An international study found that vegetarian cats are healthier than meat-eaters

Despite the fact that cats are known to hunt and eat meat, a recently released worldwide study claims that domestic cats given a vegetarian diet may be healthier than those who eat meat.

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Professor Andrew Knight, a veterinary surgeon and professor of animal care at Griffith University in Australia, noted that for every general health indicator assessed, the cats in the study "achieved better health outcomes when fed plant-based diets."

Create vegan pet meals

"It indicates that pet food manufacturers are now designing and creating plant-based pet foods to include all of the necessary nutrients, but with fewer of the nutritional risks prevalent in meat-based pet foods," he noted.

Based on the results of 1,369 cats, the study discovered that cats fed a plant-based diet required 7% fewer vet visits, 15% less medication, and were 4% less likely to be diagnosed as ill by their vet. They were 8% less likely to have a major condition diagnosed by a veterinarian.

They were also 55% less likely to switch to a medical diet due to health issues, 23% less likely to be classified as extremely unwell by their owners, and had 16% fewer health conditions if they were healthy.

Although none of the reductions were statistically significant, Professor Knight stated that the findings "show a strong trend."

vegetarian cats

Veterinary organizations encourage feeding meat to cats

These findings contradict several veterinary organizations' recommendations that cats not be given meat or animal products.

The British Veterinary Association issued a statement in 2021, in response to rising media interest, stating that cats are omnivores and should not be fed a vegetarian diet.

"They require ingredients from animal sources to provide essential nutrients, such as taurine [an amino acid] and preformed vitamin A, which are minimal or even absent in plant-based ingredients," according to the organization.

Professor Knight stated that veterinarians were "understandably cautious about unconventional diets of all kinds" and that he planned to present the BVA with a "wealth" of current research on vegetarian diets for pets.

He claims that cats fed commercially accessible meals branded as nutritionally complete for them should get everything they need, rather than meat or other specialized additives.

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