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Reports of Problems with Weruva in Australia

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  1. Mollie Morrissette

    Weruva’s transparency is to be applauded. I’m overjoyed that the first thing that greets you on their website is a popup telling consumers about their stop sale on their cat food in Australia (no need to scour their website for recall information), however, I wish they would have mentioned what type of health issues the cats in Australia are experiencing with their food.

    Consumers may be interested to know that during the Evanger’s debacle, I contacted Weruva on March 21, 2017 to ask them if they had any of their canned food made at Evanger’s and they wrote me they have “have indefinitely suspended production of these items.”

    1. Jenny

      We are in a group of affected owners who found each other on facebook – all formerly strangers – and between us about 20 of our beloved cats have died over a common timeframe, with common symptoms, all eating BFF. More than 30 in intensive care, some recovering, some with what seems to be permanent organ or neurological damage. That’s from a group of 270 people. So there’s some numbers for you. And the transparency of Weruva is not transparency; it is carefully-managed PR which is resulting in delays and increased suffering of owners and likely animals.

      1. Andee

        Jenny where are you located, in the USA or elsewhere?

  2. Kelly Higgins

    So nice to have a company contact you first. I applaud them.

  3. Mollie Morrissette

    I forgot to mention – on February 24th, 2017 (during the Evanger’s debacle), Weruva sent a letter to their customers (distributors and retailers) that Evanger’s produced five items for Weruva (Kobe Master, Kobe Yume, Kobe Gyro, Kobe Hero, and Kobe Pagoda). Though Weruva felt they had no reason to “doubt the integrity of those products” made at Evanger’s, they discontinued production of those items at Evanger’s.

    I’m not suggesting their is a link between the problems with Weruva’s BFF product and the Evanger’s pentobarbital contamination issue, but I thought it was worth noting simply as background information on Weruva.

  4. Tracie

    Weruva’s popup is purposefully minimizing the scope of affected cats; they state that they are aware of a “small number of cats” that have been affected in Australia, and this is not accurate.
    Go to Petbarn Australia’s FB page and you will see hundreds of posts about sick and dying cats, all with the same symptoms – lethargy, inability to walk, vomiting, refusal of food and water, painful hips and spine.
    Some are positing mercury poisoning, some of these cats tested positive for FIP.
    Applaud Weruva all you want, their product has sickened and killed hundreds of cats in Australia.
    Affected cat guardians aren’t getting answers when they call Weruva either – they are being routed to an Indian call center with zero information.
    So ask yourself: do you feel comfortable feeding this product here in the United States? All of their food is manufactured in Thailand and then distributed worldwide – who’s to say this is going to remain isolated to Australia?
    I stopped feeding Weruva years ago when I noticed my cat’s excessive water consumption and weight loss, as well as loose stools. I don’t believe it’s a healthy product.

    1. Kelly Higgins

      Well, that’s not good at all!

    2. Jenny

      Tracie would you mind looking up and joining the BFF Recall Support Group on facebook? Or email me at jfoc@gmail.com (Justice For Our Cats). I’m an owner whose cat died, and I’m interested in what you say about the excessive water consumption of your cat and weight loss, and that you noticed this years ago. Thanks so much. Jenny.

  5. marie

    Weruva’s claim that the food was made in the US is concerning per your comments: The pet food in question was manufactured in Thailand and these varieties were only shipped to Australia (none of these varieties of pet food were shipped elsewhere). I do sometimes feed Weruva (not BFF) as a “better than” option as I transition my cats onto a whole food diet. (75% there!)
    These varieties could easily have been shipped to the US. I applaud their transparency too, yet it is on them to KNOW where their food is manufactured. And Mollie’s comment is well said. I would never do business with Evanger’s and find it suspect that Weruva did. Evanger’s bad rep is not news. I smell a rat. Nice transparency, but to what end? Manipulation?
    Great catch Susan!

  6. Sam Middleton

    Removing remaining product from shelves, personal notifications to individuals who are members of the Petbarn Loyalty Program and a website pop-up. A tragically insufficient response Weruva! Why were Australian national media and the RSPCA (an organisation whom kitty owners might reasonably turn to for further information), not informed of this directly by you?

    1. Andee

      Sam, great point. Guess it’s left up to us. WE can contact local media to let them know what’s happening. Here the local media would be happy to inform the public. Pet owners should know.

  7. Bertha Kunst

    Hello Susan, where I can find the official statement, that it is coming from Thailand.? Please help and advise, cause some more Asian countries are having their stock from Thailand, I want to let them know about but must have evidence. Thanks a lot

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Hi Bertha – I don’t know where to direct you. I really don’t know more – sorry. If I learn more – I will let readers know.

