VeggieBoards banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm in a huge predicament about the best way to go about feeding them now that I've made this lifestyle change. Help!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
feed them their food. they are carnivours that need meat. would be not fair to make them vegetarian
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,995 Posts
Cats are obligate carnivores. The only way they can get the high protein/extremely low carb food they need is through meat. They have not made a lifestyle change; you have, and that includes not harming the animals for whom you are directly responsible by failing to feed them the diet they need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,299 Posts
I have cats too, and I feed them regular cat food. There is vegan cat food out there, but I've never tried it because it is expensive. And even the vegancats website that i link to below says you should feed your cats some meat.

http://www.vegancats.com/veganfaq.php
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,801 Posts
Yeah... I feed my kitty meat. Like mlp said, she is an obligate carnivore, and she didn't make a lifestyle change, I did.

In rescuing her, I made a promise to take care of her and provide her with the best life possible. That includes not harming her by trying to force her on a meatless diet that is unhealthy and potentially lethal for her.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've heard of vegan cat food as well, although the maternal and protective part of me wants to meet a cat who has been on this kind of food for years with no problems first. My thinking right now is to try and buy them food that's made from wild fish. Reason being if my cats were responsible for feeding themselves, their food wouldn't have spent its life in concentration camp-like conditions. And if it's not healthy for them to eat entirely fish, then mix it up with food that comes from a free-range producer. I would never eat free-range meat myself, but for their purposes it might be the best solution.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,995 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia82 View Post

I've heard of vegan cat food as well, although the maternal and protective part of me wants to meet a cat who has been on this kind of food for years with no problems first. My thinking right now is to try and buy them food that's made from wild fish. Reason being if my cats were responsible for feeding themselves, their food wouldn't have spent its life in concentration camp-like conditions. And if it's not healthy for them to eat entirely fish, then mix it up with food that comes from a free-range producer. I would never eat free-range meat myself, but for their purposes it might be the best solution.
Fish alone isn't good for cats, but there is at least one brand of food that relies on fish, venison, etc. - Taste of the Wild. It's one of the grain free foods available, (grain free is optimal for cats) but I doubt that all/most of it is actually from wild animals.

If you are considering feeding them home produced food, please be aware that cats' dietary needs are complex, and for them to get the taurine and other things they need, they have to be fed whole animals, which means rabbits and poultry, plus you need to educate yourself on the supplements you will need to add, unless you're planning on getting (and feeding to the cats) animals which still have their stomach and intestinal contents.

Preparing and feeding fresh to cats is not for the faint of heart - I can't force myself to do it, since I have other options. If I didn't have options, I would have to force myself to dismember animals for them, but it would be really difficult.

ETA: I also have to point out that it's questionable whether feeding fresh to cats results in less suffering, since commercially prepared cat food relies heavily on by products from the meat industry that feeds humans.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think I could bring myself to feed them a whole animal. One guy who's a vegetarian who I spoke with would get a free-range chicken from the butcher and feed it to his cat, though as I'm not a carnivore I'd rather not do that, plus most vets I've talked to think it's best to stick with dry food. Although Taste of the Wild does look more on the wavelength of what I was hoping to find for them, thank you! The big thing I was wondering about is since fish can be very high in mercury if it would be detrimental to my cats to feed them only fish, but I've been Googling and also found this food which looks like it might suit their needs: http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/produc...od/377030.aspx

I'd still be interested in trying them on vegan food one day if it's possible though, even if I do a 50-50 mixture with that and conventional cat food.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,743 Posts
If you're choosing meats to feed them, you might also consider that using larger animals like cows results in less net suffering and death than using smaller animals like chickens. It's takes more individual chickens per volume of flesh than it does cows.

That's one of the things that irritates me about people proudly announcing that they've cut out red meat, as though they've done something good for animals. Usually in doing this they up the numbers of birds and smaller animals they eat, resulting in even more individuals suffering and dying.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Exactly, especially considering that 90% of the animals slaughtered for meat are chickens. I actually knew one "flexitarian" who would only eat beef as it meant less lives lost, hmmmm, interesting concept but still, we have herbivorous digestive systems so we don't need it!

Although another consideration I have also is what is closest to their natural diet. I've still been Googling, and one article says that in the wild, cats are meant to gorge, then not eat again for hours or even days at a time, that way their digestive systems can do their job. That one recommended sticking to that system instead of leaving a bowl of food out for them constantly, but to also leave a pot of wheatgrass out for them to munch on whenever they feel like it. And looks like a lot of carnivores operate like that, that is alternating between gorging and fasting, that way their digestive systems can stay clean as meat is much heavier in toxins than plants are.

In any case, for as long as I have to feed them meat, I'm definitely going to keep a better eye on their portion sizes from now on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,743 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia82 View Post

Exactly, especially considering that 90% of the animals slaughtered for meat are chickens. I actually knew one "flexitarian" who would only eat beef as it meant less lives lost, hmmmm, interesting concept but still, we have herbivorous digestive systems so we don't need it!

Although another consideration I have also is what is closest to their natural diet. I've still been Googling, and one article says that in the wild, cats are meant to gorge, then not eat again for hours or even days at a time, that way their digestive systems can do their job. That one recommended sticking to that system instead of leaving a bowl of food out for them constantly, but to also leave a pot of wheatgrass out for them to munch on whenever they feel like it. And looks like a lot of carnivores operate like that, that is alternating between gorging and fasting, that way their digestive systems can stay clean as meat is much heavier in toxins than plants are.

