Organic Cat Food

Organic is “in”, regardless of whether it is vegetables, fruit, or animal feed. But what does “organic” actually mean – and what is the difference between organic cat food and conventional cat food? What makes the production of organic food so transparent? Does organic cat food really contain no artificial hormones, no antibiotics, and no growth accelerators?

The market for cat food is growing and pet owners can choose the right food for their four-legged friend from an ever-larger selection. Since recently, organic products can also be found on the cat food shelf. Regardless of whether it is dry food, wet food, or snacks: organic products advertise sustainable, environmentally friendly production and high-quality ingredients. Nevertheless, many cat owners ask themselves whether the often more expensive organic cat food is worth the money.

What requirements must be met so that cat food can be awarded the organic seal?

The organic seal promotes ecological agriculture with species-appropriate animal husbandry. Companies that manufacture organic products must first be certified in accordance with EU legislation for organic farming.

The term “organic” must not be used arbitrarily! Organic products have to meet the stricter guidelines of the EU organic regulation. Only when the product and its manufacturing method comply with the regulation can it bear the light green EU organic logo, also in combination with the well-known hexagonal organic seal.

In contrast to the hexagonal organic seal, which consumers in Germany have long known and which is used on a voluntary basis, the EU organic logo has been mandatory for all prepackaged organic food since 2010. In addition to specifying the code number of the organic inspection body, information on the origin of the individual ingredients is also required when using the EU organic logo: EU agriculture, non-EU agriculture, the combination of EU / non-EU agriculture, or the sole indication of the country of origin, if all ingredients come from this.

Organic cat food is produced in a completely transparent manner – especially after the rotten meat scandals, cat owners know what is in the can and where the meat comes from!

What does “species-appropriate husbandry” mean in the sense of the organic label?

Animal owners are animal lovers. But especially in the case of cat food, meat is predominantly used as feed. The organic seal promises animal welfare – a great selling point! But what does “species-appropriate husbandry” mean in the sense of the organic label?


Organic farmers should know and satisfy the specific needs of their animals. This includes good health care as well as species-appropriate feed and species-appropriate husbandry. The stables must primarily be based on the natural behavior of the livestock, including employment and social contacts. Behavioral disorders should be avoided in this way. Every animal must have enough space to rest and feed. The lying areas must not consist of perforated floors and are strewn with absorbent, insulating material such as straw. In the summer months, ruminants such as cows and cattle must go pasture. Feeding is also oriented towards the production of high quality under ecological criteria, not towards maximizing performance. Because malnutrition leads to health problems that affect the quality of the products. The animals may only be fed with organically produced feed, ideally from their own production. Chemically and synthetically produced feed additives to promote performance and growth are not permitted.

Bless You

When it comes to health, the basic principle is “prevention instead of cure”. It starts with rearing, which takes significantly longer in organic farms than in conventional agriculture. Calves are given whole milk for three months, piglets must be suckled for at least 40 days. This ensures the supply of antibodies and ensures that the young animals develop naturally. In order to avoid the emergence of resistant bacterial strains in the interests of the consumer, no drugs, antibiotics or hormones may be used preventively. When it comes to treating illnesses, naturopathic treatments are the method of choice. Conventional healing methods can only be used when these fail. Thereafter, however, the organic products are subject to strict marketing requirements.

So whoever buys organic cat food is also doing something good for the animals that make up the food!

Regulations for the Organic Label

But it doesn’t stop with animal welfare. The coupling of plant cultivation and animal husbandry is intended to help maintain and increase soil fertility. This is why pesticides, synthetic and mineral fertilizers are prohibited in organic farming and the production of organic products. Sewage sludge is just one example of mineral fertilizer. The protection of soil, water, and air are intended to preserve biodiversity. A circular economy with nutrient cycles that are as closed as possible and reduced energy consumption should protect the environment. Furthermore, so-called GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are prohibited.

For products that consist of several ingredients, at least 95 percent of these must come from organic farming. The remaining 5 percent may come from conventional agriculture – but only if they are not available in organic quality. The production must be absolutely transparent, all production areas should be exactly traceable. A check is carried out once a year. Only then can the end product bear the well-known hexagonal organic logo. There are now organic seals from other private associations such as Demeter, Naturland, and Bioland. While the regulation around the EU organic seal defines minimum standards for organic production, private organic farming associations often go even further!

Organic Cat Food

All of this is in the interests of the consumer. Organic quality products not only ensure a clear conscience, but they also support sustainable agriculture. So there are good arguments in favor of organic – regardless of whether it is food for your own use or animal feed!

You can see the difference especially with cat food: organic cat food contains no hormones, no antibiotics, and no growth accelerators due to the requirements for keeping the animals for slaughter. The likelihood of resistant bacterial strains occurring is low. With the purchase of organic products, animal owners support sustainable production. Or, as the cat food manufacturer Yarrah puts it on its homepage: “Organic is not a trend for us, but a conscious decision to initiate a positive change.”

Many animal feed manufacturers have recognized this and offer organic food for dogs, cats, and now also for small animals and birds. Those who value organic quality are guaranteed to find the right food product for their four-legged friend! There are now also organic cat treats and other organic food supplements.

Nevertheless: The organic seal distinguishes products that meet the EU organic regulation. It shows the quality of the production – not necessarily the qualitative composition of the product. In plain language, this means: organic cat food does not always have to be optimally composed for the respective animal! You should also pay attention to the optimal composition of pet food that meets ecological criteria. For cat food, this means a high meat content and therefore a lot of healthy protein, only small amounts of grain or ideally grain-free.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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