this thread is to provide a resource for people interested in examining the merits of feeding a veg diet to cats. (it is also an attempt to centralize conversations on the matter which occasionally get sprinkled into other threads.)
while people may want to argue the 'morality' of feeding cats veg based on their subjective notions, there is really no argument from a health perspective. veg cats have been around 'officially' for 2 decades and while there isn't much in the way of actual studies (as there are for veg dogs - neither are 'hot' topics), there is a volume of anecdotal evidence showing that veg cats not only thrive, but in many situations do better than their meat-eating counterparts.
therefore, if you want to talk ethics go ahead. if you want to examine the nutrition and the options presently available (this is an increasing body as people become aware of the benefits of a veg diet), you can do that here too.
a good companion to this thread is here:
as is the comprehensive vegan dogs thread.
i have copied certain items of importance from other threads to this one, giving credit to the contributor.
also see vegan pets.
ours took to the chickpea recipe really fast as in
glad you liked the oh-ohs, slide!
if you go with hoana, i'd also recommend getting peden's book, vegetarian dogs and cats. it is very well written by someone with considerable knowledge and experience in this area. there are more recipes in the book than i have on the pdf as well as plenty of other info.
i'm not aware of any raw veg cat diets.
however, the fact that a bunch of cats are thriving on vegcat is pretty good grounds because that's what the empirical evidence shows.
i don't think diet can be blamed for old age illnesses (or even death) unless it is a bad diet. there are many other factors involved including activity and genetics. cats living 'naturally' and allowed to hunt often don't make it past 10 yrs. the application of 'natural' is largely a fallacy:
hi again peter!
What I blame the 5+ years of slowly-advancing old age illnesses on is the low-quality diet consisting of useless, empty "feedstuffs" and synthetic nutrients.
considering cats live much longer these days (avg 10-15yrs) despite synthetic nutrients than they did in say the 60s, one would have to demonstrate that there is something wrong with synthetic nutrients.
I understand that the cats are thriving on the raw vegan diets
i'm not sure how you come to this conclusion. i'm certainly not aware of any raw vegan diets for cats.
why is it OK to ignore Doug Graham's teaching on cooked food, do they apply only to humans?
i'm not terribly interested in teachings unless substantiated with empirical results (anecdotal or otherwise).
Why is it all of a sudden OK to ignore all the concerns that synthetic nutrients are less effective than naturally occuring nutrients
i don't think it's all of a sudden. certain synthetics such as most vitamins have been shown by peer reviewed studies to be not much more than a hoax. certain ones seem to have some validity such as b12, d, c. some are presented in chelated form for proper adsorption.
Why do we ignore that when it comes to cats?
we aren't ignoring anything. we don't accept the "raw is the only way simply because X says so". since you seem to be familiar with fallacies, you'll recognize that this is the appeal to authority one.
i think raw is good and have eaten primarily that way for 20+ years.
nor do i take supplements not even b12.
however, it would be presumptuous of me to blanketly state that what i do is demonstrably correct for everyone. for instance, dr injects b12 due to certain issues he'd had in the past.
there are certain things which are demonstrably correct. for instance, no matter how you argue that corpse consumption is practiced by some people who are healthy, there is too much evidence that shows bad things are going on behind the surface. here's one of the most recent examples out of many:
there are no studies to my (and some people who are more involved with this vegpet thing) knowledge, which shows that synthetics have any adverse effects on dogs or cats. in fact, quite the contrary which is one reason even meat-based products have these added.
I don't get it!
i do understand your dilemma, peter.
you've built an argument around certain axioms such as
only raw is good
synthetics are bad
therefore, deductive reasoning would naturally lead you to the conclusions you have come to - and quite correctly too.
however, diets aren't a deductive matter since their evaluation is empirically based. that requires we go with the evidence not the axioms. this evidence (admittedly mostly in anecdotal form though significant) certainly shows cooked, supplemented vegan diets for cats are very suitable (and over a period of 20+ yrs 'officially').
you're welcome leevonne!
when i get a chance i'll have a lot more on all this with info from vet andrew knight who has published some papers on the issue (i think). it's just difficult tracking him down and getting him to sit still ... but i can't be too critical since i'm rather pre-occupied these days too. :D
hi again leevonne!
there are plenty of vegdog diets (the cats are catching up, but have a long way to go still :D).
even mainstream pet food companies tend to carry a vegdog line these days.
we prefer the small ones though having tried various ones out over more than a decade. our fav is hoana followed by ami.
there is a very extensive discussion on vegdogs here:
and there should be some recipes in this thread:
pradtf, I respect your passion on this subject, however I have to disagree with feeding cats a vegan diet.
