Can You Feed a Cat or Dog a Raw, Vegan Diet – The Renegade Health Show Episode #284

Friday Apr 10 | BY |
| Comments (51)

Many people ask if we can feed a cat or a dog a raw vegan diet…

Here’s what I think. You may or may not agree, but remember this is just one opinion!

Also in today’s show I address why you may not want to consume too many nuts as well as address if there are black parasites in bananas… 🙂

Take a look now…

Your question of the day: What is your favorite city?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comment now!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. debbie rivero says:

    I love the city i live in, Miami Florida. People from all over live here in a perfect climate. We have the city life, the beach and farms.

  2. Diana Press says:

    Hi Annmarie,

    Nice meeting you two today at Green’s! The unpasteurized miso product that I buy is Miso Master Organic.

  3. esther says:

    Wow you guys are in SF today?! I’m in Berkeley. How long will you guys be around? Are you meeting at any public places with other folks?

    love the show!


  4. MARY THOMAS says:


  5. Shaun in Tucson says:

    We raw foodists are very adamant about eating a species specific diet and yet some raw vegans turn around and do the opposite for their dogs and cats.

    I’ve been a special needs dog and cat rescuer for over 30 years. Cats will slowly die if fed a vegan diet and dogs can survive, but will not be nearly as healthy as they would be if fed raw, meaty bones, etc daily along with their veggies. All animals, including us, need the diet they evolved to eat. Dogs and cats didn’t evolve to live on nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

    If you were on the Atkins diet, would you insist your horse eat bacon and steaks? I hope not.

  6. eve says:

    Can you address the issue of juicing vs. blending? The pros and cons. I keep hearing both sides. Thanks
    Within LA my favorite city is Santa Monica. I love the beaches in both LA & San diego.

  7. Bette says:

    Boulder Colorado my fave

  8. Sharon says:

    I just watched your March 31 show and have a question. You mentioned coconut kefir briefly. Could you talk more about that and how it is made? I am very interested in kefir that does not involve dairy! Thanks. Also I love your interaction with Johnny 5. I’m glad my husband and I are not the only ones to interact with their cats like that:-)
    Thanks for your humor and all the information you share in each episode!

  9. ida margrethe says:

    Great question, with cats and diets. Cats are carnivores and thats just how it is. As much as i would like for all living creatures on this earth to eat a vegan diet, thats just not how nature intended it to be.

    I would LOVE to go to San Fransisco, ive been wanting to go there since i was a little child, much cause of the hippies back in the day and the history of the city – but also cause of the song San Francisco Nights by Eric Burdon!
    one day..

    My fav city i think would be… Bergen, in Norway. SO scenic. Beautiful area, cute buildings and heaps of things to do in the surroundings.

  10. Bethany says:

    I’m going to have to try the blended wheatgrass! I’ve tried juicing it before and it was just too much work and too messy to justify the little bit of juice I got out of it.

    My favorite city is definitely Boulder, Colorado. The mountains are beautiful and the general energy is really calm and nice.

  11. John Thornley says:

    Thank you Kevin, your right on about what cats need. Check your cat food for permethrin, a synthetic neurotoxin belonging to the pyrethroid family of chemicals. At least 1,600 pet deaths related to pyrethroids were reported to the EPA over the last five years.
    This about doubles the number of reported fatalities without pyrethroids, such as I saw on Frontline and Advantage.

  12. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for answering my question about fasting! It just seems like so many raw food books and forums stress fasting as something everyone should do regularly, but while some make it sound like something you should do weekly, others say you should only do it under strict supervision, like at a health resort, so I was confused. Thank you!

    BTW, I think your advice about pets and vegan diets was very good. I know meaty pet food is usually pretty disgusting but it’s cruel to force an unnatural diet on a carnivorous animal.

  13. Jayne Eubanks says:

    Columbus Ohio! Politically aware and considered one of the friendliest cities in the U.S.

  14. Denise says:

    My favourite US city is San Diego for the temperate weather, cleanliness of the city and friendliness of the people. I’m from the southern west coast of Canada where it rains a fair bit (similar to Seattle).

  15. Rene F. says:

    RE: Vegan cats. I have a vegan cat. She has been on a (cooked) vegan diet for 4 years. I use a supplement that provides the Taurine and other things that cats NEED, and which is used in preparing the food. My cat’s Vet has been AMAZED at just how healthy our cat is.
    Really… check out

    RE: Nuts. Does soaking the nuts first, like overnight to start sprouting, reduce the drag on the digestion system? Does it alter the acidicness?

