Weruva Recalls Best Feline Friends (BFF) Products Made for Australian Market – Updates

weruva-recall

On May 5, Weruva issued a statement that they removed select Best Feline Friend (BFF) canned foods, exclusive to the Australian market, from shelves after concerns that the formulas may have been making cats sick. Those of you who have read this blog for any length of time know that Weruva is on my list of recommended brands, and I feed this brand to Allegra and Ruby. I’m always concerned when I hear of a cat food recall, but of course, I’m even more concerned when it happens to a brand I know well, recommend and feed to my own cats.

I reached out to David Forman, Weruva’s president, late yesterday afternoon, and was able to speak to him shortly afterwards. Weruva is investigating this issue from all possible angles, and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Weruva issued a statement on Friday, stating that “…out of an abundance of caution, and in partnership with our exclusive retailer of these goods, Petbarn and City Farmers have removed all BFF items from shelves in Australia until our analysis is complete. The manufacturer for this exclusive BFF canned food line does not produce BFF foods for any other global market or any other Weruva branded food.” You can read the full statement here.

My heart goes out to everyone whose cats may have become ill. I’ve come to know David and Weruva over the years as a company that truly cares about pets, and I know that they are doing the best they can, as quickly as they can, to get to the bottom of this.

Australian media has been reporting this issue, and it’s probably only a question of time before it hits the US media. Once again, it’s important to understand that as of this writing, no products distributed in the US have been affected by this recall.

The fact is that we don’t have all the facts yet. Jumping to conclusions is not going to serve anyone. I will update this developing story as I receive more information. In the meantime, please contact Weruva directly with any concerns at wecare@weruva.com, or call 1-800-108-382 in Australia, 1-800-776-5262 in the US.

May 8, 2017 update: Per veterinary guidance, Weruva’s 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. Weruva is continuing its investigation. I will update this post as new information becomes available.

May 9, 2017 update: The Australian Veterinary Association released the following statement: ” Last week we alerted veterinarians to a small number of reports of cats showing a combination of cerebellar and vestibular signs, which could be related to a pet food toxicity or deficiency. At this stage, we have no definitive proof of toxicity (or deficiency) and the issue is only a potential association with the feeding of BFF brand cat food. Petbarn have acted very quickly to withdraw the food from sale, pending laboratory testing. As a result of media interest, it is likely that many cats fed BFF will now be presented to vets with a variety of non-pet food related illnesses. We are particularly interested in cats that have cerebellar and/or vestibular signs as these are not a particularly common presenting problem, and were present in the “index” cases.”

May 10, 2017 update: David Forman, President & Co-Founder of Weruva and Best Friends Foods (BFF,), released the following statement:

“The Weruva family and I are deeply concerned with the health and well-being of cats everywhere, and we are especially mindful of the many pet parents who have expressed concerns for their companions in Australia.

Initial veterinary guidance in Australia suggested that efforts focus on testing for heavy metal presence in our BFF canned foods (exclusive to Australia). Over 50 batches have been tested, and those results have indicated heavy metals are not the likely cause of the symptoms these cats are presenting.

Further veterinary consultation has shown that thiamine deficiency may share many neurological symptoms with heavy metal toxicity. We have initiated tests to determine thiamine levels in these foods as we continue to pursue all possible causes. Veterinarians may consider thiamine supplementation as part of their treatment plan when neurological symptoms are present, irrespective of diet.

We remain committed to working closely with the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and the veterinary community as we seek to understand and resolve the concerns affecting cat households in Australia. We will continue to update you as the situation develops.”

May 12, 2017 update: Weruva has expanded its panel of experts to assist them in determining the source of the illnesses reported in Australia. The panel includes a feline-exclusive veterinarian with over 20 years of experience, who served on the board for the American Association of Feline Practitioners and a veterinarian and medical director of an exclusive feline veterinary hospital. They are also in contact with a veterinary toxicologist with over 20 years of experience in their field.

Weruvua has set up a website, http://www.weruvaupdates.com, where they will post updates as they become available.

