Greetings from a hungry kitty! Recently, my human mom was diagnosed with something called “Celiac Disease”. From what I can tell, this means her body doesn’t like her when she eats gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) and it causes her to be in a lot of pain (which makes her really, really grumpy), and it causes her to be super nauseous and tired.
I thought we were going to have to trade her in at the shelter for a newer model, but she informed me that all she had to do was make some dietary modifications, and she would feel better! (Sadly, there is no cure or medicine for this. The only treatment is dietary changes). So, I decided to tell everyone about different diets that you and your human can try together (please note that I was forced to include some of these by my typist- I would never be able to go meat free or dairy free, but major kudos to those who can)!
This is what my household has started following recently. We have cut out all wheat, barley and rye. Our diets now commonly consist of rice, rice flour baked goods (such as bread, desserts, and pizza crust), vegetable pastas, corn tortillas, cheese, meat, and produce. The two tastiest things (aside from the meat and cheese) are the tortillas and pizza crust. This option is good for anyone with gluten allergies or sensitivities, and many people with autoimmune disorders have benefited from this as well.
This diet is scary- you completely cut out all meat! Thankfully, you can still have animal products, so dairy and eggs are okay, along with soy-based meat substitutes (found in the frozen section of your local grocery store). Other staples of this diet include nuts, beans and other legumes, pasta, bread, fruits, and vegetables. Although I would never commit to this diet, some Thunder-approved foods include lettuce, grapes, and strawberries. Note to kitties: due to being obligate carnivores, I would not take this diet as your primary- I would use this as a snacking aid or meal side.
According to science, all cats should be following this because we can’t break down dairy enzymes. Clearly, Mr Science is wrong, because Angel and I often enjoy cheese and cream cheese without issue. This diet cuts out cow’s milk and cow’s milk products, which includes most types of cheese, creams, sour cream, cream cheese, and butter. There are alternatives out there, such as soy, almond, rice, and oat milk, and you can enjoy juices and broths, along with meats, most treats, produce, and wheat products. This diet is something you can consider trying if your human is lactose intolerant (can’t process dairy enzymes) or vegan (see author’s note at the end).
This diet focuses on healthy eating habits to help your body regulate it’s insulin production and sugar levels. It cuts out a lot of carbs and sugars, and focuses on proteins and fresh foods. Both cats and humans can suffer from diabetes, so if you are in an affected household, you probably are already familiar with this diet. Some cat-approved foods include grilled or baked poultry, lean red meats, low-fat cheeses and cottage cheese, and select fruits and vegetables (humans can enjoy foods such as onion and garlic, which are harmful to cats). Try to stick to the water-based vegetables, such as lettuce and cucumbers, and the low-sugar fruits, such as bananas, if you and your human choose this diet.
Soy is a legume that originated in Asia. It is also a common source of food allergy. Soy is commonly used to replace dairy and meats, and can be found in soy milk, vegetarian meat replacements, infant formulas, frozen vegetable mixes, tofu, and many pre-packaged or processed foods. To avoid soy, select fresh meats, dried pasta, beans, and rice, and fresh produce. Watch out for cross contamination (the process by which microscopic amounts of a food are unintentionally transferred to another food), as many plants and restaurants process soy in the same area they process other products.
Nuts are one of the most common allergens around. Peanuts are the biggest offender, although tree nut allergies are becoming more common. Cross contamination is really common with nuts, so the best way to avoid nuts is to buy fresh meats and fish, whole wheat breads and flours, and fresh produce, and to create everything at home. Almost all processed foods have the risk of having come in contact with nuts. Thankfully, most cats don’t care about nuts one way or another, so if your human is avoiding nuts, this shouldn’t affect you too much.
Eggs are a bit odd in my opinion. They look like toys, but when you bat one off of the table, it just plops and breaks. And the inside is slimy and weird. But if you cook an egg, it’s hard, and actually really delicious. However, if you’re hung up on how weird they are (or if you’re allergic), there are ways to avoid eggs. Unfortunately, this eliminates almost all prepared sweets, pastas, snacks, breads, and sauces; however, meats and fresh foods, along with some dairy is okay. And if you’re willing to put in the time of making your own foods at home, there are substitutes you can use for eggs, such as applesauce, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and arrowroot powder.
This diet is becoming more and more popular. It is a way of eating that emphasizes plant foods and cuts out unhealthy items like added sugars and refined grains. It is one of the healthier meal plans out there. Depending on how you do it, this can maintain or lower your body weight, but you and your human are still getting yummy, cat-approved foods! Foods commonly found on this diet are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, chicken and fish, milk, yogurt, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This probably is not a good choice for those with food allergies, who should instead stick to a dietary restriction diet to make sure they avoid their allergens.
This diet sounds like it was created by a wild cat. The point of this diet is to eat what you can get by gathering and hunting – fish and meats, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Like the whole food diet, this plan cuts out processed foods, but it also cuts out most wheat, as wheat is typically cooked down and processed before serving. This diet also focuses on all meats, such as venison, poultry, and red meats, as opposed to mainly the leaner options. This diet sounds pretty purrfect to me.
This diet is similar to vegetarianism, but their main source of protein includes fish and seafood and it sounds much better to me! The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish are great for your fur and eyes, so definitely mention this diet if your human is looking to cut out most meat but wants to include you.
Who knew that humans could be so picky? I was shocked when I saw all of these different diets! I have my paws crossed that you found something that works for your household, but at the end of the day, remember this: make sure you get your meat intake, and also make sure that you get your special treats. One human’s intolerance should not ruin everything for you! May you eat well and be merry!
Purrs and furs,
Thunder K. Katt
Author’s note- according to Mr Google, veganism is a popular diet. I chose not to include this because it has proven to be highly unsafe for cats, who are obligate carnivores and can not safely live off of plant proteins alone.