A Purina cat food recall was not issued when thousands of other pets were getting sick from melamine-laced impurities found in other major brands;
With 17 pet-food manufacturing facilities owned by the Nestle Purina Petcare Company (NPPC), only the one that produced "Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy" wet dog food was affected by the toxin.
However, even though Purina fed cats and kittens came away unscathed from the major pet food recall of 2007, all was not safe and sound.
Just over 4 years later in the summer of 2011, there was a voluntary Purina recall issued by the company for their dry cat formulas for salmonella contamination, the most common culprit behind recalls.
The affected products were sent to at least a dozen U.S. states, including California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The following dry Purina cat food recalls are on that list:
Purina One Vibrant Maturity 7+, 3.5 pounds, Best by Date: May 2012; Production Code: 03341084; UPC: 17800 01885
Purina One Vibrant Maturity 7+, 3.5 pounds, Best by Date: May 2012; Production Code: 03351084; UPC: 17800 01885
Purina One Vibrant Maturity 7+, 7 pounds, Best by Date: May 2012; Production Code: 03341084; UPC: 17800 01887
Friskies Grillers Blend Dry Cat Food, 3.15 pounds, Best by Date: August 2012; Production Code: 10381083 06; UPC: 50000 08450
Friskies Grillers Blend Dry Cat Food, 16 pounds, Best by Date: August 2012; Production Code: 10381083 06; UPC: 50000 57578
Cat Chow Naturals Dry Cat Food 6.3 pounds, Best by Date: August 2012, Production Code: 10331083 13; UPC: 17800 11320.
Notice that many pet feed companies are large conglomerate corporations whose divergent products can have the same origination?
So if you didn't know that Purina also made Friskies, you should be aware that a contaminant in one can also be in the other and lead to a recall of both.
Salmonella is a bacteria that affected the Purina dry cat formula recall in July and August 2011.
The symptoms of salmonella if ingested by your kitten or cat include decreased appetite, fever, lethargy, and diarrhea.
The symptoms are the most severe and deadly for the very young kitten and the elderly cat.
If showing these symptoms, take your kitten to the vet right away to be diagnosed and treated with IV fluids and antibiotics.
Even if not exhibiting symptoms, your kitten could be a carrier and will infect other pets if left untreated.
Also, unlike the 2007 recall where the toxins caused damage just by ingestion, salmonella can be transmitted to humans as well.
If you have handled the food, or come into contact with a contaminated surface you can become ill as well.
If you have any of the cat products listed on the Purina cat food recall list, dispose of it right away and disinfect the floors and counters it may have come in contact with.
The intent here is not to completely vilify Purina; if the 2007 recall taught us anything, is even the "high end" brands for cats can be affected by toxins, poisons and impurities.
Your cat can also get sick from improper handling of food after it has left the manufacturing plant.
So, how can you protect your furry baby from toxins?
Tip 1) Do not purchase huge bags of kitten food--dry kibble that sits around for a long time can grow bacteria.
Tip 2) Store your kitten's food properly--dry formulas stay cool and dry, wet food is refrigerated after opening and used within 2 days.
Tip 3) Avoid food from "fill-your-own" bins. Always purchase an intact bag that is labeled with the dates, Production Codes, etc. for easy identification and recall checking.
Fortunately, the nature of cat food production and labeling makes it easy to see if a product on the Purina cat food recall list or other brand's list has made its way into your home.
Unfortunately, many pet owners realize too late that the food is contaminated.
As tedious as it sounds, the best thing you can do is go to the FDA's website of current cat food recalls before your next kitten food shopping trip.
If you stick to one brand, the company's website will usually also list any current cat food recall information.
If you give your kitten any treats during the day, don't forget to investigate these for a recall as well.