What is the Best Vegan Cat Food?

What is Vegan Cat Food?

Vegan cat food is a specific type of pet food made solely with plant-based ingredients. It essentially derives all the essential nutrients from non-animal sources.

The use of vegan diets in companion animals (cats and dogs) is trending. Some pet owners switch to improve vegan food to improve their cats’ health, and others due to animal welfare concerns (to stop supporting the cruel meat industry).

As a result, vegan cat food and vegan dog food are readily available on the pet market.

Can Cats Survive on a Vegan Diet?

Yes, cats can survive on a vegan diet. They can also survive on a vegetarian diet.

Andrew Knight, a professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics at the University of Winchester, “cats, dogs, and indeed all species, have requirements for specific dietary nutrients, not ingredients.”

He also mentions that “there is no scientific reason why a diet comprised only of plant, mineral, and synthetically-based ingredients cannot be formulated to meet all of the palatability, nutritional, and bioavailability needs of the species for which they are intended.”

So, if animal proteins and amino acids are mimicked using plant-based ingredients and the formula contains all the essential nutrients, vegan cat food can be an option for obligate carnivores.

Is Vegan Food Better for Cats?

Vegan cat food can be better, but only if carefully implemented and adequately supplemented. In a recent study, vegan pet food was said to be “as healthy for cats and dogs as meat.”

Here are some of the benefits of vegan cat food:

  • Sustainability & Ethics. A vegan diet is more eco-friendly – sustainable and ethical compared to a vegetarian diet and regular diet.
  • Weight Control. Vegan food can help manage a healthy weight as plant-based foods are low in fats and high in dietary fiber (prebiotics) for easy digestion.
  • Reduced Allergies. Meat and dairy are the most common allergens. Vegan pet foods are free from these ingredients and thus suitable for allergic cats.
  • IBD Management. Cats with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and similar gastrointestinal issues are sensitive to animal proteins and may experience relief if switched to a vegan diet.

The Best Vegan Cat Food Reviewed

As mentioned, there are various vegan cat food brands on the market. To help pet owners find the right fit for their cats, we have reviewed the best vegan formulas for cats.

AMI Cat Vegan Food 

AMI Cat Vegan Food 

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Summary: An all-natural, animal-product-free cat formula in the form of crunchy, dry kibble. This food is prepared using only GMO-free and sustainably sourced plant-based ingredients. It also has added vitamins and minerals for complete and balanced nutrition. The kibble is nutritious and crunchy for cats. 

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Adult cats

Price: $10.06/lb

Pros

  • 100% vegetable proteins
  • Professional and balanced formula
  • Added taurine and arachidonic acid 
  • Sustainably sourced ingredients
  • Most trusted eco-friendly brand 

Cons

  • Contains gluten 

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Maize, maize oil, rice protein, whole peas, brewer’s yeast, pea protein, linseed, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, potato protein, minerals, cell walls from Saccharomyces cervisiae, fructooligosaccharides, and yucca schidigera
  • Not-So-Great Ingredients: Maize gluten 

Review: Based on 435 global ratings, this vegan cat formula has an average rating of 4.6 /5 stars. Customers claim that their cats are happy and healthy after switching to this diet.

Evolution Diet Vegan Wet Dog & Cat Food

Evolution Diet Vegan Wet Dog & Cat Food

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Summary: A wet food formula of vegetables in a stew. 100% plant-based formula with a complete nutrient profile as per AAFCO and NRC guidelines. Supplemented with taurine that improves heart health, and skin and coat health. This formula is free of toxins and GMOs. Does not contain any preservatives or mold suppressants.

Type: Wet cat food

Best for: Cats/Dogs of all life stages

Price: $3.91 per can

Pros

  • 100% plant-based and GMO-free formula
  • Immune system, skin & coat health support
  • Can be used for cats and dogs
  • No artificial chemicals or preservatives
  • Awarded produced of vegan pet food

Cons

  • Contains guar gum to thicken the stew

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Sweet potato, brown rice, pea protein, soybean oil, vitamin A, B3, B6, and C, tomato paste, carrots, oats, kelp, taurine
  • Not-So-Great Ingredients: Guar gum

Review: Based on 82 global ratings, this product has an average rating of 4.4/5 stars. After switching to this food, customers claim that their cats have lesser health issues.

