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Kirkland dry cat food possible health issues???

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by addiebee, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. addiebee

    addiebee Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

    Oct 30, 2007
    Has anyone heard of any issues with Kirkland's dry premium cat food? A friend of mine with A LOT of kitties and a really tight budget went from IAMS to Authority to Kirkland.. moving to the Authority on my suggestion... but when Petsmart raised the price she moved to Kirkland.

    That was this past summer ... now - TWO of her kitties are battling Hepatic Lipidosis... and she is very alarmed.

    I have seen some anecdotal blog material with owners claiming the linkage between the dry food and HL ... but was wondering if anyone here had seen more definitive information. I am also seeing the words "class action lawsuit" being tossed around on these blogs I've read.

  2. sharky

    sharky TCS Member Veteran

    Jan 30, 2005
    Kirkland is made by diamond... I have used it with better results than a lot of no grains .. it is uti okay mag is high other minerals are in check UTIs and some of the diamond seem common but as we know much of this is likely genetic ... All five of mine are good with it.. one got sick but it was the other food not the Kirkland

    Class actions are the new ambulance chaser...IMHO.. One greedy lawyer posts it online or tv to get a client in a state where the rules are lax[​IMG]

  3. sharky

    sharky TCS Member Veteran

    Jan 30, 2005
    HL is usually caused by an infection or a lack of eating

  4. addiebee

    addiebee Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

    Oct 30, 2007
    Not absolutely sure it's HL... but the livers of both cats are impacted. The female was on a feeding tube. Now - they are brother and sister... so there could be a genetic component. I am wondering if they were more sensitive to the formulation than the other cats in her home.

    These are the kinds of complaints/blogs I am seeing when I Google the subject:

  5. sharky

    sharky TCS Member Veteran

    Jan 30, 2005
    Find a FOOD human or animal without stuff like that... I cant think of a food off hand without some issues..

    They could be highly allergic/ intolerant to an ingredient ...

    No food is perfect for all ....

  6. jimmylegs

    jimmylegs TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Aug 1, 2007
    i have been feeding 10-15 cats on Kirkland for the past year with no issue, but do let us know if anything else gets determined. but so far it's been one of the greatest finds for us value-wise, so i hope it's not the food [​IMG]

  7. jillbur

    jillbur TCS Member Kitten

    Sep 28, 2012
    Hello all,

    I was 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. 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. The food has also had numerous recalls. 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.


  8. ross evans

    ross evans TCS Member Kitten

    Apr 22, 2013
    STAY AWAY from Kirkland Dry Cat food. I fed my cats this food and my male cat developed a urethral obstruction. That is cause by the food. From my time working for a vet during high school, I knew and saw this caused by low quality cat food. $1,500 at the vet later, I will never feed my cat this junk again. If you have a male cat STAY AWAY

  9. katluver4life

    katluver4life TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 4, 2012
    Any dry food can cause a male, or even a female, cat to get obstructed or get crystals if that is all they eat. That's why we encourage people to try their best at providing a wet food diet instead. Also to encourage water drinking, getting fountains helps there.  A good resource to read is http://www.catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth, written by a well known vet specializing in cat nutrition. Hope this helps.
    sharky purraised this.

  10. brillobee

    brillobee TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 3, 2011
    I fed Kirkland dry for years. Had no issues, with 11 of my 12 cats. My parents and in laws still feed it not issues.

  11. feralvr

    feralvr TCS Member Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Northwest Indiana
    Just an FYI. This thread is from 2010 but a good one to bring up again! Will have it moved to Nutrition for more replies on Kirkland brand cat food. :)

  12. ross evans

    ross evans TCS Member Kitten

    Apr 22, 2013
    I'll assume that means there was a problem with 1 out of the 12 cats, or in other words a 5% change this food is going to cause a health issue. Personally I find risking my cat to 1 to 12 chance unacceptable, and that is assuming those were all male cats.

    I don't want to open a can of worms on cat nutrition. Yes in theory dry cat food increases the risk of urethral obstructions, however a premium dry cat food can and are balanced to prevent this. Without exception every cat that was in for a urethral obstruction at the vet I worked for was fed cheap supermarket cat food. That is an observation over 3 years, and if I recall an average of 1 cat with this every 2 weeks.

    I am a big fan of the Kirkland dog food products. Nutritionally they are one of the better dry foods at a reasonable price. Unfortunately I assumed the cat food would be the same, and didn't take the time to read the bag. Now in hindsight, the magnesium (which increased the PH of the urine and leads to crystals) is on the high side at 0.1% (0.025% recommended for a cat with a history of urethral obstruction) and the methionine (to lower the PH) is low in the list of ingredients. I'm not a chemist, but its listed as methionine, rather than DL-methionine if that makes a difference.

