Anna R.- My cats are eating Evolution Cat Food. And they like it which is something beacause they are SOOO picky.
deusergirl-My VET told me that vegan cats are the healthiest, most energetic, Longest living cats he ever saw otherwise I never would have tried it. And he gets a kickback for selling Hill's so he's losing money perspectively by telling me that ( not that I would have bought it but HE doesn't know that). That tells me that he knows what he's talking about. And this is a vet in midtown Atlanta so I'm sure he's seen a few vegan cats.
As I said, Michelle, I'm happy for you this appears to be working. I will also be sad for you when it fails. I'm sure your vet thinks he knows what he is saying, but the truth is vets get even less nutrition education than doctors. You think human doctors know very little about what we humans should eat? Most vets know even less about what animals should eat. It is the rare exception to find a vet who has truly studied the nutritional needs of the animals they care for. Your vet is giving you an opinion based on anecdotal evidence, but that doesn't make it truth across the board. I do truly hope, for you, that your cats manage to survive as best they can on what you're feeding them; I just don't expect it. Biologically speaking, for a cat, expecting them to live on a vegan diet is like expecting a child to live on an Elmer's Glue diet. There are some tiny bits of nourishment they could maybe get from the substance, but not enough to truly be healthy and thrive. Their digestive system simply isn't set up to do so. The only difference, sadly, is that anyone feeding a child an Elmer's Glue diet would be jailed for child endangerment and negligence, at the very least. Unfortunately, we don't hold pet parents to the same standards.
Okay, the truth is whatever works best for your cat is the best thing to do for them. Vegan, non-vegan, both are valid options for cats. It all depends on the individual cat and what makes it easier and more cost effective for you to keep your friend healthy. There was a time when vegan cat foods didn't have everything a cat needed and suppliments were required, but that has changed. There are very good vegan cat foods on the market that contain all the nutrients a cat needs, for instance, Evolution. The cat isn't missing out on ANYTHING eating a vegan diet.
The bone of contention that people get hung up on with this is that urinary tract health issues are common in cats. The argument against vegan cats is that this diet makes those issues more likely ... but this can be true of ANY cat on ANY diet. These problems worsen on a high protein diet, which most vegan cat foods are. But any high protein diet, NO MATTER the protein source, will make these problems worse if your cat is prone to having this problem. Crystals form in the cat's urine and in male cats this can be potentially fatal (the crystals block urine flow and the toxins damage the kidneys) very quickly, and very expensive to treat. It's nearly impossible for a female to get blocked, but the crystals are very painful to pass and it'll cost you a vet trip and medication (usually a muscle relaxant and a steriod for inflamation).
In short ... if you want your cat to be vegan, this is a very real option. Just keep a close eye on them when you switch the diet to make sure a higher level of protein isn't negatively effecting their kidneys. If they start drinking more and using the litterbox more frequently get them back on a lower protein diet immediately and have your vet take a look at them to be sure.
A cat can be happy, healthy, and vegan as long as it works well with their individual needs, and yours.
Well, I don't know about any other vegan cat foods, but this Evolution everyone carries on about is definitely *not* higher in protein than the higher end foods I have been recommending and that I feed my cat. It is considerably lower, which is part of why cats are at risk when eating these foods. High protein is *not* the cause of urinary problems in cats. Please read http://catinfo.org for more information on urinary health in cats. A lack of moisture in a cat's diet causes urinary problems. One reason cats may show improvement from urinary problems on the Evolution food is that even the dry kibble version has relatively high moisture compared to some of the cheaper cat foods currently available. Higher moisture in the food will solve urinary problems. Lower protein will not. Lower protein only means that the cat has to eat more and more food in order to get the levels of protein he needs to thrive. Although the higher moisture content is a good thing, it is not enough to offset the negative impact of the cat's inability to digest the forms of protein found in the vegan diet. An ideal cat food will have a high moisture content as well as a high protein content (at least 40% protein from animal sources).
I've been struggling with this issue for so long. I still haven't come to a conclusion. I don't want to feed my cats any meat, but I'm terrified that feeding them a vegan diet will compromise their health somehow. It raises so many questions.
Is it safe to feed them a diet that's so unnatural to them? No long-term studies have been done on it, so how can I know that it won't end disastrously? But does that make it right to trade one animal's life for another, even if it meant my cats might not be as healthy? However, I have made a promise to these cats, so don't I owe them a happy, healthy life? But then who's to say these animals that will be killed for my cat's health don't deserve a happy, healthy life? Is it only antiquated, unresearched advice that bring nutritionists to say that a cat can't live well on a vegan diet? Or is it only anecdotal, short-term advice that cats can thrive without meat? Should I have never taken on the responsibility of cats to avoid this dilemma? But if I didn't, most of mine certainly would've died. And there is an horrifying pet overpopulation problem.
This is what the noise sounds like in my head in regard to this issue.
Wow, so much opinions... It is really nice to hear from all of you.
For me, i've decided not to go vegan with Moozzz. In the end I simply feel that it would be going against his nature and it simply does not feel good. Said before I am not against the fact that some animals eat other animals, it is nature, in my opinion, its neither good nor bad, its the way it is, and i guess you can see imbalance if preditors die in one region, it's not that the prey live more happily... There is starvation or even more suffereing as preditors tend to kill the sick and the old...
But what I do have a problem with is the UNnatural life farmfactory-animals live, so i gues that means i must buy organic catfood, which is a bit of a problem because my Moozzz is prone to bladderproblems and need special food. I did not find organic special food :(
@Duesergirl, thank you for the tip Orijen, I will try it, i just find out that I can find it here in the Netherlands too and the info about is great, just like you said :)
Again thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic and keep sharing, thank you!
My cats eat a regular cat food, there are cat foods on the market that are both vegan and supply all of their nutritional needs but they are not available where I live, I would give them a try and see if my cats ate them if they were but my 3 are all fuss pots so it is anyone's guess what they are eating on any given day.
As long as the food meets their nutritional needs it will not do them harm. Veggie and vegan cat food have to be contain supplements though as it is not a natural diet for them (having said that neither is canned food or kibble)