As the animal slaughterhouses become more exposed, many people are transitioning their families to a vegetarian or vegan diet. In this process, some pet parents want their cats on a vegetarian diet as well. Let’s talk about why this isn’t a good idea, at all!
I mean I get it, the inhumane treatment of animals in the food industry is nothing less than disgusting. How we got to the point that this treatment is even allowed to happen is beyond me. I’m all about treating all animals humanely and getting our meat sources from a trusted farm that has the same ethics.
Us humans want to go vegetarian or vegan for many reasons: to improve our health conditions, animal welfare or religious reasons. BUT is it a good idea to have our feline friends on a vegetarian diet? Let me put this simply, NO, no it’s not!
Our cats are obligate carnivores. Let’s look at the definition: “is one that depends entirely on meat because their diet requires nutrients that are only found in animal flesh.” THIS means they CANNOT get all the nutrients they need from plants and/or bacteria.
Let me break it down for you: cats don’t only need meat to thrive, they need meat to survive!!!
Cats are designed to eat meat. Start with their teeth. Cats’ teeth are pointed and sharp to chop into meat and bones to make them smaller. They do not have a single flat premolar or molar to grind plant matter. While in the mouth let’s just touch on one enzyme or should I say lack of. Amylase is an important enzyme when it comes to digesting carbs, however, cats do NOT have this enzyme, hmmmm, what does that tell you?
Their short digestive systems are amazing at digesting raw meat before bacteria can thrive. Also their highly acidic stomach acid helps fight bacteria and pathogens. Sounds like it was designed to eat meat if you ask me!
Cats require a variety of amino acids, taurine is extremely important for our cats to get. The best source of taurine is from muscle MEATS such as the heart or thighs.
Though a vegan or vegetarian diet might be ideal for you and your family, please know it’s not good for our cats and can cause many health issues. So keep your cats strong and healthy and let them eat the diet they were designed to eat; that is an obligate carnivore diet.