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Ainsworth Pet Nutrition Voluntarily Recalls Five Nutrish Wet Cat Food Varieties

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  1. mike

    thanks so much for alerts like this susan!

    I notice from the pictures those are all made in thailand, sure hope this won’t be something that can or has happened with weruva/bff and soulistic, I’ve just started trying those out with my super fussy cat.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Good catch with the Made in Thailand. If you are feeding foods made in Thailand, I’d suggest calling the manufacturer(s) and asking if they are made in the/at the same plant as Nutrish. They will know – they might not want to tell you, but they will know.

      1. Jo

        Thank you, Susan! Very scary! I have emailed both Weruva and Soulistic asking questions. I will report back with their replies.

        In the meantime, wondering if we would be okay if we stayed away from any Weruva, BFF or Soulistic wet cat foods that contain fish???

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          This recall is puzzling to me – this statement: “The high levels result from the natural levels of vitamin D that are found in some of the fish ingredients that were used in these specific formulas.” Vitamin D and any nutrient does vary from food to food, but I’ve never heard of a food source vitamin varying so greatly (especially a fish source) that would cause excess issues for the pet. It just doesn’t make sense. So I think we need to learn more about exactly what happened. We don’t know if the formula changed – such as adding more fish without removing some of the supplements — or if the manufacturing equipment failed or human error and the company put the vitamin D levels of a different protein food (or just simply added too much vitamin D to these particular batches). We just need to learn more about what happened.

      2. mike

        I wasn’t so much thinking made at the same plant but rather common suppliers. I realize thailand is a sizable place but it doesn’t seem unreasonable that a specific type of industry might share common supplies.

        this seemingly endless pet food trouble is nerve wracking. both my cats at the same time stopped eating canned wellness chicken a few years ago and still will not touch the chicken or turkey versions of it. I am very reluctant to ever feed much fish-based food, never any dry, distrust the formerly quality brands that have been taken over by the likes of del monte and mars, etc. thought I had finally found something in weruva/soulistic chicken and now a big scare coming out of the country both are made in 🙁

        1. Jo

          Well said, Mike. I’m right there with ya. However, the letter I just posted from the Weruva/Soulistic president does give me enough continued confidence in those brands that for now, I’m going to continue to feed them to a sweet stray who has magically shown up on my front porch. But you can make darn sure I will watch him very closely for signs of problems.

          Perhaps the Nutrish recall will put the rest of the Thailand-processing PF companies on high alert, and they will keep an even more watchful eye on their processes and procedures.

      3. Richard Weavil

        I find it interesting that there appears to be no offer to reimburse purchasers of this food for the ones the company recommends we throw away.

        Or am I blind?

    2. Tracie

      Not that there’s been a recall on Weruva/BFF or their Petco branded products Soulistic, but I would like to note that when I fed Weruva (chicken based flavors only) to my cat, he developed increased drinking & urination and also exhibited head tremors…
      I do wonder about all of the food made in Thailand which is touted as having more rigorous manufacturing standards.
      Definitely things to watch for if you feed these foods.

      1. Jo

        Oh, gosh. I just saw your post. Poor kitty! I hope he is ok now! (I’m assuming you stopped feeding those foods.)

        Did the “chicken based” foods you fed contain chicken only, or did they also include fish ingredients?

        1. Charlie Casey

          Wow. Did you contact Weruva? Id be curious to now the response

        2. Tracie

          I absolutely stopped feeding it, and the increased thirst and head tremors stopped.

          I only fed the chicken based original flavors (none of the fish ones).

          1. Jo

            I sure hope you notified Weruva about this. They need to know.

          2. Tracie

            At the time (this was 3 or 4 years ago) I did communicate with David at Weruva about my cat’s increased thirst & urination (and assumed it had to do with the potato starch thickener).
            I did not get into the head tremors because they were transient and I felt there was no way to actually prove that the food was the cause (though I’m thinking it was the cause; head tremors are caused from heavy metal toxicity, and all of the pet food manufacturers, not just “Big Pet Food”, are certainly not exempt from premix issues as can ben seen from independent lab testing that shows high concentrations of things like copper and zinc consistently in canned foods).
            I had also noticed transient head tremors when he was eating Wellness chicken, turkey, and occasionally turkey & salmon – but didn’t make the connection then.
            I think that there will be a direct link found between the elevated Vitamin D in the Nutrish food and their premix. I can’t see how elevated vitamin D levels would be naturally occurring in fish in their recalled formulations considering one of the products recalled is exclusively chicken.
            I choose not to feed any made in Thailand foods to my current cat.

  2. Jo

    Wow. Within 15, maybe 20 minutes of my emailing both the “contact us” email addresses on the Weruva and Soulistic websites, I received the following email reply…from the Weruva president, no less! Kudos for that at least.

