WARNING, UNITED KINGDOM – Yora Pet Foods has entered the UK sustainable cat food market with the launch of its very first complete and balanced formula with insect protein. According to the company, this product contains “the highest insect content of any cat food on the market” at 62.5%.
The company launched a range of dog foods and treats in 2019 and is now expanding its philosophy of sustainable pet nutrition to include cats. The Yora Complete food for adult cats consists of insect meal from larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens), which is supplied by Protix, a manufacturer of insect ingredients based in Holland.
“Our larvae are fed vegetable scraps that would otherwise not be eaten, and they only use a fraction of the water, land and energy of the traditional meat industry,” said Glenn Rankin, general manager at Yora. “That’s why vegan and vegetarian pet owners choose Yora as a healthier, more natural alternative to plant-based pet foods – which cannot meet many of the nutritional requirements for a cat diet.”
Other ingredients in this diet include brewer’s yeast, which is a source of vitamins B12 and B6, and “fibrous vegetables” to promote hairball control. Three percent of the diet is made up of insect oil, which Yora says is also a source of essential oils and minerals such as lauric acid, which helps promote skin and coat health.
Yora also claims that its new insect-based cat food can help alleviate digestive and oxidation problems related to other traditional proteins. The company stated that its insect protein is highly digestible and has “strong antioxidant activity”.
“Often the biggest hurdle pet owners face when moving to Yora is coming to terms with the idea that their pet is eating insects,” said Rankin. “However, we can see from the diet of wild and wild cats – as well as the behavior of our own cats, which often hunt and eat beetles – that insects are an integral part of the cat’s diet.”
Aside from the nutritional benefits, formulating cat food with insect protein also offers environmental benefits. Yora said the carbon footprint from producing 10 kilograms of insect protein is less than 20% of the carbon footprint from producing 10 kilograms of chicken protein and only 4% of the carbon footprint from the same production of beef protein.
The company estimates the carbon footprint of the entire UK cat population at just under 3.38 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, as most cat owners are currently on meat-based diets.
“In reality, insects are no less nutritious than traditional meat sources and provide cats with the protein, vitamins and minerals they need to thrive – all with a significantly lower environmental impact.”
The company investigated the willingness of pet owners to switch to an insect-based diet. Yora shared that 12% of pet owners between the ages of 18 and 24 feed insect-based food, compared with just 3% of pet owners aged 35 and over.
“In this world of growing awareness of our responsibility to both our animals and the environment, it makes sense to pursue more sustainable options in every possible way,” commented Claire Arrowsmith, animal behavior expert at The Pet Behavior Center. Beetles are a natural source of food for feral cats, wild cats, and most of us have seen our own cats hunt and eat an insect or two in our homes or gardens – this is why making insect cat food is such an advanced and positive concept. “
Yora Complete for Adult Cats is currently sold in Pet Corner stores and online.
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