NZ cat food shortage:

How to overcome it

The cat food shelf in the pantry is bare, and you race to the supermarket to stock up so Luna won’t go hungry. But those supermarket shelves are also bare! How will the master of your domain cope without her favourite tuna-flavoured kibble and cans of salmon in gravy?

Supply issues and shipping delays resulting from the COVID pandemic have caused a serious cat food shortage in New Zealand. While some may have noticed the situation easing in recent weeks, the global upsurge in COVID and international geopolitical events may well signal a return to empty shelves soon.

Alternatives close to home

So, what to do if you can’t find Heathcliff’s favourite food at the supermarket and he turns up his nose at the cans of beef pate left on the shelf?

If it’s just flavour he’s fussy about and not brand, it’s time to look for cat food produced in New Zealand. There are plenty of natural ingredients from our own farms, rivers and streams being made into delicious and convenient packages by local pet food manufacturers. Go local and you won’t go back.

Here, fishy fishy

If you’re a keen fisherman or know one, most cats love fish and will be keen on sharing the spoils of a successful fishing expedition. Fish is a rich source of useable protein for cats, with the right ratio of amino acids. Even better than white fish is oily fish such as tuna or salmon, as these supply omega-3 fatty acids beneficial for cats’ eyesight, joints and brain development. Whether you buy fish from the supermarket or catch your own, it’s best to cook it before feeding to avoid potentially harmful bacteria.

Cats are carnivores and need meat in their diets to survive so, sorry, you can’t put your cat on a plant-based diet. You can buy meat and chicken from the supermarket but cook it before feeding it to your precious moggy because, as with fish, raw meat could give your cat food poisoning.

Sunday brunch for all

Eggs are also a good source of protein for your moggy. If Luna wants to join you for Sunday brunch, a bowl of scrambled eggs will be good for her and she can even have a small piece of cut-up bacon. Emphasis on small – it should be offered sparingly due to the high levels of sodium and fat in bacon.

Make your own dry food

If Heathcliff is missing his favourite dry food, it’s very possible to make your own at home. This may even come with an advantage in that it could result in a cost saving.

Many recipes can be found online, including pd.co.nz’s five best homemade cat treats recipes. They’re quick and easy to make once you’ve assembled the ingredients, and you have the advantage of knowing exactly what’s in them. Just remember that if you’re only feeding Luna and Heathcliff dry food, they may become dehydrated, so it’s important to always provide a source of water. 

With these tasty alternatives, any cat should stay healthy and well-fed during today’s cat food shortage. Still, it’s handy to have pet insurance to cover potentials like dehydration or food poisoning – or any other illness or injury for that matter. Then you can use the money saved on vet bills to indulge your fur kids with their favourite homegrown pet foods.


Media contact 
Leandri Smith – The Mail Room 
027 365 9003 | [email protected]