I am sorry if this is a bit gruesome but it is interesting. Anyway, the answer to the question in the title is, in general terms, that it is illegal for commercial enterprises, meaning slaughterhouses, to process dog and cat but except for in a few states but it is legal for an individual person to eat his cat provided he killed the cat humanely. I also presume that it would be legal for that person to sell cat meat. But how does anyone know how a person killed their cat? It is behind closed doors.
The law is very fragmented and tricky on this subject but apparently only half a dozen states in the USA which include New York and New Jersey have specific laws which ban the butchering of dogs and cats.
As usual, California leads the way. California leads the way on anti-declawing legislation which indicates they are, from the standpoint of cat welfare, the most enlightened state in the United States of America. They lead the way on cat meat by barring possession of the carcasses. That would seem to be far wider in terms of its effect. The law also covers any companion animal regarded as a pet.
In summary, it seems to me, and I hope I have this correct, that individuals can if they are so pervertedly minded humanely kill their cat and eat him or her and even sell the cat meat except for certain states as mentioned but commercial enterprises cannot participate in this unpleasant practice.
I think I’ll leave it there because it is late and there is not much more to say on this rather gruesome subject but it is interesting as mentioned because the country where cat meat is considered to be acceptable and even popular in the South, is China and you will see criticism from Americans about Chinese eating cat meat.
Someone might argue that it is somewhat hypocritical of Americans to criticise the Chinese however they’d be wrong because there is one stark difference, which is this: Americans don’t eat cat meat except I suppose extremely rarely or if the cat is a lion or tiger. There is a market in lion and perhaps tiger meat. This in itself is for a bit sick but there are lots of big cats in private zoos. What happens when they die?
Therefore, logically, there is no need for a law to prevent eating cat meat. It is just the sort of thing that people will not want to do. It is about attitudes and in America the attitude of cat owners is that their cat is a companion animal and it stops there. There is no concept of the animal being anything else other than a companion.
Source: I have lost the source! Various USA websites. Sorry.