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Costco - Newmarket, Ontario / beware kirkland diamond pet foods!

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In early January 2007 I purchased a bag of Costco's Kirkland Signature "Super Premium Maintenance Formula" dry cat food. I began feeding it to my two cats. My female took one sniff and immediately refused to eat it, so we gave her a bowl of the old type of food. My four and a half year-old, healthy male cat consumed large amounts of it, but within a few days he began vomiting and demonstrated an adverse reaction to his food. We took him to the vet and blood tests revealed that his liver counts were off the charts! We put him in treatment for 5 days of care, and the vet did more tests. Within a day his kidney counts then went off the charts. The vet could not explain it. She intravenously flushed fluids through him and his counts started to drop and he began to eat the food that the vet gave him. This initial visit cost $325 dollars.

We ended up bringing him home and he would sniff the Kirkland food and try to nibble here and there, but he again began to vomit and became really lethargic. After two days we brought him back to the vet, where he remained for another five days of fluid treatment. We thought we were going to lose him. This stay cost ANOTHER $325. His counts returned to normal and we brought him home. We switched back to his old food and he ate it as if he had been starving.

On March 16th the Canadian news reported a huge recall of pet foods. Costco's Kirkland brand is not mentioned on menufoods.com website (the company handling the recall), but I am absolutely certain that this food poisoned my cat! I think that consumers should be aware that Diamond pet foods (which makes the Kirkland brand) may be either accidentally or purposefully poisoning their pets!


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N  20th of Mar, 2007 by 
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First I've heard of any dry food being involved in this. What does your vet say? Have you talked to Costco? Have you asked Menu Foods about it?
A  3rd of Apr, 2007 by 
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I have a generally spy young cat who is also eating from a new bag, purchased early this year, of Costco's Kirkland Signature super premium maintenance dry cat food. She is exhibiting signs of extreme lethargy, is vomiting and is eating gingerly, if at all. Thought I would sit back and watch her to see if she improved, but thanks to the last comments, I will take her to the vet ASAP to see if her liver or kidneys are affected. I hope Kirkland is being upfront with us, but I have seen no recalls of their brand in pet foods. Has anyone else? On the ingredient list of this product there is no wheat gluten, but there is corn gluten. Is there any reason to suspect there may be melamine in the corn gluten too? Is this just coincidental illness? I am talking about a very healthy young cat here who had never displayed such sick behavior as she is now. I want to be optimistic, but is this not a tad questionable?
A  19th of Dec, 2007 by 
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I have several cats who experienced similar symptoms and a few months ago I asked the manager at the Newmarket Costco to explain my cats reaction and to find out if there have been other complaints. He suggested that I contact the people in the USA (on the back of the bag) and did. They suggested that I had a bad bag and to exchange the bag for another. They never followed up.

My cat experienced jaundice and the vet suggested liver damage.
D  18th of Feb, 2008 by 
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So your cat gets sick and you'd like to blame it on the retailer? Please don't waste people's time by posting illegitmate complaints. Your comments prove you are in the wrong. You would be able to see through that if you were capable of logic.
N  23rd of Apr, 2008 by 
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Agreed If anything it's the manufactures, Kirkland is really a name-brand replaced with Kirkland Signature. So check the manufactures name it's not the Wholesaler's fault.
A  25th of Jun, 2008 by 
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I myself lost a cat due to the poison food debacle and so have a few other people I know. We'll never be compensated for the loss because we didn't do necropsies on our pets. How were we to know?
A  29th of Aug, 2008 by 
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I too became violently ill after eating Kirkland Signature brand cat food. At first I wasn't sure if it was because the food was poisoned, or because I ate an entire 50-lb. bag of it in one sitting, or because I am not a cat. After reading these posts, however, I now know for certain the cause: Kirkland is trying to systematically rid our great nation of the cats on which it was founded by tainting our supply of cat food. And I for one will not sit idly by, watching cat after cat vomit on my rug in a fit of feline fury, without taking action. I say it is high time we marched on Washington and demanded our rights!!! Who's with me????
D  30th of Aug, 2008 by 
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As an animal rescuer for the past 12 years, of both dogs and cats, I have to say that I have been feeding my rescued cats the Kirkland dry cat food for the past decade.

