The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is urging cat owners to feed their pets a vegan petfood diet, which is free of any animal products, the Toronto Sun reported.
PETA says felines do not need meat in their diets, but rather should be fed an all-vegetable diet without artificial supplements.
"The nutritional needs of dogs and cats can be met with a balanced vegan diet," says Ashley Byrne, a PETA spokeswoman. "We see a lot of cats who are vegan and they are thriving, so, they don't need meat."
The Humane Society of the United States disagrees with PETA's recommendations.
"I hope this is not a trend, or we will be seeing a lot of sick cats. It is not appropriate to feed cats a vegan diet," says HSUS spokeswoman, Nancy Peterson.
Experts say felines are obligate carnivores and will suffer organ failure and shortened lifespans when deprived of a meat diet.
"To force cats to eat a vegetarian diet is both unethical and irresponsible," says Dr. Michael W. Fox, veterinarian and author. "To impose some vegetarian or vegan ideology on one's cat is to go against the nature of cats and their right to be fed a biologically-appropriate diet."
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