I’m sure you’re very aware of how popular vegan diets have become in today’s society. People worldwide are looking to switch to the plant-based diet as a way to try and achieve a healthier lifestyle. Well, did you know that humans aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a vegan diet? That’s right, your feline friend could thrive off being vegan. Here we look over the reasons why you should raise a vegan cat, with all the benefits and the food you can start with.
Why Make Your Cat Vegan?
The first reason why you should turn your cat vegan is because vegan cat food is better for the environment. Producing pet food accounts for 62 million tons of carbon-dioxide released into the atmosphere every year. That is a staggeringly high number that has a massive impact on global warming. Moving your kitty on to a plant based diet will protect other animals, and reduce the release of carbon dioxide.
Furthermore, the process involved in order to produce the meat-based cat food is extremely inhumane and awful to think about. Animals are kept in cramped conditions that allow harmful diseases and bacteria to thrive. Animals are pumped with antibiotics and selected in order for the ‘best’ quality meat to be produced. These chemicals are then passed on to your cat and can cause long term damage. Vegan cat food, however, involves no torture or suffering of animals as all the products come only from plant-based ingredients.
Many cat owners have spoken out about how much healthier their cat has been, since the switch to vegan diet. It has been shown to decrease the chances of cats developing certain diseases such as cancer and hypothyroidism, and it helps reduce the chance of them contracting infections. A vegan diet has also been proven to be extremely beneficial for cats that have digestive issues, as the diet can promote healthy bacteria in their gut. It also helps to keep your cat at a healthy and maintainable weight. A nice bonus as well is that it can help make your furry companion have an extra shiny coat that is in a generally better condition because of the diet. I’m sure your cat would thank you for that!
Impact on the Environment
The Guardian quotes that production of meat-based pet food is responsible for 25% of the total environmental impact caused by meat production. This is because not only does meat production involve the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from the machinery used to process the food, but it also takes up huge amounts of land and water to rear the animals that are used to create the food. Vegan food, on the other hand, is made from 100% plant-based ingredients which are naturally sourced and doesn’t involve the same heavy manufacturing process as meat-based pet food does.
Start Your Cat’s Vegan Journey
The idea of transitioning your cat to a vegan diet can seem like a daunting task at first. However, you can rest assured that there is no need to be anxious. The first step when putting your cat on a vegan diet is to consult a vet or someone specialised in pet nutrition. This is important so that your cat’s health can be assessed, so you know if there are any specific supplements (other than the general essential ones mentioned later on in this post) that your cat needs. This way you can go into the new diet feeling confident and comfortable that your cat will be as healthy as possible.
The best way to start the diet is to ease your cat into the transition. Rather than immediately throwing away all of your old meat-based cat food and immediately replacing it with the new vegan food, start off by just replacing one of your cat’s meals of the day with plant-based food. For example one of their meals of the day can be vegan and the other meat-based. You could do this for a week, and then for the second week start replacing their second meal of the day with vegan cat food. This is the most sustainable way to transition your cat’s diet, and it means they are more likely to take to the new food. It also means you can more closely monitor your cat’s reaction, to make sure their system is agreeing with the new food.
Nutritional Advice For A Vegan Cat
When transferring your cat to a vegan diet, you need to make sure they are still getting all their nutritional essentials. Taurine, arginine, vitamin D and vitamin A are not normally accessible to cats via plant-based foods and are only usually present in meat-based food. However, any good vegan cat food brand will have it in their products because they should know how important it is to a cat’s health. Therefore, all you need to do is check the ingredients list when you are picking your cat’s vegan food, and make sure that taurine, arginine, vitamin A and D are all present.
A very important thing that you will need to do when you put your cat on a vegan diet, is you will need to take them to the vet regularly to get urine samples. This might not be the most pleasant of tasks, but it is essential to ensure that your cat is remaining healthy and that the diet is working how it should be. The urine samples are to ensure that the pH of the urine is staying within the normal range.
Types of Vegan Cat Food
It is important to know that you can’t just feed your cat a human vegan diet and just load up their kitty bowl with fruit and vegetables. You need to get proper fortified vegan cat food, made by a company with expertise in the industry.
In terms of what the food cannot contain, it obviously mustn’t have any animal derived products. This includes meat, milk or eggs.
There are loads of options of vegan cat food out there, with lots of pet companies jumping on the bandwagon of pets following their owners and changing to a plant-based diet. They are available online and from a multitude of pet stores. Pop to your local pet store and there is probably plenty of vegan food on sale there!
The most well-known vegan cat food brand that you can find online are Benevo. They sell completely plant-based cat food which contains all the nutritional necessities.
You can get your hands (or should I say paws) on some here.
So now you should know everything you need to raise a vegan cat and to be confident that you are doing it safely. You should see major improvements in your cat’s health in no time, and I’m sure they’ll be thanking you for making their lifestyle a cleaner one!