    Thanks! 🙂

  16. Darlena says:

    Welcome to San Francisco….of course it is my favorite city because I live here….
    I do have a question for you…. The more of a raw diet that I eat, the more weight I gain. I know this is so different from what I hear is supposed to happen. I eat lots of veggies, dehydrated kale is my fav snack. I eat a few pieces of fresh fruit daily. I have equal to 3/4 cup of fresh, homemade almond milk daily. I use some for a fruit creme and some on soaked grains… I am confused as to the weight gain…any ideas?

  17. Necrowitch says:

    Mazatlan, Mexico! I had a lot of fun as a child chasing wild iguanas! @_@ Driving down there from texas is just sooo dangerous though! >_<

  18. Mary says:

    Obligate Carnivore by Jed Gillen is a “must read” If you want information regarding vegan cats and dogs. has something called “Evolution Diet” for cats. It has added (synthetic) Taurine and Carnitine, as well as low Mineral Ash, Low Magnesium; High Methionine to prevent kidney obstruction. It is not a raw food, but it is vegan. I have been feeding my (female) cats this for over a year now and they appear to be happy and healthy.
    Favorite city: Santa Cruz, California

  19. Bonnie says:

    New York, New york!

  20. Jennifer Somers says:

    My fave city is Phoenix right now… (I go through phases) hubby and I are planning on moving back there. I love the clearer air and its only a few hours away from everything!

  21. Micele says:

    Huntington Beach, CA!!! So fun, beautiful, awesome weather!

  22. jak archer says:

    Exeter in Devon, south west England…….

  23. Geri says:

    Maui, Hawaii, I know that isn’t a city but I love it! I live here and love all the people. We have a melting pot! People from all over the world live here! It is great, not to mention beautiful!

  24. LuAnn Agustin says:

    San Diego!

  25. Nancy says:

    I had a calico cat when I was growing up and we put her outside every night to hunt. She hunted birds, mice, moles, and snakes. She slept indoors during the day and hunted at night. Sometimes she would be gone on a hurt for up to three days. But she loved to eat steamed corn on the cob. That was her favorite treat of all treats. At times she would delight in nibbling on wild grasses.
    She lived well over 12-years and no wild animals ever ate her because she was a great tree climber. She would climb to the top of pine or fir trees and she taught all her kittens how to do that as well and how to back down backwards off the trees.
    She was very smart and taught herself how to use and flush the toilet when indoors so we never needed a smelly litter box. Over the years since I’ve talked with others who have shared with me that their feline friends also flushed toilets to get fresh water or squatted over the toilet bowl instead of using a liter box, etc. So I know my kitty is not the only one known to do this.
    She would meow at the front door to be let out when she wanted to go outside and by observing us, she taught herself how to jump up and pull down the door latchet to open the front door from the inside to let herself out when she wanted out.
    She took long walks with us when we would hike in the woods, just as if she were a dog.
    And she would always come when called. When she was a kitten we would call catta catta catta when feeding her and then later she would simply come to the catta catta catta call without being fed.
    She had feelings and would “cry” dry tears when we found homes for her kittens.
    I trained my kitty cat to not jump on the kitchen counter or table by associating the sound of a newspaper whack on the counter with the meaning of NO. She learned very quickly and never did it again, and without the newspaper ever touching her. A cat has very sensitive ears and doesn’t like the sound of it so will not jump on a counter or table where the noise has been made in association with jumping up there. Loudly clapping the hands together when the cat jumps up and pushing the cat off the counter to make it jump back down also is all that is necessary for some cats. They don’t like the sound of the loud clapping of the hands. Say the word DOWN at the same time. Then anytime you want the cat to get down off something, just say the word DOWN and clap once very loudly, since the association will have been made for off limits.
    I learned to send mental pictures to my cat, and she and I communicated to each other in body language that we both read, also.
    She would talk cat talk to me and to her kittens, so as a kid I soon learned to differentiate what her different tonalities of meows and mews meant and there is a large range of communication that she did with her different meow meanings. We were so close that I could just nod my head at her and she would wink her eyes at me in acknowledgment and response.
    Cats also communicate with their tail gestures and I learned what each different tail twitch meant.
    Are there any other cat owners out there who have had similar experiences?
    I think the most satisfying thing about having a cat is to hear it purrr in contentment over being petted. That is such music to the soul.
    It is a shame that children have artifical oys to play with instead of the real thing such as a kitten to grow up with. Plastic toys do not teach children what living creatures teach them.

