A Vegetarian Cat 

Robert P. Herbst

© Copyright 2001 by Robert P. Herbst

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I have been concerned for quite some time now, about my cat's diet. It seems to prefer eating a meat diet with no vegetables to keep it "regular". This can't be good for kitty and kitty's health is very important to me. I decided to see what I could do about introducing a certain amount of vegetable matter into kitty's diet.

I carefully read the list of ingredients on the bag of dried cat food. It contained some vegetable matter but not nearly enough. Then I examined the canned cat food I'd been giving kitty as a daily treat. There was no vegetable matter there. Something had to be done about this.

For a start I began sprinkling flour over kitty's dried cat food. I figured this would be a start in the right direction it would also be a bit more palatable than trying to get kitty to eat a salad right at the start, although the salad thought did occur to me.

Much to my delight kitty ate the dried food with the flour on it and even seemed to enjoy it. It was time to move things along. With the next portion of dried food, I chopped up a carrot into very fine little pieces and mixed it in. Kitty looked at the food and kind of circled around it for a while without touching it. Then, later in the day I noticed some of it was gone.

Encouraged by these results I continued adding chopped carrot to kitty's diet for about a week. As kitty got hungrier, the food with the chopped carrot was eaten more quickly. I seemed to have achieved some limited success. It was time to move things along.

Now I added not only chopped carrot but also some ground up string beans to the dried food. I also began leaving larger chunks of carrot in the dish. I watched carefully as kitty ate it's dinner. I wanted to be sure kitty had its vegetables.

The cat seemed to almost enjoy the change in its diet. The coat became much more glossy and kitty's disposition seemed to improve with each dish of vegetable laced food. It was time to add some "greens" to the diet. At the super market I bought frozen chopped kale, mustard greens and spinach. These I also began adding in small quantities to kitty's diet.

Now however it was time to begin cutting back on the meat and meat by product in the cat's diet. At first the cat resisted this change as it had done before. It circled its dish and on one occasion even tried to bury it. However, in the end kitty gave in and ate the vegetable concoction.

After several months of gradually changing the cat's diet I had kitty eating a vegetarian diet. There was still some small about of meat in the diet. I was completely unable to control the kitty's passion for eating of insects. The cat now aggressively hunted those nice big juicy Palmetto Bugs, so common here in Mount Perry, Florida. I must admit almost complete failure on this one issue.

Still, I had converted kitty to at least a seventy-five percent vegetable diet and I must admit the cat did look a lot healthier. I was determined to keep at it. The cat was eating salads with vinegar and oil salad dressing on it. I didn't dare put any of those sour cream dressings on the cats salad for fear kitty would return to being a carnivore.

Even the cat's litter box smelled better. I guess it was the chlorophyl in the diet. This was only one of the advantages of having a vegetarian house cat. Kitty no longer hunted for prey outside in the alley behind the store. Instead it took to gardening and spent most of its waking hours pulling weeds from its garden.

All summer long I watched with great admiration as kitty tended its garden and consumed all the fresh vegetables it grew. Then came the mercifully short Florida winter. As kitty harvested the last of its cabbages and turnips, it moved inside and took up a position on the window sill to wait for the spring planting season.

I guess it was about this time, when kitty discovered my house plants were good to eat. My beautiful potted plants disappeared at an alarming rate. Kitty didn't care for the store bought vegetables any more, everything had to be fresh. You should have seen what kitty did to the Christmas Tree.

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