Technology Comes to Cat Treat Manufacturing

Cultured meat has been in the news lately for people, and now we learn that cell-cultured cat treats are on their way

Pet owners tend to be conservation oriented and want to do what is best for their pets. One company is relying on the new technology called “cultivated meat,” or “cultured meat,” to make a sustainable protein for their cat treats, according to

CULT Food Science has a line of treats called Marina Cat. They are working with Umami Meats to provide a treat with tissue-cultured red snapper, which is a type of fish. Red snapper has been overfished and is vulnerable to extinction, but it is a popular human food as well as being used for pet foods.

The cultured red snapper is grown in a nutrient medium using some cells from one fish. Using specific conditions of nutrients and temperature, the cells grow, eventually creating muscle tissue that is then used as a rich and somewhat novel protein for pet foods and treats.

Questions remain as to whether cell-culture meats and proteins are truly good for the environment. The infrastructure required to house a laboratory suitable for growing the cultures is both expensive and energy intense at this time. Theoretically, habitat losses and pollution associated with large farms would be reduced by using the technology. Wild populations could recover due to less fishing pressure.

While this is a trend to watch, many questions remain about cultured protein versus natural protein sources that are farmed or caught.