In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat cat food with an in-depth analysis of cat food, the safety of cat food for human consumption, composition and the harmful effects of eating cat food.
Can you eat cat food?
Yes, you can eat cat food but only to satisfy occasional cravings. Eating cat food regularly is probably not that wise because of the potential health concerns.
Although some cat foods are “human grade” that means they are manufactured based on human consumption standards. If you eat it occasionally it probably won’t harm you because the ingredients used in cat food are digestible by humans.
But cat food is manufactured by keeping in mind the energy and nutritional needs of cats. Humans have different eating patterns and nutritional requirements compared to animals.
For example, if the cat food contains raw meat, cats have no problem digesting it. But eating cat food in the long term can cause gastrointestinal problems or nutrient toxicity in humans.
So bottom line: If you are tempted by the smell or taste of cat food it’s okay to satisfy occasional cravings but don’t make it a habit because it can give rise to health concerns because it’s called cat food for a reason.
Components of Cat Food
When it comes to feline creatures proper energy and nourishment is extremely important. The cats are carnivores, which means their staple food is meat and protein. Due to this fact, cat food contains meat and meat byproducts along with a lot of proteins and vitamins.
The raw materials in cat food consist of meat, poultry, seafood, grains like barley, wheat, cornmeal and soybean. The animal parts such as bone, damaged carcass, organ meat and stomach tissues are also used as ingredients in pet food, which are not suitable for human consumption.
But all these components surely are healthy and nourishing for the cats. Other than these, cat foods also contain large doses of Vitamin A, amino acids and fats.
Cats are carnivores; they hunt and feed on the flesh of animals. A major source of their food is protein. The same goes for pet cats. They require approximately 30% of their daily calories from protein.
Cat foods are made with a mixed blend of ingredients to provide around 35-45% of protein. Which is crucial for growth and immunity. On the other hand, humans require only 15-30 % of their energy from protein-containing food. So the cat food contains far high amounts of protein which is not suitable for human consumption
Vitamin A is important not only for humans but also for the eye health of your cat. It plays an important role in maintaining good eye health and is crucial for the night vision of cats.
It also helps in the maintenance of the healthy skin and immune system of ats. And its deficiency can affect your cat’s eyesight as well as the cardiovascular system leading to abnormal heart functioning.
According to American feed control officials (AAFCO), cat food should provide 9000 IU of vitamin A per kilogram.
Humans don’t require such large doses of vitamin A. So if you consume your cat’s food regularly, you may end up with Vitamin A toxicity also called Hypervitaminosis A. This leads to blurred vision, liver damage, bone pain and headache along with a list of other symptoms.
Fat is the energy-dense nutrient in a cat’s diet. Which is needed for the transport of nutrients and the normal functioning of the nervous system. Cat foods are high in fat so to fuel their bodies with the energy and nutrients that they require to stay healthy and active.
Cat foods contain a mixture of vegetable oil and animal fats in high amounts. These fats supplement a cat’s diet with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids along with other nutrients. These omegas are needed to maintain the water barrier of the skin as well as for preventing allergies, inflammatory disease, kidney and heart diseases in cats.
As for humans, intake of all these fats from the human diet as well as from cat food can lead to serious health problems. You might end up with high cholesterol levels, kidney disease, heart disease as well as obesity if you consume cat food regularly. And it is also essential to feed your pets on a diet that contains a balance of all the nutrients to maintain their wellbeing and prevent excessive weight gain.
Taurine is one of the essential ingredients in cat food. It is an amino acid that is required by cats for proper growth and development. Cats cannot produce taurine in their body so it must be provided through diet.
Taurine deficiency in cats can lead to irreversible blindness. It also causes tooth decay, hair loss, and altered immune functioning and growth retardation in cats.
Humans can naturally produce taurine in their bodies. They don’t require it from external sources. So consuming cat food that contains high amounts of taurine can lead to adverse health effects in humans.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat cat food with an in-depth analysis of cat food, the safety of cat food for human consumption, composition and the harmful effects of eating cat food.