Vegan Diet for Cats

Are you thinking about feeding your cat a vegan diet? Find out more about the topic in this article.

We’ll explore a study conducted on cat owners and their cats’ diets and health. The study reveals that some owners feed their cats either a vegan or meat-based diet. Surprisingly, there is no evidence of detrimental health effects in cats on a vegan diet. In fact, they may even experience non-significant reductions in illness indicators.

However, it’s important to consider their nutritional requirements and consult a veterinarian.

Key Takeaways

  • Majority of respondents in a survey of cat owners fed their cats either a vegan or meat-based diet, with no evidence of detrimental health effects in cats fed a vegan diet.
  • Cats on a vegan diet had slightly more diseases compared to cats on a meat-based diet, with kidney disease being slightly more common in cats on a vegan diet.
  • More research is needed before concluding that vegan diets are better for cat health, and clinical trials with large cat populations and direct measurements of health are required.
  • Nutrient deficiencies, particularly taurine, are a concern in vegan diets for cats, and careful consideration and consultation with a veterinarian is important before feeding a cat a vegan diet.

Vegan Diet for Cats: An Overview

If you’re considering a vegan diet for your cat, it’s important to have an overview of the key aspects and considerations involved.

A vegan diet for cats and dogs is a plant-based diet that excludes all animal products. While cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require meat in their diet, some cat owners choose to feed their cats a vegan diet for ethical or environmental reasons.

However, it’s essential to understand that cats have specific nutritional requirements that are best met through a balanced diet that includes animal-based proteins. Plant-based diets may lack certain essential nutrients that cats need to thrive, such as taurine, which is crucial for their heart and eye health.

Before making any dietary changes, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian to ensure your cat’s nutritional needs are being met.

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Potential Health Benefits of Vegan Diets for Cats

What are the potential health benefits of feeding your cat a vegan diet? Cats fed vegan diets have shown lower rates of illness and mortality compared to cats on meat-based diets. A survey conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found that most cats on vegan diets had good general health. There is potential for improved overall health and well-being in cats on vegan diets, as well as a reduction in certain health issues associated with meat-based diets. Vegan cat food also provides increased availability of essential nutrients. To illustrate the potential health benefits, here is a table comparing the health outcomes in cats fed vegan diets versus those on meat-based diets:

Health OutcomesCats Fed Vegan DietsCats on Meat-Based Diets
Illness RatesLowerHigher
Mortality RatesLowerHigher
General HealthGoodVaries

It is important to note that more studies are needed to fully understand the long-term effects of vegan diets on cats and to ensure nutritional adequacy. Consulting with a veterinarian is crucial before making any dietary changes for your cat.

orange tabby cat on brown wooden table

Nutritional Considerations for Vegan Cat Diets

When feeding your cat a vegan diet, you need to ensure that they’re receiving all the essential amino acids, as well as arginine and taurine, which can be supplied synthetically.

Taurine is especially crucial for cats, as a deficiency can lead to serious health issues such as retinal degeneration and cardiac disease. Additionally, cats on a vegan diet may be at a higher risk for developing abnormally alkaline urine, which can increase the risk of urinary crystals and stones.

Monitoring and managing urinary pH, as well as regular vet visits for nutrient deficiency checks, are important considerations when feeding your cat a vegan diet.

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Challenges and Alternatives for Cat Guardians

Feeding your cat a vegan diet comes with its own set of challenges and alternatives to consider. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Feeding non-vegetarian cat food or not keeping a cat as a companion may be alternatives for some guardians.
  • Special pH-adjusted vegan formulas are available for home-baked kibble.
  • Many commercial veterinary prescription diets contain animal products.
  • Some cats may require a gradual transition from a meat-based diet to a vegan diet.

It’s important to understand that transitioning your cat to a vegan diet may not be a straightforward process. It’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian and carefully consider the specific needs of your cat before making any dietary changes.

white ceramic bowl with brown wooden spoon

Quality Control Measures for Vegan Cat Foods

Implementing rigorous quality control measures is essential in ensuring the nutritional adequacy and safety of vegan cat foods. Vegan cat foods must undergo thorough testing and monitoring to ensure that they meet the necessary nutrient requirements for cats. These quality control measures include testing multiple samples of the diet to ensure nutritional adequacy, as well as checking for any potential contaminants or impurities.

Quality Control Measures for Vegan Cat Foods

  1. Testing multiple samples of the diet.
  2. Ensuring nutritional adequacy.
  3. Checking for potential contaminants or impurities.

These measures help to minimize the risks associated with vegan cat foods and ensure that they provide cats with the necessary nutrients for optimal health. 


In conclusion, while the study suggests that there may be no detrimental health effects in cats fed a vegan diet, it’s important to approach this decision with caution.

Nutritional considerations are crucial, and consulting with a veterinarian is essential.

More research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and challenges of a vegan diet for cats.

Two More Recommendations for Your Plant-Based Journey

1. This is the best free video training I’ve found on plant-based nutrition. You’ll learn how to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and obesity—all with plant-based food. Watch the free “Food for Health Masterclass” here.

2. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in my 14 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).