Fact Check

Purina Cat Chow Warning

Has Purina Cat Chow caused illness and death in multiple cats?

Published Nov 12, 2014


Claim:   Several cats have fallen ill and died from consuming Purina Cat Chow.


Example:   [Collected via Facebook, November 2014]

I'd like to start this post off by telling all my friends and family that loved our precious kitty Killian he passed away last evening.. I would like to tell everyone the story so that you can be aware of these dangers, as Killian and I were not quite so fortunate..

Last night I bought Killian a new bag of Purina cat chow indoor cat formula in a green bag. I fed him his normal 1/4 cup scoop, about 20 minutes later he was vomiting blood, foaming at the mouth and thrashing around the house.. My 15 yr old daughter, who was unfortunately there for the whole ordeal, and I raced out if the house to bring him to the vet, but it didn't end up making any difference because he died in her arms on the way to the vet.

We came back home and I took a good 5 - 10 minutes with him in my lap on the bathroom floor with my stethoscope to make absolutely positive he was gone and prepared him so that we could bury him the next day. It was only after all this, after I had calmed down a little, I kept saying to myself he was totally fine, I just fed him, he was perfectly fine I JUST FED HIM... That's when it hit me. I started looking online and found NUMEROUS recent stories that all read very closely to mine, about the same cat food brand all within the last week.. What the hell is this?? My cat is friggin dead.. These people need to stand up and take notice because this will not be taken lightly..

I was able to pull some blood samples, and obtained some oral swabs. I am also having the bag of cat food analyzed.. If these things point to irresponsibility on Purina's part nothing will be able to save them from me.


Origins:   On 9 November 2014, a Facebook user posted the above-quoted status update to the social network about Purina Cat Chow and her cat Killian's recent death. The woman claimed shortly after consuming the kibble, her pet became ill and subsequently died.

The complaints referenced by the poster in her status update appear to be from a user-submitted consumer complaints site where other pet owners have shared stories of their animals' becoming ill after eating Purina Cat Chow or related products:

I purchased the large bag of Purina Cat Chow Complete. Says it is new shape same taste. My cat became very sick and started vomiting after feeding for a couple of days. I gave it to my daughter thinking it was just my cat but her cat became sick and started vomiting also. I am going to throw it away - but I thought someone should be aware of it.

More than 700 complaints have been lodged on the Purina page,

but the submitted content spans a number of different Purina products. It's important to note Purina and related brands (such as Friskies) are consumed by millions of pets across America on a daily basis, and pets who become ill are likely to have consumed that brand's products simply due to their ubiquity in stores and pet food bowls nationwide.

While the plea from a grieving pet owner has caused concern among cat owners on social media sites, her warning was expressed as a suspicion that was under investigation, not as something that had been definitively proved. On Twitter, an official account linked with the Purina brand addressed concerns about Purina Cat Chow's safety:

We assure you there are no product issues with Cat Chow or any Purina product. Safety and quality are our top priorities.

While the Purina Cat Chow warning has spread across sites like Facebook, the original poster has not yet issued an update stating whether a cause of death for her cat was ever confirmed. And although a large number of pet owners have ascribed their cats' or dogs' illnesses to recent consumption of Purina products, no illnesses or pet deaths have recently been positively linked to the brand. Many of the pet owners reporting cat illnesses surmised Purina products were to blame, but no causal connection between Purina Cat Chow and pet illness has been documented despite the brand's widespread consumption by American cats.

Last updated:   12 November 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.