Nordic Naturals banner for posts

45 Comments on Weruva Recalls Best Feline Friends (BFF) Products Made for Australian Market – Updates

  1. Juju's Mom
    November 4, 2018 at 2:13 am (8 months ago)

    My cat loved Weruva, specifically the original grain-free and Cats in the Kitchen. She ate that food for about 3 years and loved it so much she would wait by her bowl for it. In June of this year I ordered a bunch of Weruva (several varieties) from Chewy.com and within a month, my cat was lethargic, had decreased appetite and was beginning to show signs of jaundice. I spent over $4,000 and at least a dozen vet visits and despite all the tests, the specialists couldn’t confirm what was causing the inflammation in her liver, gall bladder and common bile duct. They could only determine that she had cholangiohepatitis. She died on October 8th at the age of 17. Prior to that, she was a picture of health and her vet always told me she was the healthiest old cat she’d ever treated. But she died anyway. IDK if the Weruva I got from Chewy had anything to do with it, or if any of the Weruva I got from Pet Supermarket before Chewy was the problem, or if Weruva was the problem at all. I am sending several cans to be tested to see if they contain anything that would cause my cat to fall ill so suddenly and to die so quickly. Needless to say, I am heartbroken and really hope the food didn’t kill my baby.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 4, 2018 at 5:51 am (8 months ago)

      I’m so sorry about your kitty. Did you report this to Chewy.com and Weruva? If not, please do so.

      Reply
      • Juju's mom
        November 10, 2018 at 3:28 pm (8 months ago)

        I did. Chewy just told me to throw the food away and Weruva has not responded at all. I am concerned that other cats are getting sick from this food and given that food testing is so expensive, I may never know if it was the food. I do know that I put some outside to see if the opossums would eat it (b/c they eat almost anything and I’ve seen them devour the cat food [not Weruva] I put out for the deceased neighbor’s old tom cat) and the opossums wouldn’t even touch it (specifically the chicken and liver cans). If opossums won’t eat it, then I assume something is wrong with it.

        Reply
  2. alex
    August 28, 2018 at 9:59 pm (11 months ago)

    i would not feed tuna or any other large fish to a cat. actaully no one should be eating these fishes; they are loaded with mercury and is probably a lower quality of fish that didn’t make the cut for human consumption. their tiny bodies can become poisoned plus fish has too much magnesium which causes urinary problems, and could affect kidney problems in the future.

    Reply
  3. Becca
    July 23, 2018 at 3:01 pm (12 months ago)

    Ingrid, I was considering switching my cat to Weruva original. So you still feed this brand to your cats? Do you have any concerns?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 23, 2018 at 3:36 pm (12 months ago)

      I feed raw, but Weruva is still on my list of recommended canned brands.

      Reply
  4. Monroe
    January 14, 2018 at 6:34 pm (1 year ago)

    Just Googled to find where I could get BFF pouches. Not knowing the problems with your product. I have spent thousands of dollars on not only one but now two cats.
    One cat has developed sores on her ears her chin and whiskers and have been fighting this for over a year me while using your product and thinking it was only a summer thing but now it’s coming and it’s winter
    Just within the past 3 months, another one if my cats starting loosing Wright and throwing up often. Thought it may be stress from another cat and took her to the vet. She was checked for diabetes and came up negative but they think it might be something in the kidneys and other know about this product I’m going to have a check to
    Not a happy camper. Guess I don’t need to find out where I could get this product. Aida

    Reply
    • Monroe
      January 14, 2018 at 6:45 pm (1 year ago)

      Cat was loosing weight , Error

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 15, 2018 at 6:23 am (1 year ago)

      Please contact Weruva directly to report your experience, Monroe.

      Reply
    • Mukilteo Girl
      April 24, 2018 at 2:35 am (1 year ago)

      It’s Carragenan…that was in the food, killing cats. Not digestible, and causes autoimmune, cancer….I lost both of my pets, and they suffered horribly.. causes vitamin and mineral deficiency, a form of pellagra. I figured it out, before they went to “carrageenan free” but it was too late.

      Reply
    • Mukilteo Girl
      April 24, 2018 at 2:41 am (1 year ago)

      I made many comments, discovered the truth….all waiting “moderation” and will probably never come to light. Carragenan causes autoimmune and death to your pets, and humans.

      Reply
      • Rebecca
        November 4, 2018 at 9:04 am (8 months ago)

        I chose Weruva bc it is carrageenan free

        Reply
  5. Rachel Thompson
    October 8, 2017 at 6:31 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m curious, for someone at Weruva, why you elected to have your cat foods for the US market made in Thailand and not in the US? I’ve been a fan of the pouches, and now some of the cand, but what I’m reading here worries me just a little bit.

    Reply
    • Mukilteo Girl
      April 24, 2018 at 2:37 am (1 year ago)

      Be very worried…they covered up how carrageenan was causing death in pets.

