Introduction: How to Make Fake Cat-food

Picture of How to Make Fake Cat-food

Here is a story:
A chap called Billy spent a night on a sofa. In the morning Billy helped himself to a breakfast of whisky and cat-food. He did declare "''tis the finest gravy you ever did taste." (or very similar)
This story had been around a bit, and exploited for amusement. I thought I could get some more amusement from it...

Eating cat-food "freaks people out", it's a potential party-trick and April-fools' joke, so here's how you can do it.

Step 1: Things You Need

Picture of Things You Need

Two aluminium tins of cat-food, of the type pictured. Choose whatever flavour you like, but aim to have the filling match the description.
Red-meat and offal, I used steak and kidney.
Gravy, I was lazy and bought a tub from a butcher.
A sharp knife, scissors.
Epoxy glue.
A kitchen, with kitchen-stuff in it.

Step 2: The Meat

Picture of The Meat

I got a little portion of steak and kidney, about half a pound.
To make it look like horrible processed brown meatyness it needed to be pulped to mush and cooked. I chopped steak and kidney finely and tried bashing it with a pestle, but used a hand blender in the end.
*Use a blender*
For flavour, I added a little salt and pepper, and half a teaspoon of Marmite.
If you're recreating two-tone cat-food, make two mushes with different proportions & flavourings.

The mush was poached gently in a lightly-oiled ramekin to a rather nasty-looking brown lump. This was easily cut into horrible-looking chunks with a sharp knife. The chunks taste nice though - remember this: they look nasty but taste nice.

To finish off the lumps were re-heated in rich brown gravy, yum yum...

Step 3: The Tin

Picture of The Tin

To be convincing it's essential that you open what looks like a tin of cat-food in front of people. Better still to get someone else to open it for you, this is half the cleverness of the joke.

Get two tins, of the type you see pictured.
Pull the lid from one, empty it and thoroughly clean it.
Snip the curled ridge off neatly with scissors, take time and make it look tidy.
Push this empty tin onto the other tin, such that it fits snugly. The snipped-edge needs to sit neatly in the other tin, nice and "flush", so re-trim it where necessary.

Then carefully cut a hole in the bottom of the other tin, empty it and thoroughly clean it.
Now you have two halves, the join will only be visible once the tin has been opened and you get to the bottom of it (the joke will be done by then though)

(My cat-food was "donated" to local wildlife)

Step 4: Filling and Finishing

Picture of Filling and Finishing

The unpleasant-looking lumps were heated up in gravy, then spooned out into the tin with a hole in the bottom. Then the tin was topped up with gravy - Do not over-fill this, you'll have problems gluing it together if you do.
I applied rapid 2-part epoxy to the edge of the outer-tin, as far away from the brown meaty stuff as possible. Once the two were firmly pressed together the glue set rather quickly, helped by the heat from the hot meat and gravy.
Ensure to wipe any excess glue off while it's still fluid.

Step 5: Pulling the Joke

Picture of Pulling the Joke

I was already set-up with the Billy story. People had talked about how fine the gravy was, so it easy to say "let's find out how good this gravy really is". Note from Kiteman: On a side note, hygiene standards in pet food manufacture are allegedly higher than for human foodstuffs, so, taste aside, tinned petfood is safer to eat than "proper" tinned foods. Use this if it helps.
I packed cocktail-sticks and some bread to mop-up the lovely gravy - it worked, several people refused to taste it, at least one was visibly disgusted (ha ha ha ha)
You might want to get a friend to back you up and encourage others to join in, two people eating is more persuasive than just one.

When the tin is empty the "tampering" will be visible, so either show people or dispose of it before you get to the bottom.


LesB (author)2017-03-07

You are one sinister devious dude! I love it. Hahaha.

Certain sausages look like cat turds when cooked. I know someone who fooled her son into thinking she was popping a cat turd. FREAKED him out.

NoynonMayta (author)2015-08-29

(-..-ll )

maryanna warner (author)2015-02-15

just a guess that you have read unfortunate events"the world is quiet here".

kudzu63 (author)2014-09-29

I'd love to do this but I am afraid that my lovely wife would really divorce me if I did it. Well maybe not the big D word but she definitely stop kissing me for a week or so. LOL

wafflemaker878 (author)2014-09-28

That's awesome! I really want to try it.

claramecium (author)2014-04-01

cool. The only problem is that I don't have a cat, and the "cat food" might arouse suspicion.

