It’s our responsibility as pet owners to ensure that our pets are happy, healthy, and cared for. Whether you are a vegan yourself, or you have researched the topic and believe that your cat would be better following a vegan diet, with careful planning, you can ensure that your cat is healthy and that they don’t rely on animal protein to remain this way.
In particular, you will need to find meals that include nutrients like taurine and arginine, which are just two proteins that come from meat and would otherwise be lacking from your cat’s diet. They are also essential to the good health of your cat. Alternatively, you can include or feed supplements on top of their vegan diet that include these ingredients.
There is a vast range of vegan cat foods and the choice can be baffling at first. Using our best vegan cat food reviews, you can find the right blend of food and supplements without having to thoroughly inspect every ingredient or every cat food alternative out there.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Wysong Vegan Dry Cat Food||
|Best Value||AMI Vegan Cat Food||
|Premium Choice||Benevo Adult Vegan Cat Food||
|Evolution Diet Gourmet Fondue||
|Evolution Diet Vegetable Stew Moist||
The 5 Best Vegan Cat Foods
1. Wysong Vegan Dry Cat Food – Best Overall
Wysong’s vegan pet food is a vegan base food that is used for elimination protocols and as the base to add meat protein to yourself. An elimination diet enables you to remove all but very basic foods from your cat’s diet and then add the proteins and ingredients that you want.
Wysong’s formula, which has been advocated by vets as well as pet owners, is suitable for cats of any age and the dry kibble has been coated in a probiotic enzyme. The food has also been supplemented with prebiotics, probiotics, omega-3, and extra antioxidants. It does contain taurine, but only trace amounts, but this is because it is designed as a base food rather than a complete food.
Some buyers have reported that their cats have soft stools after eating this food, even when introduced gradually and after several weeks of feeding and although it is good value, you will need to buy additional food for each meal.
- Includes probiotics and prebiotics
- Suitable for cats of any age and size
- Some taurine added to the recipe
- Can give cats runny poo
- You will need additional food
2. AMI Vegan Cat Food – Best Value
AMI vegan cat food is made entirely from plant based and natural ingredients and does not contain any animal or slaughterhouse by-products. It has also been formulated so that it is a complete cat food. Unlike the Wysong above, this means that you don’t need to buy additional food to add to the base, so while it is more expensive per pound, we believe the AMI bag is the best vegan cat food for the money.
It also gets rave reviews from owners and, more importantly, their cats, with some buyers even claiming that they started with a mix of this and meat and their cats now refuse the meat. It has been enriched with taurine, which is vital to the good health of your cat. It also contains amino acids and a host of other vitamins and nutrients, ensuring that your cat remains healthy even on a vegan diet.
There will always be debate over whether a cat can endure a truly vegan diet, and the fact that this is a whole food means that it isn’t necessarily suitable for use as a base food for adding meat protein to.
- A total cat food
- Added taurine to ensure good health
- Added vitamins and nutrients
- Not designed as a base
3. Benevo Adult Vegan Cat Food – Premium Choice
Benevo vegan adult cat food is an entirely natural vegan cat food. It does not use any artificial additives of any sort. Benevo has added extra taurine, incorporated spirulina because its dense in nutrients, and have even included yucca to reduce odor.
It has a very good mix of protein, fat, and fibre, and it includes a solid range of vitamins and nutrients that will ensure a healthy cat that gets all the nutrients he required without having to eat animal or animal by-products. It also meets European guidelines, and it is only really the price, which is quite steep because of the list of natural ingredients included in the food, that prevents this cat food from featuring higher up our list of reviews.
Most owners report that their cats love the food, even those that would normally be considered picky and difficult eaters. This is another vegan food that can be fed to cats of any age and size.
- Fully vegan
- Uses only natural ingredients
- Added taurine, vitamins, and nutrients
- Cats seem to love it
4. Evolution Diet Gourmet Fondue Vegan Cat Food
Evolution’s diet gourmet fondue cat food is a dry, plant-based cat kibble. It is a designed as a complete cat food, which means that it includes all taurine, protein and other vitamins and nutrients that your cat requires. You shouldn’t need to add any supplements or other ingredients to ensure that your cat is getting a healthy, balanced diet.
