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Anybody got vegan cats?


Richard
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Hi dudes,

My brother is planning to get a cat in the future, and wants to get it onto a vegan diet. He is worried, since reading an RSPCA book about cats, that a vegan diet will shorten a cat's life. I've told him that people do have vegan cats and it isn't a problem, but I don't know specifically what dangers there might be, and how to do it properly. If anyone has experience, or a link to a reliable site, can you let me know please? Cheerrrrs. I've looked around previously and found sites that sell vegan cat food, and I assume they are fine, but I'd like to get first-hand information from people with vegan cats.

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Some good opinions you can read to decide for yourself

 

Obligate Carnivore: Cats, Dogs, and What it Really Means to be Vegan (Paperback)

by Jed Gillen

http://www.amazon.com/Obligate-Carnivore-Really-Means-Vegan/dp/0974218006/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233949075&sr=8-2

 

 

Vegan Cat Institute

http://ixamall.com/hpusa/index.html

 

Satya Magazine Archive on Vegan Cats

http://tinyurl.com/an3sqq

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Not because I am in an argumentive mood (I am) but because I really do believe that kibble, whether vegan or not, is unhealthy for cats.

 

CATS ARE CARNIVORES: Essay...

 

http://www.rawfedcats.org/carnivores.htm

 

Take a look at the rest of the website also and learn what cats should really eat.

 

Practical Guide to feeding your cats this way:

 

http://www.rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm

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Richard:

 

My ex-roommate has two vegan cats. They are still alive and healthy! She buys cat food with taurine in it (and i think cats need another chemical only found in animals) which you can find at http://www.vegancats.com. Her cats are still healthy and fine though a bit chubby But I get chubby too when eating too much good vegan tofu treats haha! I think the website also has supplements in case you don't think the cat is getting enough of what they need. Plus they have wet vegan cat food

 

Personally I just find my cat healthier when I feed him the prey diet

 

The only thing I have read that you have to look out for is that male cats when eating kibble, especially eating vegan kibble, can develope crystals in their bladder more so than usual. This can be a serious health risk. The website I listed above also has ways to help stop that from occuring, even some different foods that help that.

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They are brothers. They have been vegan for as long as I've known them. That would be... 6 or so years I have known them. She said they were vegan a couple years before. So appx 7-8 years, maybe a bit more?

 

Whether or not they have had crystal problems I dont know.

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I've read that male cats are more susceptible to the urinary tract problems, but that there are ways around it.

 

I already feel confident in feeding cats a vegan diet, from what I've read everywhere, and I've talked to people in the past who have vegan cats. But I thought it'd be good for my brother to get some info direct from people now who have vegan cats, who can put his mind at ease. Or conversely, if someone had a vegan cat, and it got ill or died because of it - but that's presumably not going to be the case, and is pretty difficult to prove anyway.

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What I really want is someone who has a cat, to say "I fed my cat a vegan diet for X years, had no problems, to make sure there are no problems I do XYZ"

 

 

I can't tell you that. I can tell that I had neighbors who fed Evolution to their cats. Despite being indoor cats they were trim and muscular. They had shiny coats, were friendly and energetic. I met the guy who wrote the "Cat Institute" URL above. He is heavily involved in cat rescue. He plans on going back to school to become a vet tech and to get credibility to write a book about about feeding cats vegan.

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Humans are omnivores, but that doesn't mean we can't be vegan. It's very similar with cats. .

 

I don't agree with your reasoning because human digestive anatomy is very different from feline digestive anatomy. Humans have omnivore digestive anatomy with most of the anatomy geared toward eating plants. A long circumlocutous intestine, flat teeth, we produce various enzymes, etc... Cats have short straight intestines to move meat out fast, they have sharp pointed teeth, different enzymes etc.

 

That isn't too say that there isn't a way to make a cat healthy with a vegan diet, I'm only saying your analogy is flawed because it assumes humans and felines are the same -- which they aren't.

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Richard;

 

We as human beings have the cognitive capacity to make choices based on ethical beliefs and we have the anatomy to support a choice for a vegan diet. Cats don't have our intellectual capacities. A choice for veganism is about us and for us. Vegan diets wouldn't be necessary if not for the changes human beings imposed upon the planet.

 

We removed cats from their natural environment and now they are mostly dependent upon us for their well being. IMHO our first priority should be the health of the cat and not imposing our guilt, our philosophy on creatures who have nothing to do with either.

 

I've had many people tell me that standard pet food from supermarkets is literally garbage and not things that African wild cats would eat. It used to be thought that cats had a lifespan of about 10 - 14 years. People who pay the extra money for specialty health foods for their cats have noticed many of them living to be 20 and with better health. That is how bad commercial cat food is. It is like raising human beings on white bread baloney sandwiches and pixie sticks, then concluding that our max lifespan is 55 years of age.

 

Whatever your brother does, please convince him feed his cats something other than standard commercial cat food. What he ends up paying extra on food he will likely get back in fewer veterinary bills.