One of the reasons I am so drawn to 30BaD is because I believe that is the closest option to the natural human diet. So I can't understand wanting to feed cats something so unnatural for them. Feral cats don't seek out vegan foods, they seek out meat. It's instinctual for them. A lot of vegan cat foods are just highly processed foods that are loaded with synthetic compounds to try to make them balanced. Two decades of anecdotal evidence is not enough. The very fact that there is no raw vegan option for cats should be enough to show that it's not the right diet for them. Cats can certainly thrive on a raw diet, but it's one filled with meat. Whatever happened to promoting species-appropriate diets?
I think the most ethical option for vegans who cannot bring themselves to feed meat or eggs to their pets is for them to avoid adopting carnivorous animals such as cats. There are plenty of bunnies and chickens out there that need rescuing and WILL thrive on raw vegan foods.
I respect your passion on this subject
please understand there is no passion. my involvement with veganpets is based on logic and science. it's something we've done since 1998 and that includes both research and implementation. others have done this for considerably longer.
Feral cats don't seek out vegan foods, they seek out meat. It's instinctual for them.
cats will also seek out antifreeze, drink it and then die.
A lot of vegan cat foods are just highly processed foods that are loaded with synthetic compounds to try to make them balanced.
you may want to research this further. first, there aren't a lot of vegan cat foods. there are only about 3 or 4 of them. second, there is no balancing act here - it's a matter of providing 'specific nutrients' as opposed to 'specific feedstuffs'. a good place to begin is this thread, but you'll want to go beyond just the original post. i'll have more or all this later in time though i've been saying this for about a year now :D
Two decades of anecdotal evidence is not enough.
perhaps you'd like to explain just why not.
do you realize that we only have anecdotal evidence for raw diets for people?
are you able to provide any evidence which shows that vegan diets are bad for cats?
i can show you at least one published study which shows cats do fine on a proper vegan diet.
The very fact that there is no raw vegan option for cats should be enough to show that it's not the right diet for them.
i don't understand what you mean here. there are cooked vegan diets for cats, so obviously the argument isn't with the vegan part of it, unless you are suggesting that only a raw X diet's existence makes an X diet acceptable? that is a very strange and fallacious argument, so i'm sure that's not what you mean.
Whatever happened to promoting species-appropriate diets?
there is no such thing as a species-appropriate diet if you are arguing along the lines that cats must eat meat and humans must eat fruit. different species have developed certain physiological advantages at consuming certain things, but that doesn't mean they do not thrive eating things beyond the superficial physiology.
humans for instance weren't 'designed' to eat fruit. their make up is close to a herbivore, but they have mostly been omnivorous throughout their time. yet humans do very well when they dump the corpse parts because despite 50000 yrs of omnivory, the 'unnatural' consumption of 'unnatural' fruit (pretty well all the fruit we eat is hybridized), seems to do well for them. carnivores actually do well on vegan foods for the same reason when these are properly supplemented as the research done on dogs (see vegan dogs thread) show in particular - they don't get the same illnesses and tend to stay in better health than their meat-eating counterparts.
I think the most ethical option for vegans who cannot bring themselves to feed meat or eggs to their pets is for them to avoid adopting carnivorous animals such as cats.
you have not provided any rationale for the above statement.
let me offer an alternative ethical option which does have proper rationale:
if knowing via both research and anecdotal reports, that carnivorous pets thrive (by any parameters you choose to employ!) on vegan food, you still insist they be fed the bodies of other animals, you should choose a bunny or a chicken as an animal companion. that way you will not be willingly contributing to the imprisonment, exploitation, abuse and murder of sentient beings.
greetings raychil! and welcome to 30bad!
many cats seem to like sweet things even though they apparently don't have a mechanism for detecting them:
it's an interesting article, but it also seems to disregard reality. :D
cats, vegan or otherwise, require a balanced diet with appropriate nutrients (as do all creatures). you may enjoy herbivore's group:
and find many useful items there.
It quite funny to see other cats eat sweets, my cat just turns away every time I try to give him some sweet piece of fruit, so far only avocado got his interest. He must think I'm completely mad eating fruit :D my cat does eat Ami Cat pet food and seems okay with it. I kinda like it, since I don’t have to worry about my pet eating my food :D
I kinda like it, since I know I don’t have to worry about my pet eating my food :D
good to have less competition in the household! :D
as far as i can recall we've had more than 12 cats over the years and not a single one liked fruit. in the early 90s, we did visit my young son's friend and were astonished to see his cat eating watermelon and cantaloupe!
as with most of these things, taste is personal to the individual!