Cat Food Not on Recall List Test Positive for Toxin

This is the first laboratory-confirmed case of a non-recalled product containing melamine. One family confirms that the FDA is investigating these additional products.

Three 3-ounce varieties of Nutro Max Cat Gourmet Classics tested positive for melamine by UC Davis:

  • Chicken Cacciatore, UPC 79105352055
  • California Chicken Supreme, UPC 79105300117
  • Lamb & Turkey Cutlets, UPC 79105300148

The test was privately requested by a California family whose cat fell ill.

Several varieties of Nutro Products brand pet food - including 3-ounce food pouches for cats, 5.3-ounce pouches for dogs and 12.5-ounce cans for dogs - are either on the FDA’s list or on Nutro’s own list at its Web site, www.nutroproducts.com. But the lists do not include the 3-ounce cans for cats.

The canned cat food that tested positive for melamine at UC Davis were the Lamb & Turkey Cutlets, California Chicken Supreme and Chicken Cacciatore.

Another family is claiming that Nutro canned food not on the recalled list made their cat sick. Their story is after the jump.

UPDATE: 2 new recalls today. Menu Foods and Royal Canin.

(For emailed alerts about future recalls and other important news, sign up for our free Itchmo Pet Safety Alert.)

You may want to know that we had notified Nutro back in January of a potential problem with this Nutro Max Cat California Chicken Supreme in 3 oz cans. Out cat had all of a sudden didn’t want to eat it anymore and then began vomiting. We had sent cans to them for testing and they replied back saying the food was fine. Well our cat died on March 11th, 5 days before the recall. This food was never on the recall list. I not only tried to tell Nutro back in January, I also called them 3 times and emailed them after the recall on 3-16. They took messages but no one ever called back. I also called Menu Foods twice but everyone just kept saying that food is not on the recall list and no one ever called back. We did talk to FDA and they took the info down.

Then we received a mysterious phone call from FDA last Friday wanting to know the “status” of the unopened cans of food we had left. We told them we still have it. He also wanted to know about the food we had donated to our local animal shelter. Our cat died on 3-11 and we donated leftover food on 3-12. He was going to call them and my husband asked what this was about. He said they were looking into trends in food not on the recall list but wouldn’t offer more than that. This makes me think that they knew this was coming down last week when they called us. Anyhow we offered to go retrieve all the food from the animal shelter so we now have all of it. After the recall had happened we had immediately called the animal shelter due to our suspicions & asked they not use the food so they had put it on a back shelf with a big sign saying do not use.

So anyhow this at least proves if there had been good testing procedures in place they would have caught this back in january and prevented the death and illness of many pets. I can bet Nutro is busy shredding and deleting any record of food complaints they received back in Dec, Jan, Feb and March. Also we had received the below email from them. Anyhow I thought you would be interested. And also I want to thank Nikki again for putting me together with another reader, Russell, who’s cats are home tonight after having their kidneys flushed after eating Nutro Max Cat Calfornia Chicken Supreme in the 3 oz cans… the same food we fed our cat who is now dead that was not on the recall list.

Thank you, Sandi

(Editor’s Note: Timestamp bumped, originally 02:30 am Esatern)

85 Responses to “Cat Food Not on Recall List Test Positive for Toxin”

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  1. Rocky says:

    Just talked to my broker.

    He pointed out that at this rate MENU FOODS INCOME FUND will lose 50% of it’s current value in about 17 DAYS.

    How about you Nestle/Purina? You guys better try and bump up the chocolate sales.

  2. Louie says:

    Hey Rocky,

    Can you add the inside trader stats to you afternoon MENU stock report? I’d like to know who’s dumping stock.

  3. Susan Pike says:

    Sandi
    Could you get in touch with me off list please??
    foxx333@hotmail.com
    Susan

  4. 2CatMom says:

    Innova EVO Dry is not made by Menu Foods (the wet is and even though it contains no wheat gluten, I’m avoiding it for now). One of my cats liked the Dry so well, that she has tried several time to break into the cabinet its stored in (is that what they mean by a cat burgler?).

    B. Weimann - don’t feel guilty - think of it this way - if you had been feeding a child vitamin enriched cookies for his whole life and then began to serve him chicken and salad, he’d probably give you hostile looks as well.

  5. Jane Anderson says:

    To Sherry:

    Sherry I cannot believe what you said:

    >just wanted to let you all know that Menu foods is really not at fault. It >was their supplier!

    Anyone who offers a product for sale - ESPECIALLY a food product should be testing it. Testing the ingredients they get from outside suppliers. Testing their product during processing. Testing their product after processing.

    And Sherry - ANYONE offering a product for sale - ESPECIALLY a food product really should listen when consumers of their product start telling them their pets are dying from the foods they ate from Menu Foods.

