Can Humans Eat Cat Food? Is It Safe Or Bad?

Have you ever felt the urge to taste your cat’s food? Wondering if you should stock up for a zombie apocalypse scenario?

High quality cat food definitely smells and looks tasty, possibly not just to your cat. So, what will happen if you try it?

Basically, you’ll realize that cat food is delicious, especially if it’s not filled with artificial flavors and additives. Wet canned food can taste way better than you imagine if it has real meat and meat sauce in it. But what will happen if you keep eating cat food on a regular basis?

The answer is simple – bad things.

Cat food is strictly for cats. This means it’s not meant to be used as a dog food substitute or a replacement for human food.

Due to the fact that cats are carnivorous creatures, their food must always contain meat and loads of protein. Proper nourishment is of extreme importance for any feline creature, regardless of its breed and age, and especially for indoor cats.

The three most essential ingredients after protein are Vitamin A, taurine, and fats. Let’s review these nutritional ingredients in detail and see why they aren’t healthy for humans.

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is the most important vitamin for cats.

It is found in meat by-products and is responsible for the proper performance of your cat’s eyesight and cardiovascular system. If your pet is suffering from Vitamin A deficiency, it can develop various eye and heart related diseases.

In such cases Vitamin A needs to be added to your kitty’s food as a supplement, especially if your feline furball is a young kitten. Make sure you consult a vet if you think your vat may be suffering from any kind of deficiency.

Vitamin A can be dangerous for humans. Cat food is absolutely filled with Vitamin A, to the point that the levels may be toxic for humans. You won’t feel it right away, but it will be fatal if you keep consuming it in the long run.

The most common side effects of Vitamin A toxicity in humans are nausea, vomiting, headaches, irritability, and blurred eyesight.

2. Taurine

Cats need the amino acid called taurine for various reasons such as preventing tooth decay, hair loss, and irreversible blindness.

Felines cannot produce taurine on their own, which is why they need excessive amounts of it in their food. Unlike cats, other mammals – including humans – can synthesize this amino acid on their own.

While taurine is sometimes used as a supplement by athletes, the excessive dosages in cat food, in combination with other chemicals and substances, can lead to nasty side effects. There are no known fatal side effects of this amino acid for humans, but consuming it in excess still isn’t wise.

3. Fats

Cats are in constant need of so-called healthy fats. Vegetable oils and animal fats are the two main sources of healthy fats in cat food.

These fats are actually fatty acids and are an irreplaceable part of your feline furball’s proper diet. They are a cat’s main energy source and are fully digestible in the cat’s system. The most common fats – omega-6 fatty acids – are an absolute must in every well-balanced cat meal.

However, all of these fats can be unhealthy for humans. They may lead to obesity and other problems including heart, brain, and gallbladder diseases. Our bodies can’t digest fats the way a cat’s metabolism can. Thus, they are harmful to us, instead of essential.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking these fats won’t harm your cat either! Cats can become obese just like us, especially elder cats. It’s why a well-balanced diet is so important.

So, Can Humans Really Eat Cat Food?

Yes, you can take a bite out of your kitty’s meal, but don’t ever make it a regular thing!

The meat by-products, the moisture, the fats, and the tasty flavors may make cat food appealing to you, but it’s not designed to satisfy a human’s nutritional needs. Cat food is manufactured only for felines as it focuses only on the ingredients a cat needs in order to grow and thrive.

In other words, if you munch on your feline pet’s tasty canned food on a regular basis, you’ll be harming your own body with all that excessive Vitamin A, taurine, fats, etc.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

5 thoughts on “Can Humans Eat Cat Food? Is It Safe Or Bad?”

  1. So with the whole Corona epidemic going one day just wanted to make sure if food does ever run out. I wont eat it every day but it’s an option.

    • Well I certainly hope it doesn’t come to that. Just remember that cat food is made for your cat’s dietary needs, not yours. Also, remember in the world of marketing, the term “human-grade” is not a standard set forth by the USDA or AAFCO. So, I would definitely not count on this as your emergency backup plan for food.

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