This magnificent 11 year old has been vegan for ten years.
My cats have been eating vegan food made with the recipes and supplements from Vegepet for over ten years. Schmeeder is now 11 and Gaudi is 14.
Everyone is in great health.
The cats that I already had when I started making vegan food had to be weaned onto it; I had the best results by making 'gooey' food (lentil & soy) that I could mix with commercial canned meat food and very gradually increasing the proportion of vegan food till they were eating all vegan food. It's been my experience since then, though, that when I adopt a new cat, they accept the vegan food immediately. I think it makes sense to them that they are in a whole new environment and this is what cats eat here. "When in Rome."
I tried several of the recipes and have settled on two that they like the best. One is the Lentil & Soy recipe (which they prefer quite watery so it is more like a stew, not thick like play-dough). They prefer this made with TVP that is in smaller chunks; I buy Bob's Red Mill TVP from Whole foods, and find that they prefer this to Whole Foods brand TVP, which is in bigger chunks. I make a quadruple batch of this and freeze it in quarts, which I then thaw as I need them. Then I shred a bit of fresh carrots to add to each quart after it's thawed.
The other recipe that they like is the VegeKibble. In addition to making the VegeKibble twice-baked as in Hoana's recipes, I also make it baked just once and cut into bite-size pieces, which I think of as 'Krumpet' since it is a bread-like texture. Then I also leave out a dish of the twice-baked 'Kibble' which they can munch on between meals.
I make a double batch of Kibble on four cookie sheets. I use 'parchment paper' (available in the baking section of grocery stores) to line the cookie sheets so there is no need to grease them and clean-up is much easier. I use more water than the recipe calls for, which makes the dough softer, and I can just press it into the cookie sheets with my hands instead of rolling it out with a rolling pin. I add a half cup of 'flax seed meal' (available at Whole Foods stores) to each recipe, which is great for omega-3 fatty acids and adds a nice texture and taste too. I also add a handful of seaweed of some kind. I have used many different kinds of un-flavored seaweed from Asian grocery stores, or 'dulse flakes' from Whole Foods markets, and the cats like any of of these.
Then after it's baked (once) I cut it into slabs 1/4 the size of the cookie sheet and freeze these, thawing out a few slabs every few days and cutting them into bite-size pieces.
People often remark what beautiful coats my cats have, and how bright and shiny their eyes are, and they ask me what I feed them. Naturally I am happy to spread the word about vegan recipes and VegePet. Vets especially are quite surprised, having believed they needed meat.
I think you can't argue with over ten years of health on a vegan diet! If they 'needed' meat, surely they would have wasted away by now! Thanks, James, for doing all the research so that other animals no longer need to suffer and die for the purpose of feeding our pets.