My sweet boy cat has an allergy that makes him itch, and we’re pretty sure it’s corn. Each time I buy treats, I scan the label to make sure there’s no corn or corn-meal in there. Two weeks ago, I was rushing and saw a package of treats labeled “Limited Ingredient Recipe” and scanned it without thinking. Excellent, no corn. I bought the two flavors, duck and salmon.
My husband tried out the new treats. The girl cat refused the duck. They’d never had it, and she’s a picky eater. No big deal. The boy ate the duck, because he eats, or at least tries to eat, pretty much anything. After a few days, the boy is puking everywhere. Not the random hairball type of hacking, but the liquid spewing everywhere. Yuck.
I returned the duck and picked up another package of the salmon treats. Both cats love salmon. But the vomiting continued. This morning, my husband happened to read the package. GARLIC. No way. I looked at it again. Yes, definitely says GARLIC. And the treats are made especially for Petco.
Now, I’m not a cat expert, and I didn’t know until we heard it on a news segment a few years ago that onions and especially garlic are toxic to cats and dogs. I thought I must be remembering wrong, after all, this product is made for and sold by Petco, right?
A quick Google search confirms that the experts say:
“All members of the onion family (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, etc.) contain compounds that can damage cats’ red blood cells if eaten in sufficient quantities. Garlic tends to be more toxic than onions on an ounce-for-ounce basis, and cooking does not destroy the toxin…”
I take full responsibility for buying and feeding the cats this product; I should have read the label more carefully. However, I never expected to buy poison for my cat. I mean, this is Petco!
I returned the treats to Petco today and pointed out that garlic is poisonous to cats. The cashier seemed unsure until I showed her the ASPCA website from my phone. She promised to talk to the manager about removing the treats from their shelves.
When I got home I called the number on the back of the treat package, which was Petco’s main phone number. I was told they no longer sold the treats. I said I had bought them just two days before. She corrected herself and said they were not available on the website. When I mentioned my cat was sick from them, she put me on a long hold. She came back and asked if I had brought the cat to the vet, and when I said, “Not yet” she suddenly relaxed. She took some information about the treats and gave me a reference number in case I wanted to “check back in with them in a few days” before hanging up.
When I searched for what to do for garlic poisoning, I found all the vet can do is supportive therapy of oxygen and hydration, which means the cat must heal himself. We’re fortunate and grateful our two sweet kitties did not eat too many treats, and they are both doing fine now.
Treatment Information: http://frontiervet.com/2013/01/01/onion-garlic-poisoning/
I’m still in shock at our discovery, and wanted to share this quick story. Please, PLEASE, read the ingredients in the food you give your pets, even if you buy it from a place you trust. Garlic and onions are toxic to both cats and dogs.
If you’d like to help, please also call Petco and/or check their shelves for Gourmet Tails cat treats, SKU#2282937. I don’t know if the other flavors have garlic, but the Salmon definitely does. Please tell them to be more careful with what they sell and ask them to do a recall of this product because it’s out there in people’s homes!
That’s all from my Soapbox; next week I’ll be back to writing my usually bright, happy words…