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.

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

  1. Rachel Thompson
    October 8, 2017 at 6:31 pm (1 month 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
  2. monica
    October 6, 2017 at 8:36 am (2 months 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
  3. Pat
    July 5, 2017 at 5:15 pm (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months ago)

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

      Reply
    • monica
      October 7, 2017 at 10:49 am (2 months 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
  4. diane graff
    July 4, 2017 at 11:27 am (5 months 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 (5 months ago)

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

      Reply
  5. Kristi
    June 6, 2017 at 8:58 am (6 months 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
  6. Elaine
    May 9, 2017 at 9:57 pm (7 months ago)

    Please keep me informed. My finicky feline likes bff

    Reply
  7. Erica
    May 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm (7 months 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
  8. Libby in Canada
    May 8, 2017 at 7:28 pm (7 months 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 (7 months ago)

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

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

    Are Cats in the Kitchen lines affected as well?

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

      Cats in the Kitchen cans and pouches are not affected.

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

          Thank you, Casey

          Reply
  11. Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey
    May 7, 2017 at 9:16 am (7 months 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

Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.