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Richard;

 

We as human beings have the cognitive capacity to make choices based on ethical beliefs and we have the anatomy to support a choice for a vegan diet. Cats don't have our intellectual capacities. A choice for veganism is about us and for us. Vegan diets wouldn't be necessary if not for the changes human beings imposed upon the planet.

 

We removed cats from their natural environment and now they are mostly dependent upon us for their well being. IMHO our first priority should be the health of the cat and not imposing our guilt, our philosophy on creatures who have nothing to do with either.

 

I've had many people tell me that standard pet food from supermarkets is literally garbage and not things that African wild cats would eat. It used to be thought that cats had a lifespan of about 10 - 14 years. People who pay the extra money for specialty health foods for their cats have noticed many of them living to be 20 and with better health. That is how bad commercial cat food is. It is like raising human beings on white bread baloney sandwiches and pixie sticks, then concluding that our max lifespan is 55 years of age.

 

Whatever your brother does, please convince him feed his cats something other than standard commercial cat food. What he ends up paying extra on food he will likely get back in fewer veterinary bills.

 

I've studied veterinary nutrition for a few years now and I just can't agree with veganizing cats. Dogs are different because they are omnivores and their bodies can handle it.. But cats are obligatory carnivores. They have unique livers that can become diseased and die in a short time without any warning just by being on the wrong diet.

Cats also need a slightly acidic PH of about 6-6.5 in order for their urinary tracts to work properly, or they start to develop struvite crystals which are extremely painful.

 

Knowing all this, I just can't trust any vegan cat foods.. I don't even think any of them are AAFCO approved.

 

The best thing you can do for a cat is give them the diet that nature intended them to eat. A high quality food made with wholesome ingredients, rather than animal by-products, will help a cat live 20+ years.

 

There are plenty of holistic, organic, wholesome foods that are veterinarian approved.

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If there is a study which shows the negative effects of veganism in cats, I'd would like to read it, if it involves a study of vegan cats, rather than just theory. In my search, I haven't come across such a study, the negative things said about feeding cats vegan have so far been just statements, without a study to back them up. Conversely, all the stories I've read of people with vegan cats have said there has not been a problem for their cats in their experience. I haven't read a "I fed my cat a vegan diet, and it died" story yet.

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If there is a study which shows the negative effects of veganism in cats, I'd would like to read it, if it involves a study of vegan cats, rather than just theory. In my search, I haven't come across such a study, the negative things said about feeding cats vegan have so far been just statements, without a study to back them up. Conversely, all the stories I've read of people with vegan cats have said there has not been a problem for their cats in their experience. I haven't read a "I fed my cat a vegan diet, and it died" story yet.

 

If you can find me a reliable, unbiased, scientifically based study of a cat thriving on a vegan diet, I would be welcome to read it.

 

However, cats being on a vegan diet hasn't really been studied thoroughly.

 

I have done research on studies on the adverse effects of homemade diets (which are incredibly difficult to balance) for both dogs and cats.

 

I have also studied veterinary nutrition, and attended several seminars on the subject. I know how the feline digestive system works, and how delicate it is and the importance of maintaining an acidic body PH. How can that be done with an alkaline-forming diet?

 

Even if a cat is fed a vegan diet, what's going to stop them from chasing mice, birds, and insects and devouring THOSE?

 

I've "googled" vegan cats and all I've found were websites for vegan cat food. Of course they're going to say good things about their food.. They're trying to make money. Whiskas says good things about their food too but it's essentially McDonald's for cats.

 

I found somewhat of a debate on about.com if you want to read it:

http://cats.about.com/b/2006/03/22/vegan-cats-dialogue.htm

 

However, the only DVM on there advocating vegetarian/vegan pet food is a pet chiropractor (wtf??)

 

I thought this article was interesting too, also written by a veterinarian.

http://www.dolittler.com/2008/11/1/cat.veterinary.veterinarian.vegan.vegetarian.pet%20food.diet.nutrition.html

 

I think dogs can be okay on a vegan diet.. I just don't think cats can.

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Richard;

 

We as human beings have the cognitive capacity to make choices based on ethical beliefs and we have the anatomy to support a choice for a vegan diet. Cats don't have our intellectual capacities. A choice for veganism is about us and for us. Vegan diets wouldn't be necessary if not for the changes human beings imposed upon the planet.

 

We removed cats from their natural environment and now they are mostly dependent upon us for their well being. IMHO our first priority should be the health of the cat and not imposing our guilt, our philosophy on creatures who have nothing to do with either.

 

I've had many people tell me that standard pet food from supermarkets is literally garbage and not things that African wild cats would eat. It used to be thought that cats had a lifespan of about 10 - 14 years. People who pay the extra money for specialty health foods for their cats have noticed many of them living to be 20 and with better health. That is how bad commercial cat food is. It is like raising human beings on white bread baloney sandwiches and pixie sticks, then concluding that our max lifespan is 55 years of age.