      Reply
  6. monica
    October 6, 2017 at 8:36 am (2 years ago)

    I recently purchased this in a store (in New York) that may not sell a large amount of cat food, but since its my local natural food store I wanted to try it…I’m a sucker for cute packaging. My cat tried this food for the first time last week. He loved it. However, and I cant say 100% if it’s related but I think this food made him really sick. He ate it for 2 days in a row then he stopped eating entirely and has had diarrhea for days and days. He has been so sick this whole week up until today. I got him some anti diarrhea meds that I started him on last night, today after a week he is like a new cat. He is eating, (def not the BFF brand) talking a lot, like usual and moving around instead of hiding in the corner of the closet all sad. This food was the last thing he ate and needless to say, I wont be giving it to him again.Its a shame because he really did enjoy the flavor.

    Reply
  7. Pat
    July 5, 2017 at 5:15 pm (2 years ago)

    The last entry about Weruva food was from two months ago: just today I saw a sign posted in my vet’s office in Louisiana NOT to buy Weruva food. A natural vet said that they’d heard nothing. Does anybody have an update on this thread?
    Thanks,
    Pat

    Reply
    • Pat
      July 5, 2017 at 5:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Oops. Just realized my error – that there were recent comments. My concern is, however, who to believe.
      Thanks,
      Pat

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 6, 2017 at 5:25 am (2 years ago)

      I have not seen any further updates on this issue, Pat.

      Reply
    • monica
      October 7, 2017 at 10:49 am (2 years ago)

      Pat, I will never buy this food again. My cat was on his death bed this past week after eating it.
      I wrote the post above yours on this blog. ) I wrote the company and plan on calling them Monday and will also be speaking to the local store where I purchased this food to let them know what happened as well.

      Reply
      • Mukilteo Girl
        April 24, 2018 at 2:43 am (1 year ago)

        Good luck addressing it… I did too…Totally ignored by Mudd bay. Both of my pets passed within a week.

        Reply
    • Mukilteo Girl
      April 24, 2018 at 2:40 am (1 year ago)

      Yes…Carragenan…research it. Pharma companies use carrageenan to cause inflammation in lab animals to treat with anti-iflammitories. I figured it out when both my pets were suffering, and dieying that is was carrageenan. Tried to find a food without it, as well as any type of gums, tapioca starch that clogs the gut and causes a mineral and vitamin deficiency, like pellagra….too late, they both died,one in my arms, and had the other put down….they only food I could find that was worth while, was Feline naturals, made in New Zealand….New Zealand was the one who recalled Weruva.

      Reply
  8. diane graff
    July 4, 2017 at 11:27 am (2 years ago)

    I live in Texas…
    I feed my sick, elderly cat the Tuna and Beef pouches. 2 weeks ago, I got 12 packs and immediately noticed a different texture and smell. My 17 year old sick cat loves this food and it is only one of a handlful she can even eat because she can’t eat any poultry products.
    I immediately noticed that she didn’t start lapping up the food right away. she only ate about 25% of what I put down, so I then gave it to my other cats to finish.
    The next day, the other cats had major runny stools. Actually it was very bad.

    I used 4 packs before I realized this was making my old cat sicker and my healthy cats sick! My old cat hasn’t been feeling well since she had a little of the 4 packs. As soon as I stopped feeding to my other cats, the runny stinky stools stopped.
    I returned the packs and was told about the problem in Australia – but I am seriously worried since the smell and texture of these packets were so different. I reported it to the pet store who took down the information. I haven’t heard from them in 5 days.

    Why the different smell and texture? I think there are others affected…

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 4, 2017 at 5:10 pm (2 years ago)

      If you haven’t already reported this to Weruva, please do so, Diane.

      Reply
  9. Kristi
    June 6, 2017 at 8:58 am (2 years ago)

    My 4 year old cat has cancer and I do feed him Weruva. I feel confident as a Company he is getting the best quality food available… We live in Arkansas, and he’s being treated at Univ. Of Missouri for 4 weeks and I sent all his Weruva food up with him! Thank you for a safe food, and I hope the Australia information gets cleared up soon.
    Thank you,Kristi

    Reply
    • Tisha Richardson
      February 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm (1 year ago)

      How is your cat now?
      Mine is currently sick and I’m looking for a safe canned food. I’ve been on the internet all day and came across this post.

      Reply
      • Kristi
        February 16, 2018 at 7:55 pm (1 year ago)

        That comment was from last year. And unfortunately he passed away. We didnradiation treatments for a month at Univ of Missouri and 2 months later he passed. This food is great and about the only thing he would eat! I’m grateful for their high protein low carb foods. I knew he was getting food nutrition. I still feed our other 2 cats this food as well.

