Special Kitty Cat Food Recall 2021 – Is There Any Discontinued?

What brand of cat food you buy for your cat matters a lot for a cat’s health. Many brands have complaints about the ingredients used in cat foods. Also, it is hard to find a safe and trusted brand for cat food. A few of the brands have also been recalled in the past. One of them is a Special Kitty cat food recall.

Although, special kitty cat foods are the best for the budget and are sold exclusively by Walmart. But, budget cat foods are more vulnerable to recalls other than expensive cat food companies. Special kitty cat food is also one of them. Special kitty was recalled first in 2007. Not once it was recalled, the special kitty was recalled again just next year. Then after an extended period, in 2017, a special kitty was recalled regarding the lack of thiamine. This is concerning.

The ingredients used in the recipes are also cost-cutting. Therefore there are many things to know about the special kitty cat food. This article covered a whole review about a special kitty from its past to present. Is special kitty bad for cats yet? Should you give it a try or not?

About Special Kitty History

Special kitty has not a good past in terms of recalls. However, there is an exciting story about the special kitty. It started in 1981 when Walmart introduced low-cost pet food named Ol’ Roy and sold it exclusively. After a few years of Ol’ Roy, Walmart mentioned the special kitty cat food, a private label brand.

At the time Special kitty was mentioned, Doane pet care manufactured most of the pet food. At that time, Doane dominated the pet food market. Doane is the second-largest company in the United States in the pet food market.

So for the special kitty, it was under the Doane and all private-label brand pet foods. Walmart was the biggest customer of Doane company with 2/3 revenue of Doane.

In 2005, the share of the cat food market in the United States was held by the special kitty equal to 19%. Even Purina cat chow was beaten at that time by a special kitty.

List of Special Kitty Cat Food Recalls

There have been a few recalls of the special kitty cat food over the years.

The first recall was in March 2007. At that time, there was an extensive menu food/melamine recall. In that recall, there were many cat food brands included. One of them was Special kitty brands. The cause of that recall was the high potential level of melamine in the special kitty cat foods. A few of the recipes recalled were Special kitty beef with gravy, special kitty chicken and liver, special kitty mixed grill, and more.

Another recall for the special kitty was in September and October 2008. There were two recalls in one year for the exact cause. The high potential of salmonella was found in the recipes of special kitty food. That recall also includes multiple brands of pet food. All of the products of pet food are manufactured at Mars facilities. A few of the recalled products of special kitty were Special kitty original premium cat food, Special kitty gourmet blend premium cat food.

The following recall was in early January 2017 for Special kitty. Many cans were recalled due to the insufficient level of the thiamine that is vitamin B1. Fortunately, no illnesses were reported against the recalled cans. Also, it is said that cans are recalled for caution. One of the cans recalled was a Special kitty mixed grill dinner with printed wrap. There are a total of 5 cans that were recalled as a caution.

Lastly, the Special kitty brand was recalled in December 2019. Particular cans of Special kitty were recalled because they don’t meet cat food quality and safety standards. Special kitty mixed grill diner pate was one of the individual cans. Yet, there was no actual reason besides the quality and safety standard. However, investigating the situation to minimize the future concern in the recipes of special kitty brands.

Is Special Kitty Bad for Cats?

Though special kitty cat foods are affordable on a low budget, special kitty cat foods are not recommended for good health for cats. It is because of their ingredients in recipes such as yellow corn, soybeans, and animal-by-product meals. None of them is good for the cat’s health rather than filling the tummy.

Also, special kitty dry cat food contains a high level of carbohydrates, like over 25%. Cats can’t consume that many carbohydrates. Only 5 % carbohydrates are enough for cats. In comparison, special kitty wet cat food has low carbs.

If you are on a tight budget, you may look for special kitty wet cat food. Otherwise, there are more brands available in the pet food market.

Is a Special Kitty Worth Trying?

Whether a new brand of cat food is worth trying or not, it is good to see what opinions other cat owners have? Reading reviews of other customers can help you make an intelligent choice.

Special kitty cat food is the top-selling cat food in the United States. Since Walmart is the leading retailer in America, Special kitty covers 20% of the cat food market. It means many cat owners don’t lose the opportunity to give their cats cheap food.

Also, there are many positive reviews on Walmart regarding the special kitty cat food that their cats find delicious. Also, a few reviews are against it.

Special Kitty Cat Food Ingredients

Ingredients used in special kitty cat food are cheap and added in bulk to cat food. Also, Special kitty dry cat food makes use of filler ingredients that have no nutritional value. The most commonly used ingredient in the recipes is ground yellow corn. Corn gluten meal may cause problems for cats.

One of the ingredients that must be focused on is the meat used in the recipes. Unfortunately, Special kitty makes use of the animal by-product instead of real meat. However, these animal by-products have some nutrition that is healthy for cats. But it is concerning what might else it include there.

Special kitty also makes use of soybean meal. Meals are foods that mash-up different parts or ingredients. For example, a chicken meal is a mixture of different parts of the birds, such as bones and meat. This soybean meal is the mixture mashed up of other parts of the soybean. Cats are not supposed to eat such things. Animal-by-product meals can also be found in the special kitty cat food recipes.

This type of meal can be nutritious for a cat’s diet if used in the right amount.

Special Kitty Sourcing and Manufactures

After 2006, Special kitty, a private label brand under the Doane pet care, was manufactured for Walmart by both Mars Petcare U.S. and Del Monte Foods pet division.

There is not much information recorded for the manufacturer of the special kitty. However, In 2014, Mars Petcare U.S. and Del Monte were acquired by the J.M. Smucker Company. Also, J.M. Smucker Company controls the pet food manufacturer of the U.S.

Walmart owns special kitty brand, and pet food of special kitty is currently manufactured by J.M. Smucker Company and Big Heart Pet Brands.

Before, the production of special kitty food was done overseas, including in China. But now J.M Smucker Company sources from the U.S.


Despite having many recalls and the flaws in the recipes, cats seem to like it. It is all based on the reviews. The ingredients used in the recipes are also meal types meaning there is not much nutritional value, especially in special kitty dry cat foods.

However, Special kitty cat food is better than giving nothing to your cat on an affordable low budget. If you want your cat healthy, look for a well-balanced diet of cat food.

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