    And Sherry - people started complaining even before last December that their pets were getting sick and dying from eating Menu Foods products.

    And Sherry - when Menu Foods finally got around to feeding their own laboratory animals (and 1 out of every 6 died from the poisoned food) - well, Menu Foods did not issue a recall right away.

    How many pets suffered horribly and died during the time that Menu Foods knew their foods were killing our pets - and when they finally issued the recall.

    Sherry - this is Menu Foods fault.
    Jane

  6. Jane Anderson says:

    In addition to the 50 million dollar clacc action that was filed against Royal Canin last month: this is new:

    http://www.newswire.ca/en/rele.....c3593.html

    GUELPH, ON, April 10 /CNW Telbec/ - As a result of new information
    received from Menu Foods late yesterday, Royal Canin Canada is recalling
    Medi-Cal Feline Dissolution Formula canned diet because one production lot
    (January 08 2009) contains contaminated wheat gluten. This product is
    produced for Royal Canin Canada by the Menu Foods Ontario plant. Medi-Cal
    Feline Dissolution Formula canned diet is Royal Canin’s only wheat
    gluten-containing canned product. This is the only Royal Canin or Medi-Cal
    product being recalled.

  7. Evy says:

    The company web sites are:

    http://www.kumpi.com

    and

    http://www.kumpikat.com

    Please keep in mind that I was not trying to start a pet food company. My background in 30+ years of dog behavior combined with losing my own dog to cancer when he was only 5 prompted me to “fire corporate America” and start a product line.

    As a CVMA Affiliate Member I figured I could sell enough to keep my own dog in food that I could trust.

    Now I am vendors with the city/state of NY and The UN as well.

    Warning: my dog food label is ‘politically incorrect’ and if you read this post by itchmo, it explains a lot about it:

    http://www.itchmo.com/read/a-p.....p_20070329

    Basically, I contracted with a premiere multi-species nutritionist of 30+ years of experience at the time. And he said I had two options, in light of the way pet food companys had spun the industry and led the ‘pseudo experts’ - I could either look like the best food or be the best food, but couldn’t do both.

    Well, if you ever looked into my dog’s eyes, you would know why I HAD to choose being the best.

    Open your mind and read. My law enforcement agencies pay, the food is not comped. They and all of my customers know they can trust me.

    I just feel it’s important for the consumer to be aware of the fact that the price increase in dries hit the entire industry and be ready to see some changes in formulations i.e. the possible reason why some pets may turn away from food they had previously eaten with gusto. It’s a rough spot a large corporation to be in. I am a small enough company that it doesn’t affect me that much. I’ve never put my $$$ into advertising and run a tight ship i.e. I am a working president and about 99 out of 100 times, I am the one who answers the phones.

    I know this industry and have felt like a tiny voice calling out in the wilderness for years now. I am sickened, saddened and devastated at what ‘corporate America’ has done.

    They NEED to learn the difference between a profit margin and the absolute arrogance of putting a price tag on a pet’s life. (sorry, I needed to get that out of my system)

    While many have not purchased my dog food in the past, many now are and with great success. There is more to be ‘outted’ in this industry and I know that, since I speak from inside it and know their games with labels and how to spin public perception - all at the price of life.

    Lives too precious and many hearts connected to that one life too. I wish I could understand what is up with the media and their reluctance to tell the truth. These purveyors of sensationalism are doing a great injustice to the public and I just wonder if their lack of coverage is due to the fact there isn’t an icon to set a camera on. There is no hurricane devastation, no Ground Zero - rather thousands of individual homes with empty food bowls or worried pet owners. Guess they haven’t figured out how to sensationalize that.

    In the meantime, people who don’t get the full picture here at itchmo, petconnection, etc. continue to wonder what the fuss is all about.

    I eagerly read the information on Dr. Hodgkins, her letters and am very excited to see that kind of voice rise up in the industry. For those of us who have complied, it would be a welcome relief. Whether or not a giant can be taken to it’s knees - well, David did a good job. One can hope.

  8. Debbie says:

    I just quickly scanned down these great comments - for now -until I can read them more thoroughly.

    MARK/everybody - anyone who is feeding their pets canned FANCY FEAST, PLEASE get rid of it immediately! My cat thrived on Fancy Feast Beef w/gravy, suffered from kidney problems - no medical treatment helped - and she passed away in 2004 from renal failure! My dog, after suffering for four years with a kidney condition, passed away from renal failure in 1998. He used to eat canned & dry Alpo.
    Doesn’t that prove to us that these poisons have been around longer than we thought????