        Reply
  10. Elaine
    May 9, 2017 at 9:57 pm (2 years ago)

    Please keep me informed. My finicky feline likes bff

    Reply
  11. Erica
    May 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm (2 years ago)

    Hello All, Just wanted to give you an update regarding our recent announcement (http://bit.ly/2peX6g8). We remain committed to our customers and their pets’ well being. We will continue to provide updates as they are available on our website weruva.com and our social pages. If you have any further questions we ask that you contact us directly at wecare@weruva.com or call us at 1-800-108-382 from Australia or at 1-800-776-5262 from North America so that we can speak with you directly. The Weruva family is here for you.

    Reply
    • Kara Blain
      January 7, 2018 at 12:18 am (2 years ago)

      I would like an update. We are currently feeding our cats BFF but I am concerned.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        January 7, 2018 at 6:24 am (2 years ago)

        I have not heard any updates – please contact Weruva directly.

        Reply
  12. Libby in Canada
    May 8, 2017 at 7:28 pm (2 years ago)

    What about weruva truluxe for Canadian customers. Is this food affected? I have just recently changed to this brand of food and now I am concerned. By mistake my husband bought the bff and every time my cat ate it he would throw up .I made sure I bought the truluxe. Now I am concerned about truluxe as well.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 9, 2017 at 5:18 am (2 years ago)

      Only BFF in Australia is affected, Libby. Please contact Weruva directly for additional information.

      Reply
  13. Fran Harwell
    May 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Are Cats in the Kitchen lines affected as well?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 7, 2017 at 4:54 pm (2 years ago)

      Cats in the Kitchen cans and pouches are not affected.

      Reply
  14. Jennifer Cleary
    May 7, 2017 at 10:44 am (2 years ago)

    Who manufactures this product for the Australian market? It is sold widely across US and Canada – so the “exclusive for Australia” statement is in question. Are there two different manufacturers?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 7, 2017 at 11:04 am (2 years ago)

      As far as I know, the Weruva sold in the US is manufactured in Thailand. Please contact Weruva directly for additional information.

      Reply
    • Casey
      May 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm (2 years ago)

      If you get an answer on this, please let us know! I too am curious as to whether or not Weruva has a different manufacturer for the AU market.

      Reply
      • Casey
        May 7, 2017 at 2:03 pm (2 years ago)

        Okay, I spoke to a Weruva rep who tells me that the US foods and the AU foods are both manufactured in Thailand, but at two different facilities. He says that the US foods are completely unaffected because of the two different facilities.

        FWIW.

        Reply
        • Jennifer Cleary
          May 7, 2017 at 6:21 pm (2 years ago)

          This is what I got back from them;

          The BFF canned foods in question are exclusive to a single facility that does not produce foods for any other Weruva branded food. The BFF canned foods in question are currently being tested for all possible issues by multiple independent laboratories. We are also in contact with veterinary doctors who have treated sick cats to access any information that may inform us further. To ensure quality and confidence across our entire global food assortment we have taken additional steps to extensively test ALL ingredients and finished foods by independent laboratories in addition to our routine testing and quality assurance measures.

          Any food bought at any Canadian retailers were not produced at the facility in question.

          As a family owned company with passion and commitment to producing nutritious and premium quality pet foods, all concerns are met with our fullest attention.

          Reply
        • SharonInCalifornia
          May 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm (2 years ago)

          Thank you, Casey

          Reply
  15. Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey
    May 7, 2017 at 9:16 am (2 years ago)

    I like the people and Weruva as well. Thank you for sharing this information and I hope they can clear it up soon. Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang

    Reply
    • Cynthia Bell
      December 1, 2017 at 7:14 pm (2 years ago)

      I spoke with the company in the US today. Just started feeding my cat this
      BFF canned food. She loves it. I was feeding her Merrick and she always vomited after eating it at lease 3 or 4 times a week. My pet store recommended I try Weruva BFF and she just loves it. I am a little concerned now about reading about the cats getting sick from eating this in Australia, etc. Please let me know this problem has been addressed in that I would like to feed this to my cat????

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        December 2, 2017 at 6:17 am (2 years ago)

        I have not seen any updates about this situation for quite some time, Cynthia.

        Reply
      • Brian
        January 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm (1 year ago)

        The reason i made the suggestion in my previous comment Because in this very article you said “I reached out to David Forman, Weruva’s president, late yesterday afternoon, and was able to speak to him shortly afterwards. ” So why not reach back out To him for further updates regarding this, if they are not continuing to update this matter.

        Reply

Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.