Cat food included in a widening range of Indonesian halal products

Cat food included in a widening range of Indonesian halal products October 31, 2019

CAT Food produced in compliance with Islamic rules is included in an ever-widening range of halal products on sale to Muslims in Indonesia.

Why on earth should cats have to eat halal food?

The distributor of Powercat, who requested anonymity, explained:

I will tell them [customers] it’s not that the cats need to be fed with halal food. It is for us, the cat owners, who have physical contact with the food when we feed them or when we clean their bowls. If the food is not halal, and we touch it, we will have to wash our hands as a form of purification.

He says he has been marketing the product for nearly four years, mainly by setting up stalls at events and getting in touch with pet shop owners.

Despite being a leading brand of cat food in Malaysia, Powercat – which offers Android phone app games – is not yet hugely popular in Indonesia, he says.

But the sales have been steady. And my customers are happy. They told me that once fed with Powercat, their cats refused to eat food of other brands.

What about dogs? While The South China Morning Post does not mention canines, I found that one can buy halal dog food – Lon Sen – online from Alibaba.com ($900-$2,000 per ton).

So what else in included in the Indonesian government’s drive to expand the the country range of halal goods?

Bizarrely, hijabs.  One trader claimed to be the first seller of such garments in Indonesia, and the company encouraged Muslim women to ensure they covered their hair and necks with “permissible” headscarves, rather than those during whose manufacture non-halal substances were used.

Said university student Annisa Harniati.

I can totally understand that Muslims need to make sure that the food and drinks they consume are halal. But for clothing, I think it’s irrelevant. I wear a hijab myself, but colours and patterns are the main things I consider when buying one.

Other products include cotton buds, laundry detergent, fabric softener, hijabs (hair and neck scarves) and shoes.

And fridges. Home appliances brand Sharp launched new halal refrigerators in Jakarta last year. At an event timed to coincide with the beginning of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, the appliances were introduced as the “first halal-certified refrigerators in Indonesia”.

Exclaimed Miranti Widjoko, 45 and a mother of two:

What? Does it mean that fridges can be haram [forbidden under Islamic law]?. How does that work?

The Sharp representative told her that the materials usually used to produce fridge compartments could contain traces of animal products that are forbidden to Muslims.

She was happy with the explanation, and said:

When it was time to replace my old fridge, I didn’t hesitate to choose this [halal] fridge,

Afka Adhitya, Product Strategy Manager for Sharp in Indonesia said consumers have become more aware and critical of the products they use, including the component materials and the manufacturing process.

Miranti says she always makes sure the homewares she buys for her family are permitted under Islamic law, especially products that are known to commonly contain non-halal substances.

But back to the cat food. The distributor says there are other brands in the market labelled halal, but their certification had not been approved by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the nation’s highest Islamic authority.

To the best of my knowledge, ours is the first and the only one so far in Indonesia to be certified by the MUI.

Image via YouTube

Lukmanul Hakim, Director of MUI’s Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics, above, says not all products can be granted halal certificates by his organisation.

He cites one rejected request from a natural gas company that wanted to get halal certification for its product. The company, he says, argued that the natural gas would be used in the production of halal make-up and therefore required certification. The MUI, however, did not agree. Lukmanal said:

We won’t say you need the certificate if you don’t. What would people say about us if we did? They would say we just like to make things up.

Lukmanul, who insists that Islam should not make Islam “complicated” and that the MUI was “moderate” was asked whether his own refrigerator was halal. He laughed and said:

I have no idea. I don’t pay attention to that.

In 2015 in the UK a row broke out when pet food manufacturers were accused of allowing inhumanely slaughtered halal meat to be used in their products.

John Blackwell, from the British Veterinary Association, said:

Consumers who care about what they put on their own plates will also want to know about the welfare standards of the food they are feeding their cats and dogs.

And an RSPCA spokesman added:

Our concern has nothing to do with the expression of religious belief but with the practice of killing by throat cutting without pre-stunning, which can cause considerable suffering.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sassafras

    Feeding cats Halal cat food is still better than trying to make a cat “go vegan”.

  • Broga

    I can’t see any chance of a cat going vegan whatever the owners want. I would prefer a cat being vegan than halal where the animals to be eaten are hung up and their throats cut while they bleed to death.