    2. Jenjen

      It’s written on the Australian cans.
      “Made in Thailand”

  8. Anita

    As a cat owner in Australia who has been feeding their cat BFF, I have to respectfully disagree with their transparency.

    We have struggled to get much information from them regarding what flavour cans are affected (it’s not all of them – only one destined for the Australian market) and also if we should be taking our seemingly ok cats to the vet for an urgent check up.

    If you follow the posts on Weruva and Petbarn Facebook pages it appears that possibly a hundred or more cats and kittens have died already and many more are critically ill.

    I hope more information comes to light soon for the poor families affected by this. We have been extremely lucky and must have avoided the flavour that caused the issue, but others have not been so lucky. To add salt to their wounds they have been dealt with poorly by Weruva customer service when they have called them for help.

    It has opened our eyes to the scary pet food industry and we are transititiong our cat to a raw food diet and carefully reading all ingredients on our kibble to ease the worries of many fur families over here soon.

    1. Anita

      Sorry – my last sentence got cut and joined with one I had deleted already. The joys of iPhones. There should be a full stop after kibble!!

  9. Tracie

    Here’s the update on Weruva’s popup on their home page from today:

    Regarding our recent announcement, all tested foods have come back clear.
    Per veterinary guidance, initial testing focused on heavy metals (mercury and arsenic).
    All foods tested have shown levels well below industry required standards for human and pet consumption.
    We remain committed to our customers and their pets’ well being. We will continue to provide updates as they are available.

    Well, I guess that’s that, Weruva – it must he only a coincidence that all cats affected were eating your BFF canned food…

  10. Scott

    Is Australia still do irradiation on foods?

  11. Andee

    I’m very disappointed and honestly, don’t know what to do anymore. After researching canned foods what seemed like forever, I chose Weruva after an email from the owners assuring me how safe the food was, how it was made in a human grade facility and went thru so many inspections and hasn’t been on any recall lists. I’ve been feeding Weruva for a few years now and altho my cat is very healthy (per his Vet), now I’m scared. Is there ANY safe canned food out there??? Years ago I had two cats who only ate Fancy Feast and both lived to 17 and 20 years with no problems. Call them lucky, but today I don’t know what to do next.

    1. Deanna

      Although I do not have a Kitty on Weruva, I do have a Yorkie on Weruva. He has food/seasonal allergies and this has been his saving grace- however since this recall I’ve taken him off. I know it’s different, however I don’t care. I will not take a chance on my Babies life- Like you I’ve researched forever and chose Weruva, through the years it has been good to us, but I just can’t feed it knowing so many fur babies have passed- and taking that chance- I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know what I switched to Zignature- they do not have a Kitty line, however the same company that makes Zignature makes Fussie Cat- “ Pets Global” Maybe this is something you can look into!! My good friend feeds her Kitty Koha Pet- she highly recommends this brand!

      1. Andee

        Deanna, I looked at a can of Fussie Cat and it’s also made in Thailand.

  12. Veronica Sherman

    Small amount of cats?
    Ugh..Sooooo many cats are horribly sick and many have died. My two beautiful cats passed away with very strange neurological symptoms. Me and my four kids want answers.

  13. Andee

    Deanna, Thank you so much for replying to my post and offering the suggestions. I appreciate it very much and I’ll investigate further. I went into the pet food store and approached the aisle where the Weruva was and the entire shelf was empty! I panicked, thinking oh no, they’ve recalled everything! But they were just rearranging the canned foods and were moving it over an aisle. However, I agree about not taking any chances and altho my Scottish Fold has been on Weruva for years and is very healthy, I just can’t feed him this anymore until I’m certain it’s safe – and they still don’t know, do they? Not updating us, not explaining anything isn’t good.

    1. Deanna

      Hi Andee,

      No problem! My friend who feeds the Koha and I both are pet food nuts- we research and research- we both have Yorkies with sensitive issues/ allergies so we tend to have them on the same food. It is so hard to know what is safe anymore. I’m glad I had her inform me of the Zignature, like you, I would have no idea of what to switch him on as he has been on Wervua for a long time. I will tell you, Koha seems like a great alternative- I know she is very picky when it comes to what she feeds!! You know what is strange, the day they came out with the recall is the day I took my Dog off it, I had just opened a can and when I got home to throw it out, I took a smell to it, and I tell you it smelled different- it didn’t smell normal, as it should for being shredded chicken. I remember a couple months ago there was another time I had smelled a new can and it smelt off- I would advise anyone still feeding Weruva to their pets to take them off- at least until they figure this all out and we have solid answers!! I’m so glad your Scottish Fold is healthy. It is heartbreaking to hear and read all the horrible stories- My heart hurts for all the people who have lost their poor furbabies. No you’re right, not explaining anything isn’t good at all!! Like you I cannot continue to feed it.