As with most kibbles, it is recommended that you add some water, because damp food is better for your cat than purely dry food. Dampening the food in this way can also make it more appealing to your feline companion and help ensure that they eat the food you put in front of them.
This is an expensive food, but it does offer a good and varied list of ingredients. Several owners have stated that their cats do not enjoy the food and they have struggled to get them to eat it, while others have suggested that the food goes straight through their cats.
- A full, balanced diet for your cat
- Completely animal product and by-product free
- Some cats struggle to stomach it
- Some cats don’t like it
5. Evolution Diet Vegetable Stew Moist Vegetarian Cat Food
Evolution diet vegetable stew moist cat food is a pate style food made from plant and natural ingredients. It has added taurine, which helps ensure good digestive health and maintains eyesight. It is a pate, which means that it has a moist texture, which most cats will find more palatable.
The food has a good mix of protein, fat, vitamins and nutrients. The food is actually considered suitable for both dogs and cats, and it is suitable for animals of any age and at any stage of their life. Unfortunately, however, a lot of buyers report that their cats don’t like the smell or the taste of the food, and even bought in bulk these tins of food do work out to be expensive. There are plenty of more popular and better tasting natural, vegan cat foods on the market that cost less.
- Pate texture so already moistened
- No animal products
- Suitable for all ages
- Lots of cats don’t like the taste
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Vegan Cat Food
There is considerable debate over the topic of feeding cats a strict vegan diet.
Proponents say that it is possible to supplement essential vitamins and nutrients into their diet without forcing them to eat animal. Opponents say that, while dogs can naturally eat a vegan diet, a cat’s digestive and immune system cannot cope with a plant-based diet because there are certain nutrients that are only really present in meat. As such, one of the most important aspects of buying vegan cat food is checking the ingredients list to ensure that it contains supplementary ingredients. There are other factors to consider when buying this type of pet food.
Unlike dogs and humans, cats are considered true carnivores. They have a unique metabolism that means they have to have certain nutrients and vitamins that are only really found in meat. Without ingredients like taurine and arginine, they can become very unhealthy and a total lack of these ingredients can actually prove fatal.
Other ingredients, such as protein, are also very important to your cat. These are present in both animal and plant-based food, but animal protein is considered complete protein. When buying plant-based, meat-free food for your cat, ensure that it includes the following nutrients:
- Protein – Cats have a very high protein requirement: more than dogs and animals like cows. They have an especially high protein requirement when they are kittens, but adult cats need a lot of it too. As such, cat food tends to have much higher protein levels than dog food and other food. A young adult cat, up to the age of 6, needs approximately 35% protein in their diet, and this is easier to achieve with meat. It is possible to reach these levels with plant-based food but do ensure that the food you feed meets this criterion.
- Arginine – This amino acid is found in meat. While most animals can produce this nutrient themselves, cats do not have the enzyme that does this, so they have to get all of their arginine requirements from their diet. This important nutrient removes ammonia from the body and if your cat cannot do this, they can suffer from conditions including weight loss and even death. Every meal should contain some arginine for your cat.
- Taurine – Taurine is another essential nutrient that cats are unable to produce themselves and that must come from their diet. If a cat has too little taurine in their diet, they can go blind and their heart can become enlarged, leading to serious heart conditions. Kittens and adult cats need this amino acid, and it is widely considered to be the most important additive in a plant-based food because it is not found in decent quantity in plants or vegetables.
- B Vitamins – Vitamin B12 is essential to your cat’s nervous system, digestive system, and cognitive functions. B12 cannot be stored in the body for long. In a healthy cat, it is stored for around 12 days, but if your cat gets ill, its body will only be able to retain B12 stores for around half this time. B12 is commonly found in animal products including meat, liver, and eggs, and is harder to obtain from vegetables and plant-based food. A serious deficiency can prevent your cat from digesting food and if he is already deficient in this vitamin, feeding supplements will not help. Ensure your vegan cat food has added vitamin B12 to help maintain the good health of your cat.