 

Whatever your brother does, please convince him feed his cats something other than standard commercial cat food. What he ends up paying extra on food he will likely get back in fewer veterinary bills.

 

well said!

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Cats are carnivores. Full stop imho.

 

Are all of their teeth long, sharp and pointed for tearing flesh? Check

Do their jaws move up and down only for tearing and biting? Check

Is their saliva acidic for the digestion of animal protein? Check

Is a cat's stomach a simple round sack that secretes ten times more hydrochloric acid than that of a non carnivore? Check

Is a cat's intestines three times the length of it's trunk designed for rapid expulsion of animal proteins which quickly rot? Check

Is a cat's liver designed to eliminate 10 to 15 times more uric acid than the liver of a non carnivore? Check

Carnivores do not sweat through the skin and have no pores. Is this the case for a cat? Check

Carnivore's urine is acidic, is this the case for a cat? Check

Carnivore's tongues are rough, is this the case for cats? Check

Do they have hands designed for plucking fruit out of a tree or do they have clawed paws for tearing the guts out the carcass of a dead animal?

 

Also, doing 'studies' to see if they can live healthily on a vegan diet would be putting cats at risk in the tests and is a bit backwards imho.

 

Just my two cents.

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But then again if people are feeding their cats a vegan diet and they are healthy and living longer than usual......whos to know eh?

 

Btw Richard - I know its off topic but I has been watching your youtube channel today for the first time... I freaking love it! I don't even listen to heavy metal and I think it rocks!!!!

 

'Saturated' ftw (lol)

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This isn't a debate with me - I just want info to present to my brother, I don't have a cat, and probably never will.

I would suggest that you should suggest to your brother to think about getting himself an animal that's already a herbivore. Suggesting that because there's no study about cats feeling ill in a vegan diet would be like you were suggesting that there should be made a study with living, breathing and feeling animals and I've always thought that it's not vegan to support testing and studying on animals in the first place.

 

And it wouldn't be that reliable to make a test with cats living in a home-like enviroment.

 

And there isn't any study out there to say that cats living with a vegan diet are healthy either. Would a tiger live healthy and strong with a vegan diet? If wanting to digest vegetables, you're supposed to have a digestive system of an omnivore or a herbivore, but cat has neither. How would you think that anyone could turn vegetables into fake meat that would act like meat in their stomach?

 

Surely anyone can say that their cats are living fine, but have there been cats, who've been in a show and won a prize for being a healthy and thriving look. I wouldn't trust the owner that much to say that they could tell the difference between a healthy cat and not-as-healthy cat.

 

With a vegan diet you're brother would be putting his cat at risk of getting ill with even unhealthier diet then what their commercial diet (Whiskas, etc.) is. And IMHO it's not really animal friendly to do so.

 

Even I with a dog to take care of don't think it would be any good for her to eat vegan and i don't want to force her to it.

 

I think Marcina, studying veterinary nutrition and all that, is right and you might want to listen to her instead of us, who are only making wild guesses.

 

But I would suggest that you could politely ask your brother, if he would re-think about getting himself a carnivore or suggesting him to feed his cat game or other more ethical meat, fish and eggs with otherwise vegetarian diet.

 

But you should make it clear to your brother that feeding a vegan diet to his future cat is playing with the cat's life and should be thought carefully and fully before the cat comes.

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We as human beings have the cognitive capacity to make choices based on ethical beliefs and we have the anatomy to support a choice for a vegan diet. Cats don't have our intellectual capacities. A choice for veganism is about us and for us. Vegan diets wouldn't be necessary if not for the changes human beings imposed upon the planet.

 

I'm with you on this one. While some people are providing sources for cats to be on vegan diets, the short and skinny of it is that cats, unlike humans or dogs, are not omnivores. They are carnivores. Supplements are supposed to supplement what you're already getting, not to be relied on as a replacement for what you won't/don't eat. I work at a place that sells supplements and I sometimes have to actually tell people this. "A dietary supplement is supposed to supplement what you're already getting from food. This pill/powder is not a replacement for those things."

 

For someone who is interested in the best for their pet, that should also be the goal. If you end up having to supplement a cat's diet with a bunch of things it's "missing out on because it's only found in meat," then you're doing your cat a disservice. Let your brother know that it's far more cruel to feed a cat a diet where it must rely on laboratory-created nutrition to live than it would be to feed it the meat that the cat needs to survive.

 

I don't need meat. Dogs don't need meat. Bears don't need meat. Cats do.

 

 

If wanting to digest vegetables, you're supposed to have a digestive system of an omnivore or a herbivore, but cat has neither. How would you think that anyone could turn vegetables into fake meat that would act like meat in their stomach?

This is very true.

 

Richard, I understand that you're not getting a cat...myself and I assume others are trying to tell you things to tell your brother. As HCPin said, because cats aren't omnivores or herbivores, it would be cruelty to animals to try to raise them that way.

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