      P.S if you need any help with food questions, please let me know!

      1. Andee

        Where are you Deanna, in the USA or Australia? My Scottish Fold would sometimes smell then walk away from a can of Wureva, which I thought was odd since it was his favorite. I’d just throw it out. I feel so bad for some who are given this stuff and nothing else so they eat it because they’re hungry. Top Class Action Lawsuits maybe should hear from those whose pets have passed. Just a thought.

        1. deannaroppo@live.com

          Yes, I’m in the USA.

  14. Cat lover

    Please, please, please Susan Thixton do your research on the Weruva situation in Australia. So many family cats dead, dying or critically ill from feeding their cars this food.

  15. Andee

    I hope we get some answers, Cat Lover, but it’s looking unlikely. And how do we know for certain this is only an issue in Australia? I’m sorry, but I don’t trust anyone now. We pay a high price for their premium food only to have this happen …. right now I think more of the public should be aware of the situation so they can make up their own minds whether or not to continue feeding this food to their pets. I’m sure if more people were aware they would stop feeding this to be on the safe side. I’m beyond angry. Please everyone contact your local media and let them know of the situation and hopefully they will get the word out. Explanations for this is not coming forward.

  16. Simone Glossop

    Susan, cat lovers in Australia are devastated so many still have seriously sick cats or like myself have lost their family members. We do not believe weruva are being transparent at all, in fact they are being purposefully deceitful. The AVA released a statement on Tuesday saying that weruva have refused to work with them at all, they have not received ANY analysis of ANY of their foods, this is a highly unusual practice from a manufacturer. Weruva have also being directly contacting vets by passing their owners to seek our records also highly unusual, the AVA has advised all Aussie vets to refer them back to the AVA. Weruva is hiding test results. Thiamine does not fit with the majority of sick cats symptoms with some having only consumed a few cans before becoming violently ill. My own boy was treated immediately for deficiency and still lost his fight. Could you please consider another article with a more accurate representation of the situation now that it has been 3 weeks since this recall and we still have not seen any transparency from this company at all, only assurances that their us food is fine and that they are working with the AVA, which they clearly are not.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      If you could send me lab results, necropsy results – that would be helpful. Hard for me to investigate this without information.

      1. Simone

        I will email you later today.

  17. Andee

    Thank you Simone for the update as far as you know. There is something very wrong going on with this company and in my opinion, pet owners even here in the USA should not be taking any chances with their food, no matter what they say. Also, as I stated before, do a good deed by alerting your local media, it may save some lives. I’m very sorry for your loss.

    1. Simone

      Thank you you’re very kind it’s been a very tough time for many fur parents. We are confident all will come out in the end.

  18. Sam Middleton

    Susan why is the BFF “stop sale” not on your Recalls page please?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Because that is for Australia – not North America. I don’t typical post recalls or stop sales from around the globe (couldn’t keep track of them all).

      1. Simone

        They have admitting to one deficiency in their food now it should have already been updated to recall, but again they are ignoring owners requests.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          I’ve been told it was a thiamine deficiency. I don’t know AU regulations – so I don’t know if the deficiency is grounds for recall, or not. Or if AU has established minimum and maximums for thiamine. Just don’t know the regulations there.

  19. Joan Johnston

    OK I bought a case of Weruva Grandma’s Chicken Soup. One of my cats has megacolon so I feed her separately. She throws up the Grandma’s Chicken Soup I bought just for her. I’m not feeding her this anymore. Should I offer them to my other cats? Or just throw them away? I’m leaning towards just throwing them away.

    1. Andee

      I’d return it to the store. I always return food my cat won’t eat. And if you tell them about the Weruva recall in Australia, they shouldn’t have a problem accepting it back.

  20. Catherine Scarano

    Is it possible that the cats that are ill have yellow fat disease? My cat has been eating BFF Too Cool Tuna along with dry food. He has lost a lot of weight and his coat is greasy. His bloodwork, ultrasound and xray has not shown any cause for his illness. I asked my vet to check his Vitamin E level to see if it could possible be yellow fat disease which is caused by eating fish (especially tuna) exclusively. The cause is eating too much unsaturated fat which lowers the levels of Vitamin E.

  21. Cindy

    I’m deeply involved in animal rescue. We received a large donation of Weruva and BFF catfood. I’d never heard of these brands, so I Googled. OMG. I will not feed this to our feral colonies and rescues until I know for sure that it is safe. I’m in New Jersey. Does anyone know for sure that these brands are safe???

  22. Andee

    Cindy, the BBF isn’t safe in Australia but who knows about here in the USA. They haven’t come forward yet with an explanation – so they don’t know – and if they don’t know, how do we know it’s safe? Thank you for doing such good work with the animals, you have a heart of gold!

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