I have not had any of the reactions expressed above. That is in no way to invalidate what has been said here.

When the recall was in full force a year ago, I repeatedly questioned Costco about its cat food and was told time and time again that there were no issues with their dry cat food.

Had there been, I can assure you that I would have been part of the tragedy that befell so many animals and their owners nationwide. NONE of my cats died or got sick at that time, and I have over 30 of them at home, plus two feral cat colonies that I sustain. NONE of them showed any symptons.

Cats can vomit for many reasons, a common one being eating too fast. This happens in my home regularly. Another may be a fur ball.

Vomiting in itself does not mean that a food is contaminated.

Cats are also susceptible to many illnesses, and symptons of those illness may not show for quite a while.

I also feed my animals Innova canned, EVO canned, Pet Promise canned, and Natural Balance canned. If it were possible, I would make their dry food a high quality one as well, and would strongly urge you to do so. There are many, many impressive high qualiy wet and dry foods on the market today. Wellness is among the best. I am sure that no one, not even Costco, would argue that their food matches the quality of a top-name brand.

Even better is to not feed dry food at all, as it has become well known that dry food is too dehydrating for dogs and cats, and the strain of insufficient water can be hard on the animal's kidneys and other organs.

However, for people like me, who feed multiple rescued animals, or for people on a very tight budget, that is not a reality.

When you are faced with choices like Friskies, 9-Lives, or all the other crap that you find in the supermarkets and chain stores, Kirkland is still a far better choice than these brands.

By the way, for those who choose to remain or switch to a top brand of dog or cat food, you can email the company and explain your dedication to their product. These companies are often very happy to mail you discount coupons to help you with the cost.
N  16th of Nov, 2008 by 
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well i have been using the same cat food for years, KIRKLAND signature super premium for adult cats, chicken and rice, and after the cats tried the last bag just purchased nov 6 2008 first cat found with zombie like state and poop all over, cat just layed threre on a sat nite 6:00 pm by the time i called a vet and went back to get cat, had died, very healthy 2 yr old black cat it was, then a day later a second 1yr old cat died, my son said cat walked weakly and layed down and by the time i got home second cat died, my first thought was someone poisoned my cats they run outside and inside, but they used to go crazy for this cat food like i had tuna now they just sniff at the food and seem weak, today a third cat is acting weak, i had 6 cats, now 5 and 1 is sick and left for vet to see, it is a cat food problem i think, and not the first time, something stinks and it points to the cat food, i did not think it could happen to me but most people would not test cat food before using cats to test it, i have lived on farms and raised chickens ducks rabbits and have never seen animals drop dead like this JONES TOWN CAT FOOD.
N  16th of Nov, 2008 by 
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N  16th of Mar, 2009 by 
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Where are these foods made? Where are the ingredients of these foods from? Follow the trail back to it's origin and see the problem. NO?
N  26th of Dec, 2009 by 
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I had 1 cat die of fatty liver disease after switching her to Kirkland's dry cat food from Costco. This was in August of 2006. Shortly thereafter my second cat got sick but this time we noticed the symptoms sooner...we took him to the vet and he was hospitalized for 10 days and totaled a medical bill of over $6, 500. My vet was absolutely certain it was the food because fatty liver disease is not contagious and it is absurd that both cats would get it back to back.

