Yet another pet food recall … albeit ‘voluntary’


Wellness has issued a voluntary recall of its canned cat food with “best by” dates of 14APR 13 through 30 SEP13 for all flavors and 10NOV13 or 17NOV13 for the canned Chicken and Herring.

These foods may contain less than adequate amounts of thiamine, an essential nutrient. The company’s CEO Tim Callahan issued a profound apology on its web site.

When I was editor of The Whole Cat Journal in the late 90s, I received a phone call from an individual associated with Wellness asking for my input regarding cat food. It’s always been among the foods I recommend because they seem to understand the nutritional needs of cats, that cats do not need carb-laden, corn-based foods.

The operative word here is “among.” That’s because cats do not need to be fed one brand and one brand only. Unfortunately, many cat owners are brain-washed to believe the brand loyalty fairy tale, even for a quality food such as Wellness.

When I heard of the recall, I went to my stash (or rather, my cats’ stash) of canned food. I didn’t count the brands, but when I stock up on canned food, Wellness is among the foods I select.

Again, note “among.”

Sure ’nuf, there was a single can buried among them: Turkey & Salmon formula with the “best by” date of 16SEP13. Two cans of Chicken Formula have October “best by” dates.

My cats have been on a raw diet for more than 10 years, but I feed canned food occasionally as a treat or to stretch a batch of raw. Although raw diets have been gaining more widespread acceptance, they’re still not for everyone. The pet food recall of 2007 (and those since then) opened pet owners’ eyes to what is in pet foods, and as a result foods such as Wellness have become more popular. And greater awareness of the hazards of a dry food diet have also contributed to Wellness’s popularity. And why not? It’s grain free, a lot more available than it was 10 years ago, and reasonably priced.

I liken stocking up on canned food to a smorgasbord. A little of this and a little of that. There are lots of interesting brands, formulas and flavors that you don’t see hawked on TV or in the ads peppering your Internet searches.

This philosophy is sure to piss off the marketing mavens.

However, the end result is that my cats will eat any kind of canned food if, for some reason, I can no longer feed them their biologically appropriate raw diet. By feeding a variety of foods you can also avoid the pitfall of nutritional imbalance. Not every food is recalled all the time!

For no-nonsense approaches to information about pet food, visit the TruthAboutPetFood and  “What’s Really in Pet Food”.

If you’ve had enough and want to consider a raw diet, visit the Feline Nutrition Education Society.

Of course, do check out my previous articles and resources on nutrition!

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About ExclusivelyCats
Sally Bahner is an expert in all aspects of cat care: Writer, consultant, speaker, instructor.

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