For our first ever edition of Kitty Kitchen—a blog series dedicated to cats and their diet habits—we are going to cover the basic idea of feline vegetarianism and why, for cats, it’s evil (OK, evil might be a bit strong, but it’s bad!). Keeping reading for more insights and tips for caring for cats!
So does your cat really need to eat meat?
Not all cat foods are made equal and just like with your human diet, it matters what your cat is eating. The food your cat ingests will have a direct impact on its health and happiness, so it is important you are feeding your little kitty only the best quality foods. And it’s equally important that you are feeding your cat the right kinds of foods too.
Your cat has feral blood of yore coursing its veins. No number of youtube videos and adorable cat posters and images can change the fact that cats are natural born hunters and killers. They are instinctively predators and this instinct is not borne out of pleasure of the hunt or sport—these cats, the ancestors of your little furball, hunted for survival; they ate what they killed. And they needed the meat of their prey for a reason…not just the taste.
The simple fact is that your cat cannot live well on a vegetarian diet. There are particular and necessary nutrients and vitamins in other animal’s tissues that your cat cannot get anywhere else. Specifically, there is an amino acid in meats called Taurine, which is very important for a healthy cat diet. A diet lacking in Taurine can result in blindness or an enlarged and weakened heart. And while dogs can eat strictly dry foods, cats need Vitamin A and arachidonic acids (which are only present in animal flesh) to survive. This is why you should not feed your cat dog feed.
One Cat’s Meat is Another Cat’s Poison
Unless you have a barn cat that has available to it a steady diet of live mice, you cannot rely on your cat getting enough meat proteins and nutrients through hunting alone. You also should not feed your cat raw meats, as this can lead to disease and other health problems. In fact, a hunting mouse can get these diseases through its prey, so your safest bet is to control your cats diet yourself, feeding her what she needs so she doesn’t need to look for it elsewhere. It’ll cost a little more, but the canned cat food will have the necessary nutrients (and plenty of water, too) for a healthier diet and a happier cat!
Supplementing with Greens
Just because your cat’s diet should consist of plenty of meats does not mean that the little kitties do not need some green in their diets as well. In fact, if you keep house plants and you are not providing greens for your cat, you may find your plants in danger of being eaten…and plants are an easy prey for hunt-savvy cats.
We will go into green detail in our next edition of Kitty Kitchen, but just know that if your cat is eating plants, it is quite normal and expected. We suggest you keep a little “garden” of catnip for the cat the graze on when craving the essential greens to supplement it’s meats.
So next time your cat drags a mouse proudly to your feet, know that she is just doing what she is programmed to do. And when you’re at the grocery store, remember she needs precious meat foods for a long and healthy life!
If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
– John Cleese