Can Humans Eat Cat Food? Is It Safe?

Have you ever wondered what cat food tastes like? You open up a packet for your kitty, and now you’re curious. Besides, the advertisement is tempting, with words like “Chicken and Lamb” or “Salmon and Tuna.” One piece wouldn’t hurt, right?

Although cat food is not toxic to humans, it is not recommended. When you’re in an emergency, you can even use it. Cat food is not designed to meet human nutritional needs.

Should you start stocking up on pet food as a human alternative in case of a zombie apocalypse? This article will solve all of your contemplations.

Can People Eat Cat Food

Can Humans Eat Cat Food? /Can People Eat Cat Food?

Technically yes, you can indulge in a piece or two, and it won’t kill you. Cat food is made up of by-products of meat, poultry, seafood, feed grains, and soybean meal, to name a few. These are derived from human food but of much lower quality. So it is technically not toxic to human beings. The mild toxins can be filtered and excreted by the liver and kidneys. However, if you were to eat cat food exclusively, you would start to experience a myriad of side effects.

All pet foods in the United States are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Pet food must meet standards, but these standards are nowhere near the level required for human food. Secondly, cat food is made specifically for cats, so you will go into a generally sick and malnourished state.

With this in mind, if you had to/ really want to indulge in a bite of pet food, opt for canned instead of dry cat food. Since canned pet food goes through a sterilization process during manufacturing, you are less likely to get sick compared to eating dry cat food, which is more likely to get contaminated.

Can You Get Sick From Eating Cat Food?

Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association, says, “I’m fully confident that your body can handle kitty chow.” However, watch out for dry pet food or an already open pack next to the kitchen sink, as it is more likely to be contaminated. Contaminated pet food carries bacteria like e.coli and salmonella, both of which cause watery diarrhoea. This is why it is crucial to follow stored food storage guidelines.

In order to preserve the nutritional quality of dry and canned pet food, the FDA recommends keeping them in a cool, dry place at a temperature of no more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 degrees Celsius). Since canned cat food is sterilized, it is relatively safer. Hence a nibble from a freshly open can should do no harm.

The story is different if you decide to make it a regular thing. Cat food is not designed to meet human nutritional needs. It is high in unsaturated fatty acids, which is great for your fur ball’s dietary needs, but for you, it can lead to obesity, brain, gall bladder, and heart disease. The high Vitamin A content added to your furry friend’s ideal growth, and development is a toxic amount for human beings. As it is a fat-soluble vitamin, humans store it in their bodies and are less likely to excrete it, leading to eventual toxicity, which will cause blurry vision, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and irritability.

Low vitamin C levels in pet food will lead to scurvy and bleeding tendencies, as vitamin C is required for human blood’s clotting mechanism to function effectively and is required for connective tissue regrowth and generation, but not required as much in felines. Blatner says, “It’s OK to satisfy the occasional craving, but you shouldn’t make it a staple of your regular diet. It’s cat food for a reason.”

Is Cat Food Edible For Humans?

Is Cat Food Edible For Humans

The simple answer is yes.
Cat food, like other products in your local supermarket aisle, is meant to look appealing so that you buy it. Besides, it is humans that shop for their pets. This humanization is what makes cat food seem scrumptious. While advertising their product, producers keep in mind that if the title is something you want to eat, you will probably buy it for your pet.

The ingredients of cat food are basically (for most brands of cat food):

  • Meat by-products.
  • Chicken by-product meal.
  • Turkey by-product meal.
  • Ash and taurine

All these ingredients are of lower quality than human food.
Technically speaking, cat food has nothing inedible or toxic, so yes, it is edible.

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Does Cat Food Taste Good To Humans?

Cat food is not the go-to meal for people who have tried it. Canned cat food consists of a slimy texture with gelled globs. It has a salty, bland fishy taste. More expensive brands will add a meat-ish flavour to it. However, since cats have few taste buds, they eat their food simply to meet their nutritional requirements, not as savoury snacks. Keeping all that in mind, pet food is not very delightful for humans.

Can Humans Eat Dry Cat Food?

Yes, humans can eat dry cat food. Nevertheless, dry cat food is more prone to contamination than canned food with bugs like E.coli, which will cause perfuse diarrhoea. As canned food undergoes a sterilization process, it is less likely to give you a full-blown bacterial infection.

What Happens If You Eat Dry Cat Food?

What Happens If You Eat Dry Cat Food

Essentially nothing will happen if you eat dry cat food. It depends on the intake. One nibble won’t harm you; however, if it has become tainted, you can get a nasty intestinal infection. Also, it is never a good idea to inject pet food on a daily basis as your furry friend’s food is made keeping their dietary needs in mind and is not fit for human consumption.

Can Humans Eat Cat Food In Emergency?

Yes, in fact, humans should only eat cat food in case of emergencies. While it is not manufactured, keeping human nutrition in mind, it is best to eat something in an emergency situation. Cat food once in a while is not essentially harmful as it contains no ingredients specifically toxic to humans, despite that it should only be consumed a couple of times.

Frequently Asked Questions

The simple answer is yes. Humans can survive on cat food for a while, but as cat food is not designed keeping the human gut and nutritional needs in mind, over time, it will cause illness that will require medical attention.

The Bottom Line on Can Humans Eat Cat Food

Cat food is called cat food for a reason. It is designed keeping your pet in mind. However, it is technically possible to have a bite or two. Just don’t make it a habit and go for canned cat food instead of a dry one.

LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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