and sister ) who both went mental for honeydew melon - given the chance, they would argue about a piece of melon skin with the winner then running around with it clasped in their mouth while growling at the other one. They both had a few other fruit / veg tastes ( strawberry, coooked courgette, orange juice and avocado in particular. That having been said, they were both prolific hunters of everything from mice and rats, to frogs, rabbits and squirrels so their carnivore tendencies er pretty full on
     
    #19 Boo1979, Dec 1, 2018 at 8:31 PM
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  19. lindisfel

    lindisfel · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    1,393
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Don't go near him with a lighted match!
    A friend had a lurcher when we were young that was a living gas producer and could have supplied his own gas light. :)
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook