September 10th, 2007

Do old people eat cat food?

pet food

A few weeks ago, Jessie and I were waiting in line at the grocery store. In front of us was an old lady buying about 20 cans of cat food and one other thing (which I can’t remember what).

“Is she going to eat that?” I said to Jessie. I think I got a funny look in return.

I started thinking… was she going to eat all that cat food, or was it for her cat? Does she even own a cat? I remember hearing about old people eating cat food, but I always figured it was just an urban legend. I decided to dig around the internet and find out.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much about cat-food-eating old ladies. But, I did find two message board threads that had some interesting comments. The first thread I came across had a great point:

I think we proved the point that little old ladies don’t eat cat food because we didn’t see lots of little old ladies die during the recent pet food poisioning calamity…if the hospitals were full of poisioned little old ladies then may be you have something…but this didn’t happen.

It’s true. We didn’t see an epidemic of cat-food-eating little old ladies in the ER during the tainted pet food scare of 2007. If old ladies did eat cat food, I’m sure we would have seen a few show up at the hospital.

After a little more digging, I came across another thread titled, “Humans eating pet food.” The first post stated, “The recent pet food recall reminded me of a medical report released many years ago that indicated pet food, specifically Alpo, is consumed at a higher rate in the U.S. by humans than by dogs.”

So maybe old ladies were eating dog food instead of cat food? I doubt it. The most surprising revelation was that many people admitted they had, in fact, tried pet food. Many had eaten dog biscuits, a future vet tried dog food, and another ate a catfood sandwich (unbeknownst to them). They said it wasn’t that bad.

Curiosity got the best of one Australian poster:

I’ve nibbled dry cat food out of curiosity – I was expecting something meaty and salty like a stock cube, but it was this vaguely salty, wheaty thing. Not much flavour at all.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what dry cat food tastes like, there you go. It looks like the urban legend is just that, a legend. I’ve come to the conclusion that old ladies probably don’t eat cat (or dog) food. The most convincing fact was that we didn’t see any show up at the hospital feeling sick with a can of Fancy Feast in their hand during the pet food scare.

On the other hand, it seems like a select group of people (many that you and I might even know) have tried pet food at one time. They probably even liked it.

If you’re an old lady reading this and really do eat cat food, please let me know. Or, if you’re not an old lady but you’ve tried pet food in the past, I want to know about that, too. I’ll think it’s gross, but I’ll want to know what it tasted like. I’m curious.

14 Responses to “Do old people eat cat food?”

  1. Annie says:

    Ewwwwwwwww Gross. Only if I absolutely needed to, to survive, would I.

  2. Jessie says:

    sean, you’re weird

  3. LC says:

    I honestly thought it was true. then my bf looked at me like I had lost my mind when I said it :)

  4. crunch_daddy says:

    Dry cat food is the best. I tried some at a friend’s house once, and now I can’t stop! :)

  5. Ron says:

    The old people eat cat story was started by a New York newspaper reporter in the 1980′s during a rescession. He claimed that elderly New Yorkers were forced to eat cat food because they couldn’t afford regular food.

    A 3 oz can of cat food cost about fifty cents or $2.60 a pound, you can buy hamburger for less than that, macaroni is half that expensive. Fruits/veg in season and unprocessed carbs (like flour and sugar) even cheaper. Cat food is far more expensive than homecooking (unless you’re cooking lobster or something like that).

    I threw a party in college and the dog’s dish was by the door, people kept stumbling over it and someone set it on a table to get it out of the way. It was dry dog food about the size and shape of Cherrio’s but with a red color and a rough texture. Setting on the table people thought it was snack food and a number of people tried it, for most one taste was enough. But there was one guy that loved the stuff, he must have come back and got more 25 times – we had to refill the bowl.

  6. Chicken_butt says:

    Well, there’s professional cat food and there’s supermarket cat food. If we feed him the supermarket stuff, he has diarrhea… also I’ve heard cats live a lot less if they eat that. But this professional stuff has kept the older cat alive for more than 13 years, and he doesn’t look like he wants to die anytime soon.
    The taste however of both types is very similar, the supermarket stuff does have this dissatisfying aftertaste. That said, I’m still alive and haven’t felt worse after tasting little bits of cat food.
    … So if you’re feeling too lazy to go to the store to get human food and have nothing around but food that needs to be prepared, go ahead, it won’t kill you. Believe me. I’ve tried. Several times.

    Tastes even better if you’re stoned….obviously.

  7. Mrs. Kitty says:

    I just opened a 2.82 oz. can of cat food for kitty. This stuff smells great. Started me wondering if people do eat cat food, so I tasted a tiny bit. Pretty good stuff, but definitely needs salt. Here’s what’s in the can of Premium Tuna and Chicken, according to the label: Tuna Whole Meat, Water Sufficient for Processing. Chicken Meat (Boneless, skinless), Sunflower Seed Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride Liquid, Taurine, Oligo Sugar, Vitamin E, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iiodide, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin K3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement. Anybody find any bad stuff in that list of ingredients? Their Web site says they don’t use any ingredients from China (that’s scary — not being able to trust stuff from China… :-)), all raw materials are tested for pathogens and contaminants, antibiotics, heavy metal and pesticides.

    Bottom line: I’m not eating it ’cause I can’t afford it. I get the (yuck!) canned tuna with the name with which we’re all familiar.

    Well, it’s been a blast, but I’m getting tired of typing. Think I’ll stare at the TV for a while, like I’m going to find something worth my time there… HAH!

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  9. Ren says:

    I tried tuna cat food mixed it like a tunafish salad sandwish, not bad when your hungry or hungry.

  10. Aaron says:

    I have tried canned dog fools(can’t remember what brand) on a bet for five dollars. The wet food itself did not really taste like anything, except boiled, unsalted meat. I have also tried the dry dog food; which just tasted like this little nugget of wheat flour, and salt.

    I’ve also tried horse treats, which weren’t all that unpleasant, but very difficult to chew.

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