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Rad Cat Raw Food Diet – Are They Still in Business? Facts, Recalls & FAQ

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Bengal cat eating ground meat on a plate

Rad Cat Raw Food Diet – Are They Still in Business? Facts, Recalls & FAQ

An increasing number of pet parents are turning to raw food as a diet for their fuzzy companions. However, dealing with raw food, especially meat, can pose certain risks. Therefore, it is crucial to rely on cat food companies that offer safer raw food, such as Rad Cat Raw Diet.

But whether you were once a customer or heard about it through the pet food grapevine, you might be wondering if you can still buy its products. The rumors are that it’s out of business, but is this true?

As of October 15, 2018, Rad Cat Raw Diet has ceased production and closed permanently.

If you want to know more about what led to the company’s closure, we discuss the reasons behind it here.

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What Was Rad Cat Raw Diet?

Tracey and Janice Hatch-Rizzi founded Radagast Pet Food, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. This was in response to their cat Juno, which was suffering from allergies and digestive issues, so they worked with a holistic veterinarian, and Juno’s health improved.

Based on this success, they fed their other two cats the same raw diet and even supplied their friends’ and family’s cats with the food, and reportedly, this produced positive results. Encouraged by these outcomes, the pair developed and began manufacturing Rad Cat Raw Diet, with products hitting the shelves in 2005.

pushing a cart in a supermarket
Image Credit: Fit Ztudio, Shutterstock

Did Rad Cat Have Recalls?

Raw food poses significant risks due to the presence of harmful bacteria like Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli. These bacteria can cause severe illnesses, so any evidence of them in cat food results in prompt recalls of the affected products. Rad Cat previously issued the following recalls:

  • July 2016: Four recipes were recalled due to potential Salmonella and/or Listeria
  • March 2018: Two recipes were recalled due to potential Listeria
  • July 2018: Four recipes were recalled due to potential Listeria or coli contamination.
  • August 2018: Six recipes were recalled due to potential Listeria

Why Did Rad Cat Raw Diet Go Out of Business?

Radagast Pet Food faced multiple recalls of its products, which led to the closure of Rad Cat in 2018. The founders claimed that they did not receive reimbursement from their insurance company and certain distributors quickly enough, making it impossible for them to continue production.

Ultimately, the company had to shut down due to a lack of finances, not because of FDA intervention (though the recalls were ultimately the issue). It attempted a GoFundMe, and it appears $30,700 was raised, but the doors of Rad Cat remained closed.

The most recent update as of this writing was on Rad Cat’s Facebook page in January 2020. The team mentioned their desire to continue making their food but have not resumed production since then.

go out of business closed sign or failed business
Image Credit: STEVEN CHIANG, Shutterstock

Why Try a Raw Food Diet?

Many cat owners have switched to a raw food diet or are thinking about it, as they believe that it’s more natural for their pets to eat like their wild ancestors. It’s commonly believed that cats can benefit from a diet that doesn’t involve highly processed food.

However, many cat parents only consider switching to raw food when their pets face health issues or are not eating their regular food. Regardless, this is an issue that should be discussed with your veterinarian if you are considering the option.

What Are the Issues With Raw Food?

Besides the risks associated with the consumption of raw food, including the potential for harmful bacteria contamination, opting for raw food is typically a more expensive and labor-intensive option compared to buying traditional cat food.

Preparing raw food can be time consuming, and the bacterial and parasitic concerns can (rightly so) be daunting for many cat owners. Research has shown that commercially prepared raw food is prone to contamination, increasing the risk for cats that consume it, as well as humans exposed to these cats.

Raw food inherently carries many risks that typical commercial diets do not, and there have been instances where cats have contracted diseases or died after consuming contaminated raw food. This is not to say that raw food is inherently bad, but you must thoroughly research the risks involved and consider the potential dangers before exposing your cat and family to harmful pathogens.

Many veterinarians and professional organizations recommend against feeding cats a raw food diet, for these very reasons.

Female vet holding a sick cat close-up
Image Credit: megaflopp Shutterstock

Can You Make Your Own Raw Food?

It’s generally not recommended to give homemade raw food to your cat unless you are under the guidance of a veterinarian or feline nutritionist. It isn’t a matter of grinding up raw meat and putting it in your cat’s bowl; felines need a balance of nutrients that can only be met with specific ingredients.

There’s also the risk of food poisoning and parasite transmission associated with raw food. If your cat consumes food with pathogens like Listeria, E. coli, or Salmonella, it can quickly become an emergency situation that requires veterinary assistance. Furthermore, many of these diseases can be transmitted to humans. Parasites such as toxoplasma can even lead to death.

To minimize the risk of contamination, you’ll need to handle homemade raw food safely. This includes thoroughly cleaning your cat’s bowls, utensils, and kitchen equipment after every use. If you are determined to prepare your cat’s raw food at home, consult with your veterinarian beforehand, and follow the guidelines set by the FDA.

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It is unfortunate when small businesses that offer nutritionally balanced meal options for cats are forced to close. However, when it comes to dealing with raw meat, the proper safety precautions must be taken for the safety of the customers, which of course, include your cats.

Therefore, investigate the companies that you are considering, check online reviews, and ask questions. The more thorough you are, the better the food and the safer you and your cat will be.


Featured Image Credit: Svyatoslav Balan, Shutterstock

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