Yora has launched its first ever cat food, which it claims contains the highest insect content of any cat food on the market.
The sustainable pet food group launched in 2019 with a dog food and treats range targeting “environmentally-conscious” pet owners, but is now expanding into the cat food market.
Its latest product, ‘Yora Complete for Adult Cats’, is created from a blend of insect flour derived from the larvae of the black soldier fly.
Insect protein is a BVA-approved alternative to traditional meats, and reportedly has a “wealth” of nutritional benefits. It is also highly digestible and compared to chicken or salmon, exhibits strong antioxidant activity, which can help reduce inflammation-related diseases.
Other ingredients include brewer’s yeast, which is packed with Vitamin B12 and B6 to regulate hydration, as well as fibrous veg, which encourages cats to salivate and therefore helps with hairball control.
Yora also includes 3% insect oil, which is high in lots of essential oils and minerals, particularly lauric acid, which promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat.
It comes as new research commissioned by Yora found that 87% of cat owners said their cat chases and eats insects, with over a third (34%) saying they see their cat do this very frequently or often. Some 36% think insects are a normal part of a cat’s diet.
Insect protein also provides environmental benefits. Based on the production of 10kg of protein, the carbon footprint of the grubs used to make Yora’s food is under one fifth of that of chickens – and just 4% of that of cattle.
Owners often look to their cat’s diet for a way to reduce this footprint. Almost a third (29%) of survey respondents claimed they think about impact on the planet when choosing which food to buy for their cat.
In addition, survey data suggests that there is a growing market for insect protein options when it comes to pet food, particularly among younger pet owners: whilst only 3% of over-35s feed their cat insect-based food, this figure increases to 12% in the 18 – 34 age group.
Glenn Rankin, MD of Yora Pet foods, said: “Often the biggest hurdle for pet owners when switching to Yora is grappling with the idea of their pet eating insects. However, we can see from the diets of wild and feral cats – as well as the behaviour of our own cats, who frequently chase and eat bugs – that insects form a regular part of the feline diet.
“In reality, insects are no less nutritious than traditional meat sources, giving cats the protein, vitamins and minerals they need to flourish – all while having a significantly smaller environmental impact.”
He added: “Our grubs are fed left over vegetables that would otherwise go uneaten, and they only need a fraction of the water, land and energy of traditional meat farming. That’s why vegan and vegetarian pet owners are choosing Yora as a healthier, more natural alternative to plant-based pet foods – which cannot fulfil many of the nutritional requirements for a feline diet.”