Can Cats Eat a Vegan Diet? - Pt. 2: The Ethics

Cats Should NEVER be forced to eat plant-based diets. Not only are they harmful to the health of cats, but there are many ethical implications. Why? Because vegan diets for cats perpetuate other forms of animal cruelty.

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"Vegetarian cats happen when people love their ideology more than their cats" – Dr Ken Berry (MD)

Living without harming animals is honourable. And living on plants to achieve this is doable – for humans who choose it.

...a noble ideology, but harmful to cats

A plant-based diet is nothing short of detrimental to the health of an obligate carnivore.

Despite how damaging vegan trends for cats are, they are on the rise. animals are harmed, or are they?

In the quest of mitigating the harm to animals, cats are inadvertently harmed. As it is, ultra processed foods have been eroding their health for decades. And now we expect of them to eat plants?

Even though cats can live on plants without dying instantaneously, it sets into motion slow and painful decline of health. Is this not harm?

...the nutritional abuse of cats

Since the advent of commercial foods, cats have been expected to eat ultra processed food for our convenience.

Why is Commercial Pet Food so Bad? is a three part in-depth discussion of commercial foods and their health implications. It is a well researched, expert cited discussion of the full spectrum of problems associated with these foods, as well as workable solutions.

Is Cat Food Best for Cats? offers a commonsense look at how poorly cats must be feeling on these foods. Finally, the previous post drove home the health effects of vegan diets.

...sales are primary, well-being is... somewhere in there

Cat health is not the top priority of pet food manufacturers – sales and profits are. All marketers need to do is to convince us that their food is best, so we buy theirs.

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And marketing has been convincing – right from the start. Around 1860, James Spratt, electrician and lightning rod salesman from Ohio, started manufacturing processed pet food in London 1, 2.

Yes. A salesman in an unrelated field with no knowledge of animal nutrition devised a trend that is still with us today! And from the very first moment, Spratt used potent sales campaigns.

Spratt's was the first ever full-colour billboard to be erected in London 3. And nothing has changed – we are so convinced that we are feeding processed foods to the exclusion of all others.

And now, vegan cat food is marketed with equal zeal.

...snake oil for cats

As long as these 'wonder foods' exist, vegan cat carers will buy them. And as long as they sell, manufacturers will make them.

Since 2018, the UK RSPCA have been warning about the damage they cause. They implore cat carers to feed animal protein because cats need essential amino acids and nutrients that only meat can provide 4, 5.

...behind the scenes cruelty

There is a dark, less considered side to the pet food industry. Commercial pet foods are tested on laboratory animals to determine adequacy and safety 6.

‘Why is Commercial Pet Food so Bad?’ will take a look at information gleaned from research papers on how these trials are performed – without us even knowing.

The use of commercial pet food – even supposedly 'cruelty free' vegan foods – undergo these trials and perpetuate cruelty.

...a hard truth

The life of a free roaming gazelle, ended by a fatal bite from a predator, is nature's way. But we are worse. The animals that feed us lead the most pitiful lives.

No-one can say that what happens in feed lots are acceptable. Many of us are growing wary of their lame defense that there is no other way.

Dying is never easy, but all living beings deserve a decent life up to that moment. Unfortunately, the worship of cash has invariably surpassed the value of the lives of these animals.

...the ethics of vegan cats

It is also unkind to force any animal to eat foods that go against their biology. Yet, carnivorous cats are forced daily to eat ultra processed food made from species inappropriate ingredients.

However, very few see anything wrong with this. Despite the health damaging effects of commercial cat foods, some want to take things one step further and force cats into veganism.

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If a rabbit – a herbivore – were forced to eat an all meat diet, people would be outraged.

But the exact same thing has transpired – an animal is fed a food that is utterly inappropriate for it. Somehow it's more acceptable to feed a strict carnivore plants than it is to feed a strict herbivore meat.

Plants are every bit as damaging to the health of a cat than meat is to a rabbit.

