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Human Grade Cat Food We’d Eat Ourselves

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As a cat owner, you need to make sure your feline friend eats well-balanced recipes that promote good health. Incorporating human grade cat food into their diet is a good way to provide them with the highest-quality nutrition.

Human-grade cat food is a popular choice among pet owners. But how is it actually produced? In this article, we’ll cover some basics of what human grade means. Plus we’ll review some of the most reputable human-grade cat food brands, including one of our favorites from I and Love and You.

Our top human-grade cat foods picks are:

  1. I and Love and You
  2. RAWZ Cat Food
  3. Tiki Cat Cat Food
  4. Stella and Chewy
  5. Lotus Cat Food
  6. Kiwi Cat Food
  7. The Honest Kitchen
  8. Caru Classics

What is human-grade cat food?

For a pet food to be considered human-grade, all of its ingredients must be approved by USDA as suitable for human consumption. However, neither the USDA nor the FDA, which regulates foods meant for human consumption, use the term “human-grade.” They simply identify ingredients as being either edible or inedible.

AAFCO, which develops pet food standards in the United States, uses the term “human-grade” to refer to products that are human-edible. As they say, for a product to be human-edible, the ingredients and the product itself must be manufactured, packed, and transported in accordance with USDA and FDA regulations that apply to human foods.

How do you know if cat food is human-grade?

AAFCO states that “the presence of human-grade on a label implies a product or ingredients may meet the legally-recognized edible standard.” Companies can label their product “human grade” merely for marketing purposes. So this is no guarantee that their food is truly human grade.

human grade cat food quality

Read your cat food label

Pay attention to the wording on the cat food label. Many products state that they are “made with human-grade ingredients.” This likely means that only some of the ingredients are fit for human consumption, while others are not.

Look for official certifications

Always look for official certifications, as human-grade pet foods must pass USDA or FDA inspection.

Human-grade vs feed-grade pet food

It’s important to understand the difference between human-grade and feed-grade pet food. The term “feed-grade” refers to foods that aren’t fit for human consumption. They may contain various animal parts that wouldn’t be safe for people to eat, and they may come from dying or dead animals.

Feed-grade food that is properly processed is perfectly safe for animals, just not for humans.

Is human-grade cat food nutritionally safe?

Human-grade cat food must pass strict regulations, but that doesn’t guarantee nutritional adequacy. AAFCO emphasizes that the term “human-grade” doesn’t automatically mean nutritional safety, since a product that was formulated for a pet is unlikely to be nutritionally adequate for people.

How to choose the best human-grade cat food

Like with any other food, first, check the quality and source of ingredients. Quality cat food should be rich in protein, with a minimum protein of 6.5 g/100 kcal for adult cats and 7.5 g/100 kcal for pregnant and nursing cats and kittens. Most of the meat components should be sourced from the whole animal, while organ meats shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent.

human grade cat food researching

Other ingredients to avoid are animal by-products or artificial ingredients, such as colors or preservatives.

Always check for the presence of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin A and B, and minerals like Zinc, Manganese, and Iron. Vitamins E and C are important because of their antioxidant properties.

Omega fatty acids and taurine are essential because cats can’t produce them on their own. You can learn more about the importance of this amino acid in our article “Why Taurine For Cats Is Vital For Feline Health.”

Even though people can safely eat grains, they can cause digestive issues for some cats. If you’re curious about grain free cat food and whether it’s a good choice for your cat, you can learn more in our article “Is Grain Free Cat Food Bad for Cats?

The natural prey of cats contains around one or two percent carbs, so cats don’t have an essential need for carbohydrates in their diet. Ideally, less than 10 percent of daily calories ingested should come from carbs.

If you’re in doubt about feeding your cat the right human-grade cat food formula consult your vet.

What brands of cat food are human-grade?

1. I and Love and You

I and Love and You offers both dry and wet cat food. Their dry food selection is divided into three lines: Naked Essentials, a line of grain-free cat food, Nude Food, specifically formulated to support digestive health, and Lovingly Simple, a limited-ingredient formula free of poultry and grains.

Wet cat food contains a variety of recipes with meat or fish as the first ingredient.

I and Love and You


  • A diverse selection of dry and wet food
  • Meat-rich recipes without potentially harmful additives
  • Allergy-safe
  • Made in the USA


  • Contains sweet potato and multiple gums as binders

2. RAWZ Cat Food

Rawz Natural Pet Food offers both dry and wet food options for dogs and cats. Their cat food products are divided into three lines: dehydrated dry food, canned wet food, and wet food pouches.

Dehydrated dry food features fish, chicken, or turkey as the first ingredient, while canned food contains gum-free patés and shredded meat recipes.

RAWZ Cat Food


  • Made of fresh, dehydrated animal proteins
  • No grains, potatoes, or meat meals
  • No carrageenan or gums
  • Made in the USA


  • Dry food contains a lot of synthetic supplements

3. Tiki Cat Cat Food

Tiki Cat Cat Food mainly produces wet cat food, although they have a small selection of dry food as well. The Born Carnivore line includes protein-rich baked kibble, with chicken, turkey, and fish flavors.