    SUSANK, “Natural Balance” is the first and best pet food I have come across and bought so far, and that has been verified to me many times on this site by other people who have used it for a long time. It is consistent with healthy ingredients.
    Other than that, people on this w/s have been recommending very healthy tried and true brands, but unfortunately I haven’t composed a list of them yet.

    5CatMom, you made my day when I saw that graph you posted of Menu foods stock! : ) Yes, like they jumped off a cliff : ) Too bad it is showing some rise again. : (
    Anyway, that proved the time that I said WE consumers have the power to bring ALL of those notorious companies DOWN!…permanently! But the problem is that we’ll still have some unfortunate people going back to believing them…and in that case, I would only feel sorry for their pets.

    ************

    Everybody: on another note, I checked out the ingredient “Entercoccus faecium” that is included in a LOT of pet foods, among them, “ChickenSoupForThePetLoversSoul,” and the holistic “Only Natural Pet.”
    Not specifying animals, according to Wikipedia, pathology studies have proven that Ent.fae is a cause for “urinary tract infection, baterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and meningitis.”

    Another w/s says about Ent.fae: “…a harmful antibiotic resistant bacteria…”

  9. Debbie says:

    Hi, Rocky,

    I spoke to my financial advisor today to find out what he knows about Menu foods. He told me it is public info, and I can find out who the major company stockholders are (basically 100’s of mutual funds) by doing a google search with their ticker MEWU (U is supposed to be underscored)

    I didn’t do that yet, but he mentioned an interesting yet SCARY thought.
    He recalled to me about the Tylenol incident years ago, and everybody guessed that would be the end of Tylenol. As it turned out, he said, Tylenol came back bigger than ever. —-Ok, fine. No problem.

    BUT…I dread the thought of these truly intentional poisonous pet food companies coming back bigger than ever. I want these companies DOWN permanently! That would be JUSTICE for the animals who died because of them, for the animals that are sick because of them, and JUSTICE for the pet parents who are spending $,$$$’s for vet care!

    Ooops, Rocky! I just went back and saw your first post about Menu stock. Will check it out now. Thanks!

  10. 5CatMom says:

    Debbie,

    I’m sure we’re related. Do you have any Scottish ancestors?

    I wouldn’t use THE BRANDS if they gave the stuff away and paid me to use it. THEY CAN’T BE TRUSTED.

    I put out a can of Hill’s last night (not for cats, though) and even the ‘possums wouldn’t touch it.

    There was an interesting post earlier today from Evy, who said that the cost of ingredients went way up last year–the Fall, I think.

    That is a very significant piece of information. Hey FDA . . . did you see Evy’s post.

    You guys need to get off the biz jets with the Pet Food Industry and start finding THE GLUTEN. Maybe Sandi can help you find it.

  11. Traci says:

    I think we need to keep perspective that just because our pets don’t want to eat something, it doesn’t mean the food is bad food–it just may mean our pets don’t want to eat it. Pets will, without encouragement, drink antifreeze and eate poisonous plants and poisoned bait. There are plenty of pets who ate the recalled deadly foods. Sometimes animals are just finicky and they have taste preferences. I would rather eat a bowl of cheap vanilla ice cream than liver sauteed in onions and red wine, and I like meat more than I like sugary foods. Do find a food that is quality that your pets will eat, try mixing the old with new to get them used to the new, but they will turn their noses up at the “health foods.

  12. Susan Peters says:

    You would be shocked by what these companies are allowed to put in our pet’s foods. Anything from dead animals (called “Meat”) to manure (called “Animal Digest). Oh, you think that is bad? How about a product which is “chicken flavored” but has not a trace of chicken in it. You guessed it… “Chicken Digest” is the flavoring. Shame on these companies!

  13. Evy says:

    5CatMom ~

    As a matter of fact, I did contact the FDA on behalf of my nutritionist. Because he took the whole thing a step farther.

    When the recall first surfaced and he heard the words ‘acute renal failure’ two ingredients came to his mind. Potassium chloride and iodine. He figured that too much iodine would have made the food unpalatable. Potassium chloride on the other hand is tasteless, is added as a ‘dry’ product and is a common denominator to canned foods.

    Potassium chloride helps give the ‘nuggets’ their shape and hold form.

    As only a nutritionist who has done thousands and thousands of formulas over the years for many species, his first suspicion was that a ‘common ingredient’ to the food was formulated at the wrong level.

    Then the aminopterin issue surfaced. Then that wasn’t the problem. Then the wheat issue surfaced. And still, there is no definitive evidence that is what is causing the deaths, even though products with wheat gluten are being recalled in huge amounts. I understand it takes more ‘testing’ to come up with WHAT is causing this mess.

