Taurine deficiency. Amino acid taurine is regarded as essential to cats for a number of reasons: vision, digestion, heart function, and a healthy immune system. It is also considered essential because unlike with humans and dogs, cats’ bodies have a limited ability to produce their own. As taurine is found only in animal-sourced foods, such as fish, seafood, beef, poultry, and dairy products, placing your cat on a vegan diet means you are removing their source, and subsequently, putting their health at risk.
Cats need high levels of protein. Protein is the fuel that powers our cats’ bodies. And they need a lot of it. In fact, adult cats require significantly more protein as a percentage of their diet than dogs or humans. And while they can still receive small quantities of the macronutrient from a plant-based diet, it won’t contain high enough levels to meet their dietary requirements for optimal health.
Limited vitamins and minerals. For our felines to reach their full potential they need a diet that is complete and well balanced. The more nutrients they are consuming from a greater number of sources, the better it is for them. Removing animal-based products from their mealtimes means you are limiting the amount of vitamins and minerals — such as vitamins A, D and B12 — which can cause health issues further down the line.
Too many carbohydrates can cause digestive problems. A lot of vegan diets are higher in carbohydrates than ones that include animal protein. This can pose a real problem for felines whose ability to digest and use carbohydrates is much lower when compared to other animals. Stomach woes could be the tip of the iceberg as well, with excess carbs also linked to feline obesity and diabetes.
Your cat may become bored with mealtime. Animal meat isn’t just good for cats, they love the taste, too. Removing chicken, fish or beef from the menu could leave a feline feeling more than a little disillusioned with what’s being placed in their bowl each day. And if they’re no longer enjoying their food, it might not be long before they start shunning mealtime altogether.