I am absolutely heartbroken to find out that I lost a sweetheart of an animal who was very special to me because she was given tainted food. She had no choice in the matter, this is what I fed her. Beware of cheap pet food, you'll always pay for it later.
N  5th of Feb, 2010 by 
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Costco does not reveal who manufactures their Kirkland Premium Feline Maintenance Food. However, the problem is not with Costco, but rather the manufacturers of the food. I have heard that it is Iams cat food, but no confirmation on that information. That said, I have had my cats on Kirkland and over the course of the year, one of my cats had issues with spitting up and foul, foul, foul smelling stools that would permeate the house when she used her box. (Not that there is ANY cat fecal material that smells pleasant). We attributed it to diet change and figured she would eventually get used to it. Not. In the meantime, our other cat went from a regular sized cat to a 23lb cat on this food. Great, right? Again, NOT. Well, he was the butt of the jokes about being Fat Joe, and i was cautioned by my vet to 'quit feeding him so much.' Well, maybe he just loved the stuff and ate more, so i put out less food. He was HUNGRY all the time and began drinking copious amounts of water . . . he developed an insatiable thirst and also was not wanting anyone to touch him, pick him up and was becoming lethargic as well. He started pissin’ all over – which is not his ‘MO’ and the vet rules out a urinary tract infection. So what the heck is going on with my cat here??
I’m a RN so I’m thinking: big weight gain, insatiable thirst and lethargy. Hmmm. Has he developed diabetes? Took the cat back to the vet and gently insisted he check the cat for DM and other metabolic disorders. Well, the diabetes check came back AOK – but he said that his liver function tests were ‘slightly elevated’ but ‘not to worry – it’s because he’s been not feeling well lately.’ So I continued on the Kirkland food another month or so and the cat went into complete liver failure/fatty liver disease. (Yo! Hey doc, why have my cat’s blue eyes lost their blue color and why are the insides of his ears, his previously pink nose and gums all yellow ??????? Yes, I suspected liver disease, which can cause the ‘skin’ to turn yellow). Okay, in humans, fatty liver disease is linked with heavy alcohol use, poor diet, medication toxicity, diabetes conditions, etc. Sure enough, blood tests indicated that “Fat Joe” was in complete liver failure (no, he’s not into martini’s or the like). He required a feeding tube of some prescribed stuff from the vet. He was not expected to live but he did.
After he was ready to have the tube out, I did some research on food brands for cats and came onto the Castor & Pollux website. First, this is NOT an endorsement of their foods, although I am a ‘convert’ to purchasing their food (specifically, Organix) for my cats exclusively. C&P’s food is not cheap, but the price of vet bills, surgery for feeding tubes, special vet food probably evens out. However, I was not a full ‘convert’ until later (see more b elow).
I did NOT overfeed my cats, I now had TWO cats with some diet issues . . . and I was unsure if Kirkland Brand was the culprit, whether there were any ‘melamine’ pet food issues still going on. I just didn’t know. I don’t necessarily think it is the Kirkland Brand, but I do think it is the cat and dog food preparations that are the problem. It could be a particular percentage of a particular ingredient in the Kirkland that many cause more sensitivity in some animals, but I cannot prove that at this time. But it is the pet food industry, as a whole, that is contributing to these more frequently occurring diet issues with pets. And we can even go further to discuss the HUMAN food industry that I believe is slowly poisoning us into thinking that packaged foods (high in carbohydrates, fats, added sugars on top of the carbohydrates – ie convenience foods are AOK for us to eat, keeping us from getting back to what is natural and good in our diets: fruits, veggies, nuts, WHOLE grains, meats without the plethora of chips, cereals, instant this and that, pudding poppers, cheesey treats, etc. But, that is a rant that can be discussed some other time). However, I do believe there are way too many similarities in the food industry ALTOGETHER that is a LARGE reason for our diabetes, weight gain, cardiac disease – in humans OR our animal friends.
Castor & Pollux http://www.castorpolluxpet.com/ discusses the ‘fillers’ put in dog and cat food (corn, wheat, etc) is the FIRST ingredient in the majority of dry cat foods (wet too!). Personally I think we are being hoodwinked by the purinakitnkaboodlefriskiesetc manufacturers into believing that the standard dry cat foods (dog foods) are healthier for our pets. That is, when was the last time you saw a cat eating a plate of corn or a bowl of wheat . . . and when was corn and wheat the ‘natural ingredients’ of a carnivore (meat eating animal) )??? This made sense. It is NOT their usual diet to eat corn or wheat or any of the major fillers that are the first and foremost ingredients in the ‘modern’ dry cat foods. There is very little, if any protein in ‘grains.’ Cats require a much higher protein content in their diet in order to remain healthy. This is the reason why cats should not be eating dog food because of the lower protein in that dog food. Then it would stand to say that perhaps the amounts of corns, wheat, other grains USED AS FILLERS AND AS A WAY FOR THE MANUFACTURER TO KEEP COSTS WAY DOWN is, ironically, NOT the healthiest avenue to take for your cat. (I happen to think the same goes for dogs as well, but that is yet another ‘rant’).
