RECALL: Nestle Purina Friskies Cat Food and Nestle Purina Cat Chow for Salmonella Contamination

I hate to say it, but you shouldn’t be feeding this crap to your cat anyway – regardless of the recall. Now that I got that off my chest, the recall involves probably one of the world’s worst brand of crap cat food, Nestle Purina’s Friskies and Cat Chow Dry Cat Food. It might be contaminated with salmonella, but personally, that wouldn’t be top on my list of concerns about that cat food. I would be more worried about all the other horrid crap in that cat food than the possibility of salmonella contamination.

Fast Food Cat Nation

Purina has a long and tarnished history of being one of the cheapest, lowest-quality junk-food for cats. Every ingredient is garbage, literally. Nestle Purina uses the waste products from their human junk-food brands. What that means is what your cat is eating is the stale, moldy, crap that no human would ever eat. The cat wouldn’t eat it either if Purina didn’t doctor it up with a sprayed on witches brew of flavor enhancers, smelly, carcinogenic, rendered animal fat and used restaurant oil.

I’ll put another way, you’d be doing your cat a huge favor if you fed old leftovers from McDonald’s to your cat than let them eat Friskies or Purina Cat Chow. Trust me on this one, left-overs would be an enormous step up from Friskies.

Example, the first five ingredients of Purina’s Friskies are ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, soybean meal, beef tallow. In other words: crap, crap, crap, crap and more crap.

The first ingredients of Purina’s Cat Chow Natural’s is chicken meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, brewers rice, animal fat, corn meal. Boy, if that isn’t a classic example of ingredient splitting, I don’t know what is. In reality, what you’re really wasting your money on, and killing your cat with, is food made up of mostly grain by-products. Newsflash Purina: cats are obligate carnivores – not herbivores.

I Bought the Crap, Now What?

If you bought the food, take heed, you innocent shopper you:

Nestl√© Purina PetCare Company (NPPC) is voluntarily recalling approximately 870 bags of dry cat food shipped to Colorado, Idaho and Oregon. This is being done as a precautionary measure, as the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Only the following products with both the “Best By” date and production codes shown are included in this voluntary recall:

Product Name Bag Size “Best By” Date & Production Code* Bag UPC Code
Cat Chow Naturals Dry Cat Food 6.3 lb. AUG 2012 10331083 13 17800 11320
Friskies Grillers Blend Dry Cat Food 3.15 lb. AUG 2012 10381083 06 50000 08450
Friskies Grillers Blend Dry Cat Food 16 lb. AUG 2012 10381083 06 50000 57578

“Best By” Date and Production Code is found on the back or bottom of the bag.

Pets with Salmonella infections may exhibit decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

 For further information or to obtain a product refund, please call NPPC toll-free at 1-800-982-6559 weekdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time, or visit www.purina.com.

The Dish on the Dirt

Nestle’s recall notice

Friskies website Note the happy, frolicking kitty playing with imaginary fish, cattle, chickens, a crab and a butterfly. The cat must be stoned on acid if he thinks that what he’s getting for dinner. Poor cat.

Cat Chow’s website Note the Q & A segment (brought to you by, none other than, Dr. Janet Jackson, I kid you not) with brain stumpers such as:

  • Can Cats Become Depressed? No, but he will be if you keep feeding that crap to your cat. Poor kitty.
  • Are You Allergic to Your Cat? No, but your cat will likely develop an allergy from their crap cat food.
  • What’s In My Pet’s Food? Trust me honey, it’s better you don’t know. Just look at du prewwty piture on da package an tink of fwuffy happee kittuns and yule be fine. Take a deep breath now. In on the count of five, out on the count of five. Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, don’t look around my eyes…

Purina’s psychedelic feline groovy cat food commercial NYT

Purina’s absurd video on the merits of feeding grains to carnivores A fabulous, brilliant article written by author and friend Susan Thixton on truthaboutpetfood.

Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is a consumer advocate and pet food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO's Pet Food Committee and Ingredient Definitions Committee and (more importantly) is mom to seven cats. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (15)

  1. My cat became violently I’ll after eating Friskies shredded beef. Vomitting, abdominal pain….Three trips to the vet in 2 days and nothing turned up. Funny though, my other cat didn’t eat the food and didn’t get sick. Before I realized the issue, I put the food out again, & again wouldn’t eat it. They have been eating this for years. My cat has never been sick like this & very similar reports are on the Internet- same symptoms. Never again!

