Innova EVO canned cat and kitten food

If you purchased Natura pet food during the last six years (between March 20, 2005 and July 18, 2011), you may be eligible for a payment of up to $200 from a class action against Natura Pet Products. Natura is the maker of the brands Innova, EVO, California Natural, HealthWise, Mother Nature & Karma.

A federal judge has entered an order for a preliminary approval of the class action suit against Natura in a California court, alleging, among other things, that Natura violated California’s Business and Professions Code when advertising their dog and cat food products and allegedly made false and misleading statements about the human grade quality of its food in its advertisements, promotional materials and labeling.

A $2,150,000 settlement fund will be reportedly created by Natura under the class action settlement.  The settlement fund will be used to make payments to settlement Class Members, as well as cover attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, a payment to the Class Representative and the costs associated with administering the settlement.  Natura will also reportedly stop promoting its pet food products as human grade, human quality, or as something that you would eat yourself.  To get a payment (of up to $200), settlement class members must submit a claim form by January 8, 2012.

For more details on the suit, and how to make a claim, click here.

The Innova EVO cat and kitten food line was one of the first in the grain-free offerings. Amber, Buckley and Allegra all ate this food, and they did really well on it. I stopped feeding, and recommending, this line when Natura was purchased by Procter & Gamble in May of 2010. Even though there have been no reports to date that the formula has changed, and despite Natura’s promise to maintain the integrity of their formula once it was being manufactured under the auspices of a multi-national conglomerate, I just wasn’t comfortable feeding and recommending their diets anymore.

It should be noted that this suit was initiated before Natura was purchased by P & G. Natura agreed to the $2,150,000 settlement and will reportedly also stop promoting its products as human grade. 

Sadly, the moral of this story is probably that if you’re feeding commercial pet food, there just aren’t any guarantees that what you think is in the can is really what is in the can. At least in this case, unlike during the pet food recall of 2007, no pets died – at least none that we know of.

Related Reading:

Feline Nutrition: Who bears the responsibility?

How to read a pet food label

The many voices of feline nutrition

21 Comments on Did you purchase Natura pet food? You may be eligible for a payment from a class action suit

  1. I received my check for $43.90 today. Although I submitted the maximum of $200 in receipts, the net settlement funds were divided equally among all class members. Thank you for writing a post about the lawsuit. I never would have known about it. Of course, I bought more cat food with it.

    • Got my check yesterday, too – and like yours, it’s going straight into the Cat Food Fund!

      Thanks, Ingrid, for letting us know about the lawsuit!

  2. i had a cat that went through diabeties and i did so much research and found evo 95 percent and it was the only one that had the best and lowest carbs that diabetes cats need..fancy feast does too but the cans are to small..but i have all 9 of my cats on this food and havent had any problems,but it is expensive..and i did hate that they got bought out also..i know that petsmart carries the plain innova now,but if anyone knows where you can get the evo cheap let me know.i spend 50 dollars every two weeks.on the 24 cans its the 13 oz. cans of evo..but i dont hardly give dry food anymore every once in a while i will mix alittle in there wet..but since i have put them on wet they dont lick water from the faucet anymore..cats need moisture to keep them from urinairy infections so canned food is the best for that for if anyone does find a grain free wet food that can compare to evo let me know also..

    • So far, I have not heard of any evidence that would lead me to believe that P&G changed the formula for the EVO brand, but I stopped feeding it after the buyout.

      I recommend the following grain-free canned brands as alternatives: Weruva, Nature’s Variety Instinct, and Wellness (not all Wellness flavors are grain-free, look for the yellow triangle on the can. I prefer the Wellness CORE to the regular Wellness flavors).

  3. Ingrid, thanks for this information. They have eaten Evo in the past. You made me get up and go the pantry to make sure all their Wellness is grain free. They eat Science Diet dry and Wellness wet.

    • I’d encourage you to consider taking them off the dry food altogether, Esme. Look for an article tomorrow on why, and how to transition cats off of dry foods. If you must feed dry, at the very least, I’d switch to a grain-free brand with better quality ingredients. Science Diet tends to be high in by-products, and contains corn and soy – two things cats definitely shouldn’t be eating.

  4. Food manufacturers rely on brand loyalty, so consumers get caught up in the-I-feed-my-cat-X-brand mentality, warts and all. If you feed lots of different brands, your bases should be covered in terms of any possible excesses or deficiencies. Starting with kittenhood, it makes for a less finicky eater, plus the kitty is less likely to become allergic due to constant exposure to one ingredient.
    My cats have been on a raw diet for 12+ years, but I always have a big assortment of higher-end canned food to supplement. No one has ever turned up his/her nose at any brand or flavor.
    For me, it’s fun to compare the ingredients of the various foods, so I fill my basket with a coupla this and 3 or 4 of that.

    • Sally, I do the same thing you’re doing. Allegra and Ruby have been eating a variety of raw and grain-free canned foods ever since they were kittens (Allegra was about 7 months old, Ruby about 9 months, when I transitioned them from the primarily dry food they’d been raised on), and so far, I’ve only come across one brand of (raw) food that they both turned their noses up at. With such a “paws down” verdict from two cats who usually inhale their food, I decided to listen to them and I won’t be buying that brand again!

