Cats, being obligate carnivores, have unique dietary requirements for nutrients most commonly found in dietary ingredients of animal origin.
As such, feeding a diet devoid of animal-derived ingredients has been postulated as a possible cause of nutrient imbalances and adverse health outcomes.
🔬 At the outset, the researchers suspected that cats fed a plant-based diet would have a higher prevalence of negative health effects, such as
- heart disease
- dental disease
- skin disease
- hormone problems
- stomach and liver problems
- urinary problems
- eyesight problems
- kidney problems
However, contrary to the expectations, cat owners who participated in the study, perceived no body system or disorder to be at particular risk when feeding a plant-based diet to cats.
This conclusion is based on the comparison of
667 cats fed a meat-based diet
187 cats fed a plant-based diet.
Detailed statics were obtained and now presented on the slides.
These results are possible only when cats are fed complete plant-based diets (i.e. diets containing the right amino-acids (Taurine), minerals, vitamins and fatty acids). When cats are fed vegetables only (without any supplementation) then cats become deficient in key nutrients.
Owners who fed their cats plant-based diets had a positive perception of their cats’ health, and reported a belief of better general health, better body condition, and fewer health disorders as compared to owners who fed their cats meat-based diets.
Further research is warranted to determine if these results are replicable in a prospective investigation.
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Dodd et al. BMC Veterinary Research, 2021, https://rdcu.be/ce2pj