April 8, 2012

Is It Healthy for Your Baby to Eat Cat Food?

This is an important question here. Is it healthy for your baby to eat cat food... or more importantly is it unsafe??

Miss A insists on gobbling down as much cat food as she can get her paws on. I often catch her with bits of soggy pieces of cat food all over her chin. When I pick her up and set her all the way across the room, away from the cat food, she immediately army crawls back as fast as possible. She desperately tries to snatch another piece of cat food before I pick her up and move her back across the room again. Once I do, the race back to the cat food happens again and again... and again.

You are probably wondering why I don't just block off the area around the cat food. Well... I've done that. It's like my cats and baby have teamed up though. She still manages to get some cat food. I don't know if my cats are playing with their food and bat the pieces into Miss A's reach or if they personally paw-deliver pieces to her! It's the most disgusting thing in the world but yet Amelia makes a game of seeing how much she can shove into her mouth without me noticing. When she gets quiet, I instantly know she is up to trouble and probably sitting in the corner shoving pieces of cat food in her mouth. Gross.


We feed our cats (and baby?) Purina Cat Chow, the indoor formula. Here are the ingredients listed in this delicious concoction.

Corn meal, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soy flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), powdered cellulose, animal liver flavor, soybean hulls, malt extract, calcium carbonate, phosphoric acid, salt, choline chloride, potassium chloride, taurine, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, parsley flakes, niacin, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2), copper sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. I-4500
Let's take a closer look at a few of these ingredients. I am no scientist so you will have to bare with me.

Poultry By-Product Meal: This is chicken that is rejected for human consumption. This means the chicken is dead or old and dying. It includes bones, offal, undeveloped eggs, and feathers.

Corn Gluten Meal: By product of corn used as an inexpensive protein source used mainly in animal feed.

Animal Fat: Animal fat can't be too bad for your baby seeming how breastmilk is at least 50% animal fat. The animal fat in cat food is likely to be chicken or turkey fat. It's essential for giving the cat energy. Also it enhances taste!

Animal Liver Flavor: Harmless flavor that Amelia especially loves.

Soybean Hulls: Another by product meal from the soybean meal industry. This is added to help reduce hairballs.

Several Vitamins: Babies don't really need vitamin supplements if they are eating their fruits and vegetables, along with formula/breastmilk. But the body will just flush out the excess vitamins anyways. So I say it's harmless.

I honestly should have stopped researching at the poultry by product meal ingredient. I feel sick to my stomach and I'm not even the one eating the cat food! The purpose of cat food is to provide CATS with a healthy meal especially formulated for their body's nutrition needs. Cats are different from humans. (In case you forgot... like I do occasionally.) So of course Miss A should NOT be eating cat food!

However, Popular Science wrote an article that answers my initial question.

No it is not healthy to eat cat food... on a regular basis. It does not provide the essentials nutrients needed for the human body. 

It may be consumed safely though. So you know, I am not trying to rationalize why it is okay to let Miss A eat cat food. I will constantly be making sure she eats as few pieces of cat food as possible! I hear my mom used to eat dog food as a baby. This kind of behavior must run in the family. Haha! :P


To make up for her cat food eating behavior, I try to include a healthy diet by making some of my own homemade baby food. Tonight it was Peas & Lima Beans. I bought one bag of frozen peas and one bag of frozen lima beans. I cooked them and pureed them in the blender with some water. I mix in some baby cereal too when I feed it to her. Sound gross? Miss A had it for dinner tonight and loved it...

I use Munchkin Fresh Food Freezer Cups to store leftovers in the freezer.
Maybe you'd prefer cat chow?

NASTY. That is soggy cat food on her face...


  1. Hi!
    I just came across your post trying to find out why my little one steals our cat's food whenever she can:)Still,dontkow why but at least I know it'd safe...from time to time:)

    1. Yes, haha! From time to time... It still totally grosses me out! Luckily my little one has outgrown this stage. I'm sure yours will soon enough too! Thanks for commenting. =)


Thanks for reading!
xx Monica xx

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