Jess Parsons

Jess Parsons

Posted June 21, 2011

Published in Animals

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Purrrrfect vegans?

Read More: animal cruelty, animal testing, hunting, pet food, pets, vegan pets

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Cats are carnivores.  They are natural hunters, skilled at stalking and swift at capture.  One of my trio of housecats had a leg and a tail off a skink yesterday before I could do anything about it.

So obviously, I'm now feeding my cats vegan food.

Why vegan?

I'm vegan.  I do not claim cats should be vegan.  A cat's natural diet is as much small wild prey as she can catch.  

But here are two reasons why this vegan chooses to feed our cats vegan food.

Normal pet food:

  • supports the animal product industry
  • is nothing like your cat's natural diet

Savoury Chicken is unsavoury

The meat for pet food comes from animal factories.   It is the meat that they absolutely can't sell for human consumption, and that's really saying something.  

As a vegan, I avoid supporting animal producers where I can.  Why then pay animal producers for the lowest quality product they have?

As a shock, my previous choice of high quality cat food, Iams, has a known history of cruel animal testing.  It is not the only one, and I had no idea until recently.  Here's more information about avoiding cruelty in pet food companies.

The Natural Diet

Cats survive quite well in the wild.  But cats are also engaging company, and populations of feral cats living naturally don't mix well with human dwellings.  So we feed them to coax them inside to live with us - a major interference in the natural order. 

I don't know about you, but I don't feed my cats mice, small birds and baby rabbits.  Instead, the domesticated cat's diet is manufactured:  dry kibble and pureed meatloaf.

And the meat is domesticated pig, cow, sheep, chicken, or fish flesh.   Not animals your average housecat would be capturing in the wild.  The rest of the food is filler.  

If you feed your cats manufactured food, the "natural meat diet" argument no longer applies.  Vegan cat food (fortified with essential taurine) nourishes your feline friend just as well as one based on factory floor scrapings, and supports an ethical industry instead.

The proof is in the eating

I have two types of vegan cat food.  My friend Alice from Angel Foods kindly sent me samples of both types she had tried, and all our cats gobbled them up.

I bought a popular brand from another vegan friend who is a local supplier, and I also have the rest of one bag from Alice, whose cats sampled another type and never went back.  My cats are getting this remainder bag first in case they decide to be just as choosy.

This cat loves the food so much it was difficult to get a photo.














Is it safe?

If you are considering transitioning your cat to a vegan diet, investigate first and ensure the food you have chosen has been approved for full nutrient balance.

PETA and VeganCats both provide vital information about health considerations.





10 Comments | Leave a comment


You are doing your cat a huge disservice. Please visit (commercial link removed) before you continue feeding your cat a vegan diet. Just because the cat is eating it does not mean it's good for the cat. Humans can be vegan because it isn't necessary to eat animals for our health. Cats are not human, they need meat for health. That is how they are designed. They do not engage in cruel, inhumane behaviors. They simply hunt as they are designed to do. Please do not project your human issues onto animals.


I appreciate your concern for our cats! Anyone considering a vegan diet for a cat, as for a human, needs to research nutritional needs first. You have reminded me that I had left a very important safety section out of my post, which I have now added.

The vegan pet food we are using is specifically designed to provide all essential nutrients for a cat. It is probably more carefully designed than many standard cat foods sold at a supermarket, and it is debatable whether the contents of those foods even qualify as the meat that would provide any cat health.

Please read the links I have added into this post to be reassured that humans choosing vegan food for their cats are very aware of cats' needs and the potential risks and recommended methods to keep a cat eating mostly vegan cat food healthy.


WOW, What an inspiring article, Jess! Thank you for posting it.


Read interesting further debate happening on this post over at my minimMum site:


Cats,like all felids, are obligate carnivores, you should study their physiology before letting a manufacturer of "vegan" cat food convince you that is just as good for your cats.

If you don't want to feed your cats meat,I would suggest not to have cats,or at least let them go out to find their own preys.For petesake let him have his lizard,he probably needs it badly.
Is sad,is hard to watch (we don't have to),but is nature way.
I don't eat meat, but I can't stand it when I see this kind of extremism.
And by the way deny meat to a carnivorous animal is animal cruelty.


Hi Kitty,

I can tell by your strong message that you care deeply about cats.

Cat lovers also developed these vegan cat foods. They have done their research on cats' nutritional needs and they feed them to their own cats. The only evidence is that, with appropriate attention, cats can thrive on this carefully designed food.

Your message reminds me of people who protest that people, or especially children, can't be healthy on a vegan diet because of B12 issues, without taking the time to read the science and the methods we actually use. They also go so far as to call it cruelty.

My cats are free to roam and hunt, but I never appreciate small wounded animals in my house!

Thanks for commenting!


I do love cats,and all animals .
I do not believe that children cannot live and thrive on a vegetarian diet. However i think is not the same argument.
Humans can eat and process a variety of food, our body are made for it, some animals are designed by nature to consume flesh:teeth,digestive system,metabolism. I don't think is a matter of new science etc,it's a fact.
Taurine is for instance essential for the health of a cat,since they o not synthesize the compound, causing conditions like CRD and DCM.
How are these nutrients essential to cat health introduced in a vegetarian cat diet?
Due to the cruelty of animal testing, i'm try no to buy any supplements,so for me that would be a dilemma...
I love animals, and indeed i wish and hope to see the day that our specie will stop to view them as a disposable comodity to be use for our benefit,
but i think that the arguments are not so black and white.As i see it the responsibility i have toward the animals that humans domesticated is to let them live according to their nature not my sensitivities.

Thanks for let me express my view.


Hi Kitty,

If you read the links in the post, you will find out how the foods are supplemented with taurine. As the designers of the foods are vegan cat owners, I would be astonished to find any link to animal cruelty.

I agree that there is no black and white argument. Especially with cats, once we have domesticated them they are no longer living according to their nature. While very different biologially, both humans and cats can process a wide variety of foods (a previous cat we had went wild for bread, and our current batch enjoy any porridge left in a bowl) but there are different essential nutrients for each.

I am discussing this issue precisely because it is new to me; a vegan of 15 years or so and a lifelong cat friend. In fact, my cats are all still receiving a mix of food types and I am monitoring them carefully.


The best thing for the planet is for humans to not keep pets, full stop. No need for any pet food then - vegan or not! Cut consumption. The native birds would appreciate it. And farmed animals - stop breeding them and let them all die a natural death. Then we can all get along with just plants to eat and wildlife - and even other humans! - for company ... :)


Hi Radha, great to hear from you!

The best thing for the planet would be if WE weren't here, I suspect. :-)

Feral cats in developed areas also cause problems, unfortunately.

I totally agree that we should never breed animals...for pets or farming.

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