Wysong Vegan Feline/Canine Formula Dry Dog/Cat Food

Wysong Vegan Feline/Canine Formula Dry Dog/Cat Food

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Summary: A fruit and vegetable flavored vegan formula for cats. This dry food contains high levels of micronutrients for health benefits. It also contains prebiotics (dietary fiber) and probiotics that aid digestive health. Contains flaxseed as a source of healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Also boosted with antioxidants for improved energy levels.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Cats of all life stages

Price: $2.9/lb

Pros

  • 100% natural and plant-based nutrients
  • A large number of probiotic strains
  • Supports the digestive system
  • With L-carnitine for weight management
  • Can be used for cats and dogs

Cons

  • Corn is a controversial ingredient

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Brown rice, pea protein, potato protein, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, taurine, dried Aspergillus oryzae, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus lactis fermentation products
  • Not-So-Great Ingredients: Corn, soybean oil

Review: Based on 642 global ratings, this product has an average rating of 4.3/5 stars. Customers claim that switching to this food has been hassle-free for their cats.

BENEVO Vegan ADT CAT Food

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Summary: An all-natural vegan cat food formula in the form of dry kibble. This food is made with non-GMO and sustainably sourced plant-based ingredients and added nutrients. The formula is enriched with taurine, spirulina, and yucca extracts as natural sources of nutrients. Overall, the food is fit for adult cats as it provides complete and balanced nutrition.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Adult cats

Price: $9.99/lb

Pros

  • Professional and balanced formula
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients 
  • Rich in prebiotics (dietary fiber)
  • Foil fresh packaging 
  • Approved by the Vegan Society 

Cons

  • Contains gluten and sunflower oil

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Soy, wheat, maize, rice, beet pulp, brewers yeast, yeast-based palatant, linseed, seaweed, fructooligosaccharides (0.09%), spirulina, yucca schidigera extract
  • Not-So-Great Ingredients: Maize gluten meal, sunflower oil 

Review: Based on 421 global ratings, this vegan recipe has an average rating of 4.5 / 5 stars. Customers claim that their cats like the flavor and texture of the wet food.

Evolution Diet Non-GMO Vegan Maximum Life Dry Cat Food

Evolution Diet Non-GMO Vegan Maximum Life Dry Cat Food

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Summary: A plant-based, high-protein formula with peas and sunflower seeds. This formula is free of any grains or gluten. Does not contain any chemicals or preservatives. Contains taurine from plant sources for improved skin and coat health and heart health. A balanced formula in accordance with AAFCO and NRC regulations.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Cats of all life stages

Price: $4.6/lb

Pros

  • No animal products and by-products
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • Rich in plant-based proteins
  • Contains added taurine and carnitine
  • With enzymes and live cultures

Cons

  • Contains tapioca and soybean oil

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Dehulled sunflower seeds, pea protein concentrate, whole dried peas, brewer’s dried yeast, dried molasses products, minerals, and vitamins
  • Not-So-Great Ingredients: Tapioca, soybean oil

Review: Based on 41 global ratings, this product has an average rating of 4.5 / 5. Customers state that this is the “perfect plant-based cat food.”

How do I Know if a Cat Food is Vegan?

To determine whether a cat food is truly vegan, check the ingredient list. Vegan cat food will be free from animal-based ingredients (meat and dairy). It must also be free from fish, seafood, and shellfish. Animal-derived additives like bone powders and broths are also excluded.

Pet owners often confuse organic cat food with vegan cat food. However, they are not the same -organic food has no restrictions on meat and animal products, while it uses organic ingredients that are free from chemicals.

On the other hand, vegan pet foods are free from meat and animal products but depending on the recipe, may or may not contain chemicals. A vegan pet food company can use organic ingredients in which case its formulas will be both vegan and organic.

AMI Cat Vegan Food 
  • Balanced formula
  • Most trusted eco-friendly brand
  • Non-GMO

What Happens if Cats Don’t Eat Meat?

If cats do not eat meat, they can experience both benefits and issues. It all depends on the quality of the vegan diet and its implementation.

In terms of benefits, vegan pet food is linked with simpler weight control and reduced risk of skin and food allergies.

On the other hand, vegan food is less palatable for an obligate carnivore. Plus, vegan food changes the urine pH and increases the risk of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). It can also trigger dietary deficiencies.

To avoid the risk of dietary deficiencies, cats that do not eat meat need to be supplemented with essential nutrients such as certain amino acids (taurine & arginine), arachidonic acid, and vitamin A.

If deciding to switch your cat’s diet to a vegan regime, talk to your vet. The veterinarian will explain the pros and cons while considering your cat’s individual needs and health problems.

The vet will also give information on whether the vegan food you choose contains the mentioned nutrients or if you need to use supplements.