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

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...

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...

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...

Beard hair is quite different to head hair; it is coarser, curlier and doesn't fall out as we get older. Comparatively little work has been done on the genetics of human hair colour, but it is...

Crabs have a wide, flattened shape that makes it easy to burrow into sand or squeeze into narrow crevices, but also restricts the range of motion at the 'shoulder' joint of each leg. Crabs can...

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...