Dogswell Recalls Catswell Chicken Jerky Cat Treats for Propylene Glycol Contamination

Catswell Cat Treats Withdrawn from Market

Dogswell sent a letter today announced a recall of all of their Catswell cat treat products made with chicken due to the possibility of the presence of propylene glycol.

The “voluntary” recall was initiated after testing by the company “and the FDA” revealed the presence of propylene glycol in the VitaKitty Chicken Breast Treats with Flaxseed and Vitamins.

Although Dogswell, famous for their “Quality Assurance” program by publishing test results of their products online, only has said they found a “limited amount” of propylene glycol in the cat treats. Whatever that means.

In the letter, Dogswell tells it’s retailers, that until they “can confirm they are FDA compliant”, the company “is proactively and voluntarily withdrawing from the market the following Catswell products due to the fact that they also may contain trace amounts of of propylene glycol” .

The Catswell brands Dogswell is withdrawing from the market are:

Catswell VitaKitty Chicken Breast Treats with Flaxseed and Vitamins
Catswell Happy Hips Chicken Treats with Glucosamine and Chondroiton
Catswell Breathies Chicken Breats Treats with Mint and Parsley
Catswell Shape-Up Chicken Breast Treats with L-Carnitine.

Dogswell, China & Poisoned Pets

It is important to remember that all of Dogswell’s and Catswell’s treat products, that contain chicken, duck or sweet potato, are imported from China.

Before the press release of the recall announcement, the recall has not yet been made public but Susan Thixton of TruthAboutPetFoods was kind enough to send me a copy of the letter Dogswell sent to retailers.

Poisoned Pets has had an acrimonious relationship with Dogswell over an article I wrote where veterinarians on VIN discussed the possibility that other treats, aside from chicken jerky treats for dogs, could pose a risk in pets as well. For example, cat treats and sweet potato treats, among others types of treats were discussed.


FDA Tells a Different Story

Dogswell’s press release published on the FDA’s website later today tells a different story, recalling only one of Catswell VitaKitty treats and not the other brands mentioned in the letter Dogswell sent to their distributors and retailers.

They announced that Dogswell are recalling 1051 cartons packed as either 10 or 50 packages per case of Catswell Brand VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins because it “has the potential” to contain propylene glycol.

“High levels of propylene glycol in the treats could result in serious injury to cats. The adverse health impacts could be reducing red blood cell survival time (anemia) and making the cells more susceptible to oxidative damage.”

According to the FDA the recall affects only VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins lot codes affected are as follows: SEW12CH032701/03c and SEW12CH032702/03c with a best before date of 09/10/13 and 09/11/13, respectively (UPC code 8 84244 00057 2).

Yet in the letter Dogswell sent to retailers, that in addition to the VitaKitty chicken treats, “the company is proactively and voluntarily withdrawing from the market the following Catswell products due to the fact that they also may contain trace amounts of of propylene glycol”.  Respectively Catswell Happy Hips, VitaKitty, Breathies and Shape-Up treats made with chicken along with with their corresponding UPC codes and item numbers.

Just How Bad is Proylene Glycol?

Most cat food producers stopped using propylene glycol in 1992 when data indicated a unique sensitivity of cats to propylene glycol. Specifically, studies found that propylene glycol when fed to cats can produce an abnormality known as “Heinz body” in the cats’ red blood cells and causes D-lactic acidosis.

In a final rule in 1996, FDA declared propylene glycol in or on cat food not generally recognized as safe. Propylene glycol is used as a moistening agent in many animal food applications, but not in cat food. Although propylene glycol is not used in cat food, the FDA still considers it “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use in human food and all animal foods other than for cats.

Propylene glycol is not recognized as an approved ingredient for cats by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  (FDA). Specifically, the FDA has ruled propylene glycol in cat food to be “in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. 21CFR589.1001”.


Read more about it:

Catswell treat recall letter Dogswell sent to distributors and retailers
FDA: Arthur Dogswell LLC Voluntarily Recalls Catswell Brand Vitakitty Chicken Breast
With Flaxseed And Vitamins Because Of Possible Health Risk
ToxNet report of propylene glycol from the National Library of Medicine
Chicken Jerky Pet Treats – FDA Does Data Dump

dog cat poisoned pets safe food warnings news recalls alerts

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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 (14) Write a comment

  1. This recall caused me to become aware that the Biotene Veterinary Therapeutic Mouthwash that had been given to me by my veterinarian to help with my cat’s gingivitis/plaque contains propylene glycol. I am now in the middle of a dispute with the veterinary hospital and they are in communication with Bitoene about this. There are no warnings on the bottle regarding it’s use for cats and this product is swallowed – there is no getting around that…cat’s don’t rinse and spit!! My cat was on it for 48 days. I blame myself for not checking every ingredient on the label since it does not expressly say which species it is to be used for. Damn, I should know by now that you can’t blindly trust in these things..


    • Ingrid, have you heard any more from your vet or the manufacturer about this Biotene Veterinary Therapeutic Mouthwash?


