Is it safe to feed a cat a vegan diet? – Part 1

The choice to live a vegan lifestyle is of course completely up to the individual. Really, depending on how you look at it, a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle has a whole slew of benefits. We as human beings do have the freedom to choose what it is we want to do and how to live our lives. We also can communicate in a very straight forward manner and have the ability to change what we are doing if we feel different about it after ensuing it for sometime. We are omnivores, we eat meat and vegetation. Cats on the other hand are obligate carnivores. This means they strictly eat meat. Their design shows that too, sharp claws, very sharp teeth, used for catching prey and ripping it apart to ingest it. This is how a feline eats, short of the ones we call our pets, who if kept indoors eat from cans or bags of kibble. But if they are eating from a can or bag of kibble, it still does not change what it is that they need to eat and require nutritionally. People are now forcing their ethical beliefs on their pets. There are serious problems that are the consequence of this choice.

An obligate carnivore, only eats meat, their digestive system physically is incapable of breaking down the cell walls of vegetative matter. This is why a cat will eat grass to rid itself of a hair ball, the grass will actually induce vomiting, because it cannot be digested properly. Cats also have nutritional requirements that are not available in plants sources. Cats are one of the only mammals who cannot synthethesize taurine on their own, they depend on meat to get their intake. Without taurine a cat’s retina will degenerate and this will cause serious eye problems, including the cat losing their ability to see in the dark and eventually leading to irreversible blindness. Heart problems can also result from not getting the necessary intake of taurine.

An argument presented by many vegans to support the reasons they choose to feed their pets such a diet is because they feel the pet food on the general market is not a cat’s natural diet. Pet food containing euthanized animals, road kill, or animals such as cows, pigs and sheep, are not something a cat would hunt on its own. But regardless of the fact that cat food is not made of mice or small birds, does not mean that the protein in beef or chicken is any less sufficient. If the genuine concern is that the meat is unhealthy or of poor quality, then the pet owner should seek a high quality brand of food made in small batches and from quality ingredients. There are also companies who raise meat animals on a wonderful diet and treat them humanely, perhaps seek a company who uses this type of meat to make their pet food and choose this healthy diet for your cat. Another option would definitely be to buy fresh meat and prepare it at home. The cat is an omnivore, it deserves it’s own basic rights served.

As a pet owner you have the responsibility to care for the animal you have adopted. If you do not want to feed an animal meat, then you need to instead own a true herbivore, such as a guinea pig, rabbit or hamster. It is cruel and irresponsible to attempt to force an animal to live opposite it’s natural instincts, desires or needs. Individuals often choose to become vegans because they feel it is a healthier diet and often because of animal rights. Well one thing is certain, an animal’s rights need to be respected and it is extremely dangerous to feed a cat a vegan diet.

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