Are Cats Carnivores Or Herbivores?

Are cats carnivores or vegetarians? Cats are known to eat meat, because it provides them with the necessary nutrients for life. Although cats will occasionally eat other non-meat items, they are not vegans. This behavior is determined by their predatory instincts and physical features, as well as their biological requirements. So, what are some of the main differences between carnivores and vegetarians?

Carnivores eat other animals

Cats are strict obligate carnivores. They can only eat meat and cannot survive on a plant-based diet. These two extremes of eating are opposites, but cats do have some similarities. Cats are the most common obligate carnivores, while dogs are an exception. Both need plenty of protein to maintain their health and thrive, and cats’ nutritional requirements are higher than those of most other mammals.

Dogs are omnivores, while cats are strictly carnivores. Their differences lie in their evolutionary history. Dogs evolved as omnivores and cats are strict carnivores. Since domesticated cats have a strict diet, their metabolic capabilities are similar. However, dogs have the ability to eat plant matter and still survive. Cats, however, do best on a meat-based diet.

Herbivores eat plant-based foods

Herbivores eat plants to fuel their bodies. They include large mammals like cows and buffalo that eat grasses, tree bark, and shrubby growth. Smaller herbivores such as squirrels and rodents also eat plant-based foods. These animals are highly adapted to different types of habitats and can live in a variety of climates. Some can even survive underwater or near water bodies.

While humans are the top-ranked animals in the food chain, they eat most commonly herbivores. Herbivores tend to be tame and docile and will consume more plants if given the chance. On the other hand, herbivores will eat more plants and increase the animal population faster than carnivores. In addition, humans are often the top predators of animals.

Obligate carnivores rely entirely on animal flesh

Carnivores rely on animal flesh as a primary source of nutrition. Although some species also eat some form of plant matter, most obligate carnivores are completely carnivorous. They hunt large herbivores and consume at least 70 percent of their food as meat. Other obligate carnivores include the tiger, lion, and small cats.

The protein, fat, and vitamins they obtain from meat are preformed in their diets. This means that they do not need to produce these nutrients by themselves. For example, cats need vitamin A in its preformed form and cannot make it from beta-carotene alone. As such, they need to consume animal flesh for their essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, meat-eating cats have the highest protein content of any animal.


While most people consider cats to be omnivores, they are in fact obligate carnivores, which means that they must eat meat in order to satisfy their dietary needs. Even though cats can eat plant matter, they are unable to digest it as easily as meat. Cats lack the enzymes needed to digest plant matter and cannot eat it in large quantities.

Research shows that insects, such as crickets and grasshoppers, contribute as much as 7.9% of the dry biomass of the environment. However, this study did not provide a manuscript, and it is difficult to determine the precise number of insects eaten by cats. However, some scientists have proposed that cats are insectivores in the wild. They may be consuming insect prey, but not enough to warrant the title of ‘insect’.

Mountain lions

Although mountain lions are herbivores, they are still classified as carnivores. This classification distinguishes them from cats that are strictly carnivores. However, this distinction does not mean that they are vegetarians or intolerant of meat. Both types of animals are capable of killing humans. For this reason, determining whether mountain lions are herbivores or carnivores is critical.

While most mountain lions are nocturnal, they are active at dawn and dusk. Their hunting activities are based on the location of their prey. The animals prefer to hunt at night because they can see very clearly under low light. Female mountain lions give birth in their dens. The cubs are born with a blue color, but these spots quickly disappear by the time they reach nine months. Their fur changes to yellow and they leave their mom at eighteen months.