WARNINGLID, UNITED KINGDOM — Yora Pet Foods has entered the sustainable cat food market in the United Kindgom with the launch of its first-ever complete-and-balanced formula featuring insect protein. According to the company, this product contains “the highest insect content of any cat food on the market” today at 62.5%.

The company launched a line of dog food and treats in 2019 and is now extending its sustainable pet nutrition philosophy to cats. The diet, Yora Complete for Adult Cats, is formulated with insect flour from black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae supplied by Protix, an insect ingredient producer based in Holland.

“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,” said Glenn Rankin, managing director at Yora. “That’s why vegan and vegetarian pet owners are choosing Yora as a healthier, more natural alternative to plant-based pet foods – which cannot fulfill many of the nutritional requirements for a feline diet.”

Other ingredients in this diet include brewer’s yeast as a source of B12 and B6 vitamins, as well as “fibrous veg” to promote hairball control. Three percent of the diet is insect oil, also a source of essential oils and minerals including lauric acid, which supports skin and coat health, according to Yora.

Yora also claims its new insect-based cat food can help mitigate digestive and oxidation issues related to other traditional proteins. The company stated its insect protein is highly digestible and offers “strong antioxidant activity.”

“Often the biggest hurdle for pet owners when switching to Yora is grappling with the idea of their pet eating insects,” Rankin said. “However, we can see from the diets of wild and feral cats — as well as the behavior of our own cats, who frequently chase and eat bugs — that insects form a regular part of the feline diet.”

Aside from the nutritional benefits, formulating cat food with insect protein also offers environmental merits. Yora shared that the carbon footprint from producing 10 kilograms of insect protein is less than 20% of the carbon footprint resulting from the production of 10 kilograms of chicken protein, and only 4% of the carbon footprint from the same level of cattle protein production.

The company estimated the carbon footprint of the total cat population in the United Kingdom comes out to just under 3.38 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, as most cat owners currently feed meat-based diets.

“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.”

The company has conducted research into the willingness of pet owners to switch over to insect-based diets. Yora shared 12% of pet owners between the ages of 18 and 24 are feeding insect-based diets, compared to just 3% of pet owners ages 35 and up.

"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,” commented Claire Arrowsmith, animal behavior expert at The Pet Behaviour Centre. “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.”

Yora Complete for Adult Cats is currently sold at Pet Corner stores and online.

Read more about new pet food and treat products.