Coming soon to a pet supply store near you: insect-based cat food.
So your cat just caught a moth and ate it. Eeeuuu… But it turns out that cats like the taste of bugs, whether they’re on the fly or in insect-based cat food.
Researchers recruited 20 taste testers and offered them food that contained either black soldier fly larvae meal or oil. Ugh…
The cats ate both, although they seemed to like the kind with meal better than the food with oil.
In a world where our cats dine on white meat chicken and fresh caught fish, pouring insect-based cat food into their bowls may seem to fly in the face of convention. But our planet is running out of the resources it needs to feed animals and humans. And if nothing else, insects are plentiful and leave a teeny carbon footprint, if they leave a carbon footprint at all.
Insect-Based Cat Food: It’s All About Sustainability
Poultry produces just 265 pounds of protein per acre, and beef produces just 192 pounds. But black soldier fly larvae produce 100 million-200 million pounds of protein per acre. No wonder insect-based cat food sounds so enticing to manufacturers who are concerned about sustainability. The other selling point: the little buggers are raised inside and don’t contribute to global warming by emitting astonishing amounts of greenhouse gasses.
In the US, black soldier fly larvae are approved for use in poultry feed. Cat and dog food with black soldier fly larvae as an ingredient is available in Europe and Canada.
Taking Steps To Reduce Our Cats’ Carbon Pawprint
Insect-based cat food is just one step the pet food industry is taking towards shrinking our animal companions’ carbon pawprint. Bond Pet Foods is developing clean meat for cats and dogs, or animal protein that’s grown in a lab and starts with the cells from a live animal. And Purina’s RootLab, uses cricket powder, invasive fish species like Asian carp, chicken organs that are usually discarded and cod meat that’s typically wasted during processing as ingredients in dry dog food.