    BUT it is difficult to summarily dismiss his theory about there being too much potassium chloride and/or another ingredient common to the food.

    Remember the time of the industry.

    Back in Oct/Nov there was the most significant increase in ‘dries’ that he has witnessed in about twenty years.

    Dec is when the recalled food is dating back to.

    Poor/quick re-formulation of product would also explain why the problem is crossing over into dry foods. Are companies lowering their standards and/or using ingredient they normally wouldn’t out of desperation?

    I’m a relative newbie to the industry, only nine years in it. But what I already know makes me sick. The pet food industry has spawned enough myths to keep the ‘pseudo online experts’ busy for years and perpetuate ‘false science’ to keep lining their pockets with $$$. I have the most ‘politically incorrect’ dog food label on the market, yet I do business with high profile law enforcement agencies - go figure.

    I think my nutritionist is on to something. Companies needed to reformulate and FAST. It takes far more than a nice looking ingredient label to produce a good pet food - it takes someone who is knowledgable about the SCIENCE of nutrition to put it together right.

    Did you know that computer programs calculate a formula? It only does what it is told to, much like QuickBooks and other programs. All of the ‘what if’s’ this has caused in my mind …….

    I am just so sad, sickened and devastated by the loss of furry lives whose souls deserved so much more. Corporate America needs to understand the huge difference between a profit margin and setting a price on an animals life. That is how I have viewed my business - pet food is sacred and while I need to make a profit to keep my doors open, this very thing that is happening is why I will never publically trade. I’ve already turned down five million for the company. There is NO price you can place on the life of my dog or my cat.

    I contacted four different entities at the FDA and can only hope that the emails sent to the people representing the hearings got through to the right people. They have been inundated with mail.

    In the meantime, I grieve with the guardians who lost their FurAngels - there is no amount of money that will help a broken heart.

  14. Regina Clark says:

    ROYAL CANIN CANADA PROACTIVELY RECALLS FELINE DISSOLUTION FORMULA (canned)
    http://www.royalcanin.ca/index_en.php

  15. Regina Clark says:

    Menu Foods’ recall list was originally announced on March 16. It was updated late last week to cover foods produced between Nov. 8 to March 6.

    The latest update — the first to involve its Ontario plant — comes amid news that the the chief financial officer of Menu Foods Income Fund sold nearly half his units in the pet food maker less than three weeks before it announced its massive product recall, according to insider trading reports.

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenew.....443845.htm

  16. 5CatMom says:

    Evy,

    That’s some more good info to think about. I think your nutritionist is on to something.

    Asking “what could potentially cause the problem”, and then working backwards is the right approach.

    Anyway, how to know? The pet food industry does so little testing, it’s hard to know what’s really going on.

    Some so-called facts:

    The FDA found melamine levels of 6%.

    Both the New York State Testing Lab and the Gelph Lab confirmed the presence of aminopterin. However, the FDA did not confirm the presence of aminopterin. There could be a simple explanation for this, or maybe the FDA is covering up.

    The FDA tested for formaldehyde, a grain fumigant. What was the outcome? We don’t know.

    MENU fed the suspect food to test subjects and killed some animals.

    Sandi’s cat died and the food tested positive for Melamine.

    I believe the food is contaminated with Melamine, and there are other things going on. But without more testing, there’s just no way to know.

    Don’t mean to sound like a looney, but have you looked up GM Wheat?
    This is a subject that I knew nothing about until last weekend. Some of that stuff made my head go “blooey”. But it may explain the
    amenopterin. Pretty wild stuff, to be sure.

  17. AZSue says:

    “Enterococcus faecium”

    Okay, I freaked out when I read the post with this term in it…then I really checked into it. It appears to be a probiotic and it stimulates the immune system. It basically works the same way any attenuated germ does…like the polio vaccine that we are given as children so our immune system can respond quicker if we encounter this disease. The new cervical cancer vaccine that is in the news lately works this way…you give a “piece” of the germ to the patient so that their immune system creates some killer cells that will respond quickly to kill the virus in case it enters the body.

    Please everyone, when you read Wikipedia, remember that it is created by ANYONE who has a computer, with absolutely no oversight. You need to read anything by medical journals and medical studies to make up your own mind about what you are hearing.

    Sue

  18. AZSue says:

    I too was impressed with Kumpikat’s web site. I’m thinking about trying this food.

    I was feeding Purina One Senior Protection formula to my cats before the recall, along with a “taste” of Fancy Feast without any wheat gluten (the fish formulas) as a snack twice a day. I have gradually switched to Diamond’s Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul and Wysong’s Vitality (both dry and holistic) and I continue with the Fancy Feast because they really love it. So far, they both like the new food and I’ve noticed less smell in the cat box along with less waste. They are also drinking less water, too. And no one has thrown up at all since the change, which would happen periodically before.

