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Franny Syufy

BPA Lining in Pet Food Cans

By April 18, 2013

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It's embarassing to admit that up until a couple of months ago, I had no idea what BPA was, nor why it might be important to cat parents. The fact is that BPA lining in pet food cans may be a contributing factor for hyperthyroidism and other diseases and conditions in cats.

Photo of Joey, a Hyperthyroid CatMy Joey was only eight years old when he was diagnosed as hyperthyroid - a disease which is more common in older cats. I had been feeding him various brands of canned cat foods since adopting him and his brother, Jaspurr at 6.5 weeks. BPA is a hard, clear plastic, which is used "as a protective lining on the inside of metal-based food and beverage cans," according to the FDA. It has been approved for that purpose since the 1960s. However, studies done over the years have linked BPA to a number of health concerns in humans, and at least as a contributing factor to hyperthyroidism in cats.

It is too late for me to undo whatever damage has been done to my cats by feeding them canned food contaminated by BPA. However, going forward, I am using only foods in cans the manufacturers declare to be free of BPA. This last is the hard part, as there are hundreds of various cat food brands and formulas. So far, among those who are free of BPA lining in the cats appear to be the 3 1/2 oz. and 5 oz cans. The larger cans are questionable. As Susan Thixton has said, the only way to know for sure is to call the manufacturer.


April 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm
(1) oneandahalfcats says:

When I started our cats back on regular wet food, I wanted a food that was high-quality, grain-free and that the cans it came in were BPA-free. I chose Wellness chicken as all cats like it. The only issue is the carrageenan content which is used to give the food some stability. I wanted to go completely raw after reading a lot of great information at lisa pierson’s catinfo.org site, but this is not an option at the moment. We still use a bit of good quality kibble through the day (portion controlled) as our eldest, Max, requires more fibre in his diet and the kibble we are using has proven to be quite effective in ensuring regularity. Below is a link to a consumer report on Wellness in case anyone is interested in learning more : http://www.consumersearch.com/cat-food/wellness-chicken-formula

April 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm
(2) Vicki says:

Hi Fran,

After reading this article, I contacted Royal Canin to see if they used BPA in their pop top cans. I was assured that their canned food is BPA free, so you can add Royal Canin to the list that does not use BPA lining:)

April 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm
(3) Franny Syufy says:

Thanks, Vicki. I’m pretty sure Royal Canin is manufactured in Canada, so the response from them makes sense, since the Canadian Government has outlawed BPA in food product packaging.

May 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm
(4) ConcernedChemist says:

Actually, BPA isn’t banned in Canada. Only infant products. BPA has the full support of Health Canada for adults and pets as well as the FDA (USA)and the European Food Safety Authority (Europe).

The data developed over the years for feline hyperthyroidism was when can coatings were vinyl novalac based polymers. Novalacs have been banned in Europe and much of the industry has moved away because novalacs extracted from the coating very easily and in large amounts.

BPA is only extracted from coatings under extended heat conditions and even then at very low levels; typically <25 parts per billion. Novalacs were removed at 100 times that level.

It is very unlikely that any pet sees significant BPA levels in wet pet food.

May 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm
(5) Franny Syufy says:

ConcernedChemist, that is interesting information. Are you employed by a pet food manufacturer? (not that it makes any difference at this point.) In the interest in getting at the truth, I’d appreciate it if you would email me at cats(at)about.guide.com with links to back up the data you posted here. I’d appreciate any additional information you can provide.

Thank you in advance,
Franny Syufy, Guide to Cats.about.com

June 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm
(6) Cheryl says:

Jaspurr. How cute! This topic concerns me too. My friend paid $2K for thyroid cancer treatments in his kitty. We feared BPA.

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