From a dietary standpoint: corn, wheat, rice etc are VERY high carbohydrate (sugar) foods that require heavy duty secretion of the insulin hormone in order to handle the high ‘sugar’ load of those ‘foods.’ (Mind you, that wheat used in cat foot concoctions is not whole grain . . . rather, it’s the same processed wheat ‘leftovers’ that are so frequently dumped in our own human diets today). When the body cannot produce enough insulin to utilize that Carb Load, the liver is affected . . . and eventually, the other major body organs.
Cats are meat lovers – mice, fish, birds, etc. It is NOT their usual diet to eat corn or wheat that is in the ‘modern’ dry cat food. There is very, very little, if any protein in ‘grains.’ Then why are we feeding our cats ‘grains’ instead of ‘proteins.’ And if there is protein in the cat food, what kind of protein is it?? And is it really the good source of protein that a cat should normally have in its diet? Is it ‘powdered protein’? Just what are we feeding our cats and dogs, our friends, our buddies? (And . . . . parents: what are you feeding your babies when you give them a convenience type food, a “TV” dinner, a bowl of cereal, crackers, cookies, hot dogs, etc ? ?? It’s not that you shouldn’t give them these ‘food items’ at all – but they are the types of ‘foods’ that should be given sparingly. It ain’t just the ‘fast food restaurants’ who are guilty of childhood obesity and diabetes that is occurring more and more in our children. Again, that is material for another rant, I suppose).
So, to make a short story very long, we got Fat Joe up and moving around and he was strictly on Castor & Pollux cat food and he make an incredible recovery. C&P makes their pet food from REAL meat protein, NO corn, wheat, etc and they actually throw in real veggie pieces and my cats LOVED this stuff. Fat Joe lost weight, quit the gallons of water drinking and actually let us pick him up, touch/pet him AND for the first time, I saw him running in the back yard running up the trees, jumping back down, etc. His belly was no longer dragging on the floor, his spine was seeming to straighten out instead of looking like a ‘U’ because he was so heavy. My ‘stinky poop’ cat developed this incredibly nice soft coat of hair over several months and . . . could this be real . . . we no longer noticed when she used her cat box. She was not longer the ‘stink queen.’ It had to be the food. After a year, I decided that I HAD to know if this was a food issue or if this was indeed just something I wanted to convince myself was real. Back to Kirkland and within two weeks, my female cat was again the “Stink Queen” and I noticed that Fat Joe was starting to open all the sink faucets again and drinking and drinking water like he did prior to becoming real sick. So I threw the Kirkland out in my garden (good fertilizer?) and ordered up Castor & Pollux again. They’ve been on it since then and neither one of them has experienced any of the problems noted above. And they will stay on it.
There are not too many pet food manufacturers out there that are a sideways path from the pet food industry as we know it. There is similar foods for your pet besides C&P: there is Blue Buffalo and Wellness, etc etc. You just have to hunt for them and READ THE INGREDIENTS!! Personally, i think the high grain stuff is the stuff that messes with the liver. However, given that Kirkland brand is mentioned heavily in this 'blog, ' it makes me wonder if the issue isn't something else added to the food that may be causing some liver toxicity. .
Sorry for the rant - but had to say it.
-Animal Lover
A  28th of Sep, 2012 by 
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This food is not good for cats. There have been numerous recalls of this brand over the years.
I was actually feeding my cats Kirkland Dry Cat Food for years as it came highly recommended.
Eventually all of them ended up with dull, flaking coats and one of my cats was throwing up every day - which we attributed to him gorging himself because he had been a starving stray when he found us - and hazy eyes, another had crystals in her urine, and another had impacted anal glands.
They went to the vet regularly and were always current on their shots.
My vet suggested that I switch to a food higher in omega 3's for their coats.
I bought new food and mized it in with their old food to ween them onto the new food.
Bluto stopped vomiting & his eyes got clear, Yoda stopped having impacted anal glands and Zu-Zu stopped having crystals in her urine.
As an experiment, I bought another bag of the Kirkland Dry Cat Food and put some in a bowl for them - Bluto vomited within minutes of eating it.
My husband took a whiff of the food and said it reeked of ammonia or some kind of noxious chemical and he is right.
I would never serve that food to any animal and in fact I threw the entire bag of food into the yard waste bin.
This food is associated with a lot of ill cats and some people have reported that their cats have died from eating it.
It really needs to be taken off the market.

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