In any case, for as long as I have to feed them meat, I'm definitely going to keep a better eye on their portion sizes from now on.
If they could get all their own food (which they really can't, which is why feral cats without a human food source generally can't survive) they'd be hunting small animals like birds and rodents.

Not that you would do so, but it is not safe to let cats fast or go days without food. Fasting can bring on fatty liver disease, which can be fatal. They'd best be eating every day. But many cats cannot or should not free feed, and must be fed specific meals.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,995 Posts
As far as dry food is concerned - it's true it's more calorie dense than wet food, and vets used to recommend it because they thought it kept teeth cleaner. I'm not a vet, but I've lived with a lot of cats for may years, and one ongoing concern is ensuring that they take in enough liquids. By nature, cats don't tend to drink much, and especially as they age, that can contribute to health problems like renal failure. I keep water all over the house, in containers of various heights (some cats prefer to drink from shoulder height containers, some from shallower dishes), but I also feed primarily wet food, because that does increase the amount of moisture they take in. Various vet specialists I've seen over the years have stressed to me their preference for wet food just because of the hydration issue. (I think that nutrition is not a subject that is stressed in most vet programs, so I tend to take the advice of veterinary specialists, who see a lot of chronically and/or severely ill patients over that of vets who may not have as much experience with the long term effects of various diets.) Just look at it this way - do you think that your health would be better if you ate only dehydrated, processed food, especially if you didn't compensate by drinking more? And even humans, who know that they need to drink a certain amount, often don't compensate sufficiently for tye loss of hydration through food when they're dieting.

The only reason I put out dry food at all is because I have so many cats who come from hard scrabble existences that they tend to over eat if there isn't food available at all times. (IME, cats who have gone hungry most of their lives tend to gorge at first. That tendency goes away more quickly if there's always food available to them, and they start to eat normal amounts and without the frenzy of the starving.) My cats get wet food twice a day, enough so that it lasts pretty much until the next meal of wet. A bunch of mine are nibblers, and no one is overweight. They do tend to start eating more in the late summer/early autumn and plump up a bit for the winter - it's quite amazing how that instinct survives in indoor cats.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,995 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

But many cats cannot or should not free feed, and must be fed specific meals.
I've been lucky to never have a problem with this - I do see obese cats in vets' waiting rooms.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm very lucky too, both of my cats are at a very healthy weight. I have also given them dry food only, although another cat who I had a few years ago was on a combination wet/dry food diet that seemed to work very well for him. Don't get me wrong, I would never let them go hungry, although I have been guilty of ignoring the recommended portion sizes on the side of the bag and just keeping their bowls full all of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
In terms of dry foods for cats I do like Orijen. Many of the protein sources are wild caught or free range but, reading between the lines, not all are. They are grain free and carb limited.

I've switched my cats over to grain free canned 3x a day and have invested in two fountains for them. With them getting older I'm especially concerned about renal insufficiency and other urinary tract problems. Three boy cats adds up to one paranoid person. With the three meals a day I find that they are a bit less frantic in between feedings and Sebastien James and Jimmy B. seem to be balancing out their weight perfectly. However, Simon is going to be eating on his own soon unless things change. He seems to be eating his portion and then the remnants from the others
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Very nice names, the cat I had before there 2 was Sebastian!
I know how it is with males and urinary problems, having their Ph tested and if there's any problems a supplement seemed to be the way to go.

Right now, I have Alice and Giselle. I would definitely have a male again, but for right now, these 2 are the ones who happened to choose to live with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Sebastien James is a tuxedo cat so he likes to be formal like that. I'd love to have a girl again, it's been 3 years since I lost my Mia and I really miss having a girly cat to spoil. I think 3 is my limit for now though, although if I got rid of the fiancé I'd replace him with another cat and a couple of rabbits
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alibabble View Post

Sebastien James is a tuxedo cat so he likes to be formal like that. I'd love to have a girl again, it's been 3 years since I lost my Mia and I really miss having a girly cat to spoil. I think 3 is my limit for now though, although if I got rid of the fiancé I'd replace him with another cat and a couple of rabbits
LOL! My Sebastian was a tuxedo cat as well. He looked and acted a lot like James Bond.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
I feed my cats and dogs Nutro Natural Choice.
They are meat-eaters. Their bodies do things with meat proteins, cholesterol, and animal fats that a human's body can not.

If my two pet snakes were still alive, that I'd had since my youth, I would continue to feed them mice. What? Would you expect me to kick them out of the house, along with my cats and dogs, because meat isn't allowed anymore?

Once I was down to my last $5, and I was out of dog food. $5 isn't enough to buy a bag of food, but it IS enough to buy a small package of chicken and a bag of rice. I cooked the chicken and rice together, and my dogs ate that until payday.

I'll do whatever it takes to take care of my meat-eating pets. There are plenty of non-meat eating pets out there in need of good homes. I saw a lot of guinea pigs, rabbits, and even goats pass through our local pound.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
841 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey guys, thank you so much for youur replies. As I get my head around my value system as I settle into a life of veganism, I've resigned myself to the fact that if I wasn't supplying their food, they would kill an equal weight of animals to feed themselves. So as responsible vegan cat companions (I'll use the term companion, I've always disliked the use of the word owner for a living being), the best thing we can do is to think about what we feed them, and also either take in strays or adopt from shelters, and spay and neuter them so that the population doesn't get any more out of control than it has already.

Alibabble, thanks to your recommendation, I found a store in my town that sells Orijen, and so far Giselle definitely approves. Thank you again guys!!


Now here's hoping that either there will be vegan cat food on the market soon with very little health risk, or frankenmeat....
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top