Owners Who Force Cats To Follow Vegan Diet Could Face Criminal Charges
Are you feeding your pet a vegan diet? You may want to reconsider. If your pet happens to be a feline, you might be doing more harm than you realize.
The number of people following a strict vegan diet is on the rise, and it's not just because they want a cruelty-free lifestyle. Plant-based diets have been proven to be a highly effective way to reduce our impact on the environment and global warming.
Apart from that, there are numerous health benefits associated with a plant-based diet as they are high in nutrients and cholesterol-free. A vegan diet can lower blood sugar, lower your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and can even fight obesity.
Some dedicated vegans decided to put their pets on a plant-based diet. If a vegan diet helps humans live longer, maybe it could do the same thing for our beloved pets, right? Well... not exactly.
All mammals require nine essential amino acids. These amino acids can be found in both plant and animal-based diets. Cats, however, also require arginine and taurine in their diets. Taurine and arginine are amino acids only found in meat.
Because of their unique dietary requirements, cats are classified as obligate carnivores. Obligate carnivores must eat meat to survive.
Cats are not the only obligate carnivores in the animal kingdom. Dolphins, seals, sea lions, walruses, tarsiers, wild cats, certain snakes, sharks, and mink are some of the animals also classified as obligate carnivores.
This basically means that when we feed our feline friends plant-based foods as opposed to meat, they are at a high risk for various health implications such as kidney failure, or even Urinary Tract Infections.
According to the RSPCA, this goes against the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act.
The United Kingdom's Animal Welfare Act requires all pet owners to ensure the needs of their pets are being met. Proper nutrition is part of an animal's basic needs. Since withholding meat from a cat negatively impacts their health, it's considered a violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
Anyone in violation of the Animal Welfare Act can face fines and/or prison time.
Andrew Knight, however, who is the founder of the Center for Animal Welfare at the University Of Winchester, claims there might be a way...
According to research that he published in 2016, a Vegan or Vegetarian diet can technically be sustainable for pets in general (including cats), and can even have some reported health benefits, but it is nevertheless extremely necessary that pet owners who choose to do so keep track of Urinal Acidity - especially in cats. Additionally, pet owners are advised to generally make sure that their animals are receiving all nutrients necessary for survival and good health.
This, however, can prove to be controversial and risky, so it is generally advised by Veterinarians to stick to a meat diet for our fuzzy felines.
Vegans feeding obligate carnivores a plant-based diet was first brought to the attention of the media because of a YouTuber named Sonia Sae. Sonia owns a fennec fox named Jumanji.
Fennec Foxes are obligate carnivores, but Sonia ignored a veterinarian's advice and fed Jumanji a vegan diet.
Animal lovers, science enthusiasts, and veterinarians around the world were outraged when Sonia posted videos of Jumanji missing fur and looking frail. He was underweight and lethargic, something Sonia explained to be due to preexisting health conditions.
Despite receiving death threats, Sonia continues to feed Jumanji a plant-based diet. She claims his health is improving on a vegan diet. Several animal experts disagree, and others claim it's cruel to keep fennec foxes as pets in the first place.
She shares her story in the video above and goes on to talk about how she became the victim of a smear campaign online without people really knowing the true story.
Do you agree with the RSPCA's stance on feeding cats a plant-based diet? Should owners be prosecuted for doing so? Don't forget to invite your friends to the conversation!
Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your Vet. Your cats health is important to us!