Cats Are Obligate Carnivores — What That Means & Why It Matters?
As school-going kids, we have all read in our science class that animals can be of three types: Herbivores/plant-eating, Carnivores/animal eating, Omnivores/eating both plants and other animals. In which bucket does your feline friend fall? Carnivore? Yes, but she is an “obligate” carnivore.
What are “obligate” Carnivores?
Cats are true carnivores or “Obligate” carnivores. Meaning that they are born to eat and survive from the meat of other animals. They can’t be tamed or practiced for a plant-based diet completely.
You may think that any animal is like that. But no! There are vegan dogs for example, who are trained by their owners to live with plant food mainly and meat very rarely. Whereas that’s not the case with our feline friend!
Cats need key nutrients such as taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A and vitamin B12 which cannot be derived from plants. These are mainly found in animal meat that they feed on like rodents and birds.
Hence, these cutie cats biologically need meat for their survival and are therefore “Strict-Carnivores”. You can’t let them live healthily for long on a plant-based diet.
Why does it matter?
The above-mentioned nutrients are essential for the healthy survival of your cat. Your puffy pals are designed with a digestive system that is only capable of absorbing these. Without an adequate supply of which, they may face critical health issues like liver and heart damage.
Cats can definitely digest the plant-based diet easily, but this diet doesn’t serve their nutritional needs enough. Chewing plants may enhance digestion, it will be a light snack for their stomach to churn and not something that gives them the right nutrients in the correct amount.
Cats thrive on meat so, never go vegan or vegetarian with them! Remember that it is not by choice that they eat meat, it is their survival key. So never try to change that.
Happy cat parenting with your obligate carnivore 😊