    I do find it hard to believe that they “are not familiar with Nutrish,” particularly given that it has the Rachel Ray celebrity name associated with it.

    “Hello Jo,

    Thank you for the email to both Weruva and Soulistic. We appreciate your
    concerns. We are not familiar with Nutrish pet food, though I do not believe
    they manufacture in the same place where our family of brands are
    manufactured. At this time, we have not received multiple inquiries on our
    batches of food that would indicate anything is wrong with them.

    The press release found on the FDA’s website states “The high levels result
    from the natural levels of vitamin D that are found in some of the fish
    ingredients that were used in these specific formulas.” It is important to
    point out that there is also a recall on their chicken based item which I
    believe does not contain any fish. I did not see a reason for this, but fish
    would not be a contributing factor. In addition, of the 4 other items, they
    were all produced on the same date based upon the same best by date. The
    fish ingredients are different in all of the formulas.

    As does Nutrish, we use tuna, ocean fish, mackerel and sardine, and all of
    these fish are wild caught in our products. In our products, as the fish are
    wild caught and caught in different waters at different times, it would be
    unlikely that there would be a common thread tying all of these fish items
    together from a raw material standpoint. Moreover, an issue in all products
    (that have varying different fish ingredients) produced on the same date of
    production, in our foods, would be indicative that something the
    same/something common in all items would more likely be the causing factor
    than varying fish ingredients. We would therefore look to ingredients that
    are the same in all items, for instance a thickener. And perhaps we could
    check that the vitamins/mineral premix was put into the formulas properly.
    The fish too could also be checked as well.

    We will keep our eyes and ears open, but at this time, we have not received
    any inquiries that would give rise to a concern along these lines.

    I hope this is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions or

    Best Regards,

    David Forman, President and Co-Founder
    Weruva Because Weluvya!”

    Susan, your thoughts? One thing he said concerns me…that the Nutrish recall includes chicken only foods. I somehow missed that.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      A good catch by Weruva. The “Paw Lickin Chicken & Liver” variety of Nutrish – that is a recalled food – does not contain one fish ingredient. Here is the link to that food:
      Thus – their press release is misleading – actually an error.
      Everyone should know that FDA has to approve all pet food recall notices. The manufacturer writes the press release, but it has to be approved by the FDA prior to releasing. They even are required to send to the Associated Press first. I have known recalls that have been delayed for days because of FDA approval of the release.
      So…if FDA approved this release stating “The high levels result from the natural levels of vitamin D that are found in some of the fish ingredients that were used in these specific formulas.” – when one of the foods recalled did not contain one fish ingredient – big bad error on the part of FDA (and the manufacturer) and very misleading to consumers.

      I will be sending FDA questions about this on Monday.

      1. Jo

        You go, girl!

  3. Lisa Parker

    Wow. Thanks, Susan. This is one time for sure that I am glad I subscribe to your emails. I had JUST purchased a few cans of Soulistic CHICKEN only Chicken Dinner to feed our increasingly fussy eating cats. It doesn’t have any fish in it, but still a little wary of it, because, like all canned wet food, it has a LOT of added synthetic vitamins. As a human, I don’t even take synthetic vitamins, but all canned cat food has them in it. I get that they think adding them is beneficial, but if I don’t take synthetic vitamins, only eat whole foods or take herbs, I would prefer not to give them to our cats. My only other option, of course, is to feed raw or cook for them myself, which I do not have the ability or strength to do right now. So must rely on the best canned foods I can. Thank you for all you do!

  4. Terry

    I wonder if Rachael Ray feeds this crap to her pets just another greedy celebrity putting her name out for money and why does any pet food need to bemade overseas

  5. Linda Muir

    May I suggest Stella and
    Chewy’s frozen raw food. Th.e flavors come in chicken, rabbit, and goose. It is easy to feed, as it comes in dinner morsels, and just needs thawing. It is all food, and the right supplements.

    My cats love it. I feel right about feeding them that food, and I know, opening a can of high end cat food, is always chancy.

    Rachel ray’s food does not make the list on Susan Thixton’s list without red flags!

    1. Jo

      Does the Stella and Chewy’s cat formulas you are speaking of contain ground bone? Ground bone has traditionally caused frequent constipation in my cats, so I steer clear of it now. I like the Rad Cat brand, which uses eggshell as its calcium source.


  6. Suzanne Hunsley

    I get the recall and unhealthy for cats issue with Wervua and Soulistic but what I want to know is whether those fish in the cat food were caught or processed by human slave labor.

    1. Alicia

      Was thinking the SAME thing as this is a common problem in Thailand!

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