People make decisions about what to eat based on their beliefs and backgrounds, including health, political, environmental, cultural, or religious ideals. For some people, that carries over into what they choose to feed their dogs and cats. In one study, 100% of people who fed cats a vegetarian diet reported eating vegetarian diets themselves.
Amy Short from Brooklyn, N.Y., tells WebMD that she began feeding her domestic shorthaired cats, Olive and Georgia, a commercial vegan diet as 3-month-old kittens. “Because I am a vegan, I strive to live my life as compassionately as possible,” she says. “I had real dissonance with the idea (and brief practice) of buying animal-based food for my pet animals.”
Besides a little dental trouble for Georgia and springtime allergies for Olive, Short says the cats, which are now 8 years old, are “healthy, happy.”
Short says she hasn’t gotten much pushback from veterinarians, in part because she hasn’t told some of them about the cats’ vegan diet.
But feeding dogs and cats a no-meat diet is controversial and can be risky. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering it.
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