can you eat cat food

Can Humans Eat Cat Food?

Some high-quality cat food is safe for humans to consume but it has been formulated to provide the correct nutrition for cats, not humans.

Lower quality cat food may include ingredients that are not suitable for human consumption, this can include meat by-products.

While not terrible, it’s best not to make a habit of eating cat food. 

How Safe Is Cat Food For Humans?

Generally speaking, small amounts of cat food is safe for humans to eat.

Humans can eat a portion of cat food without any side effects.

However, cat food does not meet the nutritional needs of humans so it can cause health issues if consumed in large amounts over a prolonged period. 

how safe is cat food for humans

If the cat food has been opened and left out then it could spoil or become contaminated which increases the chances of becoming ill from consuming it.

All of the ingredients in cat food are digestible so they are safe to eat although the food may be low quality and unappetizing for humans. 

Will Eating Cat Food Kill You Or Make You Ill?

Eating cat food won’t kill you but it certainly could make you ill, although your body will work on clearing out any foreign substances from your body. 

It’s unlikely you’d get sick from trying cat food and eating cat food will be able to keep you going for a few days if you were in a desperate situation.

will eating cat food make you ill

However, it shouldn’t be eaten over an extended period of time as the food doesn’t meet a human’s nutritional needs. 

If you consume cat food over a long period of time, you are likely to experience ill effects of the cat food due to nutritional deficiencies and imbalances.

How To Eat Cat Food

If you plan to try cat food the first thing to know is that you should never eat cat food that has been opened.

A bag of open kibble or wet food is more likely to become contaminated with pathogens.

To avoid becoming sick, make sure you eat the cat food from a freshly opened bag/can. 

how to eat cat food

Cats are fed their food at room temperature so if the food has been refrigerated or has been in a cold pantry then you could gently warm it.

You may find gently warming the food can make it more appealing but generally, it shouldn’t be cooked.

A spoonful of cat food here and there won’t cause any issues but, as we say, it’s best to stick to eating food that is suitable for humans.

What Is In Cat Food?

Cat food is made of a blend of meat (and animal derivatives) and vegetables.

The actual ingredients that go into it depend on the brand and quality of cat food. 

While a meat and vegetable meal may sound appetizing the meat is often comprised of the lower quality offal and scraps (the parts that humans don’t usually consume).

Although higher-quality food will use the actual meat as opposed to any by-products or bone meal.

what is in cat food

Some may also be listed as “human-grade” meaning the ingredients used are fit for human consumption. 

Some cat food also contains grain, rice, corn, and soy ingredients which act as fillers.

Added salt and sugar is also common in lower-quality cat food.

You can find options that are advertised as being grain-free, sugar-free, and free from artificial colours and flavours. 

The ingredients list on cat food can be confusing but it should at least give you a broad idea of what’s in the food.

If the cat food is “complete” this means it contains all the nutrients a cat needs.  

What Would Happen If You Ate Nothing But Cat Food For A Month?

Cat food is not formulated for humans so eating nothing but cat food will mean you are not consuming a healthy, balanced diet.

This can result in sickness and a range of side effects.

Cat food tends to be low in carbohydrates and high in Vitamin A, taurine, and fats.

Too much Vitamin A can be toxic for humans and can cause side effects including nausea, headaches, vomiting, blurred eyesight, and irritability.

Consuming excessive taurine is likely to cause side effects too (although there are no known fatal side effects) and the fats found in cat food can cause weight and health issues. 

Taking a bite of cat food won’t hurt you but regularly eating cat food as your main source of nutrients is going to cause health issues.

There is a risk of malnourishment and deficiencies in key vitamins such as Vitamin C.

Cats make their own Vitamin C so they don’t need it added to their food, if a human eats only cat food for a long time then this could result in scurvy.