I used to have 6 cats. Now I have 4.
Feeding 6 cats a strict diet was really hard, and most often resulted in chaos and injuries, so I switched to open feeding. Predictably, they gained weight. Like, a lot of weight.
So, I decided that I should switch from the cheap walmart stuff ($10 for a 15 lb. bag) to something healthier with less filler.
I went to Petco and chose Nutro brand. It seemed like a great deal. $25 for a 15 lb. bag instead of $30-$50. I didn’t bother reading reviews, because, clearly this stuff had to be better than my cheap bag of Friskies or 9lives or whatever.
I regret that more than anything.
Less than two weeks after opening the first bag, our youngest cat Loki started getting sick.
He was slightly anemic, vomiting, diarrhea. I pushed water, decided to keep an eye on him. We’re newly married and don’t have all of the money in the world, so vet trips are reserved for emergencies.
Over the next few days though, he got worse. After he peed himself while snuggling with one of our other cats, I scheduled an appointment with the vet.
The vet said that all of his blood tests came back fine, except for the one with his kidney levels. He was in kidney failure. We had no idea what could have caused it. The emergency vet a week later suggested FIP.
He stayed at the vet on an IV for 2 days, and they sent him home with an antibiotic and some NutraCal. I assumed that meant he was okay and was going to recover. I was wrong.
He continued deteriorating over the next few days, despite my best efforts (I was pushing food and water with a syringe) until the day I came home from work and found him mostly unresponsive. We rushed him to the emergency vet, told our story, and then came to the tearful decision to have him put to sleep. He died before they could give him the injection. It was heartbreaking.
We agreed with the emergency vet, blamed FIP, and tried not to think about it.
During this time, the cats had finished the first bag of Nutro and had a tiny bag of some other stuff to tide them over until I could get to Petco to get another bag.
So that’s: Bag of Nutro, break, second bag of Nutro.
Within a week of opening the second bag of Nutro, Oreo became sick as well. He was displaying the same symptoms as Loki, but with the added addition of vomiting.
We couldn’t afford to have him hospitalized after spending $1000 on Loki. That had tapped out our savings. All we could do was carefully monitor him, keep him hydrated, and hope he would eat something.
During this time, we began trying to figure out what had caused this. They weren’t related in the slightest, so the chances of them both having FIP were incredibly slim. They were indoor cats, and I keep all toxins away from them. We had no idea what the culprit could be.
Finally, after Oreo had passed, my husband asked about the cat food. The timing just seemed too weird to be a coincidence. To placate him, I decided to look into any recalls.
What I found was absolutely horrifying.
This site alone has 1500 reviews, with an average rating of 1.5 stars. Report after report of dogs and cats of all breeds, falling sick with the same symptoms, most dying, after eating this food.
I called Nutro to submit a complaint and I was met with anger and cold insistence that it could ABSOLUTELY NOT be their food and to not believe everything I read online, because they hadn’t had ANY complaints. Not once did any person I talk to even say “I’m sorry for your loss.”
I am torn between the feeling of “I murdered my cats” and “This company murdered my cats”. If I had just read reviews, my babies might still be with me. On the other hand, this company is putting poison on the shelves and denying that they’re doing so.
Pet stores can’t take the food off of their shelves unless there is a recall. They also cannot legally warn you against it. All that can be done at this moment is to get the word out about what’s happening.
If you have been feeding Nutro to your pet, and they got sick in the slightest, please get a sample of the food, submit a complaint to Nutro and to the FDA/CDC.
If you have friends with pets, please tell them not to buy this stuff.
If you read the reviews on the site I linked to, you’ll see how horrifying this really is.
PLEASE, REBLOG THIS SO WE CAN GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT THIS BRAND.
I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this.