Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: August 25, 2023 by Crystal Uys


Note: This article covers a recall that occurred in 2012. For up-to-date information on current pet food recalls, please visit the FDA’s recall website.

In 2012, Arthur Dogswell LLC recalled 1051 cartons packed as either 10 or 50 packages per case of Catswell Brand VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins because it has the potential to contain propylene glycol. High levels of propylene glycol in the treats could result in serious injury to cats. The adverse health impacts could be reducing red blood cell survival time (anemia) and making the cells more susceptible to oxidative damage.

According to the FDA, no illnesses have been reported to date.

The VitaKitty treats were distributed nationwide via retail stores and mail order from April 13th through June 14th, 2012.

This product is packaged in a re-sealable 2 ounce orange plastic bag with a clear window.

The VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins lot codes affected are as follows:

SEW12CH032701/03c and SEW12CH032702/03c with a best before date of 09/10/13 and 09/11/13, respectively (UPC code 884244000572). Lot codes can be found on the bottom right backside of the package.

In addition, the company is also withdrawing the following products due to the fact that they also may contain trace amounts of propylene glycol:

Item               UPC                          Description

72                   884244000565        VitaKitty Chicken Breast Treats with Glucosamine and Chondroitin
73                   884244000572        Vitakitty Chicken Breast Treats with Flaxseed and Vitamins
74                   884244000589        Breathies Chicken Breast Treats with Mint and Parsley
14181            884244141817        Shape Up Chicken Breast Treats with L-Carnitine

“We are taking this voluntary action because it is in the best interests of our customers and their feline companions,” says Marco Giannini, CEO and Founder. “We will be working with the FDA in our continued commitment to ensure that we meet FDA guidelines.”

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25 Comments on Vitakkity Chicken Jerky Treats for Cats Recalled for High Levels of Propylene Glycol

  1. My cat had cancer for the 3.5 years he was in my life, and I fed him these treats throughout. Now I worry that the negative effects of the chemicals could have hastened his death, which makes me angry beyond words. To think these people are in the business of creating food for animals and they really could care less about what goes into their bodies as long as it’s cheap to manufacture and they can make oodles of money. I will NEVER buy from this brand again. Ever. And I will never again buy pet food that is made in China.

    • I’m sorry about your kitty, Sonja. Whilte there’s no way of knowing whether the treats were contaminated at the time, I most definitely wouldn’t buy any petfood made in China.

  2. So firstly, antifreeze (most of it) is ethylene glycol, and yes that is VERY toxic to mammals.

    Propylene glycol is an “approved” additive for dog foods and has a huge range of applications in human products as well – from airplane deicer to hand sanitizers to a moistening (humectant) agent in certain foods.

    It is NOT approved by the FDA in any amount for feline ingestion – any amount in cat food or treats is considered a violation of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act (USA).

    Does anybody know if these products are distrubted in Canada or just in the USA?

    • Thanks for the clarification, Dr. Leah. I’m guessing that the treats were manufactured on a line that used propylene glycol as an additive to human food, and perhaps that’s how the treats got contaminated.

      I don’t know whether they were distributed in Canada, if I find out, I’ll post here.

  3. There were reports about dog jerky chicken trieats possibly causing problems (um, like dogs getting sick and dying) a while back. I researched this and many were saying that it was the chicken. The chicken was from China. I don’t have the data (you could try looking it up too) but it was the stuff they were using to process the chicken.

    They likened it to motor oil or something. NOT GOOD.

    Not sure if this is the same problem here.

    I also have been concerned about the companies chicken products since the package said it was from China. My cat loves the chicken jerky but I stopped using it after I did the above research.

    YOU HAVE TO READ THE INGREDIENTS TO SEE THIS. Even though the food/treat says it was made in the USA that doesn’t mean the chicken was processed here. Always check.

    • I don’t know whether this recall is linked to the dog jerky treat recall with the chicken sourced from China. Maybe we’ll find out more about this after the weekend. I no longer recommend any pet food or treats with ingredients sourced from China. Unfortunately, the only way to find out where a company sources its ingredients is usually by calling or e-mailing them – companies rarely disclose this information on their websites.

      • At least to their credit, Dogswell was upfront about where they got their chicken. They had it listed on the back. That is why I decided to steer clear of it.

        Sometimes it is on the package and sometimes not. I agree that if it isn’t clear one has to contact the company. I think this is scary stuff.

        Thanks for sharing this recall!! 🙂

  4. UGH I JUST GOT THESE. The Glucosamine ones, I picked them over GNC joint gel for my 5 year old cat that has some Arthritis, thinking the treat format would be better. She won’t take anything i’ve sprinkled powder on but I need to get her something. She’d have less pain if she lost weight but I can’t get her active when she’s in pain! Anyone have any suggestions on what I can give her?

    • Melios, I recommend Cosequin for Cats – it’s a capsule that you can sprinkle on your cat’s food. The amounts of glucosamine and chondrotin in most treats are not high enough to really make much of a difference.

  5. I purchased and fed my cats item 74 ,884244000589 , Breathies Chicken Breast Treats with Mint and Parsley for cats before the dates mentioned. Are my cats still at risk?

    • Amanda, I’m not affiliated with the manufacturer, I’m just spreading the word about this recall, so I can’t answer this question for you. Please call the company or the store where you purchased the treats from.

    • Laura, none of the press releases say anything about what to do if you’ve purchased these. I would call the store you bought them at to find out how they’d like to handle it.

  6. I wonder how much propylene glycol is in them? Did you know that Dr Pepper used to have propylene glycol in it until a few years ago? And those new drink shots that you put in your water called MIO also have it in there (second ingredient). Admittedly a small animal would have more serious issues than a human but still, who wants to eat/drink antifreeze?

  7. I told them MONTHS ago that I was no longer buying their treats because they were made in CHINA…I’m sure I still have their response telling me their treats were made with utmost quality and care and “no worries”.

    • I’m actually not sure whether this particular brand is made in China, or whether this is a separate issue, Kimber. I’m hoping that there’ll be more information available after the weekend.

      • Dogswell/Catswell treats are made in China. I work for a boutique pet supply store and we went to a trade show in April where Dogswell had a booth. I asked them about their treats, and they pointed to one new line that is made in the USA. However, their standard treats, like the one pictured above, are made in China. It says so on the back of the package 🙁

  8. How did the propylene glycol get into the product/factory in the first place? I am seriously considering making my own treats. You can’t trust any company these days : (

    • Edie, I’d love to know this, too! It’s hard to know who to trust anymore when it comes to pet food.

    • I have 3/4 a bag left of the Breathies Chicken Breast Treats with Mint and Parsley and 3/4 a left bag of Chicken Breast Treats with Glucosamine and Chondroitin (mine says Happy Hips at the beginning of it). I see the company is voluntarily recalling these, but are they the same dates? My bags have the dates of best before 02/06/2013 and 03/15/2013.
      Luckily I didn’t open them right away when I bought them. Any thoughts on if I should still use the rest? Try to take them back? What to do, what to do…

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