Buying cat food for feline companions can be a difficult ethical choice for a vegan. It's true that cats are naturally carnivorous creatures, but supporting this diet also supports the meat industry. Vegan cat food is commercially available, but the cost is often prohibitive. You can, however, make your own nutritionally complete vegan cat food from scratch.
- Skill level:
Find out about your cat's taste. Letting your cat sample various vegan foods and taking note of his tastes will help you customize vegan cat food to make something he will enjoy. Many cats enjoy the taste of kelp or other seaweeds, spirulina, cooked pureed pumpkin or squash, avocados and cantaloupe, so these may be good places to start.
Order supplements. The most reliable supplement to use as a basis for vegan cat food is Vegecat, made by Harbingers of a New Age, which comes with its own set of recipes. You can order Vegecat and download the recipes at the Harbingers of a New Age Vegepet website.
Understand the ingredients and results. You will be cooking with flours, oil and whole ingredients, creating meals that will not necessarily look like cat food to you. Knowing this beforehand can lead to more satisfaction with the end product.
Shop for ingredients. Purchase organic whenever possible, and buy dry beans rather than canned to avoid extra sodium. Buy some of your cat's favorite vegan treats while you get the cat food ingredients.
Pre-mix dry ingredients for kibble, using the recipe that comes with Vegecat, or the supplement you decided to purchase. Mix dry ingredients with the correct proportions, as indicated in the recipe. Roll thin, bake, cut into small kibble shapes and store in an airtight container.
Cook up a pot of wet food. Let cool and store in the refrigerator.
Serve it up at room temperature. You may want to gradually transition your cat to the new vegan food, replacing a little more of his normal cat food with the vegan food at each meal. Sprinkle something you know she loves over the food (or next to it), and serve kibble with a sauce rather than dry.
Watch for health problems. Cats sensitive to magnesium can develop urinary tract problems on a vegan diet. However, you can purchase low-magnesium Vegecat, which should solve any urinary tract problems.
Tips and warnings
- Be patient. Your cat may take some time to get used to the new food. If you have a finicky cat, transition him to the new food over a month or so.
- Expect people to disagree with you about your decision to feed your cat a vegan diet. Researching the health of vegan cats will arm you with knowledge for these discussions.
- Do not try to feed your cat a homemade vegan diet without supplements specifically designed to fulfill a vegan cat's nutritional needs. Your cat will quickly sicken and may go permanently blind.
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