Danny1433 (author)2011-12-09

yay marmite nz rules

lemonie (author)Danny14332011-12-10

Yes it does, and it's vegetarian.


Danny1433 (author)lemonie2011-12-23

are you from nz

lemonie (author)Danny14332011-12-23

Is there a Yorkshire UK in NZ?



Danny1433 (author)lemonie2011-12-23

have you been to nz?

lemonie (author)Danny14332011-12-23

No, but what I've heard all sounds good.


caarntedd (author)2011-12-18

This is pretty cool. I've done the change the label thing when camping. When it was my turn to cook it was dog food for all. Pretending to try an keep the can concealed makes it more convincing too.

lemonie (author)caarntedd2011-12-19

Oh yes, you sneak it into the pan quickly, but not too sneakily?


caarntedd (author)lemonie2011-12-19

That's the one. Also an actual empty can of dog/cat food with a little residue left in it gets a good reaction when discovered near the food prep area. The residue passes the sniff test quite convincingly.

heathbar64 (author)2011-12-14

around here the less gourmet cat food comes in tin cans that are exactly the same as tuna and such things come in. I think an easier trick would be to just change the label. or better yet, switch the labels and put the cat food in the cupboard in place of the tuna.

lemonie (author)heathbar642011-12-14

When the cans are opened the cat-food looks very different to tuna.


heathbar64 (author)lemonie2011-12-15

Ah, yes! taking a joke to obsessive perfection is the sign of true genius.

lemonie (author)heathbar642011-12-15

Stewed-steak, make your self a "finest" "poncy" dog-food label...


KIMBONGCHILL (author)2011-08-18

I am sorry, but this is ridiculous. Its seems like allot of effort to make someone think you are eating cat food. Also who needs help with a project like this.

lemonie (author)KIMBONGCHILL2011-08-18

Do a bong and chill... It was funny for us.


KIMBONGCHILL (author)lemonie2011-08-18

I am not trying to be mean this one is just not my cup of tea. I like your other stuff Lemonie. Just not the kind of stuff I get into I guess. I am less of a showman than you. I am really into building stuff. I am sure there are others that cant wait to try it.
good luck. I am sure I will see your projects around.

lemonie (author)KIMBONGCHILL2011-08-18

The making parts of this are the reason that I published it, I do have other things that I'm working on (slowly)


ilpug (author)lemonie2011-09-03

Lemonie, from your outward online conversation, it is hard to believe you are from another country. You talk like so many of my friends and neighbors from Northern California that occasionally i wonder about your true identity. With all do respect - Ilpug

lemonie (author)ilpug2011-09-04

I am Yorkshire, but we'll have some common ancestry somewhere I guess...


ilpug (author)lemonie2011-09-04

If i ever visit the UK i will definitely go to that area, it sounds like a place i might like.

lemonie (author)ilpug2011-09-04

Yes it's "top". stay away from The south, or Scotland*, the happy-point is Holmfirth...


*Nothing wrong with Scotland except tourists, it's mainly very beautiful.

ilpug (author)lemonie2011-09-04

Well, after graduation i may go on a trip, so i will definitely add it to the list of possibilities. Holmfirth looks like it is sort of like the Napa wine areas near where i live, but with less tourists. God, there are too many tourists.,

lemonie (author)ilpug2011-12-14

ilpug (author)lemonie2011-12-14

Picture with the trees is near where I live. Picture with the vineyards is Napa.

lemonie (author)ilpug2011-12-14



ilpug (author)lemonie2011-12-15

The trees are nice. The redwoods near my house are the tallest trees in the world. It's where they filmed the ewok village in Star Wars.

lemonie (author)ilpug2011-09-05

Less wine though, I think this is all of it.


PenfoldPlant (author)lemonie2011-09-09

Yes, there's a reason we call Yorkshire "Britain's California"...

Great party trick, lemonie!

lemonie (author)PenfoldPlant2011-09-10


anonymouse197 (author)lemonie2011-10-24

** you might want to add mosquitos and weather to your list there, but apart from those niggles it is lovely. Not nearly as nice as Cumbria of course!

lemonie (author)anonymouse1972011-10-25

midges, nasty-buggers...


lemonie (author)2011-09-20

I didn't see that, but if I do I'll look out for it.


