Can cats be vegan or vegetarian? - Dr. Marty Becker

Can cats be vegan or vegetarian?

Thursday, Apr 14th, 2016 | By Dr. Marty Becker

Red Apple And Cat On White Wooden Table

Can cats be vegetarian or vegan? That depends on how long you want to have a cat, says Kristi Krause, DVM, a board-certified specialist in feline medicine.

Cats, with their claws and teeth made for taking down and eating meat, are obligate carnivores, meaning they require certain proteins that can be obtained only from meat. Supplements don’t contain enough of the essential amino acids cats need to thrive and survive.

Cats who eat a diet that’s not meat-based can develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies that affect bone and muscle development; an enlarged heart from lack of taurine; and vision problems.

Read more, including how to tell if your cat is overweight, in this week’s Pet Connection!