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Can cats eat tofu? (What the experts have to say)


These days, tofu is what everyone is raving about, especially vegans, vegetarians, and health buffs. Well, you really can’t blame them because this health food is cruelty-free, nutritious, very rich in protein, and can be stored for a considerable length of time. However, many people who love to eat tofu in their diets are beginning to “force” their felines to do the same. So, the question is, can cats eat tofu? What are the possible effects on their health? Well, let’s look at what cat experts have to say, shall we?

People choose to be vegan for many different reasons, be it health, animal rights, conservation, or ethics. However, I highly doubt cats could ever feel the same or even understand any of that. So, what’s the point of feeding them tofu other than satisfying their owner’s advocacy, right?


Vegan Cats

Well, according to vegan cat owners who put their cats on plant-based diets, cats can live healthy, happy, normal lives eating only tofu and vegetables with proper supplements. Since cats are naturally lactose intolerant, tofu even seems to be a better protein source than other dairy-based products like milk, cheese, and paneer.

Experts like Dr. Richard Pitcairn, a veterinarian, founder of the Animal Natural Health Health Center in Oregon and author of “Natural Health for Dogs and Cats” even suggest reducing cats’ meat consumption.

In fact, according to Quinton Rogers, a UC Davis cat nutrition specialist, cats don’t need meat. What they need are the specific nutrients found in meat but are also found in many other food sources. So, feeding your cat tofu and a vegan diet is okay as long as you know what you’re doing and know the right food.


Carnivorous Cats

However, other experts are still convinced that cats are anatomically adapted to a carnivorous lifestyle from their teeth to their digestive systems. Replacing meat with tofu or any soy-based or plant-based food in your cat’s diet can also have adverse effects.

One of the main problems with soy for cats is its phytoestrogen content. Phytoestrogen is a hormone that can cause problems in your cat’s bloodstream which can eventually lead to cancer development.

Phytoestrogens can also hinder the normal absorption of nutrients especially if consumed regularly. This, in turn, causes a host of problems related to nutrient deficiencies.


However, many commercial cat foods already use soy, gluten, corn, and other similar fillers that pose long-term side effects and risks for your cat. Therefore, it’s best to stick with options containing real meat ingredients.

Soy and tofu can also trigger digestive reactions and problems in cats. This can upset their stomachs and cause diarrhea and vomiting, depending on the amount of tofu consumed.

So, I would not recommend intentionally feeding your cat tofu as its sole protein source. Also, I suggest that you seek a dietitian or vet’s approval first before making any changes in your pet’s diet. 


Also, another problem with tofu is that it is usually eaten with a sauce or a blend of spices and seasonings that can be dangerous for cats. Examples are salt, soy sauce, and garlic.

If tofu ingestion is accidental, however, tofu is not toxic for cats although some cats could be allergic or sensitive to soy. In case you notice signs of an upset stomach such as heaving, vomiting, or runny poop, consult an emergency vet for a professional opinion.


As for answering the question “can cats eat tofu?”, yes, they can, but as a caution, only feed them small amounts at a time. Experts have different opinions regarding the matter, and there is no conclusive scientific data to support their claims right now. However, if you want to involve your pet in your advocacy and lifestyle, always do so with the consent and guidance of your vet or a trusted expert. Otherwise, stick to your cat’s standard meat diet.


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