Can cats or dogs live on a vegetarian diet?

Wednesday 22nd July 2009
Submitted by Len Fisher
Maria Sellick, Southampton

Dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet, but cats need meat, or a lot of additives to compensate. Among these are the amino acid taurine, not found in plants, and vitamin A, which dogs can manufacture from carotenoids found in plants, but which cats must get from the meat of animals that have done the manufacturing for them. Cats are sensitive to deficiency of the amino acid arginine, and need the high protein levels found in meat to get enough. Dogs can become vegetarians, but cats are definitely carnivores.

Can magma be mined for ores and metals?
previous qanda Article
What's chewing gum made of?
next qanda Article
Q&A Tabs

Your DNA is arranged into chromosomes, which are grouped into 23 pairs. When a sperm cell is manufactured, the father’s genome is split in two, so that each sperm receives one chromosome...

A lunar month is slightly shorter than a calendar month, so every two to three years, there is an extra lunar cycle above the usual 12. This additional moon is called the ‘blue moon’...

Hibernation is a response to cold weather and reduced food availability. Most animals that hibernate are quite small and, as the weather gets colder, they reach the point where they simply can...

It's rare to see a dead bird on the ground, but it is also rare to see a dead mouse or rat - which are generally much more numerous. We don't question this because we don't see rodents much when...

Cramp is an involuntary and sustained muscle contraction. It can be caused by electrolyte imbalance, certain neuromuscular disorders or by drug use. But it mostly happens when we're resting. One...

All female mammals have a clitoris, the sole purpose of which is to react to sexual stimulation, and presumably this stimulation has evolved to be pleasurable for most species. But establishing...

To create a sound, we have to set matter - whether it's a gas like air, a liquid or even a solid material - in regular motion, creating a wave of specific frequencies, which we hear as a sound of...

Mirrors don’t reverse left and right either – that’s just our interpretation of what happens. Your reflection in the mirror is actually reversed front to back – if you have...

Discovered by an American student named Gary Flandro in the mid-1960s, the slingshot manoeuvre usually involves spacecraft briefly 'coat-tailing' a planet orbiting the Sun, extracting some of the...

The ice disappears because the wind blows away water molecules that have evaporated or 'sublimed' from the ice, so the ice slowly shrinks in size. The molecules that escape are those with the...

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here