    As a new treat, I’ve added some cat grass from a local organic market. Let me tell you, this was a huge hit! All I have to say is, “Who wants some grass,” and they come running! They learned that word in record time!

    Sue

  19. Hercy Lord says:

    From Wall Street Journal April 9, please go to your library and read the entire article. Section B, page 1, entitled “Who’s Monitoring Chinese Food Exports?. China exports 12% - YES that is 12% of the foods, fruits and vegetables in the world. Not only wheat, but corn, canned strawberries, canned mandarin oranges, etc. They have governmental agencies supposedly overseeing quality, BUT China uses pesticides and fertilizers BANNED in the USA and Europe.

    When you read the article, if you feel as I personally do, you will not only NOT feed any pet food with wheat or corn, but you will check every jar and can in your pantry and toss out any that say “made in China”. Even some BIG companies, such as DOLE, have canned fruit from China.

    I am also, personally, eliminating any cans or jars of vegetables or fruit from other Asian countries, the poor countries. We are going to eat ONLY foods with NO antibiotics, NO hormones, and as much fresh, USA produce, or fresh frozen as we can find. Our 20 cats have always eaten only premium - NO grain DRY foods - and now we feed as a treat ONLY premium canned such as Innova, Evo, Wellness and the like.

  20. Debbie says:

    AZSue,

    I gather the comment you were referring to about the “enterococcus faecium” was the one I contributed to this board.
    I clearly stated at the beginning of my comment about it that animals were not specified in the Wickipedia report, which is where I clearly acknoweledged the source of my info.

    Also, you alluded that I was giving misinformation, which I would NEVER, NEVER do! So I do not appreciate that!

    Ent.fae. is a fatal bacteria to humans, mostly found in hospital patients.
    So perhaps you can explain to us why pet food industries include it in their pet foods. Pets’ physiologies and humans are the same in some respects and different in others. Pets are given the precautionary vaccines they need by vets. Therefore, what right does the pet food companies have to include a toxic ingredient such as Ent.fae.????
    If the pets needed it, the vets surely would provide it as a vaccine, and not as an accumaltive substance in pet foods that goes from being toxic to fatal in animals.

    FYI, my beloved cat suffered from a kidney condition and eventually died in 2005. We fed her tons of Fancy Feast w/gravy, (because she loved it so much!), unknown to us at the time, that is what was causing her illness. She died from renal failure!…after spending thousands of dollars for medical treatment! I suppose you think I’m giving you false information on that too!

  21. Tracy says:

    Hercy Lord - sorry but did you know that Wellness canned is/was made at MENU FOODS??!!

  22. Hercy Lord says:

    Yes I know about Wellness, however, all their canned food is “grain free”.

  23. Martin says:

    Now everyone be nice. Let’s just try to help one another out and get pissed at these food manufactures rather than each other. Everyone is stressed about this……

  24. teric says:

    Received the Kumpi today. Looks good! Let’s see how the little ones like it.

  25. AZSue says:

    (teric Says:
    April 11th, 2007 at 4:50 pm
    Received the Kumpi today. Looks good! Let’s see how the little ones like it.)

    teric: Will you please post how your “little ones” like it as soon as you can? I am really interested in this food.

    BTW…I bought Shadow and Sammy some lean ground beef today, after talking to the butcher for quite some time on the pet food recall issue. He told me that he has seen an enormous increase in pet parents buying fresh meat and fish in the last couple of weeks. We discussed the frozen shelf life of the ground beef, cooking vs. raw and ground vs. whole meat.

    So…I came home and gave S&S some raw ground beef…wow…they liked it VERY much! Buh Bye Fancy Feast! This will be their new “snack” until someone posts something that will freak me out again! My head hurts from all of the information….

    Sue

  26. Phyllis says:

    Here is what I just sent Jenna. I read what B Weimann said, and thought she might appreciate this too. phyiphyi@hotmail.com

    The decline can be gradual not sudden at all. I lost my cat Purr-Purr last summer to Cat Renal Failure. I had put her on a diet food some months before, and after she lost the excess weight, she just kept losing. She also started drinking a lot of water, and peeing a lot. I thought she was diabetic, so I gave her high protein food. That is not good. With CRF the cat needs a lower protein diet.

    I also started giving her wet pet food (bad idea I know now), because she did not want to eat the dry. Sometimes, she seemed disgusted with it even though it was supposed to be a good brand. She even tried to cover it up by pawing at the floor as if flipping litter over it. She would let it dry up rather than eat it. She never did like the sliced beef and gravy EVER. So I did not buy that. Well, she just kept wasting away. She would seem better for awhile and then relapse. I could not afford to take her to a Vet and do blood work. I found out what was wrong with her the night she died.

