Hold the veggies, please!By Connie Orcutt • Published: June 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves
If we are what we eat, you may want to think twice about sharing your vegetarian diet with your cat. Cats are carnivores that require large quantities of nitrogen, which is best provided by an animal-based diet.
Unlike you, your feline friend cannot convert plant-based beta-carotene to vitamin A, and his body does not make vitamin D after exposure to sunlight. These vitamins, as well as certain amino acids and other essential nutrients, are scarce or absent in vegan and vegetarian foods. In addition, the high-fiber content of many plants can also decrease the digestibility of protein and other nutrients.
If you can’t stomach the thought of feeding meat to your kitty, your vet may be able to help you find a diet that provides protein and fat in the form of seafood, eggs and dairy. But please … hold the veggies.