Is your cat food recall list outdated? Keep on top of the changes and updates to recalls on cat and kitten food and treats with these resources.
With all of the recalls on cat food (and dog food as well) in recent years, cat owners have become both more cautious about pet food choices, and more aware.
Considering the number of pets who became ill or died as a result of the contaminated vegetable proteins in 2007, it's not surprising that people are cautious.
The controversy over the exact cause of the contamination added to the uncertainty, and required consumers to become even more informed about the pet food industry.
The fact that much of the problem stemmed from outsourced production of the food (e.g. Proctor and Gamble not manufacturing their own wet cat food), added to the doubt.
This makes having access to an up-to-date cat food recall list a handy item for cat owners.
Below are reliable resources you can access to determine if any of the food you're currently feeding your cat may be subject to a recall.
Here's the FDA's archive for recalls for pet food (animal and veterinary products).
You'll be able to search the list, and view recalls by year as well.
In 2007, over 40 brands of cat food were affected by the melamine. Melamine contaminants were introduced into the tainted pet food primarily due to two factors:
When cat food manufacturing is outsourced, pet food companies provide the manufacturing company with their specific cat food recipe for each product. The manufacturing company makes the product based on each recipe and packages it up for each of the pet food companies they work with.
This means that if a common tainted ingredient is used in both company A and company B's cat food recipe, cross-contamination could occur, and both products are at risk. Toxins can work their way into many products made on the same line.
Some companies on the recall list, therefore, may not have had contaminated food, but their products were pulled as a precaution.
If your cat food manufacturer was involved in the Menu Foods/melamine recall, then it can be assumed that (at that time) they either outsource some of their manufacturing, or at the very least they source some of their ingredients from outside North America (specifically, China).
If you're looking to go more green friendly, or would prefer to support other companies, the cat food companies listed here are not for you. Check with the individual companies to see if they've changed their policy.
In order to stay current on FDA warnings and information, you can sign up to receive email or RSS updates at the FDA Consumer Updates page.
The ASPCA often references the FDA pet food recall information, but they also have articles and guidance on recalls themselves. Even though I can no longer find their pet food recall page, it's a good site to bookmark.
You may also want to take some steps to ensure that you've done everything you can to provide safe cat food for your cat. These include not purchasing pet food or treats from any companies that are involved in recalls due to outsourcing.
In fact, you may want to stop feeding your cats any food that is not manufactured under direct supervision by the manufacturer, as well as companies that outsource ingredients from countries known for lower quality standards than your own.
The FDA recommends that you be aware of any potential signs of kidney illness in your cat, and call your veterinarian if you notice any of the following:
Afraid of commercial food making their cat sick, some cat owners are turning to homemade cat food recipes. Others are turning to raw meat diets, or purchasing commercial cat food only from companies they've found to be sourcing ingredients that they deem safer than some of the companies on the FDA's cat food recall list.
Update: Susan Thixton, of Truth About Pet Food, is trying to get companies to communicate directly with customers on recalls. She hopes that companies will jump on board and send pet food recall notification directly to customers.