Should Your Cat Go Vegan?
Global Animal reported
Wondering if you should put your cat on an all veg diet? Are you worried about your cat’s protein intake? Read on for one opinion on whether or not your cat should go vegan.
Q. I’m a vegan for health, environmental and animal cruelty reasons, and I’d like my pets to be vegans too. There’s a huge debate on several Internet sites about this subject. What’s your take?
A. If your pets are rabbits or other herbivores, no problem. If you have dogs, it’s possible, but I really can’t advise it. If you have a cat, however, it’s my view that you’ll be putting your pet’s health in jeopardy. Knowing how your cat’s nutritional needs differ from your own may help put her very distinctive dietary requirements in perspective:
Cats must have meat. The feline system is designed to depend on the consumption of other animals to survive and thrive. Unlike humans and dogs, who are omnivores and can stay healthy on a variety of different kinds of diets, cats are “strict” or “obligate” carnivores. Just like their distant cousins the lion, tiger and cheetah, housecats not only prefer meat, they can’t maintain good health without it.
Pound for pound, cats need far more protein. A cat needs more than double the amount of protein per pound of body weight than a person requires. And even though we omnivores can meet our protein requirements with nonmeat foods like dairy products, nuts and beans, cats don’t have that luxury – animal protein is the only kind that fulfills their nutritional needs. If a cat doesn’t get enough protein in his diet, his body will actually break down its own muscle tissue to get the nutrients he needs.