  5. I’ve been feeding EVO to my cats for years, ever since my vet told me that Casey’s vomiting was probably caused by a gluten intolerance. I was very sad when P&G bought Natura – I stocked up on bags of EVO as soon as I heard, but now I’m out of them. It’s hard to know what else to use, though Blue Wilderness seems okay. I am sorry to realize that even Natura was participating in false advertising and may have been sourcing their foods from China. My cats have always seemed to be fine with it, though. Casey’s vomiting certainly decreased after I transitioned her!

    I do combine several dry foods in one container for all my cats – it has been EVO, Wilderness, and sometimes Halo or Wellness. If there’s something you’d recommend I use to replace the EVO I’d love to hear about it! I’m not willing to do a full switch to raw, though I know that’s what you recommend – I have a hard enough time getting Casey (who suffers from CRF) to eat wet food at all, so I’m worried about what the draconian measures I’d have to use to make them switch would do to her. They do get mostly grain-free wet food to go with the dry. I do wish they’d like the grain-free treats that are available, but they always turn up their noses at those!

    • Amy, as I mentioned above, I haven’t heard anything that leads me to believe that the formula has changed since the P&G buyout, but I understand your concern. It’s why I decided to discontinue feeding it to my cats.

      I actually don’t just recommend raw – even though it’s probably as close to a cat’s natural diet as we can come, I understand that it’s not for everyone. I think feeding a grain-free canned diet is the next best thing. I don’t recommend dry food for cats; I believe that one of the best things you can do for your cats’ health is to discontinue feeding dry foo. It can be challenging to switch for some cats, but it’s well worth hanging in and keep trying. But if you are feeding dry food, grain-free is definitely a better choice than any of the other dry foods.

      As far as brands other than EVO, I like the Wellness grain-free varieties (not all of their flavors are, look for the yellow triangle on the cans), Nature’s Variety Instinc, and Weruva. I’m not familiar with the Wilderness brand, and I’m not sure whether Halo’s diets are grain-free.

      I hope this helps! You’ll find a lot of additional information in the nutrition category on this site.

      • Thanks, Ingrid! I’ll check out the Wellness at PetSmart the next time I go. No, Halo isn’t really grain-free, though it is at least corn- and wheat-free. (They use rice as a filler.) It’s not my favorite to use, but it’s definitely not as bad as the average dry food!

        I can’t see that the EVO formula has changed – I did get one new bag for comparison’s sake – but I’m still leery of using it now.

        I do feed my cats wet food twice a day, though I have to chase Casey around the house with it (and usually wind up adding some tuna oil or bacon drippings to the top to get her started), and Lucky is almost impossible to get to eat it. I generally wander through the store getting one can of each grain-free item I see, hoping that they’ll like SOMETHING. They do seem to like Soulistic pouches fairly well (grain-free PetCo brand), so I’m glad to have found them!

        Thanks for always providing such great articles! I’m voting for you in the Petties daily! 🙂 After all, not only are you great, but you’ll donate to Kitten Associates, one of my favorites, and how could I not love that Casey’s House would be the other beneficiary if you win, what with having my very own Casey-cat!

  6. Thanks for this Ingrid. So depressing, because who can we trust? Wellness, the other brand most of us have trusted, messed up significantly too recently and had a recall. I am very attached to the Evo 95% because I love how simple the ingredients are. I can’t find ingredients that simple in most other canned foods.

    • I think that’s the problem, Liz, it’s hard to know who to trust. If I recall correctly, the Wellness recall was for an issue with one of the vitamins in the food, and I think Wellness handled all aspects of dealing with the recall extremely well, from communication to making sure people got replacement coupons for the affected lots. For now, I still trust them.

      It’s inevitable that recalls will continue to happen. That’s why it’s important to keep informed, and I’ll certainly do what I can to keep my readers informed about recalls and other issues related to pet food.

      This is one of the reasons why I recommend rotating several brands. Cats won’t become finicky if they’re fed a variety of foods, but they also won’t become dependent on a certain brand, or even formula. That way, when a recall happens and you’re no longer comfortable with a certain brand, or when a company changes the formula, you won’t be left with a cat who refuses to eat anything else.

  7. I hope they don’t pay it out in coupons for their food! One of my eight can’t handle the large amounts of vitamin D and calcium they put in their foods. The rest just get fat on it. I hate when companies pay out stuff like this in coupons or vouchers for their stuff! I guess if they do that, then I’ll just donate it to my local Humane Society or one of the cat rescue groups around here.

  8. I’ve been feeding my four cats Evo without any problem. My 19-year-old girl loves the canned duck; she’s on a canned renal formula and I mixed that with Evo chicken and turkey. She gets the duck as a treat. Two of my three boys have food allergies. One eats the Evo canned duck and the other eats Ziwipeak canned lamb. The third eats Evo dry; he won’t eat anything else. I tried a homemade diet, and my 19-year-old was the only one who ate it! She knows good food!

    • The lawsuit isn’t suggesting that there were any problems with the food, Lyn. It sounds like your cats are doing well on it.

      ZiwiPeak is a fantastic food. And it definitely sounds like your 19-year-old is the gourmet in the family!

  9. I was feeding my cat the dry version of this food- he ended up in the hospital with severe constipation and was hospitalized for a week. I don’t have receipts for the food but I stopped it as soon as he got so sick….

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