Why is there no mouse flavored cat food?

Wouldn’t it be natural?

Because cats don’t buy cat food. The “flavors” available are to woo cat owners into buying them because “seafood” sounds subjectively tastier than “Mouse and Spiders”.

I hear mice taste like chicken.

Natural, but not efficient.

Cat food (and dog food) seems to be largely composed of stuff that manufacturers already have lying around in large amounts – chicken, meat, and fish byproducts, by which they mean “the yucky stuff that we can’t get people to eat.”, as well as various kinds of non-meat substances such as corn and rice. It’s basically pretty cheap. While raising mice on a large scale would present problems – butchering and cleaning them would be terribly time-consuming (because you get very little meat for a lot of effort, as opposed to say, a cow), and you’d have to worry about the NIMBY principle – who wants a mouse ranch in their back yard?

Plus I doubt the cat would notice the difference – they seem mighty happy with the kibble they get now.

If you really want to feed your cat mice, the most efficient and (for the cat) entertaining method would be to toss them a live mouse now and then.

I don’t think cats eat mice because of the taste. They chase 'em down because they’re fun to catch - just like about everything else they catch. Would you also expect the companies to put out vole flavored food, and rat flavored food? Bug flavored food? Fly flavored food? Jeez.

Well, I guess it’s because producing meaningful volumes of meat from mice would be prohibitively expensive, compared to pigs, sheep and cattle, which produce the stuff in bulk.

Also, the bits of meat that go into cat food can often consist of the bits humans don’t favour so much; lips, ears and arses - after all, there’s a limit to the market uptake of hot dogs.

And also, I get the impression that significant factors in the choice of mice as a natural food for cats are:
a)they’re readily available
b)they move - it’s entertainment and a meal, all in one little furry package.

My experience with cats is that they really don’t like to eat mice. They may crunch they’ little heads off, and nibble they’ tiny feet, but that’s about it.

Hey! Kliban!

Because if they manufactured mouse-flavored food for cats imaggine what they would have to market for dogs. People like the illusions they hold about their pets.

‘Raccoon shit and dead muskrat tenders in gravy’ would fail most consumer focus group evaluations.


I had a Siamese Tom who loved mice. Cruch down their bones & lick up the blood, lick his chops & wash his face afterwards. We once saw him catch a mouse that he’d cornered on the kitchen counter. Later when we looked behind the sugar canister where the mouse had hid before making his ill-fated dash, we found little mouse turds. Poor guy was saying “well, this is it!”

I don’t think it would be difficult to raise tubs of live mice, then can them like tamales in meat sauce. But do cats eat dead critters they find outdoors, like dogs do?

The cats are unable to communicate their tastes and desires in foodstuff to either their owners (that’s another issue with PETA) nor the manufacturers.
The manufacturers are unwilling to do the actual taste tests themselves (Phew!, Blah!) to make their own evaluation. :wink:

I’m curious about why there isn’t dog biscuit-flavored dog food. My dogs react to most of the dry dog food I feed them (usually premium and holistic brands; I try to mix it up with a “meh”, but they’ll quickly gobble down the cheapest biscuits.

It may be because you’re handing it to them. Once, I ran out of dog buscuits and used a handful of the dog’s ordinary kibble as treats. She accepted them with the same relish.

In other words, to a dog, there’s a big difference wbetween food that’s just there in the bowl and food which is given from the hands of their human.

I second the “human interaction” part. Most dog biscuits (even the fancy ones) taste a lot like most kibble (even the cheap stuff). Kibble tends to be a bit saltier and dog biscuits have more variety in texture, but I assure you “Ol’Roy” tastes like a “Milk-Bone”.

Just don’t ask me how I know :wink:

What? I’ve tasted my dog’s food before. It has to pass certain FDA standards, just like human food. It’s not dirty.

I laughed my ass off at my grandma’s reaction when my baby cousin discovered my dog’s food bowl. She let out a squawk of horror and dashed to scoop her up, batting the pieces of kibble from the baby’s hands. The baby grinned at her, her front teeth smeared with dogfood. I thought grandma was going to have a heart attack. After I persuaded her to think about it rationally, she acknowledged that it wasn’t like the baby had been eating excrement or anything like that. We only have an ick-factor because of the association.

Why is there no mouse flavored cat food?

Because there are no mouse flavored cats, of course.

Yes and no; I’m pretty sure that the standards for production of pet food are generally lower than they are for food for human consumption; that must translate into some kind oif statistically higher risk of undesirable outcome from human consumption of pet food.

Do you wash the dog bowl after each time you feed the dog? - many owners don’t apply the same diligence as they do with their own plates - if this is the case, then there would be cause for concern.

How long had the food been standing out? if it’s longer than a couple of hours, then there would be cause for concern.

Had the dog eaten from the bowl before the child did? If so, then there would be genuine cause for concern…

Might as well ask why there isn’t vaginal-secretion-scented perfume.

I mean, tell me THAT wouldn’t work.

(Yeah, I’ve tried pet food. In fact, a book I bought on backpacking/wilderness survival back in the '80s actually suggested dry dogfood as a packable source of nutrition. It had most of the nutrients that we need as mammals, and if you keep it dry, it doesn’t spoil. It’s lightweight and nutritious. Maybe not gourmet, but certainly adequate.)

It’s easy and relatively non-revolting for humans to think of pet food that’s flavored like cheese, bacon, beef, etc.

It’s even more non-revolting to think of the idea that some brave soul at Purina took a bite of the stuff to proclaim it tastes more like bacon than the competition.

I would not want to be that brave soul that had to test mouse-flavored cat food. Besides, how would you know what mouse tasted like? Pretty much everyone can bring up the mental note of what Bacon or Cheese tastes like, but not so easy to bring up Mouse or Something Found Under the Bushes.

Because the cats prefer their mice as fast food