    She helped me through cancer and chemo treatment, and I ignorantly failed her. BUT I did do one thing for her that did seem to help her. I gave her two of the natural products I take to fight cancer. They are Common Juniper for detoxification and Fig Tree to fight intestinal parasites and problems. They are in tincture form and are made by Dolisos. YOu use 1-5 drops a couple of times a day. They are very GENTLE, and I put my cats’ drops in their water.

    Here is a web site where you can start to research these great products.

    www.thepetwhisperer.com/gemmotherapy

    You can probably write to the site coordinator (I think the vet is on sabatical right now) and ask her what products you should use to help detoxify the kidneys.

    I am not affiliated with the company and do not sell these. But I was very ill, and through these products and prayer I pulled through in spite of a very dim prognosis. I actually feel better than I did in my late 30s. I am 60 now, and had cancer 4 years ago.

    Some health food stores carry these, or they can order them for you. Just for a frame of reference, I pay $11 a 2 oz bottle. But you cannot buy directly from their site; they only sell to health providers directly. So I get mine through Dr. Marcus Greaves, drmarcusgrea@cox.net, or through Kemps Homeopathic, 2980 Beech St., San Diego, CA , phone 619-234-2166. They both ship for their cost — not Shippping and handling.

    If you are interested, e-mail me back, and I will ask my daughter where online she found a place to buy at a slightly lower price.

    Presently I am continuing the common juniper and fig tree since the young cat we have ate whatever was served to Purr-Purr no matter what I did. She seems fine, but I do know that feeding grain based foods to cats pre-disposes them to CRF and diabetes as they age. (One lady on her site claims that cats are supposed to live 25 to 30 years if fed correctly!) Purr-Purr was a second hand cat, and likely was fed very cheap food before I got her at age 12. I fed her Pro-Plan the last year of her life. She was 15 when she died.

    Hope this helps. Phyllis

  27. Phyllis says:

    In response to the article that says vets are surprised that kidneys seem to be clearing in some animals. It is possible to detoxify if you catch it early. Check into Holistic Vets. Some online will consult for a very reasonable price.

    I do not recommend feeding raw meat to any animal showing signs of renal failure. It could push the kidneys too far. That is what I gave Purr-Purr the last two times she ate, because she was not eating, and she went downhill extremely fast. Description: staggering, incontinent, just laying there. It was awful.

  28. AZSue says:

    Debbie:

    In your post back to me regarding Enterococcus faecium you asked, “So perhaps you can explain to us why pet food industries include it in their pet foods.”

    Since I am not a Vet, I decided to write to Diamond Pet Foods and ask them, very pointedly, why they include Enterococcus faecium in their food, specifically, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul. Here is their reply:

    “We added probiotics and digestive enzymes to the Chicken Soup formulas
    to enhance digestion and digestive health. Hope this helps.”

    Janet L. Rettenmaier, DVM, MS
    Veterinary Services
    Diamond Pet Foods
    Meta, MO 65058

    Here is my original post:

    “AZSue Says:

    April 11th, 2007 at 2:38 am
    “Enterococcus faecium”

    Okay, I freaked out when I read the post with this term in it…then I really checked into it. It appears to be a probiotic and it stimulates the immune system. It basically works the same way any attenuated germ does…like the polio vaccine that we are given as children so our immune system can respond quicker if we encounter this disease. The new cervical cancer vaccine that is in the news lately works this way…you give a “piece” of the germ to the patient so that their immune system creates some killer cells that will respond quickly to kill the virus in case it enters the body.

    Please everyone, when you read Wikipedia, remember that it is created by ANYONE who has a computer, with absolutely no oversight. You need to read anything by medical journals and medical studies to make up your own mind about what you are hearing.

    Sue”

    It appears that I was correct about Enterococcus faecium being a probiotic.

    And…I stand by my original comment about Wikipedia. ANYONE with a computer can add, alter, or otherwise contribute anything they want to this site. This is the last place that I would go for any kind of information. However, I would never presume to tell you or anyone else where to go, or not go, for information. I only suggest reading medical studies and journals for medical information. I personally feel that these sources are much more reliable.

    I have a BA in Linguistics with a minor in Biology. At one time I was going to be a nurse, so I have 60 units of science, with a 3.97 GPA. My background and first love is science of any kind. When you first posted about this bacterium, I decided to do as much research as I could to find out what it was. Then I posted my results on this board. You took it as a personal attack and for the life of me I cannot see anywhere in my post where I attacked you in any way. I was very surprised by the hostility in your reply post. Being a linguist, I try to choose my words very carefully so as not to offend or imply any other meaning than my written word.

