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At the Feline Advisory Bureau’s annual meeting 2004, Dr. Kit Sturgess, a veterinary nutritionist from Surrey, talked about the dangers of feeding vegetarian and vegan diets to cats.

He believes it is nearly impossible to provide a suitable vegetarian or vegan diet with adequate nutrition for cats. Amongst other nutrients, a cat has a limited capacity to produce the amino acid, Taurine. It is found in animal tissues but is not in plant material, therefore vegetarian diets fail to provide sufficient amounts of this nutrient. A deficiency can lead to visual impairment which may cause the cat to bump into things, failure to reproduce successfully and heart disease.

Commercial vegetarian and vegan diets use synthetic Taurine, however Dr. Sturgess believes that synthetic compounds may not be as easily utilised by the cat and that a cat on these diets will probably not be as healthy.

In his words: ‘If you want to feed your pet a vegetarian diet, have you thought about owning a rabbit?’


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©2006 Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd. No part of this website can be reproduced in any form without the express permission of Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd. The advice of Burns Pet Nutrition or a qualified veterinary surgeon should always be sought before changes are made to the diet in the nutritional management of health problems.

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