Can vegetarian cats be healthy cats?
Cats are considered "obligate carnivores." This means they must have meat in their diets to ensure good health and a long life. However, this is not to say that they need only meat for proper nutrition.
Unlike humans, and even dogs, cats are carnivorous. For this reason, a cat's body cannot manufacture all of the essential amino acids it needs. These necessary amino acids are naturally found in certain animals.
The most important amino acid that your cat's body cannot manufacture is taurine. A taurine deficiency can lead to blindness, heart failure, and reproductive problems.
In short (and I think, unfortunately), your cat needs animal-derived protein to stay healthy and happy.
A few sources on the web say that cats can eat vegetarian, and even vegan, cat diets and be still healthy. However, they all acknowledge that felines need taurine in to stay healthy. Some even offer to sell you a taurine supplement.
If you are considering a vegetarian diet for your feline, please get professional advice from a trusted veterinarian.
Your cat's health is too important to risk.
Choosing the Best Cat Food - What to look for on cat food labels to choose nutritious food for your healthy cat or kitten.
Vegetarian Pets - Extensive article from veterinarian about vegetarian diets for pets. The veterinarian author addresses the dietary needs of both cats and dogs (dogs are omnivorous and can be vegetarian and even vegan and still be healthy!).
Personally, I've been a vegetarian for well over 25 years, and I would love if my healthy cat could also eat a meat-free diet, but for the reasons above, for my cat's health, I know I have to include animal protein in her diet.
However, I want her food to be the healthiest I can find (and I don't have the time to cook for her from scratch). That's why I've chosen to feed my healthy cat Life's Abundance Cat Food. This pet food is made by a company that respects all animals and is formulated by a veterinarian who truly loves animals.
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If you suspect your cat is ill, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
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