What are the Most Common Reasons for a Cat Food Recall?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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At times, cat food manufacturers and pet food distributors must recall their products. Cat food generally is recalled when cat food becomes contaminated, when poisonous ingredients are found in the cat food, or when multiple consumers complain about the food. A cat food recall can be accomplished by notifying pet owners through the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is the agency that regulates the pet food industry.

In 2007, several pet food companies recalled large amounts of bad pet foods. More than 100 major brands of cat and dog food were recalled when the chemical melamine that was discovered in the food that poisoned and killed many pets. Since this cat food recall, pet food manufacturers have more tightly controlled the quality and sources of the ingredients used in their cat food.

Pet food recalls prompted by contamination are usually handled quickly to prevent harm to animals and people exposed to the food. Pet food contamination is generally caused by bad ingredients or improper handling during the manufacturing process. For example, the melamine found in the massive cat food recall of 2007 was determined to have come from wheat gluten that originated in China. Both people and pets that were exposed to this poison were sickened by the contaminated food.


Generally, very few cat food recalls are prompted by consumer complaints, however, manufacturers take these seriously. Cat food recalls as a result of multiple consumer complaints will take place after an investigation by the manufacturer and the FDA, usually within days or weeks.

Recalled pet food is typically pulled off store shelves quickly to prevent consumers from purchasing bad cat food. Consumers are also given the opportunity to turn in the unwanted food for a refund by retailers. While it is not possible to catch all the things that can go wrong in food production, pet food manufacturers have increased efforts to prevent another cat food recall.


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