What do foods like line-caught Scottish salmon, Arenkha caviar, locally-sourced Devon crab, and hand-caught Norfolk lobster have in common? These things may sound like items you would find on the menu at a fancy restaurant but they are actually used for something you may find surprising – cat food. In early October 2016, U.K. brand Green Pantry (a holistic pet food company) released a luxury line of cat food called British Banquet.
This premium cat food product came about as the result of a demand for a more luxurious cat food product requested by celebrities and other VIPs. Simon Booth, the co-founder and Managing Director of Green Pantry, agreed that much of the luxury pet food trade is marketed toward dogs and thus he ended up spending two years developing a luxurious pet food product for cats. The result is British Banquet, a premium line of cat food made with high-quality British ingredients like salmon, crab, lobster, and caviar as well as organic asparagus, quinoa, and saffron. This product is completely free from GM ingredients as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. So far, the response to this product has been largely positive.
But what do the experts have to say about this new line of luxury cat food?
For one thing, feline experts agree that cats are obligate carnivores which means that the majority of their nutrition must come from animal-based sources. This being the case, plant-based ingredients like the quinoa, asparagus, and saffron used in British Banquet don’t really belong in a balanced diet for cats. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that an all-seafood diet can actually be bad for cats. Studies have shown that cats fed an all-seafood diet (without any added supplements) have a higher risk for pansteatitis and they may be more susceptible to serious cardiac issues and mineral deficiencies. Dr. Eric Dougherty, a feline veterinarian and the Medical Director of The Cat Practice, suggests that British Banquet is geared more toward the owner’s wants than the cat’s actual needs.
Priced at more than $300 per 2-kg package, British Banquet is certainly a product designed for the one percent. Not only does this product cost a whopping $11,000 per year, but it is only available by special order. U.K. residents qualify for free shipping but international customers should expect to pay an extra $61 in shipping per 2-kg package. This makes the market for British Banquet fairly limited, though there are certainly pet owners out there willing to splurge on such a pricey product for their pets.
While British Banquet may not be a practical choice for many pet owners, the existence of this product speaks to the growing popularity of premium pet food products. If you like the idea of a high-quality diet for your cat, consider looking into homemade cat food options using raw food supplements like Balance IT powder as an alternative. You can also find more affordable fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried cat food options from commercial pet food manufacturers.