Vegan Salt –the blog











{April 18, 2010}   Our Kitties

I have never referred to myself as a “pet owner.”  I find the very idea of owning another being distasteful.  That which we own is our property, and property can be used, abused or abandoned as we see fit.   (The billions of abused creatures in animal agriculture are evidence of the end result of that line of thinking.)  That said, I do live with two cats, and I do refer to them as “my kitties,” just as one might say “my children” implying not a relationship of ownership, but rather one of care or guardianship.  Here they are in their bunk-beds.  Awww….

Three truths about vegans & animals:

  1. In general, vegans strongly support the adoption of animals.  If you can give an animal a home, please adopt one from a shelter.  Please do not buy from a pet store or breeder!  2/3 of cats and dogs in shelters are not adopted, and are euthanized.  Adoption saves lives.   If you’ve heard (as I have) allegations that vegans are opposed to pet ownership, the half truth of it is that vegans tend to dislike the term, but to support taking in and caring for creatures that need us.
  2. I know this is a controversial topic, but there is vegan food for cats and dogs.  Dogs, like humans, are omnivores, and most take very well to vegan dog food, often living healthier, longer lives.  Cats, on the other hand, don’t always thrive on a vegan diet.  Please do some research before changing your animal companion’s food, and monitor him or her closely for signs of trouble.
  3. Becoming vegan can reduce your allergies to non-human animals.  I didn’t grow up with animals.  Allergies to cats and dogs ran in my family.  Cats used to make me sneeze and give me itchy, watery eyes.  If a dog licked me, I would get a rash that lasted several hours.  After becoming vegan, I noticed my symptoms diminishing, and I can now bury my face in a furry cat belly and have no adverse reaction!

Our cats have had various names over the years, but the ones they answer to (yes, they know their names), are simply Boy and Girl.

As with most of my blog photos, click any picture on this page to enlarge the cuteness!

Boy is sometimes a ninja and most times a teddy bear.  He manages to worm his way into cuddling with anyone who will pet him.  He climbs into my lap first thing in the morning, and likes to sleep on our feet at night.  He loves to play outside, but to my knowledge has never come close to catching a bird.

We’ve noticed that Boy is much more interested in our food than in his own.  Some of his favorite foods are fruit smoothies, soy yogurt, and beans of all kinds.  Don’t worry, he didn’t taste those chocolate chip cookies!

He also has a fascination with pens, and likes to chew on them.  (I suspect he gets that from us.)  Here he is finishing the New York Times crossword for me, and finishing off my vegan vanilla yogurt.

Girl would be mortified to know I’m showing you this next picture.  Yes, we anthropomorphize our cats.  It amuses us, and they don’t seem to mind. She’s actually not as chubby now as she was when this was taken, thanks to a year-long restricted-calorie diet, though her belly’s still this fluffy!  Girl’s a bit of a princess – She hates to get her paws dirty, and has to sit on the biggest pile of blankets, pillows, or laundry in the house.   But under that fluffy, somewhat snooty exterior is a sweet, timid cat who has an incredibly loud purr when she’s content!  She likes to observe the street from the safety of the windowsill, but when a bug finds its way indoors, she’s a relentless hunter.

I want to incorporate more vegan food into their diets, though we won’t switch them completely without consulting a vet.  Do you have any experience with vegan cats, readers?

I’m also curious to know whether you’ve taken a furry creature into your family.  By the way, I’d love to see photos of your animal companions.  If you email them to me, perhaps Ill post them on the blog!  Here’s one last photo of Boy, sunning himself on our bed.  Look at those cute paws!  Don’t you just want to cuddle him??

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Cyanyde says:

aw so cute! When i move i thinking of adopting a companion/cat. I’m a bit allergic, so it’s funny you mention how going vegan made your allergies end. I never thought of that having any effect – my neighbors cat and i have a close bond – i noticed she doesn’t make me break out quite as much as i used to years ago. Definitely planning to get my cat allergy tested/getting shots again before planning to adopt.

Anyways – good luck with the vegan cat food. I’m curious how that will go. I’ve heard tons about vegan dogs but not a whole lot about converting cats to veganism. I hope you blog about it if it works out!



Krys says:

I’ll blog about the vegan cat food whether they take to it or not. Either way, others may find it useful.
Are you moving soon? I look forward to seeing pictures of whatever sweetie you end up adopting. I hope the allergy situation works out!



Francesca says:

Aww, the cuteness is overwhelming!



mmg028 says:

I’m glad you wrote this! I don’t refer to myself as a pet owner either and I have always talked to my cats as if they are people and can understand what I am saying. They seem to respond when need and I really feel they truly understand me. I adopted them a few years ago, and I think it is one of the best decisions I have ever made! They really are great to have around! Mr. and Little One are what they have ended up learning to answer to. 🙂

I’m curious to see how switching your kitties over to a vegan diet goes, it doesn’t seem to be as common as switching dogs over so I haven’t heard/seen much about it.



Devon says:

Krys!! your cats are too cute!! good job on the Blog. it seems to be really kicking off! tell my brother i say hi, and that i love him, as always. haha.



LiftNick says:

Ah! Your kitties are SO cute! I have a black one and a tabby just like yours! That’s so funny! Thanks for sharing pics! 🙂

-Nicki



I have a good friend who’s focused on the life and health of pets. Ingrid King. She’s written a beautiful story called “Buckley’s Story” and I’ve been migrated our 3 felines to a raw food/raw protein diet. They’re doing SO much better with it….honestly, they hunt, they should have a high protein, high raw diet. As much as I wish otherwise….when I limit their dry food, they hunt more…and actually eat more.

So glad you tweeted me! I can’t wait to see how you can help me move to vegan. 🙂



Aletha says:

soo cute!
my BF has a cat who has been vegan for 5 years and seems to be quite healthy! I just adopted a boy & girl (brother & sister) too and have introduced them to the Evolution brand vegan catfood. They seems to really like it! 🙂
I agree that cats have specific nutrient needs, but the nutritional composition of the vegan food is not that different from conventional pet feed – it’s just the source that is different. Since cats can get high protein & fat from plants rather than from ground up ‘animal byproduct’ I think we are doing farm animals & companion animals a favor by switching to high quality vegan pet food, or at least increasing the % that comes from plants. ALSO, would like to note, that taurine added to ALL pet food is synthesized, it does not come from animals. There are vegan supplements out there too if you are worried about kitties getting the right nutrition.



Krys says:

Thank you so much for posting that information about taurine. Knowing that has really opened my eyes, and I think it will do the same for others. So much for the “cats need meat-based food for the taurine” myth, huh?



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