    Please don’t shoot the messenger this time. You asked me a question, I got you the answer.

    Sue

  29. 4susie says:

    Our 18 yr old cat, Cristofurry, ate mostly canned food due to being essentially edentulous. He began refusing food (mainly Special Kitty and Friskies) in late Nov. ‘06. By the first week in December, he was coughing, gagging & losing weight, so I took him to the vet. His blood work was very good and we were relieved to hear he did not have cancer or any other serious condition, except a lung infection. It cleared up soon with three weeks of antibiotics, but his anorexia was becoming more of a problem; of course, we were tempting him with Fancy Feast and Cat Milk and even Catsure. He was refusing almost everything and I began force feeding him the Catsure with a syringe. He was drinking water & using the litter box okay; but he was getting so weak; and all we could do was watch him decline. He had to be helped on and off our bed, which seemed the only place he was comfortable, when he had become too weak to jump up on his favorite chair. The first week of January, I took him to the vet who said Furry was in renal failure, & it was “time”. I held Furry & cried as the euthanasia put him out of our misery. He was instantly at the Rainbow Bridge with our 21 year old Susie, his friend who died of cancer in August 2002. She too had survived on canned food the last few years of her life (!).

    Misery. That cannot describe the sadness we pet owners feel. None of my cats will eat anything with chunks or slices, nothing “formed”. They might lick the gravy but most were refusing that too, the past year or so. Still, I am sure we might have accidentally bought a can or two and that is probably what killed Furry, if he licked up any gravy. I think now I may have killed my cat with misguided kindness. While he had trouble eating Purina Dry Cat Chow, he seemed to be lively enough, before last November!

    I also belong to a local cat rescue group (under Alley Cat Allies) and do TNRM on feral colonies, so I am very concerned about the pet food recalls. I’m always relieved when I see one of my ferals who have “disappeared” for awhile. I was even giving them “treats” occasionally, of canned cat food…I start thinking, did I kill them, too? For now I will only feed them Purina Cat Chow and pray that doesn’t end up on the recall list, because that’s what our cats at home get.

    I hope this nightmare will be over soon but it is going to take us all working together!!! Thanks for listening…I love cats and each sad story we hear is a love story too…we will see them again, people…when we cross the Rainbow Bridge…I am too old to adopt any more cats…we have 12 and the youngest is not a year old…but I hope to continue fostering cats in need…so others can find the love we have known through our FurEver Friends.

  30. e wem says:

    This site is a blessing. For at least a year my 3 cats stopped liking MaxCat Dry and the now recalled canned IAMS. They would nibble or refuse. They wanted table scraps or canned tuna for humans. Last summer a friends young cat died of renal failure eating only MaXCat dry. Last summer my brothers young dog died of sudden renal failure eating only O Roys dry.

    Menu was getting complaints at least as early as December. Did Menu ever tell the brand companies of the reports? Did the Brand companies like IAMs ever tell Menu or did they hide it too?

    ‘Made in USA’ is a lie. Pet and human food makers are buying garbage from counties like China and not listing it on labels. Or they say the ‘Distributed by’ which just means they glued the label on a can of who knows what.

    The FDA has accounted for 700 out of 10,000 tons of wheat gluten, which is in bags marked for human consumption. The NY state lab used a $250,000 mass spectrometer to verify aminopterin in their samples. This is state of the art. The aminopterin was in those samples. The melamine was in the other samples.

    China sells us about 20 million pounds of wheat gluten each year much for human consumption. Wheat gluten is the binder used in chicken nuggets.

    Meanwhile Purina has built a huge pet food factory in China, now in business, to use local ingredients. It is located near the infamous dog farms, where dogs are raised to be slaughtered and eaten by Chinese. Where will the entrails go of these poor dogs who lived and died in hell? What oversight will keep it out of the Purina?

    I remember Vietnam vets talking about the locals sneaking dog meat into food they sold to the Americans

    Most of the poisoned pets did not want to eat the recalled food. Mine too.

    I bought a $30 Cuisinart mini food processor. I am cooking lamb and beef rare. Cut into half inch cubes the procesor minces it in seconds. It isnt a balanced diet, but neither is mine. Meanwhile my cats are better but not over it.

    I knew a lady who fed her cats mostly chicken wings, which used to be cheap. She boiled them, and scraped off all the meat, skin and cartilage. They ate a very few kibbles too. They were a lot healthier than my poor babies are now.

    I am searing the surface of the red meats to kill surface germs but leaving the centers raw for nutrients.

    One of my cats has few teeth so the food processor was worth every penny. Beware of the deadly sharp blade. Do not try to flip the blade like they tell you. I cut myself just trying to hold it.

