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

Mammals remove excess nitrogen from their bodies by converting it to a dilute solution of urea, stored in the bladder. Birds convert nitrogen to uric acid instead: this is metabolically more...

Lobsters and other shellfish have harmful bacteria naturally present in their flesh. Once the lobster is dead, these bacteria can rapidly multiply and release toxins that may not be destroyed by...

Phlegm is the mucous secretion of the respiratory passages. The cilia cells that line these passages are continually driving the phlegm upward to the throat, where it triggers the swallow reflex...

Astronomer Fred Hoyle was the first to point out that if you could drive a car upwards at 95km/h (60mph), it would only take about an hour to get into space. To get to the Moon would take a little...

It depends on how high (or low) you set the bar of fluency. Ziad Fazah, born in Liberia, brought up in Beirut and now living in Brazil, claims to be the world's greatest living polyglot, with...

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