Wet food features Luau, Grill, Aloha Friends, After Dark, and Velvet lines. Luau offers shredded chicken with flaked fish, while Grill contains fish-based recipes with added shellfish. Aloha Friends features chicken or tuna with pumpkin supplements, while After Dark includes recipes with muscle meats and organs.

Finally, the Velvet line offers smooth mousses made of chicken or fish.

Tiki Cat Cat Food


  • Rich in animal-sourced protein
  • Low in carbs
  • Free of grains and artificial preservatives
  • Non-GMO ingredients


  • Relatively low-fat content

4. Stella and Chewy

Stella and Chewys focus on a raw diet. Their cat food selection includes frozen raw morsels and medallions, freeze-dried morsels, wet food morsels, and wet food paté.

All of their freeze-dried recipes contain 98 percent muscle meat, organs, and bones.

Stella and Chewy


  • Rich in animal protein
  • No by-products or artificial preservatives
  • Low carb content
  • Made in the USA


  • May contain too much bone matter

5. Lotus Cat Food

Lotus Pet Foods offers both dry and wet cat food. The dry food is baked, which helps retain the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Also, most of their dry food contains grains.

Wet food is divided into two lines: Just Juicy, which contains shredded meat in broth, and the other includes seven patés. There are also six raw food recipes.

Lotus Cat Food


  • Wide selection of cat foods available
  • High protein content
  • No artificial ingredients
  • BPA-free


  • High amounts of carbohydrates

human grade cat food high protein

6. Kiwi Cat Food

Ziwi Peak makes both wet and dry cat food. Thanks to the air-drying technique, their kibble doesn’t require the use of starches, making it exceptionally low in carbs. It contains 96 percent meat, organs, bone, and seafood.

There are several canned cat food recipes, all of which contain 92 percent meat, organs, and bone.

Kiwi Cat Food


  • Rich in animal protein
  • No grains or artificial ingredients
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Suitable for all life stages


  • Canned food contains chickpeas

7. The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen is one of the leading manufacturers of dehydrated pet food. While they’re mainly focused on producing dog food, they also have a small collection of cat food – just two recipes.

This food is in the form of a powder that needs to be mixed with water before serving. Depending on how much water you add, it has a consistency that ranges from oatmeal to a smoothie.

The Honest Kitchen


  • Meat-rich recipes
  • No grains or artificial ingredients
  • Low carb content
  • Highly concentrated


  • Contains sweet potatoes

8. Caru Classics

Caru Pet Food makes both wet and dry cat food. Caru Classics is a wet cat food line that includes four recipes. All of them feature meat as the first ingredient and contain fruit and vegetables with added taurine.

Caru Classics


  • Real meat as the first ingredient
  • No animal by-products or artificial ingredients
  • Eco-friendly packaging
  • Made in the USA


  • Contains sweet potatoes and starches

What ingredients standards does a cat food need to meet to be considered human-grade?

For cat food to be called “human-grade” all of its ingredients must be deemed edible by USDA. The food has been inspected and it has passed manufacturing regulations designed to ensure safety for human consumption.

According to AAFCO, truly human-grade food is rare, and the products that actually meet all the requirements would be expensive.

AAFCO’s nutritional standards are the same for all pet foods, so human-grade food may not be that different from traditional pet food options. It’s important to remember that the quality of ingredients is what matters the most, in addition to high-quality control standards.

human grade cat food ingredients

How to transition to human grade cat food

When it comes to switching your cat’s food, do it slowly. Start by mixing the new food with the old one and gradually increasing the amount of the new food in the mix over a course of one week.

Be patient – some cats adjust to new diets quickly and easily while others need more time to get acclimated to new food. The process can last up to six weeks, which may seem like a long time, but at least you’ll be sure you avoided any potential stomach upsets.

What should you look for in good cat food?

Pet food companies should follow the nutrient profiles made by AAFCO. Cat food should be rich in animal protein, vitamins, and minerals. It should also have a low carb content and ideally free of grains because this tampers with proper digestion.

In addition to the list of ingredients, it’s a good idea to look at the brand’s profile to learn more about their practices. If the manufacturer owns the plant where the food is produced, it gives them greater control over quality.

The pet food company should be willing to give out specific information about their products, such as the number of calories or any other nutrient of interest. If they’re unwilling or unable to do so, it could be a potential red flag. These are some of the additional pointers to guide you in your search for the right food brand for your pet.

Key takeaways on human grade cat food

For a particular cat food to be considered “human-grade”, all of its ingredients must be safe for people to eat. Its ingredients should be sold in grocery stores and the food has to be processed and produced in facilities that meet the requirements for human food production.

Although human-grade cat food contains high-quality ingredients and it must pass strict tests to be considered edible for humans, it doesn’t mean that it’s automatically nutritionally adequate for cats.

Your goal as a cat parent is to provide your kitty with well-balanced recipes that are nutritionally complete. Making sure that the food content adheres to AAFCO standards is essential, whether it’s human-grade or traditional cat food.

If you’re unsure about what type of formula is the best for your cat, it’s always a good idea to reach out to your vet for advice.

Ana Markovic
Latest posts by Ana Markovic (see all)

Last update on 2021-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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