WARNINGLID, UK – Yora Pet Foods has entered the sustainable cat food market at United Kindgom with the launch of the first ever complete and balanced formula containing insect protein. According to the company, this product has the “highest insect content of any cat food on the market” today at 62.5%.
The company launched a range of dog foods and treats in 2019 and is now working to expand its sustainable pet nutrition philosophy to cats. Diet, Yura Complete for Adult Cats, is made with insect meal from the black soldier fly (intons Hermitia) Larvae are supplied by Protix, a Netherlands-based insect ingredient producer.
“Our larvae feed on vegetables that would not otherwise be eaten, requiring only a small portion of water, land and energy to grow conventional meat,” said Glenn Rankin, managing director at Yora. “That’s why vegan and vegetarian pet owners choose urea as a healthier, more natural alternative to plant-based pet foods — which cannot meet many of the nutritional requirements of a cat’s diet.”
Other ingredients in this diet include brewer’s yeast as a source of vitamins B12 and B6, as well as “fibrous vegetables” to promote hairball control. Three percent of the diet is insect oil, which is also a source of essential oils and minerals including lauric acid, which supports skin and coat health, according to Yora.
Yora also claims that a new insect-based cat food can help alleviate digestive and oxidative issues related to other traditional proteins. The company states that the insect protein is easy to digest and provides “potent antioxidant activity.”
“Often the biggest obstacle for pet owners when switching to Yura is confronting the idea of bugs eating their pets,” Rankin said. “However, we can see from the diets of wild and feral cats – as well as the behavior of our cats, who often chase and eat insects – that insects are a regular part of a cat’s diet.”
Aside from the nutritional benefits, formulating cat food with insect protein also offers environmental benefits. Yura shared that the carbon footprint from producing 10 kilograms of insect protein is less than 20% than the carbon footprint from producing 10 kilograms of chicken protein, and only 4% than the carbon footprint from the same level of livestock protein production.
The company estimated the carbon footprint of the total cat population in the UK to be just under 3.38 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, with most cat owners currently feeding meat-based diets.
“Insects are in fact no less nutritious than traditional meat sources, giving cats the protein, vitamins and minerals they need to thrive – all with much less environmental impact.”
The company has conducted research on the readiness of pet owners to switch to insect-based diets. Yora shared 12% of pet owners aged 18-24 fed insect-based diets, compared to just 3% of pet owners aged 35 and older.
“In this world of growing awareness of our responsibilities to both our animals and the environment, it makes sense to pursue more sustainable options in any way possible,” commented Claire Arrowsmith, animal behavior expert at the Center for Pet Behavior. “Insects and bugs are a natural food source for wild and feral cats and most of us have seen our own cats chase and bite an insect or two in our homes or gardens—which is why creating insect cat food is such a progressive and positive concept.”
Yora Complete for Adult Cats is currently sold in Pet Corner stores and online.
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