  2. I purchased a 12 pack of Friskies 5.5 OZ canned for our cat. Within two days we noticed the cat box stunk bad. Than he had crap stuck to his fur!

    I took him off the Friskies and cleaned the box twice in two days. Third day everything was good. We had noticed before the crapping bout he was not acting right. Seamed tired but did not sleep much either. Etc.

    We feed him a combo of dry food and wet food as a treat.

    He was thrown from a car into our yard in late fall during very cold weather by some jerk. Who a few weeks latter threw another weeks old kitten into our yard again. It got run over the same night!

    All that aside he was near starvation. He finds comfort in the presence of a small amount of dry food we put out for him to eat a little at a time.

    My son insisted on only Science Diet cat food which the cat soon disliked the wet canned food. But he still ate the dry food by the same brand.

    I switched to Iams brand for dry food latter because of shopping locations and somewhat the price.

    He eats it well but is seamed to hard of a crunch for a kitten. That started me on the date code search and here I am. All our recent cat foods products were purchased at Walmart?

    Now after reading about recalls and stuff I knew from my parents decades back like ash content. Now I feel like all the food sucks!

  3. I would like to know why the small cans of friskies wet cat food smell like bad meat n my cats won’t eat it the big cans so far are okay but the small cans don’t really thinking of changimg wet food this not all of a sudden it has been ongoing problem with the small cans for almost a year thought it was my imagination but while living at daughter’s over the winter she said the same thing

    • I can’t answer that question. I have a couple of theories, but they are not important. What is more important is that you are feeding Friskies to your pets at all – in any form. It is one of THE WORST quality pet foods on the market. It is absolute garbage. There are plenty of healthier alternatives. TruthAboutPetFoods.com reviews brands, I don’t do that. She has reviewed hundreds and hundreds of pet foods, I assure you she can help you find a better one than Friskies. The detailed reviews are in her Petsumer Report. Well worth the small price to save the life of your pets.

      • One thing that I found helpful
        when my male cat developped crystals was to mix apple cider vinegar in with his food. The vinegar will dissolve the crystals in his urethra, unblocking it, and allow him to urinate without straining. No need for surgery, steroids or Rx drugs. I highly recommend you look into homeopathic treatments for the crystals, as well as changing your cat’s diet.
        I saw a noticable difference in my cat within 24 hours, and the problem was completely cleared up in 3 days.
        Good luck!

  4. My 3 year old cat died in January as a result of eating Friskies.His bladder became impacted with crystals to the point of not being able to urinate.He later went into kidney failure.I am still having a tough time getting over his death,but it will not be in vain.

    • I would check for vitamin D toxicity of the food. Otherwise, what I can tell you is what I learned years ago (my reason for starting this blog) was the same thing happened to me years ago (read the About Mollie page), the main cause of urinary obstruction is because of a diet of kibble. Cats were never ever meant to eat dry food. Period. I don’t care how expensive the food is. That is the short story. Their urine becomes too concentrated because they are in a state of constant dehydration. Watch out for canned foods, all the big cans are lined with a toxic chemical – BPA. Your best bet is to buy something like Bravo! Blends or Bravo! Balance food, Nature’s Origin raw or Honest Kitchen’s Prowl (for example)…Cat’s need fresh, not cooked meat and the worst food in the world is Friskies dry cat food. It is total garbage. But, don’t feel bad most consumers are completely unaware of how horrible 90% of commercial pet food is. You are in the right place and check out my favorite site about pet food the TruthAboutPetFood.com – the author Susan Thixton has been doing this work for 19+ years.

      • Molie, and the 2nd worst cat food is Friskies wet, sheds and filet’s type in gravy.

        I am happy to report my cat survived his bout with it. 6 days in the hospital on IV, came home on Monday and still recovering. We are having to give antibiotics 2x daily, 1x daily steroid shot. The vet has him on a prescription diet. Crystals caused by Friskies were the issue.

        The manuf replied to my complaint. Customer Service took all the can info, apologized and then had the nerve to offer coupons. We refused. Will never buy a product from Purina again.

