cat food recall

J.M. Smucker’s Special Kitty Cat Food Recalled Over Serious Health Concerns, Including Death

UPDATE: December 10, 2019.
After calling the JM Smuckers inquiring about the unnamed ingredient(s), they told me, “we do not have that information at this time.
Asked if I had a cat that was dying, would JM Smuckers be willing to give the information to my vet and the company’s consumer representative said, “not at this time.”
It is absolutely unforgivable and irresponsible to keep to consumers and the veterinary community in the dark, particularly as the ingredient(s) has the capacity to cause death in cats. 

JM Smuckers is recalling selected lots of its Special Kitty canned cat for an as yet unknown reason. All the company revealed was an oblique reference to “ingredients believed to not meet the Company’s quality and safety standards.”

Whatever that means.

Even more troubling than the opaque reference to the unknown ingredients, but the ingredient(s) have the capacity to cause death to cats. The company warns that the recalled cat food may cause “nausea, with excessive salivation, diarrhea or vomiting to more severe symptoms including difficulty walking, seizures and, in extreme situations, death.”

Additionally, the company urges pet parents to contact their cat’s veterinarian immediately if their cat is displaying any of these symptoms.

The impacted product appears to involve lots covering a period of over four months, which are listed below. They are:

Product Name Retail UPC Code Lot Code Best If Used By Date
Special Kitty® Mixed Grill Dinner Pate 5.5 oz. metal can 681131078962 9263803 9/19/2021
Product Name Retail UPC Code Lot Code Best If Used By Date
Special Kitty® Surf & Turf Variety Pack of Pate Cat Food in 5.5 oz metal cans 681131079235 9266803 7/17/2021
Special Kitty® Surf & Turf Variety Pack of Pate Cat Food in 5.5 oz metal cans 681131079235 9267803 7/17/2021
Special Kitty® Surf & Turf Variety Pack of Pate Cat Food in 5.5 oz metal cans 681131079235 9287803 9/12/2021

These products are sold in grocery stores nationwide and online. No other Special Kitty products are impacted by this recall.

Pet parents with product questions should call 888-569-6767 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET. If pet parents would like to share information about this recall with the FDA, they are encouraged to do so through the agency’s reporting portal:

Source: The J. M. Smucker Company Issues Voluntary Recall of Specific Lots of Special Kitty® Wet, Canned Cat Food Due to Health Concerns (FDA)

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (11) Write a comment

  1. Hi Mollie, Joanne Zeglin you and I exchanged communications on this.
    As you know, one of my babies passed away, the other survived after 5 days in ER.


    • My kitten also displayed all of the stated symptoms and passed away at exactly 12 weeks old while we were driving to the pet hospital. He started showing symptoms the day after Thanksgiving and died within 24 hour. In the variety pack I bought, he happened to eat 5 of the mixed grill cans. I didnt know it was the food that killed him until 2 months later. I bought another kitten and almost fed the food I had left over to him too! Someone said I should do everything different with this new kitten to be safe, so I just happened to research types of food. That’s when I found the recall. I’m so mad this company is still in business. Just ruining childhoods and breaking hearts.


      • I am so sorry Kristie for your loss. What is so shocking is the company never revealed what was wrong with the food. They wouldn’t even tell vets who were trying to treat sick kittens. Unbelievable.


  2. My heart is broken ..I made the same mistake and bought 9lives meaty pate wet food for my cat on December 1st 2019 ..fed it to him the following morning and he died .. he fell over unresponsive and I rushed him to the hospital but he had already passed family is so devistated by this we have had our cat since he could fit in the palm of my hands ..he was so healthy why would a company put that in the cat food ..I feel so this situation. I know I can’t bring him back ..I just hope enough people find out so it doesn’t happen to anyone else’s cat


  3. Our beloved cat became suddenly gravely ill & passed away ….I was alerted by an email from the store I purchased special kitty surf n turf variety pack about this recall, dec.2019. My fur baby displayed every single symptom that the recall detailed, I wish I had known sooner about this recall as I had already suspected the food, he passed right before Thanksgiving. I pray no one loses their pet.


    • I am so so sorry, Christie.

      I urge you to contact the FDA and file a complaint. I cannot stress enough how important this is. You can call one of their Consumer Complaint Coordinators here:

      Also, for what it’s worth I would report the matter to JM Smuckers; They need to know that their cat food probably caused the illness and death of your cat.

      It helps of course if you have vet records and/or samples of the cat food. But, even if you don’t, reporting these adverse food events is still a vital step in assisting in an FDA investigation of the matter.


  4. I actually have several cases of this sitting here I’m going to have to call and find out what to do about it it’s no wonder my babies have the diarrhea luckily I haven’t lost any of them and I have the propectin on hand they’ve been on it for a few days now but I couldn’t figure out what was causing the diarrhea now I know this is just bulshit


    • That’s good. Thanks.

      We have a feeling the problem is due to excessive levels of vitamin D. Or, worse, it could be pentobarbital. I’ve called the company but have not revieved a reply – yet.



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