Are Meat By Products Bad For Cats?

Are meat by products bad for cats?

Are meat by products bad for cats? What is wrong with meat by-products? Why do brands include meat by-products?  Do they provide necessary nutrition? These are some of the most common questions which revolves around commercial pet food.

We hear a lot of these questions from people who are with the pet industry. Before explaining anything further lets understand one thing very clearly. Cats are obligate carnivores. Wild cats while hunting never bother to check the label or examine the ingredients of the animals they prey upon. We understand you love your cats and never want to feed anything which is unhealthy for them and therefore you become conscious when you see the label reading meat byproducts.  

In this post we will answer are meat by products bad for cats or not and clear the misconception that pet owners have with respect to meat by-products.

What exactly are meat by-products in a cat’s diet?

As per the Association of American feed Control Officials, Meat by-products are the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. Does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. Shall be suitable for use in animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.

From the above quote it is very clear that AAFCO has already given the manufactures a green signal to use the meat by-products in the cat food. Meat By-products are basically organ meat from the lungs, kidneys, heart, liver and spleen. The cat food manufacturers clean these by-products carefully and make sure they are free of any kind of feces. These meat by-products are not necessarily low quality or harmful. Honestly they can be highly nutritious and an excellent source of vital nutrients which contributes to a well rounded and balanced diet for cats.

Can we really analyze the quality of the meat by-product in the cat food used?

As per our real time experience it can be really challenging to analyze or evaluate the quality of the by-product used in the cat food. The information that is available to us is the ingredients that are mentioned in the label of the cat food brand.

Apart from that it becomes difficult to find the details regarding the exact by-products used while in the making. You can always reach out to the manufacturer, however it’s a long process and most of the time they do not even answer your query.

The only solution we can all rely upon is trusting the reputed brands in the pet industry. Our only suggestion will be to carefully go through the labels and look for high quality pet food companies who provide transparent and detailed information in their product labels.

Are meat by products bad for cats?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspects all by-products that are used in pet food by the manufacturers and they ensure to meet the agency’s set standards. These stringent regulations guarantee that no diseased or disabled animals are included in pet food and that is no risk of harmful bacterial contamination.

Be rest assured the reputable cat food brands go through rigorous testing to ensure safety and optimal nutritional content. Therefore in our experience meat by-products are not at all harmful for cats and they are completely safe to feed.

Myth Vs Reality

It’s a common misconception or myth that meat by-products are just fillers will negligible nutritional value and that they are harmful and can cause health issues.

Well the reality is meat by-products which are included in the cat food brand are rich in essential nutrients and contribute to a well balanced diet. When sourced from reputable manufacturers, meat by-products are safe for cats and can be a part of a healthy diet.


Are meat by products bad for cats? To answer your question meat by-products are not inherently bad for cats. In fact they can be a valuable source of essential nutrients in their diet. As a responsible pet owner it is your responsibility to choose high quality cat food from trustworthy, reputable brands and always go through the label before feeding it to your cats. A healthy meal for your happy cat is what we always want.