    In short, we are all posting here because we care about our cats, we are not interested in low grade cat food. A 1 in 12 shot of something preventable happening is not acceptable. The Kirkland product does not live up to this expectation.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013

  13. vball91

    vball91 TCS Member Veteran

    Jan 14, 2013
    CO, USA
    The theory that dry cat food increases the risk of any kind of FLUTD, which can lead to urethral obstructions, is based on the theory that dry food can cause chronic dehydration due to its low moisture content unless a cat consumes enough water to offset the dry food, which most cats don't. Chronic dehydration can lead to more concentrated urine which is a more favorable environment for FLUTD to develop, whether it's crystals, stones, bacteria or just inflamation. If you buy into that theory, it doesn't matter what kind of dry food you're talking about because all dry is bad at 10% average moisture content vs. 75% moisture content in canned. Now, of course, there are clearly huge nutritional differences amongst dry foods, but I would argue that that has no real bearing on a FLUTD discussion. www.catinfo.org has more info on this if you are interested.
    There are formulations specifically geared to try to combat urinary issues, such as targeting specific urine pH or adding methionine to acidify the urine, and those have worked for some cats. However, I would not feed those formulations to any cats who have not specifically been identified as having a problem that the specific formulation addressed. For example, you don't want to blindly acidify urine pH. A too acidic environment can lead to calcium oxalate stone formation while a too alkaline environment can lead to struvite crystal formation. Keeping the urine dilute by ensuring the cat is adequately hydrated is generally accepted as the best preventative measure.

    Keep in mind though that the vast majority of urinary issues are idiopathic in nature, meaning no cause can be identified. In some cats, stress alone is enough to trigger a problem Some cats just seem more prone to urinary issues for whatever reason. Yes, we care about our cats and want to do the best for them that we can, but sometimes, despite our best efforts, they have issues. I do believe in feeding a high animal protein/low carb wet/raw food, but I do not expect that it will be the cure-all for every problem.

  14. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

    Aug 13, 2009
    I just want to remind everyone that back when this thread started was probably when the big recalls were going on, and Kirkland brand WAS involved in the recalls.  As far as I know, they are not involved with the current recalls. 

    For dry food, Kirkland is a decent food, IMHO.  When Sharky was around, I think she did a nutritional "look see" at it, and gave it a thumbs up.

  15. krysta

    krysta TCS Member Adult Cat

    Sep 28, 2012
    North Carolina
    1 in 12 , or 5% of cats could have an issue eating ANY food, in my opinion.  Some cats are just genetically pre-disposed to this kind of thing.  Many have chronic "idiopathic" urinary issues, meaning that the cause is unknown. (EDIT-- saw after I wrote this that vball91 had already mentioned that!)  While there are many things that can be done to PREVENT issues, nothing works 100% of the time, for 100% of kitties. My last cat had many, many bouts with cystitis, ate Rx food for a long time, then switched to Kirkland for years with no issues whatsoever.  
    [​IMG]..........I like the ingredients in it better than many more expensive foods.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013

  16. darcie

    darcie TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 9, 2014
    Thanks for the discussion. I have used Kirkland in the past with no troubles, but with a recent stray and her kittens... They all had smelly runny feces. Switched their food and was gone in two days. I'm assuming genetic since they all had troubles but my two unrelated cats didn't and it sounds like not all cats here are affected. I guess just pay attention to each cats individual needs and provide the highest quality you can afford? Would be nice if Kirkland would pay attention to the comments on the high (was it magnesium?) and adjust that in their formula.

  17. sharky

    sharky TCS Member Veteran

    Jan 30, 2005
    I am not lost :)... I will caution Kirkland has TWO formulas... the regular is what I  feed  in my rotation diet it is a dark purple bad ... the other is wt control and has things I would not feed .... Around here we are aiming soon for no dry....

    I have three boys and one had a history of UTI before me.... I havent had issues with this food but as noted much of this is genetic and possible the new expression of a gene issue ...

  18. schbunny

    schbunny TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 13, 2014
    I don't feed my cat Kirkland but I feed my dog Kirkland and he has no issues. And his allergies went away!

    I did see some bad rep about them online tho, so good to do some reasearch.

  19. cprcheetah

    cprcheetah TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 23, 2013
    Bountiful, UTah
    My dad has fed his cats Kirkland for years without any problems.  He also feeds his dogs it as well. 

  20. chromium blues

    chromium blues TCS Member Super Cat

    Jul 19, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    I work for a pet supply retailer in Ontario, Canada. Lately, I have had a lot of customers tell me that their cats have become ill on the Kirkland cat food. Most commonly, I hear complaints of dry, dull coat, itchiness, and weight gain, but I have also heard complaints of severe liver damage, kidney damage, and urinary tract infections. If you're willing to spend some time looking, there are many economical cat foods available that are of a much better quality than Kirkland, and some even offer frequent buyer programs which are great if you're feeding multiple cats. Look for a food that has been around for a long time and has a good track record. There are many excellent options.

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