        • I couldn’t agree more! I hate to be so harsh – but it really is awful stuff. Thank God (or your vet) that your kitty survived, however, I would urge you to do research on that “prescription diet” the vet has your kitty on. I don’t know the brand, but I have a pretty good idea which one it is. I’m not suggesting to take her off it, though. Just know that they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be…Go to truthaboutpetfood.com, Susan has all the information. Try taking them to small claims court. Susan just wrote an article about that too. Coupons? Assholes. Typical of Big Pet Food.

  5. We just ran into problems with Friskies shreds and filets in gravy. Our indoor cat came down with explosive liquid stools after eating it for less than a week, we switched him to the Pate and his stools return to normal. Our outdoor cats were not so lucky. One vanished, persumed dead, a second is now in the vets with renal failure, we don’t know if he will survive. The vet said he had been having liquid stools The 3rd cat doesnt like wet food so he ate very little of it and is fine. The only commonality was the food. I filed a compaint with Purina-Neslle and have yet to hear from them.

    • Mike, you and your vet need to report this to the FDA! And save a sample of the food, the FDA may want to test it! All the instructions for doing so are online at the FDA or go to my post – the Complete Guide to Making a Pet Food Complaint: http://poisonedpets.com/2012/02/13/the-complete-guide-to-making-a-pet-food-complaint/. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer from those sh*t heads at Purina. I encourage you to check out another excellent site on pet food called http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com written by pet food expert Susan Thixton. I hate to say this, but Friskies I’m afraid is one of the WORST pet foods on the market, I am sorry to say… You are much better of with something like Honest Kitchen, Answers Pet Food or Nature’s Logic for example…

    • My cat started to have issues with Friskies wet canned cat food. He was violently throwing the food up from deep inside. Bought two other brands of wet food and he ate them with no problems. Called Purina who reimbursed me for the cans I bought and also the FDA. I got the feeling that no one from either place cared if there is cat food that could be or is killing cats on store shelves.

      • Did you take the cat to the vet? Often the FDA prefers that for backup information. You should also report it to your state’s consumer complaint coordinator (see sticky post). In the future, I would avoid Purina pet food in general because Friskies is one of the lowest quality pet foods on the market. Buy the best you can afford or make your own. There are many other brands that are better than Friskies. Try Honest Kitchen, Answers Pet Food, Nature’s Logic, for example. If you want more brand advice/reviews go to http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com – she does reviews, I don’t.

  6. What catfood would you recommend??? I tried many brands and Friskies was the only one my cats would eat,,,,

    • Well, considering your budget…you can start by switching right away to a better kibble and canned food called Nature’s Logic. They have a raw food too. I really like Honest Kitchen’s Prowl and Answers Pet Food. Personally, I make my own cat food for my nine babies and supplement with Honest Kitchen and Nature’s Logic. It is soooo easy to make your own and way cheaper than you think, mainly because they eat much less of it. Buy a whole chicken, some chicken hearts and chicken livers, cook, get out the Cuisinart add cantelope, sunflower seeds, a few peas, some fresh corn, egg yolks, olive oil, shrimp, sardines, tuna or mackerel and your good to go. Freeze what you don’t use right away. Don’t worry about the exact measurements right now, just make a soupy mix of stuff to add to kitty’s store bought cat food. I HIGHLY recommend Susan Thixton’s website, http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com, she’ll be coming out with an easy cookbook for pets soon. Oh, and I almost forgot, DO NOT feed the chicken bones to your cat – put them in a pot, cover with water and simmer on low, low, low for 6-12 hours with the lid on (if you have on cook the bones in a crock pot). It makes a killer broth that the cats go nuts for. It’s chock full of vitamins and it will look almost white in color and turn to jello in the fridge. Add it to your home-made stuff or serve by itself. And, if you can, only buy organic. It is a million times better than regular produce and meat. But if you can’t – that cool. It’s a HUGE step up from Friskies! Good luck and let me know how it goes…I promise to write about what’s GOOD about pet food – soon! Oh, and the reason Friskies was so irresistable to your cats is because they doctor the shit out of it with all these gross flavor enhancers! Try a smattering of tuna on crap and your cats will eat anything. So, if they turn their noses up at their new food, add a smidge of tuna, sardines or mackerel and trust me, they’ll eat it. Mollie

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