By Gina Carlucci
A popular and “natural” brand of pet-food has been recalled after allegations it has made family pets ill.
Best Feline Friends (B.F.F), manufactured by American company Weruva exclusively for the Australian market, has received complaints from concerned pet owners who suspect a link in the rapid decline of their animals’ health to a main diet of B.F.F.
Perth resident Cat Irvine noticed something amiss with her usually healthy feline, Rusty, in April.
She claims that in 12 days Rusty lost 600 grams and had an unusually high temperature and an erratic heart rate when he was on a diet of the cat food.
“He hasn’t been this light since he was seven months old,” Mrs Irvine says of the moggy, now aged seven.
A vet recommended Rusty undergo comprehensive testing, including spinal radiology, to determine the cause of the illness.
Mrs Irvine, who has spent $700 on tests, fears further testing to seek conclusive evidence could cost thousands.
Fellow cat lover Hayley Hubbard, a former employee of pet product chain CityFarmers, says that she had questioned the quality of the brand in the past and preferred not to feed it to her cat, Tosca [pictured].
“It was being advertised and sold as ‘premium’ but during one training seminar it was put in the same category as another brand, the actual worst food available, which is essentially flavoured bread,” she says.
In a statement, Weruva said further testing was under way but so far there is no evidence of contaminated food.
“Results of the testings are out and it shows there is nothing wrong with the food, but there is further testing to be done, and, until these results are out, it’s difficult to draw any conclusions between the cat illnesses and the food,” a customer service representative of Weruva said in the statement.
Curtin university Medical Science honour graduate Ozzie Coghlan says it would be difficult to prove a causal link between Weruva products and the apparent decline in the health of pets which consumer other food, too.