LAS VEGAS — After years of cultured meat research and product development, Because, Animals announced Aug. 16 it has completed its first 100% cultured meat cat treat, Harmless Hunt™ Mouse Cookies for Cats. The company, founded in 2016, has been teasing this new product, now available for preorder, since 2019.

“Not a single mouse was harmed” in the making of these treats, the company stated. The company incorporated the cultured mouse meat with tempeh, miso, nutritional yeast and other cultured ingredients to create a protein treat without needing to harvest any real meat from animals.

“The public launch of Harmless Hunt is a milestone for us, for the cultured and alternative-protein industry, for pet food, and for animals raised and slaughtered to feed cats and dogs,” said Shannon Falconer, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of Because, Animals. “We are finally able to provide pets with a healthier, safer, greener choice at a price that will be on par with other premium retail products.”

The product will be market-ready in early 2022, as long as regulatory and governance procedures go as planned. Because, Animals is preparing to sell a limited batch at the end of 2021.

The company has been hard at work since 2016 to reduce costs and bring its production to a commercial scale. Its proprietary, completely animal-free method blends vitamins, trace minerals and growth factors to achieve cell replication, and costs less than using fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is another method for growing cells that the Because, Animals has taken a strong stance against.

Aside from the animal welfare and sustainability attributes of its new Harmless Hunt cat treats, the company reported it is free from antibiotics, pathogens, byproducts, rendered ingredients, and avoids common beef and chicken allergens that affect some pets.

At Global Pet Expo 2020, Because, Animals’ novel approach to alternative pet nutrition proteins won the company first-place in Purina’s Pet Care Innovation Prize.

Because, Animals also manufactures meatless, organic nutritional yeast dog treats, dubbed Noochies, and Omega & Probiotic Sprinkles supplements for both dogs and cats.

Because, Animals will exhibit its new meatless mouse treats and other products at SuperZoo 2021 in Las Vegas this week, Aug. 17 to 19, at booth #1650.

Read more about new pet food and treat products.