  26. misty blanchard says:

    Hi kevin and Anne Marie, I’ve been vegan for 8 months now, what an eye opening experience it’ been so far. My father died two years
    back and now I know most of his sickness was
    caused by his Cajun diet for 85 years. Now that I know the truth about the meat and dairy
    industry I’m contantly aware of the poisons
    people are putting in their body. Not only dead
    animal but the chemical in all the prepackaged
    foods. Last year after getting an I phone, I
    Discovered YouTube which lead me to your
    Show. Thanks so much, it’s a wealth of
    Information. Misty

    raw and loving it. I’m a hairdresser and
    I’m always talking to anyone who will listen
    about being a healthy eating vegan.

  27. didi says:

    Melbourne, Australia for its slower pace of life, its trams and its lovely, charming people.

  28. Jalil says:


    I asked kevin your question before on the chat.
    Both are great.
    A green smoothie is more of a meal, and juicing is more of a supplement.

    Both are great, you get all the nutrients in each, with the smoothie you are getting all the extra fiber as well, making it more of a meal.

    Good luck,

  29. Eva says:

    Hi, the other day I was eating a smoothie, mango, blueberries, wheatgrass and lettuce and wondering if I was getting the benefits of the wheatgrass while I was watching your show and you gave the answer, then you mentioned it again today, thought I just had to email you, I really do enjoy the wheatgrass that way as I got sick of juicing it, also I cut the wheatgrass in one inch sections and it grinds up really well in the VITAMIX (Yeah) Eva

  30. Rhonda D says:

    This if for those that are feed there cats and dogs a vegan diet. I am not sure but!(synthetic) Taurine and Carnitine, why would you alter the animals diet with something SYNTHETIC? I mean yes we human’s can live on a vegan diet. but animals! let them eat what comes natural to them. Just my thoughts.

    love the show and would not miss it for the world.

  31. del says:

    Great information on Cat and Dogs on a day that raining “cat’s and dogs” outside here in Connecticut. Your information help clear some things up for me. I agree with you that a raw meat diet for cat’s is probably the best. I’ve had cat live to 21 years and very active right up to his final days. He ate lots of raw chicken livers from the butcher. Dogs I wasn’t aware that they could do well on more vegetable base diet. With the Factory Farms this days you have to be careful where the meat comes from though. Wholefoods might be a better bet as you suggested. Wish they’d get rid of that section in Wholefoods all together then work on the 90% of the store that sells process foods too. Bring back the “WHOLE” in wholefoods.

  32. Esoteric Engineer says:

    The best thing would be to STOP BREEDING ANIMALS; stop breeding cats and dogs, because it is incredibly selfish and immoral to bring animals into life for human pleasure.

    Many vegans care for cats and dogs which are fed on only plant foods. There is a supplement available which can be given to cats which provides them with all the nutrients which they are unable to make for themselves and which are unavailable directly from plants (this supplement is far better than cruelly killing other animals).

    This is what The Vegan Society has to say on the issue:

  33. Jennifer Herrera says:

    Hi Kevin and AnnMarie!

    This is Jennifer and I met you last week at Michelle Saaaabaaaanathe’s potluck gathering. I’ve been watching your show since religiously, and can’t thank you enough for the sincere attention and awesome information you gave us. My favorite city is North West Portland. Since you are heading in that direction, check out one of the coolest hippest little secret town. Always something to do; aesthetically beautiful and historic. Good Times! Hope to see you both soon again.
    Cool runnings! peace be the journey.

  34. Laura says:

    Out of the few I’ve been to, San Francisco.

    On the cat and dog diet: I agree with you Kevin. I tried the raw meats/food by a certain company, and our already small adult Maine Coon wouldn’t touch it. So we had to go back to other brands that aren’t raw. He’s super picky AND sensitive and we purchase the best we can of what he’s willing to eat and not regurgitate. But I found recently that he likes Dulse! And it stayed down:)

  35. Katya says:

    Portland is my favorite so far!

  36. jared says:


  37. Karen Jackson says:

    My favorite city would be any city on Maui. Absolutely love that island.

