You’ve probably heard that cats are what are called “strict carnivores”. But what does that mean exactly? That our feline friends can’t eat anything but meat? The answer in this article!
Feeding vegetables to a cat is like feeding meat to a cow
By itself, adding a little fruit and vegetables to a cat’s diet isn’t going to kill it. What would be dangerous would be to offer them an exclusively vegetarian or vegan diet.
This is because cats are strict carnivores, which means that they primarily need animal protein – aka meat – in their diet to survive. These proteins can therefore in no case be replaced by vegetable proteins.
Taurine, for example, is an essential amino acid that felines are unable to synthesize on their own and that they must necessarily find in meat or fish.
It’s exactly the same principle as for a cow: the latter does not have a digestive system designed to digest meat; the cat is not made to digest fruits and vegetables. It can eat it occasionally, but it should not be the main part of their diet.
Moreover, in the wild, cats feed only on their prey (rodents, birds, etc.). The only time they can be seen chewing on plants is usually to purge themselves. Their digestive system is also specifically adapted to the consumption of raw meat. This is because their digestive tract is shorter compared to many other animals, which allows them to digest raw prey very easily.
Conversely, animals that feed primarily on plants need a long gut that contains fermenting bacteria.
What can you give your cat besides meat?
All meals for a cat should consist mostly of meat or fish. However, it is also possible to add other foods to your daily ration, either as a supplement or as a treat.
Thus, fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, cucumbers, strawberries, peaches or even pears can be presented to a feline. However, it is not sure that it wants to eat it!
Good to know: vegetables must always be cooked or boiled and fruits must be deseeded, pitted, diced and peeled before being given to our hairballs.
As for pasta, rice, bread or cereals, it is also allowed to give it occasionally to your cat. On the other hand, regular consumption of these foods rich in carbohydrates could lead to digestive disorders as well as, in the long term, more serious pathologies such as obesity or diabetes. In fact, the cat does not need any carbohydrates in its diet.
Finally, as you can imagine, sugary foods are of no interest in a feline diet. Especially since cats hardly smell the sweet taste, unlike salty, acid and bitter.