Supplementary material to JIFF2022.0106 Perception of cat owners on the use of insects as feed ingredients for cats
Currently, insects represent a sustainable alternative to animal-based ingredients for pet food, but there is little information on the willingness of cat owners to incorporate insects into their pet diets. The objective of this study was to assess the perception of cat owners to feed insect-based feed. Between June and August 2021, an on-line survey was provided to cat owners in Chile; of the total number of participants (1,684), the majority were female (89.2%), with university education (73%) and omnivorous eating habits (63.7%). Participants had an average of 2 cats per household with indoor lifestyle (70.2%). Most participants (63.6%) were willing to feed insects to their cats. Participants were more willing to feed their cats treats containing 20% insect meal (Overall willingness (OW) = 7.1±3.1, on a scale of 1 to 10), than pure insect meal (OW = 4.9±3.3) or whole insects (OW = 4.4±3.3). Cricket meal treats were the most acceptable. Acceptance toward insects increased when mentioning the environmental benefits of insect production (OW= 7.6±2.9). Participants more willing to offer insect-based treats to their cats were also more willing to use pure insect meal and even whole insects. The reasons for not wanting to include insects in cat feed were disgust, unfamiliarity and preference for traditional pet foods.