    I have a question: When should you take a digestive enzyme? I’ve heard after the first mouthful, in the middle of the meal, at the end of the meal. Which is it?

  38. Helen says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for all the great information. Why would you use a blender to juice wheat grass, why not use a GreenStar or other wheat grass Juicers? I am just wondering. My other question is about almonds or other nuts. What if they are soaked overnight are they still difficult for the body to digest? Does soaking or sprouting make the nuts less acidic?

    My favorite city is Toronto, Ontario.

  39. modini says:

    My favorite city and home is New Orleans! The music and spirit here is terrific! It’s a wonderful crazy place. And hot, sticky beautiful tropical weather. Culture from Caribbean/Africa with a bit of Spanish/France thrown in. And evacuating from hurricanes is quite an experience. Everybody has stories to tell.

  40. Charlotte says:

    Favorite city in America? right now probably Austin, Tx but that will probably change when I start to travel.
    About the indoor cat thing? It’s true that they live longer but I know my cat would be absolutely miserable if we forced him to stay indoors. I would rather him have a slightly shorter life that’s more fufilling than a longer depressing life.
    About the nuts issue, does this aply to seeds as well? Are flax, sunflower, hemp, pumkin… seeds less acidic and more easily digested?
    I certainly hope so because they have an important role in diet because of my active lifestyle:)

  41. jory says:

    my dog, happy, healthy, like a puppy and 14 years old – vegan for about 7 years – drewls and goes crazy with delight when I get the vegetables out.

    in the guiness book of world records, I believe the oldest living dog is a 27 year old vegan collie.

    My dog is vegan for about 7 years, and he is a happy, very healthy 14 year old.

    At first he was not into veggies, however it is hysterical – now when I get the fresh raw veggies out of the fridge, my dog goes crazy and actually starts to drewl – he likes all different kinds – awaits intently ears cocked, eyes bright for his treats. It is one of his favorite things, he is adorable.

    Evolution Pet Food out of Minneapolis MN – googling this should bring up the website .is vegan (I feed my dog this, kind of alternate with making his meals and feeding kibble and there are other companies that make vegan dog food) anyway Evolution has an almost 20 year study which shows that pets, fed a vegan diet (and yes even cats) are living longer healthier lives.

  42. jory says:

    Here is some info I found about Evolution:

    Heck Yes…

    * Documented Evolution (Vegan) Fed Large and Small Breed Dogs are living in excellent health to over 18 human years, still looking and acting 5-10 yr.

    * Documented Evolution (Vegan) Fed Cats of various breeds are now living over 21 super healthy human years, still acting like 7-15 yr.

    * Documented Evolution Gourmet Cat Food (Vegan) Fed Ferrets are living to over 10 human healthy years with 1 ferret living to over 13 years.

    Feeding a vegan diet to dogs, cats and ferrets is still not widely accepted. With the current meat based diet, 80% of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets die with Heart Stroke and Cancer diseases. Strict Vegetarian Diets have been proven to prevent and cure these diseases. Many comment that cats cannot survive or thrive with a vegan diet. Evolution has documentation to prove that this is a misperception. The prevalence of this misperception is easily understood due to the abundance of antiquated, incorrect, misinformation widely disseminated through main stream outlets. For those seeking the facts Evolution has them.

    Evolution Pet-food Company has tens of thousands of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets now thriving on their Pet Foods all over the United States and Canada with some of the best animal sanctuaries and no-kill shelters feeding Evolution diet. (Farm Sanctuary feeds it’s cats and dogs Evolution!)

    Evolution has documented proof through 16 plus years of long term feeding observations which shows phenomenal health and well-being results for cats, dogs and ferrets.

    With an Evolution Diet, “We are observing up to a 60% increase in life expectancy with Dogs and Cats in Human Family Homes.”

    ”After 16 and a 1/2 years of observations, I can tell you ABSOLUTELY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY that Dogs, Cats and Ferrets can and do live longer and healthier ON AVERAGE with NO MEAT AT ALL IN THEIR DIETS. “ Eric Weisman, Founder and CEO of Evolution Pet Food, Doctorate
    of Health Sciences, National Board Diplomat.

    Please contact (Evolution) for free copies of Evolution Age Observation Documents.”

  43. Barb says:

    Hey Kevin, I was just going to recommend that you transfer the search this site, from the bottom of the page to the top. I have looked over this website many times always wishing that there was a way to search for different topics. Then today I discovered that you do have a way to search information but it is located at the bottom which is difficult to notice. Either way I am glad that I found out about it. But it is something to consider relocating it so others will find it easily too. Thanks.

