Categories: death

Warning: Cat food storage bins are killing cats

Originally published July 30, 2016, this article is as important today as it was then. Please share with friends who use these containers to store their cat food.

This is a warning story, the type I really hate to write but feel it necessary in order to help cat owners protect their beloved companions. It involves cat food storage bins and what should be a good product that is now responsible for killing cats.

Petsmart container is still being sold (

While it doesn’t happen often, one death is too many when it’s your cat. I’m talking about a cat food storage bins. These are sold to keep dry cat food fresh and bug-free and out of kitty’s reach until time to eat. Unfortunately, curious cats are finding their way inside the storage bin and becoming trapped, suffocating to death.

Kari’s case

I read about a case about a year ago when pet parent Kari Willett came home to find her beloved cat Mowgli dead at the bottom of the bin among tins of pet food. Her cat was lying in a crumpled heap after furiously trying to get free until oxygen ran out. Kari posted to Facebook:

“As many of you know, my sleeping companion, my caretaker from 5 hospital visits just this past calendar year died tragically yesterday. I do not post for sympathy but in hope of protecting others from what I experienced yesterday.

About a month ago I bought two “Top Paw” food storage bins from PetSmart. I loved how sleek and stackable they were.

Unfortunately, my cat of 5 years was able to open the lock, climb in (granted to steal extra rations), however after climbing in the bin, he was trapped when the lock fell back down on him. He was unable to get back out.”

PetSmart did send Kari a letter of sympathy after she reported the tragedy, but the popular pet food storage bin is still available on the PetSmart website. There’s a design flaw that makes it impossible for a cat trapped inside to open the cover.  PetSmart says they’re investigating their product.

There are other cat food storage bins out there that are just as dangerous. A few days ago I read on a friend’s Facebook wall about how his cat got inside his storage bin and managed to knock it over, trapping his cat inside. Like Kari, my friend came home to find his cat dead.

While these are freak accidents, they’ve left behind a lot of guilt by owners who were only trying to do right by their cat. This is a story worth sharing. Any little tidbit of information needs sharing because this isn’t something most of us would even think of as being dangerous.

Other methods of pet suffocation can be found here and are worth the read.


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Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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