...appalling advice from PETA

Anyone familiar with PETA will know that they pursuit the liberation of animals.

'People for the Ethical treatment of Animals' prevent considerable cruelties against animals and do valuable work. However, their pursuit of cruelty free societies have gone too far.

They condone vegan diets for cats 7. This is a horrible endorsement. Are cats not worthy of ethical treatment? What about their rights? What about the damage to their health and well-being?

Do they not care about the longevity and quality of life of cats? And what about the rights of the surgically altered roosters, rabbit, rats and mice that test the digestibility of these vegan cat foods?

What about the caged laboratory cats and dogs that are used in pet food safety trials? No PETA. Your advice about vegan cats are completely off the mark.

Veterinarians who recommend vegan diets for cats should also be ashamed of themselves for facilitating this health destroying trend.

...cats should eat what they were designed to eat

Cats too have a right to a happy and healthy life. They have a right to eat what mother nature has intended for them.

Domestication may have changed the cat’s behaviour – but it has not changed their obligate carnivore physiology one single bit 8.

It's simple. When deciding what to feed a pet, their physiology should be the guiding principle. Cats are carnivores and should eat carnivore appropriate foods. And if these foods are fresh, raw and unprocessed, even better!

...time for a different pet?

We are the custodians of the animals in our care – we do not own them to bend to our will. They deserve shelter, love and food that will keep them fit and healthy.

If vegans and vegetarians have insurmountable issues with providing appropriate animal-based food to their cats, it would likely be a better fit if they rescued a herbivorous pet.

...bravo to vegan raw feeders!

There are vegan and vegetarian cat carers who feed their cats a biologically appropriate, raw meat diet. I applaud them for going the extra mile for their cats, despite how difficult it must be.

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It's commendable that these folks are willing to put the well-being of their cats ahead of their convictions.

We applaud your good sense to know that cats – hyper carnivores – can not conform to any other way of eating.

Even more remarkable is that many of these cat carers prepare their cat’s raw food themselves to ensure the best quality. This can not be easy for them, yet they commit to it – every day.

Hats off to you! Your dedication to your cats is simply stellar!

...what's next?

The next post looks at why cats – despite their strict carnivore heritage – voluntarily eat vegetables.

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1 Adobe Express (n.d.) James Spratt: Inventor of dog food. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from W1Zf/

2 Dog Food (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://en.

3 (2019). A brief history of the pet food industry Part one, Spratt's Patent Ltd. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from

4 Quine, O. (2018). Pet owners who force their cats to be vegan could risk breaking the law. In The UK Telegraph. Retrieved October 24, 2019, from

5 Bennett, A. (2018). Cat not got the cream: Cat owners who feed pets a vegan diet risk making their pets ill and ‘may be breaking the law’. In The Sun. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from

6 Wysong, R.L. (2002). The truth about pet foods. Midland, Michigan: Inquiry Press.

7 PETA (n.d.). Is it safe to feed my dog or cat a vegetarian diet? Retrieved on February 9, 2022, from

8 Driscoll, C.A., Menotti-Raymond, M., Roca, A.L., Hupe, K., Johnson, W.E., Geffen, E., Harley, E.H., Delibes, M., Pontier, D., Kitchener, A.C., Yamaguchi, N., O’Brien, S.J. & Macdonald, D.W., (2007). The Near Eastern origin of cat domestication , Science, 317, 519 – 523.

The information provided on the website is educational and informational. We are here to give guidance on how to feed a properly balanced raw diet. We also offer advice on how to improve the diet of the modern house cat. Please note that we are not veterinarians. We are not here to give veterinary advice. Best Fed Cats will not be held responsible for any adverse reactions to your cat based on the information on our website. The health of your cat depends entirely on you. We expect you to use your knowledge of your cats, their circumstances and their health – in conjunction with a trusted veterinarian – to determine if any advice provided on this site is appropriate for your cats.

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