Do They Eat Cats In Vietnam?

credit: Yay

Have you heard that people eat cats in Vietnam? You can find many “strange” things to eat in Vietnam that you may never have tried or even thought of eating. But one thing you may want to avoid is cat meat. So, do they eat cats in Vietnam?

Cats are eaten in some parts of Vietnam, and the demand for cat meat has risen since the government scrapped the ban on cat meat in 2020. An estimated 1 million cats are stolen and sold for the meat market yearly.

Related: Do They Eat Dogs In Vietnam?

Do People Eat Cats In Vietnam?

People eat cats in Vietnam for many reasons. Younger people consider cats a delicacy, while the older generations think eating cat meat is good for your health and will bring you good fortune. Black cats are especially sought after, as they are said to have the most health benefits.

While many people eat cats in Vietnam, many disapprove of the practice. A survey conducted by one of the animal welfare organizations in Taiwan found that only 6% of the people they interviewed ate cat meat, and 88% favored banning the cat meat trade.

Why Do People Eat Cats In Vietnam?

There are several reasons why people eat cats in Vietnam. People likely started eating cats many years ago when there was a food shortage. Cats became an essential part of the Vietnamese population’s diets. However, cats are eaten today because they are seen as a delicacy.

Cats at a cat meat restaurant in Vietnam
CC0 Cats at a cat meat restaurant in Vietnam

Some believe eating cat meat is good for your health, but this has not been scientifically proven. Most people who eat cats simply do so because they like the taste. But eating cats is no longer necessary in Vietnam, and many Vietnamese oppose the practice.

Eating cats is more prevalent in Northern Vietnam, where cat meat is considered a delicacy. However, there are also cat meat restaurants in the South, stretching as far South as Ho Chi Minh City. Therefore, cats are captured and traded all throughout Vietnam.

Is It Legal To Eat Cats In Vietnam?

The slaughtering and eating of cat meat are legal in Vietnam, but this wasn’t always the case. In 1988, the government officially banned cat meat consumption in Vietnam. While the cat meat industry didn’t wholly seize, far fewer cats were captured for the meat market.

However, in 2020, the government overturned this law, making it legal to consume cats once again. As a result, the demand for cat meat is now greater than ever. As a result, hundreds of thousands of cats are stolen and trafficked each year, where they are taken to restaurants or slaughterhouses.

Why Was Cat Meat Prohibited In Vietnam?

Although it is now legal to eat cat meat in Vietnam, this wasn’t always the case. From 1988 to 2020, it was illegal to eat cats. The Vietnamese government prohibited the consumption of cats from encouraging people to adopt them as pets.

The government hoped that by having more cats in cities, they would catch and eat the rats causing problems in the country. So, for a while, the sale and consumption of cat meat were illegal. This didn’t entirely stop people from eating cats, but it did reduce the number of cats sold and killed.

Unfortunately, the law prohibiting the sale of cats for meat has been revoked, meaning people are free to eat cat meat again.

How Popular Is Cat Meat In Vietnam?

Since the ban on consuming cat meat has been lifted, the demand for cats has significantly increased. Cat meat is now a very popular food source in Vietnam, and about 1 million cats are stolen for the meat trade yearly. There aren’t any official farms in Vietnam where people rear cats for meat consumption.

This means that all the cats in the slaughterhouses were either street cats or pets before being taken. The demand for cat meat is increasing, especially in Northern Vietnam, meaning more cats will be killed and eaten in the following years.

Is Cat Meat Dangerous?

One of the reasons why many people protest the consumption of cat meat is because of the risks this meat poses. Most of the cats sold on the meat market and eaten by humans were stray cats before. This means they haven’t had any of their shots and can have potentially fatal diseases.

When the cats are transported to and kept at the slaughterhouses, they are kept in small cages with many other cats and animals. This can lead to infections and diseases like rabies spreading. These diseases can affect humans and may cause an outbreak or pandemic.

The cats are also kept in unhygienic environments, meaning the meat may be contaminated and unsafe for human consumption. Overall, it isn’t safe to consume cat meat as you don’t know what diseases or infections the cat has.

What Is Cat Meat Called In Vietnam?

Cat meat is called “little tiger” in Vietnam. You’ll often see dishes or restaurants with the name little tiger, which tells you that cat meat is in that dish or restaurant. The Vietnamese name for cat meat is “tieu ho.” Avoid dishes or restaurants with the word “tieu ho” in them if you are opposed to eating cats.

It will be safer to avoid any restaurant that serves cat meat if you are opposed to eating it, as you cannot be certain that your dish won’t be contaminated with cat meat, even if you don’t order one with cat meat in it.

Restaurants serving cat meat will often advertise it outside to attract customers, so you’ll know which restaurants serve this dish.

Will They Prohibit Eating Cats In Vietnam?

Various animal welfare organizations are working tirelessly in Vietnam to prohibit the selling and eating of cat and dog meat. They gather signatures, set up petitions, and challenge the local authorities to prohibit eating cats.

In some cities, the authorities have taken note. They agree that eating cats gives the country a bad reputation with foreigners. For the moment, however, no laws have been established to prohibit people from eating cat and dog meat.

But as more people are adopting cats and dogs as pets, they realize that consuming these animals is bothersome. The hope is that this will change and that cat meat will become illegal again.

Do People Own Pet Cats In Vietnam?

People have owned cats and dogs as pets for many years in Vietnam. However, in recent years, affluential people have started to adopt these animals more, spreading awareness about them and encouraging others to do the same. With more people adopting cats, the protests against cat meat are also rising.

People now keep cats and dogs as companions, meaning they want to protect these animals instead of harming them. This also means that the adoption of stray cats in shelters is increasing, meaning fewer cats for people to steal.

Do They Steal Cats In Vietnam?

Unfortunately, with the rise in demand for cats and cat meat on the black market, thieves have begone to steal pet cats along with strays. Some cats in slaughterhouses are seen still wearing their collars, which clearly indicates that they belong to someone.

Cat owners have become aggressive toward thieves, and several violent fights have broken out between thieves and cat owners. While the law still allows for cat meat consumption, the sad truth is that pet cats will continue to be stolen and traded for meat.