While dogs are natural plant-eaters, cats are true carnivores: In order to be their healthiest, they need to eat a diet that contains some form of meat.
Hunters by nature, meat provides them with vitamin A, taurine, and other nutrients they need—and without them, it could cause issues with their skin, bones, and internal systems, as well as the loss of their hearing and eyesight. Also, because a vegetarian or vegan diet is so high in carbohydrates, one vet says it might be hard for their bodies to process. The same goes for power-based supplements: It’s tough for their bodies to absorb.
This obviously makes it hard to be a vegan cat owner: You don’t want to pay for meat-based pet food when you don’t eat meat yourself, but you also want your furry friend to live a long, happy life. Luckily, one company isn’t making you choose between the two and is creating an option that’s both ethical and healthy.
“Pet food has always been quick follower to the human food trends. So, it’s not surprising that you see what I would call the sustainable food movement getting into the pet-food side.” —Ryan Yamka, pet-food industry consultant
The start-up Bond Pet Foods creates options that are made from real animal protein, minus the animal. But how in the world does that work? Well, the cultured meat is grown from animal cells in labs—something that could actually be coming soon for humans from Memphis Meats and Hampton Creek. And since the animal protein found in many pet foods isn’t even close to being the quality fed to humans anyway—even containing manure—this new technology could change the game when it comes to the health of your cat.
“Pet food has always been quick follower to the human food trends,” Ryan Yamka, pet-food industry consultant, told Quartz. “So, it’s not surprising that you see what I would call the sustainable food movement getting into the pet-food side.”
And good news: You won’t even have to wait too long to get your hands on the high-tech cat food. Slaughter-free meats are only a couple years away, if that.