Can People Eat Cat Food?

Yes, people can eat cat food. Cat food is not harmful to humans if only taken to satisfy a craving. However, cat food cannot become your regular food because it is not healthy.

Usually, cat food is made from animal organs that are either edible or inedible to humans. After all, if it is wet food, the organs, and meat will be crushed to make the cat food. Do you imagine eating something that you couldn’t eat if you knew what it was?

Nevertheless, cat food smells so irresistible that some people find it difficult to restrain themselves from a bite. Let’s get into this and much more about humans and cat food.

Why cat food is not healthy for humans?

Yes, and no. Yes, because cat food is not harmful to humans, as long as you are not allergic to meat products. And no, because the food is made for cats, with nutrition precisely balanced not for humans.

Let’s look at reasons why you cannot eat cat food and why it could be harmful to you;

  1. Cats are Carnivores While You Are Not!

Cats are naturally carnivores, and their food is 80% meat and meat products. They can eat the food since they wean until they age and still be very healthy.

However, you are naturally an omnivore, which means that your body should take in animal and plant products for optimal nutrition. 

Therefore, if you decide to feed on a carnivorous diet regularly, you will be doing an injustice to your body. The food may not harm you, but imagine constantly feeding on just proteins and fats. 

Your body will miss out on vital nutrition from carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, which are essential for your body. Therefore, you expose your body to malnutrition and the conditions of not feeding on a healthy diet.

  1. You Will Be Overweight

You must already know that excessive consumption of proteins and fats is the prerequisite to overweight and obese. Cats don’t get obese because these are all they need in high amounts for growth and development.

However, when you feed on the cat food, be prepared for added weight. And who wants to add on too much weight consciously, then have to deal with dieting and aerobic workouts to shed it?

  1. Nutrition in Cat Food is for Cats

As a human, you have different nutritional needs from other animals, even dogs and pigs omnivores (an animal or person that eats food of both plant and animal origin.). How much more difference when compared to cats, which are in a completely different class of feeding?

Let’s take the instance of taurine (a sulfur-containing amino acid important in the metabolism of fats), an amino acid compulsory in cat food. Cats need nutrients in high amounts, and, sadly, their bodies cannot naturally process them.

On the contrary, humans need taurine in negligible amounts. Even better, you can process it in your body, so you don’t really need it from food. 

Nutritional differences between cat and human food are explained clearly in the College of Veterinary Medicine article in here. Further supporting research data can be found in the research article named, Commercial vs Homemade Cat Diets by Sage Jorunal.

Eating cat food means taking more taurine than your body actually needs. Hence, you may develop health problems as your liver and kidneys constantly filter out the amino acid from your health problem. The worst part of it is that you took it consciously.

Like taurine, cats require other minerals and nutrients but are not suitable for human consumption. Therefore, appreciate the sweet smell and try making yourself something with a similar scent. Besides, the smell is usually from human-edible flavors.

a girl eating cat food
  1. Cat Food is Not Quality for Humans

It is true that both cats and humans technically eat the same animals; fish, chicken, beef, pork, and goat meat. However, humans get the best and large parts of these animals.

The leftovers, consisting of bones, offals, and intestine products, are put in animal food. So, when you eat cat food, you sign to eating human leftovers, meat by-products that would never be included in human nutrition. Just think about the food components, and you will probably lose your craving for cat food.

  1. Cat Food is Prone to Infection

Usually, dry cat food (do they go bad) is prone to Escherichia coli, which is not good in high amounts for your gut. You already get a lot of this in your food, so why add more from cat food?

What about the wet cat food? Well, wet cat food may be safer, but remember that it is processed food. This means that it also has a downside when it comes to your health.

Why people crave cat food?

You crave cat food because it has a delicious smell that is inviting. If you are not vegan, you will definitely be attracted to cat food.

Here are a few more reasons why you may crave cat food;

  • Cat food is in attractive and colorful packaging. The packaging in itself could make you confuse cat food for some sweet snacks. Coupled with the smell, when you open the packaging, your craving heightens.
  • Cats enjoy delicious cat food. When you see how much your cat enjoys its food, you may feel like joining it. This often happens when your only company is the cat. It is normal to want company when eating, and your appetite actually increases.

Therefore, you may feel like having your pet cat as an option. Since you don’t want to feed it human food, you end up compromising on your side.

  • Homemade cat food may be what you eat. If you always give the cat food that you make yourself, you obviously know the ingredients. If meat is part of your best food options, you may be tempted to eat what you already prepared for your cat.
  • Cat food is softer than dog food. If you crave pet food and have both cats and dogs, you may find yourself leaning towards cat food. This is because cat food seems more delicious and softer than dog food. You are not alone! The dogs and puppies also steal cat food (is it bad to eat cat food for a puppy?) granted the opportunity.
  • Finally, you may be pregnant. Pregnancy makes some women have crazy cravings. You may have yours engraved in cat food.

Is Cat Food Edible for Humans?

Yes, it is. Cat food is the softest of pet food, hence easy to chew for humans. If you take animal and plant products without allergies, cat food is also safe for you.

If you have a craving, a bite of cat food will not harm you at all. If there are effects of eating cat food, this would be after long-term consumption.

Also, remember the case of Dorothy Hunter, the animal philanthropist from Washington? In 2014, she made headlines for vowing to eat nothing but pet food for thirty days. She did this to raise awareness about pet food safety. Later on, her colleagues joined her in the course.

While the Food and Drug Administration advised against human consumption of pet food, they only quoted the nutrition difference between pet and human food. However, both foods should be certified and free of pathogens and excess food additives.

Is it safe to eat cat food?

Yes, it is okay to eat dry kibble, as long as it does not become a habit. Dry cat food is suitable for satisfying crunchy food cravings.

However, remember that dry cat food is more prone to bacteria compared to wet cat food. Therefore, try to avoid it when you can.

What Happens If I Eat Cat Food?

Nothing worth noting will happen to you when you eat cat food. As we have mentioned, cat food is suitable for humans, as long as you don’t take it constantly. Remember that cat food adheres to the same safety standards as human foods.

Cat owners have testimonials of occasionally taking a bite of the delicacy. Nevertheless, if you only eat cat food all through, you will suffer from nutritional deficiencies. After all, you have different needs from those of a cat.

For example, you can process taurine in your body, while a cat requires it in its diet. In the same way, a cat can process vitamin c, while you need to get it from your diet. Hence, eating cat food robs you of Vitamin C sources and other nutritional requirements for humans.

Are there any positive impacts of eating cat food for humans?

No, there are no positive impacts of eating cat food for humans.

In fact, cat food is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cats and may not provide adequate nutrients for humans.

Additionally, consuming cat food can expose humans to potential health risks, such as bacterial infections or the ingestion of harmful substances, as melamine.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), cat food is not intended for human consumption and should be avoided.

Furthermore, cat food is formulated based on the nutritional requirements of cats, which are different from those of humans.

According to an article published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), the nutrient needs of cats and humans differ significantly, with cats requiring higher amounts of protein, fat, and certain vitamins and minerals.

Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a balanced and nutritious diet that meets the specific nutritional needs of humans, rather than relying on cat food as a source of nutrition.


Cat food is suitable for cats and not for humans. It has a few health implications if humans consume them for a long. You cannot compete with the cat for its food when you have options that the cat does not.

However, it is worth noting that quality cat food complies with safety standards just as human foods are, hence safe for human consumption. While you can’t take cat food as your primary source of nutrition, satisfying a craving will not cause harm.

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Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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