Cat owners and cat rescuers kicked off the new year with two online petitions asking Nestlé Purina not to discontinue its 13-ounce cans of Purina Friskies products. Launched on January 7, both petitions at Change.org are currently drawing support from cat lovers in and outside the U.S..

On Purina’s website, a simple notice about the discontinuance of Friskies cat food and treats stated: “That thing you’re looking for? It’s been discontinued. Don’t be sad it’s gone, be happy there are so many other things to try!”

The move was also confirmed in a letter Purina sent to a customer that was shared online by one of the petitioners. In the letter, Purina said:

“Thank you for contacting the Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. We appreciate you letting us know your concern. We’re sorry to share that our 13-ounce Purina Friskies brand cat food cans have been discontinued. This was a difficult decision that was made in an effort to focus on expanding our Friskies varieties in 2020. We are still manufacturing these flavors in our 5.5-ounce can size ...”

Cat lovers flooding the petition site

Unhappy about the decision, cat lovers flooded the petition site with their concerns and opinions, hoping the giant pet food company would listen.

“This change is going to adversely affect cat/kitten rescues, people who foster cats and kittens and the thousands of wonderful people who feed community cats, as well as many cat owners. Please don't discontinue the 13-ounce cans,” wrote Denise Heiserman, who started one of the online petitions.

Another petitioner, Kim Pratt, remarked: “We don’t need 5,000 more varieties at the trade-off of higher expense. Cat rescues and shelters depend on the more affordable 13-ounce cans, not to mention lower-income cat owners. This decision does not adequately consider the needs of Purina's customers and I urge you to reverse it.”

Affects cat rescuers, adds packaging waste

Debra Smith, who launched the other petition, said Purina’s decision to end its 13-ounce cat food line is “a devastating blow to many cat owners and especially to people who are in rescue, rescuers that supply fosters with this food and especially colony caretakers.”

She added an environmental argument: “To feed all of my cats, instead of opening six large cans, I would have to open a case of the smaller cans. The amount of garbage produced by opening so many smaller ones is three times the amount of the large ones. That is so wasteful, not to mention the cost of the smaller cans.”

Smith said the product in question has been cat owners’ and cat rescuers’ tried-and-true, go-to cat food. “There are other companies that make large cans and we do not want to have to buy from them, but if it comes to that we will have to,” she added.