    We are being lied to, fed garbage and made poor by these exploiters. Our innocent pets have been through hell.

  31. Laura says:

    In regards to the Enterococcus faecium…… it may work very well as a probiotic for pets…. but what about the owners who have to handle the food? How safe is it for humans to be in direct contact with the food? How active are the bacteria if I was to handle a piece of kibble, and then accidentally touch my mouth afterwards, before I wash my hands. I wonder how dangerous this is?

    I purposely looked for cat foods without this…. but now with the recall of all the glutens… I am looking back at the holistic stuff, but they all seem to contain Enterococcus faecium. It is hard to know what to do!

  32. Phoebe says:

    Hi everyone, and especially Laura (April 10th here,)
    Phoebe here, this is my first post, actually it’s the first time I’ve ever posted a response on a website, so I hope all will bear with me…
    I’ve lived in Idaho for years now, but in the early 70’s I lived in Palo Alto, CA., and was fortunate to have Dr. Ihor Basko for my veterinarian. He made housecalls. Period. His approach was to treat “the whole cat.” He felt he could best do that by knowing the cat’s environment, observing the cat’s interactions with other pets in the household, being aware of the ’social structure’ for the cat, and observing the cat’s normal routine -seeing the place the food is being served and also the litter situation or an indoor/outdoor routine. Anywayyyy, I looked him up on google when this petfood tragedy began to unfold. He has a website - www.drbasko.com - and is now practicing the wholistic veterinarian approach in Hawaii.
    One of the most valuable things I learned from Dr. Basko is the advantage of preparing and feeding the cat, or dog, food yourself - from carefully selected ingredients. It really takes little time, costs far less than the mass-produced pet foods, and best of all - it’s always a “treat” for them. My four cats thrive on it and I know I’m doing something good for them.
    I do supplement their ‘homemade’ diet using “Nature’s Variety - Raw Instinct Kibble.” It’s entirely grain-free. They also have products containing some grains, but I’ve contacted the company and they state all their ingredients are grown and produced in the USA. Also, they do not include ANY grain-gluten in any of their foods, and none is used in their manufacturing facility.
    Sooooo - these four monsters have been eating the “Nature’s Variety - Raw Instinct Kibble” since the recalls began, that and using D. Basko’s guides for some homemade cat foods. They may prefer a diet of raw Ahi Tuna and a nice catnip salad - but such is life - and that’s my focus now, improving the quality of their lives and not ending it.
    I am so very sorry for so many losses to so many of you, this is just heartbreaking. If anyone reading this - and I apologize for it being so long - has any feedback at all on homemade food, or experience with the Nature’s Variety cat foods, I will so much appreciate any feedback at all! Thank you all for this website, I’ll use it for my homepage now. Phoebe in Idaho

  33. Laura says:

    Thanks Phoebe for your reply. That was also my first time ever sending a note to a website. The discussion about the Enterococcus faecium caught my eye.

    I have two cats and three dogs, and I used to feed everyone Innova, until a friend of mine who works in a hospital…..brought my attention to the Enterococcus faecium concern.

    Since then, I have been cooking for my dogs for the past 3 years. I have been nervous about cooking for the cats, as I was told that their diets are a lot harder to maintain. Also….my cats have shown no interest in the food I make for the dogs. My cats have been on Royal Canin Indoor light….. but it contains both wheat and corn glutens.

    I will check out the website and food you suggest. I just switched to performatrin ultra…… it looks like great food, with no glutens…..but it contains Enterococcus faecium.

    I am also interested in any experiences people are having with homemade cat foods.

    Thanks!

  34. TARA says:

    I FIND IT QUITE INTERESTING THAT NUTRO FOOD NOT ON THE RECALL LIST TESTED POSITIVE FOR MELAMINE TOXIN. NONE OF NUTRO DRY FOODS ARE ON THE RECALL LIST EVEN THOUGH MANY PETS ARE ILL AND DYING FROM THE FOOD. I AM A DOG OWNER WITH A SICK BABY FROM NUTRO DRY FOOD, THEIR LAMB AND RICE FORMULA THAT SUPPOSEDLY CONTAINS NO RECALLED INGREDIENTS. THERE IS BLOG FOR PET OWNERS WITH SICK PETS FROM EATING NUTRO DRY FOODS. IT CAN BE FOUND AT www.hubpages.com/hub/PET_FOOD_.....Y_DOG_FOOD

  35. Cat Food Recall Is Your Cat Sick? says:

    […] Is your pet food on the Safe List? What is the Recall all about and what is being done about it. ItchmoItchmo Connect with your pet. News and fun for cats, dogs, and their parents.Cat Food Recall Is Your […]

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