Pet owners who risk their cats' health by forcing them to go vegan could face prison

If cats are found malnourished, owners could even face a strapping fine, or worse could end up in jail if they are convicted under the Animal Welfare Act.


                            Pet owners who risk their cats' health by forcing them to go vegan could face prison

You might want to think twice before trying to get your cat into vegan habits, as RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has claimed that cats could become seriously ill on a vegan diet, and that might lead the owner to be found guilty of animal cruelty. 

Cat owners have been advised that they could risk breaking the law when they force their pets to turn into vegans, an unnaturally habit for them as cats are strictly considered to be carnivores.

Owners have been embracing the new trend of converting their pets into vegans due to overconcern with meal diets, which has led one in six pet food suppliers branch out into supplying vegan or vegetarian food for pets. However, on their website, RSPCA has specifically mentioned that cats are chiefly meat eaters. "Meat is an important part of a cat's diet. Eating meat is important for cats; they cannot survive without the nutrients found in animal-derived materials."

Trying to convert an omnivore to a vegan is a criminal offense. (Getty Images)
Trying to convert an omnivore to a vegan is a criminal offense. (Getty Images)

Unlike dogs, who are mostly omnivores, cats are one of those few domestic animals which are carnivores. A spokesperson of RSPCA pointed out, "Under the Animal Welfare Act, the law requires an owner to take reasonable steps to ensure that all the pet's needs are met. This includes a healthy diet, as well as providing suitable living conditions, ability to behave normally, appropriate company and protection from pain, suffering, injury, and disease."

If the cats are found malnourished, owners could even face a strapping fine, or worse could end up in jail if they are convicted under the Animal Welfare Act.

RSPCA's concerning note on pet food habits comes after the National Pet Show in Birmingham where the latest vegan pet food was showcased, along with other non-meat alternatives, inclining heavily on the owners' decision to turn their pets to into vegans.

The spokesman for the RSPCA added: "Cats are strict carnivores and depend on some very specific nutrients that are found in meat including taurine, vitamin A and arachidonic acid so can become seriously ill if they are fed a vegetarian or vegan diet."

Marge Chandler, a clinical nutritionist based in Glasgow and university lecturer, had come up with an instance when she treated a cat who had fallen weak after the sudden change in diet. 

Cats could be severely malnourished if not given proper food. (Getty Images)
Cats could be severely malnourished if not given proper food. (Getty Images)

The cat had to be hospitalized since it was severely under-sized and a substantial amount of its fur was missing. She said, "Feeding an inappropriate or incomplete diet that doesn't provide the animal with the nutrients its need is a welfare issue - no matter what diet it is." She substantiated the fact by stating that a cat requires a diet which includes at least 20 percent meat protein.