      • I have heard from my vet twice by phone and once by email. The animal hospital is being very cooperative and is showing great concern. Their medical director was on vacation so 100% resolution is still pending. Their clinic removed the product from their premises and has began notifying all clients who purchased the mouthwash for cats. When the clinic contacted the manufacturer via email, they got the following response “I’ve checked with our manufacturer and the lot number you have does contain the ingredient propylene glycol. As far as the safety of our Biotene Mouthwash, we have never received any complaints of a cat becoming sick in the 13 years it’s been on the market. We are aware of a recent article regarding the safety of p.g and cats, and to be pro-active, we will be removing that ingredient when the next lot goes into production. I hope this helps to clarify the situation.” My vet is still waiting to hear back about whether they will cover the cost of my cat’s bloodtest to ensure her red blood cell count is normal. My response to the hospital regarding the email the manufacturer sent is as follows and I am currently awaiting the final outcome. “Thanks very much and I will be looking forward to hearing what more they have to say. They say they are aware of a recent “article” about cats and propylene glycol and I guess this is well and good if you consider negative study results in 1992 and a banning of the ingredient for use in cats by the FDA that goes back to 1996 recent. If a cat did become sick, I doubt there are many pet parents who would relate it to this product so “never received a complaint about a cat becoming sick” does not mean no cats HAVE become sick. Interesting that they have been producing this product for 13 years for use in “animals” and these studies were done 16 and 20 years ago. They would have been well aware of the issue if they had looked at existing research – they didn’t even have to spend any money on their own. Even if my cat were the first to become sick from the product, do they think their flippant statement would be any comfort to me? If they actually remove the ingredient, we could at least sleep at night knowing we did something to protect cats from it. However, if they truly cared they would send out a notice to the other veterinarians that they have sold it to so that they can notify those who have bought it for their cats. And, what ingredient would they replace the pg with, if any?” So, that’s the news so far.


        • That is horrific. I am going to research this and write about it. I am SHOCKED.

          Are they INSANE? Both are toxic ingredients to cats and dogs. What are they thinking?

          This is clearly against the law – in the case of the propylene glycol. PLEASE contact the FDA immediately.

          See my post on the front page “how to file a complaint…”

          These products can be pulled off the market right now. It’s the law. Plain and simple. Full stop.

          Thank you so much for giving me the heads up on this. Mouthwash for cats and dogs? OMG. What next?


          • I am in Canada so I can’t file a complaint with the FDA but if this is also being sold to US veterinarians then someone out there can report it to them. I have contacted Health Canada here about the product and I am awaiting a response. Sadly, through your site and Truth About Pet Food, I know more about how to proceed in the US than I do about how to proceed here. I have never found a Canadian advocacy group like your two here. It has now been a week since my last contact with my vet and I just fired off another email that makes it plain this issue is not going away. Re: the product, it is intended to help protect pets from gingivitis and plaque as it contains a bio-active enzyme which helps to break it down. My cat appears prone to the problem and had to have a cleaning and 2 extractions done a few weeks ago, poor thing. The thing is, categorizing it as a mouthwash is silly since animals don’t rinse and spit. Anything you put into their mouths is going to be swallowed at least partially. My cat Karma appears fine so far, so I am hopeful that we were lucky to catch this before the product did her any permanent harm. Here is the link to the manufacturer:
            Thanks so much Mollie and I will let you know of any new developments here.

          • You can make a complaint about whether you are Canadian or the product originated from Canada. The FDA will take your complaint – because you are notifying them about an ILLEGAL product and it is a product they regulate! Whole different story. From the FDA website:


            Consumer complaints involving products of Canadian origin should be investigated by FDA as indicated by their nature or seriousness and appropriate action is taken. After investigation or evaluation, the complaint should be forwarded to EIB, HFC-161 for a referral to Canadian authorities. Similarly, Canadian authorities will forward U.S. product complaints to HFC-161 for a referral to FDA districts.

            I know Canada is a sorry state of affairs when it comes to monitoring pet food. I feel so sorry for you folks.

            Borders don’t matter anymore, we live in a global economy where food ingredients come from all over the world.

            If you have ANY problems notifying them you let me know! Did you read my sticky post on how and where to report a problem?

          • Thanks very much for the info Mollie. I was not aware that I could report to the FDA from here in Canada. I have just completed my report to the FDA through the Safety Reporting Portal. I am waiting for word from our Health Canada Food Safety division on how to proceed here. Hopefully something can be done to get this off the shelves in veterinary clinics across North America. I am sure there are lots more people out there using this product because many of us have pets with dental issues. As I am sure you know, many of us with rescue cats have dental issues because they have been exposed to calici virus which makes them very prone to dental disease. It is always an ongoing battle to keep their teeth and gums healthy. My 2 year old girl has already had two extractions due to gingivitis/plaque and this product was supposed to help with this.

          • FYI Mollie…I forgot to mention – this product is of US origin not Canadian origin.

  2. stop feeding your precious animals anything that comes from china. they eat dog meat there and they skin dogs for fur. they are monsters. boycott anything from china. stay out of walmart


  3. I certainly hope that it is just the chicken treats. I have a bag of the tilapia treats for my cats–but frankly, they get a little of it only once a month or so.


  4. Pingback: Dogswell retira premios de pollo Catswell para gatos contaminados de glicol propileno | Sitio Web de Información de Alimentación Canina | Alimentación natural canina | Alimentación natural para perros


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