  • Ann Kah

    Uh…if you touch the cat food you’ll have to wash your hands anyway. Didn’t you ever SMELL the stuff?

  • Michael Neville

    I always washed my hands after feeding the cats and especially after cleaning their bowls.

  • persephone

    I read that and was completely grossed out.

  • persephone

    Cats can’t be vegan and survive. They’re obligate carnivores.

  • Broga

    We have had lots of cats over the years and I have never seen one that wasn’t a carnivore. Most do a bit of self catering of mice, rats and young rabbits. They evolved as carnivores. Humans, on the other hand, do not have carnivore teeth. Or intestines.

    I don’t know why Sassafras made that comment and I should have ignored it. Perhaps he was attempting a defence of Halal? And why the inverted commas?

  • Sassafras

    I wasn’t defending Halal, I was just pointing out that people wanting their cats to eat Halal is still better than making them eat vegan food. I find Halal to be disgusting and inhumane.

  • Sassafras

    I could never stand the smell of cat food! I’d rather take a huff of canned dog food.

  • Broga

    I misunderstood you and I’m pleased you detest Halal as much as I do. The only way our cat would “eat” vegan would be if we rammed it down its throat. Any time he has to swallow a pill, prescribed by the vet following an illness, blood flows and it is mine. One time we thought he had swallowed it and he spat it up after a couple of minutes. We now ask the vet to inject him.

  • Sassafras

    No worries!

  • Vanity Unfair

    As I was taught: for every fool-proof system there exists a system-proof fool. Under Murphy’s Law they will inevitably meet.

  • Vanity Unfair

    My mother’s cat (insofar as anybody actually owns a cat) was prescribed a course of yeast tablets. The cat refused to eat them, even hidden in food, and could not be forced to do so. Eventually mother gave up and, while replacing the tablet in the bottle, fumbled and the tablet fell to the floor, whereupon the cat immediately pounced on the tablet, “killed” it and ate it. This procedure worked for the rest of the course. I offer this to anybody who wants to try it.

  • barriejohn

    Hilarious!

  • barriejohn
  • Broga

    When we lived in a town we had a scruffy tabby our young kids loved. I shut his tail in a door and he found that unacceptable and departed to live with an aged couple across the road. They loved him. Our children wanted him back and I went to get him. The aged couple did not want him to leave but accepted that he was our cat. That cat decided he preferred the aged couple and refused to return i.e. when I carried him home he immediately left to return to them. Our children visited him every afternoon returning from school and they were welcome to a very old, disabled and largely lonely old couple.

    Winston Churchill liked animals and especially cats. He said, “Cats look down on us, dogs look up to us and pigs treat us as equals”.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • Broga

    Thanks.

  • barriejohn

    Cats are amazing animals. I have friends whose neighbour’s cat decided to move in with them, and that was that. They now have a cat. I have other friends who had two beautiful Persians, and when they got a dog the more dominant one was really put out and decamped to a house a few doors away. As far as I know he’s still living there, but calls back at intervals to see what the situation is before stalking out in a huff again!

  • It depends on the cat food. Some brands don’t smell too awful, but some of the cheap stuff reeks.

    The only time I gagged when I smelled cat food was thirty years ago, when one of my cats was on a prescription diet. I had seen a brief news story on 20/20 that dealt with pet food and what went in it: mostly offal. The prescription food smelled exactly like Vienna sausage. I nearly vomited, and never ate Vienna sausage again.

  • Smell doesn’t bother me. Possibility of pathogens? Yep, that bothers me. So I wash my hands after feeding my kitty.

  • Typical cat. You can’t force me to eat this… Oooh, is that something I shouldn’t eat? I’m gonna eat it!

  • Freethinker

    The one thing that is never mentioned in the “I want to be a good Jihadist” manual is what gender the virgins will be, leaving one compelled to ask the wannabe male suicide bombers how much they feel about a sausagefest. For eternity.

  • Broga

    On statistics there are going to be many disappointed Jihadists. I have also read that virgins is a mistaken translation and the word is grapes.

    It sure is tough getting it right.

  • Mike Curnutt

    “It is for us, the cat owners, who have physical contact with the food when we feed them or when we clean their bowls. If the food is not halal, and we touch it, we will have to wash our hands as a form of purification.”

    I don’t know about you, but if I get cat food on my hands, I wash them. Canned cat food is nasty!