Eco pet food brand Yora adds cat food to its range of insect-based pet products

Yora – maker of the world’s most sustainable pet food – has launched its first ever cat food, containing the highest insect content of any cat food on the market.

Since launching its trailblazing dog food and treats range in 2019, Yora has gained a dedicated following of environmentally-conscious pet owners who have discovered the benefits of insect grubs as an alternative meat that is just as nutritious as chicken fish or beef, but kinder on their pet’s stomach – and kinder to the planet.

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 is known to have a wealth of nutritional benefits. It is highly digestible – much more so than conventional meats – and compared to chicken or salmon it exhibits strong antioxidant activity, which can help reduce inflammation-related diseases.

Other ingredients in Yora’s food for felines include brewer’s yeast – which is not only tasty but packed with Vitamin B12 & B6 to regulate hydration – and fibrous veg, which encourages cats to salivate and thus 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.

TV vet Dr James Greenwood said: “Yora is a healthy, high-protein alternative to kibbles made from conventional meats. It contains all the nutrients your cat needs to stay healthy – including added taurine, which is essential in a cat’s diet. As a lover of animals and the planet, I’m really enthused by the work that Yora is doing to reduce the environmental impact of pet food. The nutritional value of the new cat food means that cat owners don’t have to compromise their cat’s health to make more sustainable choices.”

Having been providing tasty insect food for dogs for over two years, Yora is now ensuring that cat owners don’t miss out on the action – particularly as cats eating insects isn’t an unusual prospect. New research commissioned by Yora found that 87% of cat owners say their cat chases and eats insects, with over a third (34%) saying they see their cat do this very frequently or often. A similar proportion (36%) think insects are a normal part of a cat’s diet.

On this point, they’re not wrong: several studies looking at the diets of feral or wild cats from France to Australia found that insects were a notable component of their diets. In fact, one study found that 23% of daily metabolisable energy in jungle cats at a reserve in India was obtained from insects alone.

Claire Arrowsmith, an animal behaviour expert from The Pet Behaviour Centre, said, “In this world of growing awareness about our responsibilities to both our animals and to the environment, it makes sense to pursue more sustainable options in any way we can. Insects and bugs are a natural food source for wild and feral cats and most of us have seen our own cats chasing and munching on an insect or two in our homes or gardens – which is why creating a cat food from insects is such a progressive and positive concept.”

The environmental benefits of insect protein have become more widely understood in recent years – with Yora leading the way when it comes to education around insect pet food. 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. 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.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority (88%) of owners feed their cat meat-based food, with almost a third (31%) of survey respondents agreeing it is hard to reconcile caring for the environment and owning a cat. An average size cat produces 310kg of CO2e per year – scaled up, that means the cat population of the UK (10.9 million according to the PDSA) has a footprint of over 3,379,000 tonnes of CO2e over a year.

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. The survey also found that almost a fifth (18%) of cat owners feed their cat a vegan or vegetarian diet. However, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that meat is a necessary component of their diet: feeding cats a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t provide the level of protein that cats need to stay healthy. By using insect protein in its food, Yora ensures that cats are getting the protein they need, whilst reducing environmental impact.

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.

“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.”

Rebecca Olden, a customer of Yora, said: “It is so important to me that I feed my cats high quality food so they are getting all the nutrients they need. As a vegan, I had felt conflicted about feeding my cats meat and have been looking for alternatives for quite some time. I am relieved to finally have a cat food that is not only nutritious but planet friendly.”

Yora Complete for Adult Cats is available at all Pets Corner stores and online. More information can be found at www.yorapetfoods.com.