- Other Vitamins – Cats need some vitamins, like niacin, in higher doses than dogs. While vitamin A can be produced in the body, the enzyme required to do this is another that is lacking in cats. Similarly, cats cannot produce enough vitamin D simply by sitting out in the sun. The best cat foods supplement these ingredients to ensure that your cat gets enough, and this is especially important when feeding a vegan diet.
Wet or Dry Food?
Generally speaking, wet food is considered healthier for your cat because it tends to have better quality ingredients, although premium dry kibble can offer everything your cat needs and in decent quantity. Also, plant-based foods are not necessarily as wet as meat-based foods, so a lot of vegan food is sold as dry.
Dry food tends to stay fresher for longer and it hasn’t been weighed down with water so, although premium dry food looks expensive on the face of it, it can work out cheaper because your cat will require much less of it at meal time.
However, cats can be very fussy animals, and many of them demand wet food because they find it more palatable. Some dry kibble can be mixed with water or with a wet food in order to improve its consistency and make it more appealing for your feline friend. This can also help avoid crystals forming in the urine, but if you buy a complete and balanced dry kibble, it should have everything require for your cat’s diet, preventing the need to add wet food.
Regardless of whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you need a bowl that is sure to keep the mess contained—you can do just that with the Hepper Nom Nom Bowl. This is designed with your cat’s comfort in mind. The whisker-friendly bowls are low and wide to prevent whisker fatigue, and the wide catch tray ensures that all food stays exactly where it should—inside the bowl. At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
Regardless of whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you need a bowl that is sure to keep the mess contained—you can do just that with the Hepper Nom Nom Bowl.
This is designed with your cat’s comfort in mind. The whisker-friendly bowls are low and wide to prevent whisker fatigue, and the wide catch tray ensures that all food stays exactly where it should—inside the bowl.
At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
Base Food or Complete Food?
Some vegan cat foods are considered a base food. This means that you need to add extra ingredients to make them complete. This can be especially useful for an elimination diet. If your cat is showing signs of intolerance but you are unsure of what they struggle to digest, start with a base food and add one or two ingredients at a time to find foods that they should avoid. Alternatively, you can use a base meal and add vitamins, nutrients, and other ingredients, to offer the level of protein and other vitamins you want your cat to have.
Cats can be picky eaters. Some will only eat wet food while others will devour dry kibble. While it is true that some of this is learned, so a cat will relish the type of food it has always been given, this isn’t always true. You can read reviews and reports from other owners to determine whether their cats liked the taste of a particular food, but this does not guarantee that yours will have the same opinion.
Want to see more cat food reviews? Check out our review page here!
Cats are true carnivores, which means that they have a lot of nutritional and dietary requirements that would only be met by eating meat, if they were surviving in the wild. If you do decide to feed your cat a vegan diet, ensure that you buy good quality food that has all the desired and required vitamins and minerals, typically through the addition of supplements and extra vitamins. You should also ensure that the food is appealing so that your cat will eat it.
During our reviews, we found Wysong vegan food to be the best. It is a base food, which allows you to add supplements and other ingredients. This means that you can create a tasty and healthy treat for your cat and potentially avoid feeding them meat.
If you’re on a stricter budget, the AMI vegan food might look expensive but it is a complete meal, so you won’t have to buy or add any additional ingredients so it can work out cheaper in the long run. It also has taurine and the required vitamins and minerals to ensure a healthy diet.
We hope, using our reviews, you can find the best vegan cat food for your feline companion, to ensure that they stay healthy and enjoy a long life on your lap.
Featured Image Credit: birgl, Pixabay
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
- The 5 Best Vegan Cat Foods
- Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Vegan Cat Food
- Final Verdict