How do you deal with the conflict of being veggie or vegan but feeding your cat meat?
Last Post 10/07/2016 14:41:52 by Shelley. 11 Replies.
Author Messages Not Resolved
Jane Turner New Member New Member Posts:4
27/08/2015 15:52:46
    Hi, I'm Jane and I'm writing about veggie and vegan cat and dog food for the next issue of Ethical Consumer, due out in October. What are your thoughts about being vegetarian and vegan and avoiding meat yourself but feeding your cat or dog meat? How do you deal with that or do you feed them a vegetarian or vegan diet? If you do, that might be OK for dogs but is it ethical to make a cat be vegetarian or vegan when it is a carnivore? Post here to let me know what you think by 7th September please.
    Coco New Member New Member Posts:1
    28/08/2015 18:10:00
    I'm a flexitarian which for me only means eating very small amounts of meat and dairy from very specific organic farms.

    I have two cats and find the whole cat food issue quite difficult. I feed them a high meat protein free range dry food and organic meat wet food.

    This partially helps with animal welfare concerns but given I have been reading in the catbon report that the meat and dairy industry contribute up to 55% of global warming gases I do wonder if we should be keeping so many pets at all.

    I have tried feeding my cats on low meat content food- in fact main stream cat food contains a very high level of plant proteins (and badly sourced meat!) and I honestly feel it has a detrimental effect on their health - poor coat quality, lethargy and itching.

    So I haven't reached a fully ethical solution yet!

    AHerron New Member New Member Posts:1
    01/09/2015 15:27:23
    My Dog eats Benevo kibble which is vegan. She thrives on it. The nutritional composition is the same as meat and you can buy it in bulk. There's a whole world of vegan treats too which she obviously adores.

    The hardest pets to feed ethically in my hosuehold are the fish. I can find no MSC certified fish food. I'd be very interested to hear what you can feed your pond fish having drawn a blank in my research.
    Ingavdh New Member New Member Posts:30
    01/09/2015 22:39:42
    vegan catfood has moved on- it contains taurine etc and is a complete diet. it's not "unethical" any more than feeding any type of processed kibble- you know, the ones we'd rather NOT know what's in...

    i don't control what my cats eat (am not the householder).

    fish-based food (debatably suffer less) and wild caught animals (prey animals who aren't confined in factory farms,ultimately survival of the fittest benefits future generations) are a second best where expensive vegan food isn't on the cards.
    DavidT New Member New Member Posts:24
    04/09/2015 11:28:55
    Our two dogs are almost completely vegan and very healthy, as were the last two dogs we had. Labradors, especially spayed ones, tend to put on weight easily (they're born to eat) but ours is not overweight at all.

    We've been feeding them Yarrah (organic/vegan) but I don't like the tastelessness of it, so why should they? We're changing them to Benevo soon, which I know many people recommend. We also steam and pulse vegetables to mix with the kibble. They love it, especially with a bit of peanut butter stirred in. I used to cook mixed beans for protein for them but it's time-consuming so now rely on the kibble for that.

    In a nutshell, apart from the kibble, they mostly eat what we eat.

    We're also going to try our cat with Benevo kibble but we have a cat to help keep rats and mice down, so she's pretty much on her own really.

    Of course, you can't 100% guarantee another species is vegan because they're independent beings who will eat whatever they find that they think is edible, as anyone living with a Labrador knows.

    5JesseHughes New Member New Member Posts:1
    04/09/2015 13:39:42
    Being vegan, I have found it increasingly difficult to have a animal-product free house with cat food sitting in the cupboard. The moral dilemma for most people is: if my cat is a carnivore, then I can't deny it its right to eat meat. The problem with this is that the food you can buy in most supermarkets is filled with a wide variety of ingredients a cat would never eat in the wild. This includes artificial colouring, E numbers and animals they would never be able to hunt (cow, pig etc).

    After doing some extensive research into the cat food currently in the market, I found that most cat food brands add synthetic Taurine into their cat food - for most people taurine is their main concern. There is very little in the way of vegan/vegetarian cat food brands in the UK but what we can say for certain is that they are just as good for your cat as products with meat included (if not better).

    Currently I am transitioning my cats to a vegan diet starting with their dry food (it is the easiest to wean them onto). The brand my cats seem to like the most is Ami Cat, but Benevo is also good. You can get samples of both of these here:

    After this I will attempt to filter in some vegan wet food into their diet but this may prove hard because they are very picky. The main thing for me is to make sure my cats are healthy. I know plenty of people who have transitioned their cats onto a 100% vegan diet and their cats are happier and healthier than every without all of those nasty ingredients.
    Helen Drinkwater New Member New Member Posts:1
    05/09/2015 14:35:19
    A true ethical consumer would not hesitate to feed their cat vegan food, providing it is OK for them health-wise. It's true that if the animal was living "in the wild" it would hunt small creatures of course, but in my opinion this would not be a reason to feed it meat-based pet food which is produced by human beings!

    As the cat is already in an "artificial" environment, ie, living in the home of a human being, an ethical consumer has an obligation to ensure that the cat eats healthily and ethically, and as any true environmentally-friendly and ethical person knows, that means not consuming any meat or animal-based products.

    I would also like to mention that this would include not using any of the poisonous pesticides applied on/in the cat's body (such as Frontline) to kill those parasites which are attracted to the cat (such as fleas, ticks and worms) which would mean using natural products where possible.
    Beats New Member New Member Posts:1
    07/02/2016 14:53:20
    I'm not actually vegetarian myself, so my views might not be that helpful.

    As a vet (just a regular one, not an expert in nutrition), however, I would strongly discourage a vegetarian diet for a cat.
    leon.nixon New Member New Member Posts:8
    01/03/2016 10:07:33
    We have vegan dog food for our dog and she has been just as, if not more, healthy eating that as she was before (her bare patches of fur on her underside have grown back too - although that might not just be because of the food). I don't recall the name of it though, mu mum buys it.
    Ingavdh New Member New Member Posts:30
    03/06/2016 04:13:40

    Posted By Beats on 07/02/2016 14:53:20
    I'm not actually vegetarian myself, so my views might not be that helpful.

    As a vet (just a regular one, not an expert in nutrition), however, I would strongly discourage a vegetarian diet for a cat.

    even though, nutritionally, there is no difference between vegan and non vegan cat foods? both have taurine added, in fact before taurine was added to meat based cat foods there was a much higher incidence of CKD.

    if the cat doesn't like the food though that's a different story!
    Ingavdh New Member New Member Posts:30
    03/06/2016 05:16:01
    sorry, DCM, dilated cardiomyopathy, that should have been
    Shelley New Member New Member Posts:1
    10/07/2016 14:41:52
    I try to buy ethical brands, but ultimatly, I don't see it as a conflict to feed my cat meat. (my cat will not eat ami cat). I make moral decsions about what I consume. My cat is incapable of making moral decsions, but I am resposible for his welfare, so I do my best for him. The wider issues about treating animals as commodities resulting in "over supply" and hence so many "rescue" cats is more of an issue to me. If there was a vegan food that met his nutitional needs and he was prepared to eat, I would buy it, but... it doesn't keep me aware at night.