Harry Bolman, a 53-year-old vegan, recently caused an uproar when he posted a video of his cat, Uma, eating vegan meals on social media. Bolman, who lives on the Gold Coast of Australia, says that Uma loves eating plant-based food and chows it down as soon as he puts it in front of her. However, the pet owner has received backlash from his post from people who are concerned that his cat should not have a vegan diet. Some people have even claimed that he is cruel and depriving her of the proper diet that she needs to survive and maintain good health. So, is a vegan diet a sensible thing for a cat to eat or could it potentially cause harm?
In the wild, cats are carnivorous creatures. They hunt for their prey and then eat both the flesh and the bones of the animal they have caught. In many cases, they will also wolf down the fur or the feathers of their victim. Naturally, a cat can live quite safely on a protein-rich diet as their bodies do not digest food in the same way as humans. They do not need all the extra nutrients that humans do as they get enough nutrients from their meat-based diet.
In some cases, wild cats will eat grass although it is not believed that they need to do so for nutritional purposes. Often, a cat will eat grass simply to activate their gag reflex when they are trying to bring up hairballs that are making them feel uncomfortable.
Manufactured pet foods will often include a wide range of ingredients in addition to meat, which is generally the main ingredient. These often include a selection of vegetables and legumes. Some would argue that this is humans’ way of trying to make a cat’s diet more like the typical human diet.
Of course, now that vegan cats and dogs are becoming a thing, it is setting off a huge debate about whether it is ethical and safe to force an animal to eat a diet that is so far from their natural diet. There are arguments both for and against vegan diets for cats.
On the one hand, there are supporters of giving cats a vegan diet. The owners of these cats are often vegan themselves and want to reduce the amount of meat eaten to prevent the killing of animals. The argument for vegan diets is that vegetables do not do cats any harm and will still provide them with the wide range of nutrients that they need.
However, those who are against vegan diets beg to differ and offer several arguments against such a diet for animals. The first argument is that they believe it is unethical of a cat owner to force a cat to eat a diet that is so far away from their natural diet based on their own beliefs.
Secondly, there are people who argue that because the diet is so different to what a cat would eat in the wild, it cannot possibly be providing them with the nutrition they need to maintain health and survive. In support of their argument, they say that cats eat meat for a reason and to deprive them of this is unfair.
A further argument is that it is almost impossible for a cat owner to sustain such a diet, especially if the cat spends time outdoors. Regardless of the ethical beliefs of their owners in terms of eating meat, cats have a natural hunting instinct. If they are not being given the meat they need at home, they will go out and hunt for it. This may mean catching birds or mice to eat, or it might mean they scavenge in bins.
In the case of the latter, scavenging is a potentially unhealthy practice for any animal. The food in the trash is often rotten or contaminated and this can lead to the cat suffering from infections or digestive problems. With this in mind, it seems unfair to force a cat into a situation where they have to eat rotten food to get what their owners are not giving them.
In most cases, experts recommend that cat owners do not feed their pets a vegan diet, regardless of their personal beliefs about eating meat. If an owner goes against this advice, it is essential that they fully research the dietary requirements of a cat to ensure they can provide the nutrients they need to maintain health in an alternative form.