Kiteman (author)2011-08-14

What a warped mind...

On a side note, hygiene standards in pet food manufacture are allegedly higher than for human foodstuffs, so, taste aside, tinned petfood is safer to eat than "proper" tinned foods.

PenfoldPlant (author)Kiteman2011-09-09

I once hitchhiked across France with a British woman who worked in the dog food manufacturing industry; she was quite keen to talk about just this subject. She said that all British pet foods have to be safe for human consumption, as so many less fortunate people use them as an affordable source of meat.

splazem (author)Kiteman2011-08-14

+1 :)

lemonie (author)Kiteman2011-08-14

Yep, but you can use your side-note to help warp other people's minds into being convinced it is petfood that you're eating.


oilitright (author)2011-08-19

Why go to all this effort? Why not just crack open the feline feast and dig in? Give your taste buds a wake up call; expand your palette. And believe me people all around the planet eat "food" that would gag a maggot. I know I spent 23 years in the military most of it abroad and I always tried to eat "native" (note I didn't always have more then one bite, Andrew Zimmerman has nothing on me).

My top 3 taste treats which I'll never try again unless stranded, alone, on a uncharted desert island (and if you're the reason I'm not alone, do not go to sleep) are; from the Philippines 'Baluts' I can't quite describe the experience of the taste and smell. Baluts consist of a putrefied embryonic chicken egg which has been buried in the hot sand for a period of time. Filipinos crack open the small end suck out the soup and then peel the shell off a savor the jellied baby chicken, feathers, beak, feet and all. You can detect a Filipino who has eaten one from 300 yards, up wind. From Hawaii comes 'poi' it is a staple food loved and enjoyed by many otherwise perfectly sane individuals, to me it has the taste and consistency of soured wallpaper paste. Lastly in Korea the national dish is Kimchi, described as a spicy cabbage dish. I describe it as tasting like someone took various kinds of organic material which then was piled much like compost on a tarmac and doused liberally with aviation fuel and left to sit in the sun for a month.

So real cat food would for me be a true delicacy and much preferred to any of the three dishes I'd described so if you find yourself stranded on a deserted desert island with me, remember to bring cat food. Try to bring Marmite just for a little taste variety

Greasetattoo (author)oilitright2011-08-20

Kimchi - I've eaten that before. (when I was in the Army in the early 80's) I liked it!

C rations: pound cake - OMG
Chopped Ham & Eggs - OMG

ilpug (author)Greasetattoo2011-09-03

Well, I assume neither of you have actually eaten cat food. Trust me, its better than dog food. Dog food is sub-inedible disgusting. yes, i have tried both. why? i am a curious person, and dog and cat food are human-safe. Doesn't mean its tasty.

lemonie (author)oilitright2011-08-20
sunshiine (author)2011-09-01

I have noticed your post for a while and kept meaning to get over and see it. It looks great and terrible at the same time. Does that make any sense? I am sharing this with my grandson. He will love it! Oh yeah my son-in-law would do this. We have a long line of pranksters here. Nice touch by the way!

lemonie (author)sunshiine2011-09-01

Thicken the gravy with corn-flour and make it look "goopy", it worked great and I will do it again.


sunshiine (author)lemonie2011-09-01

So this is your secret ingredient to your private label? I will remember! Thanks Lemonie for sharing.

ToolboxGuy (author)2011-08-20

LOL! I recall my friend and his incredibly gross story of the drill sargeant who had his men pull a toilet from an "out of order" latrine, looking incredibly disgusting, with dried green and brown material up to what should have been the waterline.

And the sargeant starts in with "Wow! That's one S****Y latrine! Who's up for cleaning it? Tell you what. I'll show you how!" and proceeds to stick both hands into the muck. "What a smell! Isn't that something! Almost good enough to eat!" He's acting like it's a home cooked meal, asking them what was on the menu last night, nodding his head. Then proceeds to start licking his hands clean.... "That's really good s**t!" Asking others if they'd like to try it.

The night before, he had four members of another squad set up the whole thing, with a NEW toilet, totally scrubbed, then added in the Pistachio and Chocolate Jell-O Pudding poured in and set in the kitchen fridge overnight, so it'd get a really good "skin" over the top. (and yes, guard duty was placed by the latrine, as a precaution.)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out ... More »
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