  44. Carole says:

    How about teenagers??? Help help! I am hiding organic baby spinach in frozen cherry-blueberry-banana smoothies, etc., trying to get as much raw into my son’s diet. But, he’s just not going to eat like I do — which is 90 percent raw vegan, working on 100 percent. Is there a good natural supplement someone can recommend?

    Matt Monarch talked about a powdered supplement type thing he put together for his SAD-eating father. So, if you are not related to a M.M., how can you find something like this? I am surely not the only one with this problem.

    I understand that not everyone is a parent, but we all are aunts-uncles-siblings-neighbors-friends of young ones. And after all, they’ll be taking care of us someday as firefighters, police, doctors, leaders, so we have an interest in getting-keeping them healthy.

    I’m a big fan and I know you’ll at least consider this eventually.

  45. nbcreative says:

    hi Kev!

    Chattanooga’s definitely my favorite right now, (it’s been called the “Boulder of the East” but we’ll be traveling to Boulder and to Portland this summer, so who knows?

  46. natalya says:

    It’s not absolute truth about cats, Kevin.
    We had a cat who was not interested in meat at all. That cat liked vegies. She was eating all raw potato skins when somebody were peeling potatoes in the kitchen. She liked cabbige too, etc. Especially this cat liked raw pickling cucumbers and she would hunt for them in my grandma’s back yard and it was disaster for us because she was consuming all our cucumber crop for us.

  47. As far as my favorite city-Hong Kong. I know its highly polluted but I had so much fun there, met tonnes of cool people and the contrast of east and west in the same space is fascinating.

    I found it interesting that you two are going to check out a Krav Maga class. Hope you find it worth while. One martial art you may want to check out is Systema. It is the official martial art of the Russian Special forces. It focuses alot on forgiveness, and releasing of tension and anger- all concepts that are congruent with health and longevity. I know many martial arts make the above claims but Systema does it in a way that is practical and forces you to look inward. As my instructor put it-you won’t make it very far in this art if you have any pride at all. There are schools all over the U.S. but the North American headquarters is in Toronto,Ontario Canada. Or if you want a trip of a lifetime you can visit the world headquaters in Moscow. Whatever the case is make sure it is Systema and not Sambo.(systema’s sport equivalent) The healing strikes the art practices were definitely an eye opener.

  48. Sharon says:

    So far, Dublin, Ireland. In North America probably Austin, Texas.

  49. Boulder, Colorado. Love it.

  50. Olga says:

    Dogs absolutely CAN and DO thrive on a veggie diet- I have two chihuahuas who have been vegan for a couple of years that I’ve had them and they are great. They eat Natural Balance kibble (vegetarian/vegan formula.) You can get it at regular pet stores. There is no reason for other animals to die for your dogs. Most of my friends have vegan dogs. They have had no problems.

    Cats are a bit more difficult, though I’ve met many vegan cats before and they’re just great. I have my cat on ami vegan cat kibble and supplement with meat twice a week. She’s doing great. No problems.

    Dogs and Cats are both unnatural beings. They have been bred to be our pets/work for us. They do not have a “natural” diet because they were created in an unnatural way. How are chihuahuas going to hunt? My baby is 4 lbs! There’s no way he could catch anything! So if they were stranded they would be scavenging and eating anything they can- not just raw meat like most think.

    If you care for all animals, please consider putting your dogs on a veg diet. They love it and it’s cruelty free! 🙂

  51. Gerry says:

    Farmers and animal companion lovers often take better care of their 4-legged-freinds than they do of themselves.
    When a farm animal gets sick and a Veterinarian is required, the first thing the Vet usually asks is: “What have you been feeding it?”
    Regrettably, these people seem to avoid using the same logic to decipher their own ills.
    That said, before I learned the importance of running in sunshine to absorb Vitamin D, I used to run about 4:00 a.m. and would often see my neighbor out walking his dog while he smoked a cigarette.
    The owner, a Consultant to a number of hospitals, BTW, has since died of Cancer. His animal companion is still alive and apparently doing well.
    Re: Favorite city: Bangkok, Thailand. It was my pleasure to live there for nearly 10 years where it became my privilege and honor to become the only journalist to travel with and report on the highly revered King and Queen of Thailand.

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