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Lovebug is an insect-based cat food. It was launched in the spring of 2021 in the UK as the first insect-based cat food in Britain. The company is owned by Mars Petcare. Learn more about this insect-based food for cats in our unbiased review.
The Cats.com Standard – Rating Lovebug Cat Food on What Matters
We have analyzed Lovebug cat food and rated it according to our standards here at Cats.com. Our grades are based on the species-appropriateness of the food, the quality of the ingredients, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. You can read more about our ratings here.
Here are our ratings for Lovebug in these key areas:
- Species-Appropriateness – 6/10
- Ingredient Quality – 6/10
- Product Variety – 6/10
- Price – 8/10
- Customer Experience – 6/10
- Recall History – 8/10
Overall Score: 6.67/10
We give Lovebug cat food a 40 out of 60 rating (66.67) or a C grade.
Lovebug is owned by Mars Petcare. Mars is one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the world. At the time of Lovebug’s launch, it was exclusively sold in the UK.
Lovebug is a dry kibble cat food. The brand currently offers one formula. Mars worked with Futerra, a sustainability consulting agency, and Mars Petcare’s Waltham Petcare Science Institute to develop the food. Along with using insects for protein, the kibble pieces are covered in a vegan coating to make the food more palatable.
The packaging is also made from a fully recyclable plastic. (Other sites say the packaging is “plastic-free.” We have quoted the Lovebug home page.)
Sourcing And Manufacturing
Lovebug does not contain any traditional protein sources. It is made from 100 percent insect protein. Insects as a food source have become a recent trend for some dog foods, treats, and livestock feeds. According to some sources, they are more sustainable than traditional sources of protein such as beef or chicken.
Lovebug is one of the earliest insect-based foods for cats, following Catit’s insect-based foods.
According to Mars Petcare, the insects used in their formulas take up 80 percent less land per kilo of protein than beef proteins. The insects are fed entirely surplus vegetables and plant food from food waste streams.
The company sources the protein from an insect farm that is powered by 100 percent renewable electricity.
Per information we found online, the insects used are black soldier fly larvae meal which are a common insect in pet foods that use insects for protein. You can find more information about Lovebug ingredients here.
The black soldier fly larvae is sourced from Protix in the Netherlands.
According to Mars and Lovebug, the processes for raising the insects, making the cat food, and their packaging are sustainable at each step in the process.
If you are curious about why Lovebug thinks you should feed your cat bugs, they say they are “tasty and nutritious” for your cat and better for the planet. They also point out that insects are hypoallergenic so they can be a good choice for some cats with allergies.
You can find more information about the insects, why they are used, as well as how they are treated, on this page.
Has Lovebug Cat Food Been Recalled?
We didn’t find any recalls for Lovebug cat food. However, you should be aware that the food has only been on the market in the UK for about a year at the time of this writing.
What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Lovebug Offer?
Lovebug currently offers one kind of food. It doesn’t come in different flavors or formulas, at least at this time. The food is a dry kibble. It is nutritionally complete and balanced, suitable for adult cats (described as age two years and up).
According to Lovebug, the food is easy to digest for cats with sensitive stomachs. It helps keep teeth and gums healthy. And, it was developed with pet nutritionists.
Lovebug Cat Food– Recipe Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Primary Protein||Calories||Price||Our Grade|
|Lovebug Insect-Based Dry Cat Food||Dry||Insect||365 Kcal per 100g||£15.71 per lb||C|
#1 Lovebug Insect-Based Dry Cat Food
Insect-based cat food is not everyone’s cup of tea. That said, there are people who are dedicated to protecting the planet and limiting their carbon footprint. They don’t like the idea of feeding their cats traditional meat proteins for all kinds of reasons. They might be vegan or they think traditional farming uses too much land, for example.
If you are interested in insect-based cat food, Lovebug is relatively new on the shelves. By all accounts, it has been properly formulated by pet nutritionists from the Waltham Centre, Mars Petcare, and Futerra, a sustainability consulting agency. Lovebug provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats.
Granted, there is a certain “ick” factor about feeding your cat insects as protein (black soldier fly larvae meal, to be precise). Honestly, most of us have probably witnessed our cats eating a few bugs at times. On the other hand, it’s usually nicer to think of Fluffy eating a yummy stew, as we would eat.
But, factually, Lovebug does provide the protein and other nutrients that your cat needs. If you want to feed a food that is better for the planet, then an insect-based food can be one direction to choose.
The food does contain quite a bit of carbohydrates in the form of maize and wheat. Lovebug doesn’t contain any added artificial colors, dairy, or palm oil. It also contains soy protein, in case soy is a problem for your cat.
For people who prioritize the environment, Lovebug insect-based dry cat food appears to be a good choice.
Calculated calorie content: Kcal 365 Kcal/100g (estimated); 104 calories per ounce
Composition: Dried insect meal (30%), maize, wheat, dried cereal protein, vegetable oil, minerals, soy protein, flavour from vegetable sources, cellulose, rice, dried beet pulp, yeast.
Analytical Constituents: Protein: 28.9%, Fat content: 12.1%, Inorganic matter: 8.23%, Crude fibre: 5.6%
Additives (per kg): Antioxidants / Nutritional additives: Vitamin A 11453 IU, Vitamin D3 1263.1 IU, Copper (Copper(II) Sulphate Pentahydrate) 4.3 mg, Iodine (Potassium Iodide) 1.1 mg, Iron (Iron(II) Sulphate, Monohydrate) 28.9 mg, Manganese (Manganous Sulphate, Monohydrate) 30.3 mg, Taurine 18.2 mg, Selenium (Sodium Selenite) 0.2 mg, Zinc (Zinc Sulphate, Monohydrate) 36.8 mg.
Ingredients We Liked: Dried beet pulp
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Soy protein
Common Allergens: Maize, wheat, and soy protein can be allergens for some cats
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
- Insect meal is high in protein
- Contains no added artificial colors, dairy, or palm oil
- Formulated by pet nutritionists
- Maize, wheat, and soy protein can be allergens for some cats
- Relatively high in carbohydrates
- Only comes in one formula at this time
What Do Customers Think Of Lovebug Cat Food?
Lovebug currently has an overall 4-star rating on Trustpilot. Some 59 percent of customers gave the food a 5-star review. Nine percent of customers gave the food a 1-star review.
The food actually smells rather nice
The food actually smells rather nice. The cats love it which is the main thing and their litters aren’t as smelly! I’m actually really shocked! I thought my cats would hate this food. I only bought it as one of my cats who is very old has developed a poultry allergy and all shop bought biscuits in the UK say “meat and animal derivatives” and for some reason the fish based food is the same and also had “turkey gravy” which is also unsuitable for her.
I had a terrible time these past 4/5 months trying to sort out her allergy and wasn’t getting anywhere until I finally had enough of going to shops and went online and found love big pet food! All 4 of my cats love it! The biscuits are tiny too which is great! I will definitely be buying again.- by Melissa Williams reviewing Lovebug Pet Food on Feb 28, 2022
My cat loves this
My cat loves this. As a vegetarian, I’m really pleased to be able to stop giving my money to the meat industry.- by Rachel Frogs reviewing Lovebug Pet Food on Jan 17, 2022
The company ethos is admirable.
The company ethos is admirable. Quick delivery too. However, I bought three bags of the cat biscuits and no matter how I tried, feeding it mixed into usual biscuits, over the course of a week, disguising it amongst other food etc, both my cats were savvy enough to pick out the usual biscuits from the mix, I tried letting them go hungry for a little while and they still would not eat this.
I am very disappointed both in my two cats and the cat food. Have to say though, the magpies feast on it. Such a shame.- by Leah reviewing Lovebug Pet Food on Jan 3, 2022
Sadly I brought 2 bags of this & I’ve…
Sadly I brought 2 bags of this & I’ve got 8 cats that would not touch it & would rather stave.-by Gemma Fabish reviewing Lovebug Pet Food on Jan 3, 2022
How Much Does Lovebug Cat Food Cost?
Lovebug sells for about £12.99 for a 1 kg bag and £25.98 for 2 kg.
Overall, Is Lovebug Cat Food A Good Choice?
If you are concerned about issues such as sustainability and the environment, insect-based cat foods are becoming popular. There are more of these foods being produced today, with more on the way.
Lovebug appears to be a good food, formulated by pet nutritionists. It does contain a lot of carbohydrates but that’s probably not surprising for a dry kibble.
The food only comes in one formula at this time. Your cat may or may not like it so we suggest that you only buy a small bag in the beginning to make sure your cat(s) will eat it.
We would compare Lovebug to some other insect-based cat food brands such as Yora for Cats and Catit Nuna.
How Do You Order Lovebug Cat Food?
You can buy Lovebug directly from the Lovebug web site. You can purchase the food by a single order or save 5 percent and sign up for a subscription service. The company offers free shipping for orders over £30.
Lovebug is also available at some pet food stores and through some online retailers in the UK.