The pet food industry is constantly evolving. Gone are the days of feeding your cat scraps of meat – these days, cat nutrition is on the wane!
So what are the new trends in cat food? Why did protein food from insects suddenly become popular? And for which cats is this fresh food suitable? We will answer all these and other questions in the following paragraphs.
But insects? Can insects give your cat what she needs?
Actually yes! Insects are an excellent food source for your cat. Insects contain a lot of easily digestible protein. Hypoallergenic cat food is also a good choice.
Doesn’t my cat need real meat?
You can also have heard that cats are obligate carnivores. But what does this mean?
Cats need specific amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, no matter where they get them. Vegan cat foods may contain iron and calcium from some legumes instead of meat, and magnesium are also found in wheat germ, whole grains, and soybeans.
While cats can technically digest vitamins, minerals, and proteins from plant sources, being obligate carnivores, cats cannot digest plants very well and efficiently. In addition, cats also need to get certain amino acids that can only be found in meat.
But this does not mean that cats should only eat meat. Instead, cats can eat some meat and get the rest of the nutrients they need from other sources.
Is Insect Cat Food Eco-Friendly?
As more and more people have pets in their lives, there has been a corresponding increase in animal husbandry bred to keep them. Thus, livestock production produces so much methane and takes up so much land that the production of pet food indirectly affects the environment.
Conversely, using insects such as Hermetia illucens as the primary source of protein in pet food has little to no environmental impact. Raising insects such as the black lion fly requires only a tiny fraction of livestock’s water, food, and land. This truth makes insect-based cat meals notably sustainable alternatives for your cat.
Is insect cat food safe?
So, insects are stable and very nutritious. But insect food is safe for your cat. Do insects carry disease?
Insects are incredibly safe for your cat. Unlike the chicken, salmon, or other animal protein sources, insects don’t get sick and don’t need medications like antibiotics. In addition, pesticides are not used for breeding these insects, unlike growing plants for livestock and poultry feed.
Insect protein can also be less complicated on your cat’s body. For example, many older cats develop kidney failure in later years, resulting in the cat having difficulty digesting traditional foods and requiring a special diet. However, since insect protein produces little to no metabolic products, insect-based cat food is ideal for cats with kidney failure or any other cat.
What about cats with allergies?
Can they react to the protein found in cat food if your cat is allergic?
Actually, no. Insect-based protein is unlike any other protein-based product – it’s a brand new product. So this means your cat is unlikely to react negatively to insect-based cat food, even if she has had a few adverse reactions to other foods.
Originally a dentist, Anna Strout has written for three years for pet and animal publications. Anna is also a historian who studies dog breed progression throughout the world, dabbles in animal law issues, and collects dog tales while traveling across the country with her husband and German Shepherd Dog, Luna. Anna kicks dust up dancing with Luna at home in Houston, Texas, where she teaches her obedience and tricks.