I would certainly buy cat food made with insect protein. I am very keen on the concept because there are so many benefits. And we can do it right now at least if you live in Canada you can. A Canadian company, Catit, has made cat food with 92% sustainable insect protein. It is on the market now as I understand it. I’m not sure where it is available but some judicious research would solve that problem. I see that it is not available on Amazon in the UK. I suspect that they are rolling it out progressively.
The current insect protein-based cat food product from Catit is: Catit Nuna. It appears that some customers might think that the food contains whole insects. In other words they might be worried that there are insects wriggling around in a plastic bag! That could not be further from the truth because they use whole grubs which are dried and ground down into a flour which is then re-formed into conventional-looking dry cat food, which is called kibble, in America.
And in using whole grubs they say that cats eat a complete nutritional package. This is because grubs are “bursting with protein, vitamins, omega 6, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and minerals.
They use “vertical farming techniques” to grow the grubs. The intention is to produce the maximum amount of food in the smallest amount of space, as I understand it. This is part of a concern for the environment it seems to me. The objective is to leave more arable land to grow food for people. No water is required they say because the food that the insects need comes from recycled fruits and vegetables.
Catit argue that over 30% of the world’s food production is wasted. It is thrown away in landfill sites. This wasted food is used to feed the insects.
Some people think that insects such as flies carry disease and therefore they might be worried that Catit insect-based cat food also carries disease. Once again, this is far from the truth. The grubs are raised in Canada, Europe and the USA. They use Hermetia Ilucens larvae. They say that “Catit Nuna grubs are superclean and not at all a vector for disease”.
Their food should be used in the normal way, as a complete diet. Or it can be used as a treat or mixed in with other foods. It can be used for kittens from one month old.
Catit Nuna is a low-carbohydrate cat food. The current alternatives are often high in carbohydrates with large amounts of grain: rice and corn. These high-carb diets can lead to diabetes it has been argued by leading veterinarians. The Catit product is completely free of wheat, soy and corn. It is high in protein.
These grains are difficult to digest by cats and metabolise. This can cause bloating, diarrhoea and flatulence. Catit Nuna, they say, is more easily digestible than other kibble.
The product contains millet. They say that this is a gluten-free grain which is low in carbohydrates and higher in proteins and fibre than other grains normally used in kibble. They say that it helps to stabilise a cat’s blood sugar level and makes them feel satiated for longer. It has a high antioxidant content.
Insect protein is high quality and easily digestible. This obviously suits cats who we all know are obligate carnivores and it contains added taurine in the usual way.
Why am I promoting insect-based cat food? It is not because I’m being paid to do it. It is because it will help the planet and I, like many other people, are concerned about the environment. I’m concerned about global warming and about animal welfare. The production of beef often results in the destruction of forests in order to clear the landscape and in doing so the habitat of many wild animals is destroyed. And the welfare of livestock is a concern to many.
It is a brilliant idea, in my opinion, to use insects which people regard as annoying bugs and of no use to humankind, to create cat food. Currently cat food contains diseased livestock, roadkill, and even euthanised cats at cat shelters in my opinion. If we can avoid this so much the better.
If shelters don’t have an outlet for their euthanised cats, which I believe is to sell the bodies sometimes to pet food manufacturers, it may put a brake on euthanasia. If there is an outlet which is readily available surely it encourages euthanasia?
SOME MORE ON DRY CAT FOOD: