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Why This Cat Food-Inspired Restaurant Could Be a Purrfect Cat-astrophe

From the makers of Fancy Feast, Gatto Bianco (‘white cat’) promises dishes for humans that take inspiration from Fancy Feast recipes and Italian cuisine

Limited reservations for “Gatto Bianco by Fancy Feast”, are available beginning August 4Limited reservations for “Gatto Bianco by Fancy Feast”, are available beginning August 4

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Popular pet food brand Fancy Feast is hoping to change some dated preconceptions about wet cat food by offering up human-grade, cat food-inspired “feasts” that people can eat at a real restaurant.

The pop-up restaurant, dubbed “Gatto Bianco by Fancy Feast,” opens near the Meatpacking District in New York next week and will feature an “Italian-style trattoria and culinary experience” to celebrate the brand’s new “globally-inspired” Medleys recipes.

Gatto Bianco (Italian for “white cat”) promises fancy dishes for humans that take inspiration from Fancy Feast Medleys recipes and traditional Italian cuisine. The menu is being developed by Fancy Feast’s “in-house chef,” Amanda Hassner, who’s created “gourmet” cat food for the brand in the past, with names like the “Florentine Collection” (featuring garden greens in a delicate sauce) and the Primavera Pack, with culinary-inspired global recipes designed for your feline friends.

Florentine Collection

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Buy: Fancy Feast Florentine Collection at $24.96

While Hassner has spent her time cooking up cat cuisine, the pop-up restaurant will also bring in Michelin star-winning chef and acclaimed New York restaurateur Cesare Casella to help craft new dishes for the event. If the wet cat food is any indication, expect the menu at Gatto Bianco to include plenty of chicken, tuna, gravy and greens.

Hassner says the menu at Gatto Bianco will also be “prepared in ways that help cat owners understand how their cats experience food – from flavor, to texture, to form.” It’s unclear how that will translate to a plate on your table, but some high-end restaurants in the past have served food out of tin cans, while pork or chicken liver pâté — with a similar look and texture to wet cat food — is still considered a delicacy around the world.

While the new promotion is getting a lot of attention online from both cat lovers and foodies alike, it should be noted that Fancy Feast is promoting a two-night-only human-grade menu and not saying that their everyday cat food is safe or edible for humans. While few people have died from eating cat food, the ingredients, by-products and nutritional makeup of wet cat food are not designed for human ingestion. There are excessive levels of vitamin A and taurine in cat food, which can prove overwhelming to the human body. The moisture and amount of fats in cat food can also upset your system, leading to nausea or vomiting.

And while a chicken and gravy dish may sound appetizing at first, the meats typically found in cat food are often scraps that weren’t certified for human consumption, and doctors say eating cat food can lead to a risk of lethargy, diarrhea and malnourishment in the long term.

Your best bet is to leave the Fancy Feasts for your cat, and dine at the Fancy Feast restaurant — if you can get a reservation. Gatto Bianco will open for dinner on Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12 only, with four reservations per evening at 6:30 p.m. ET. Reservations for the Fancy Feast restaurant open on Thursday, August 4 at 12:00 p.m. ET through OpenTable and at FancyFeast.com/Reservations.

Can’t get a seat at the cat food pop-up? Fancy Feast does have another option: the pet food brand launched its “Petite Feasts” cookbook last year with “recipes for humans inspired by the exquisite, single-serve entree that cats love.”

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