Are Cat Food Cans Lined with Toxic BPA? The Truth Revealed.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that has been commonly used to line the inside of food and beverage cans since the 1960s. The lining acts as a protective barrier between the metal can and the food or liquid inside. BPA was originally chosen for its durable and lightweight properties as well as its resistance to corrosion. However, there has been growing concern in recent years over the potential health impacts of BPA exposure, particularly in canned foods.

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic synthetic compound with the chemical name 4,4′-(propane-2,2-diyl)diphenol. It is commonly abbreviated and referred to as simply BPA.

BPA is used to make certain plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics made with BPA are often used in food and drink packaging, such as water bottles, baby bottles, and the linings of metal food cans.

BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is used to make a hard, clear plastic known as polycarbonate that has many applications including use in some food and drink packaging such as water and baby bottles, compact discs, impact-resistant safety equipment, medical devices etc. Epoxy resins containing BPA are used to coat metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes.

Overall, BPA is best known for its use in certain plastic consumer goods and food and beverage packaging.

Use of BPA in Food Cans

BPA was commonly used to line food cans up until recent years. The epoxy resin containing BPA helped prevent corrosion and prevented food from interacting with the metal of the cans. BPA was prevalent in the lining of canned foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, soups, broths, gravies, milks, fish, and meats.

According to the Can Manufacturers Institute, about 95 percent of food cans today are now made without BPA-based linings, using alternative materials like acrylic or polyester (source). However, some cans, especially older cans, may still contain BPA.

BPA-Free Alternatives

In recent years, many companies have started using alternative can linings that do not contain BPA. Some of the most common BPA-free can linings include:

Acrylic-based linings – These linings use acrylic resins instead of epoxy resins containing BPA. Major brands like Campbell’s and Eden Foods use acrylic linings.

Polyester linings – Polyester resins can also replace BPA in can linings. Companies like Amy’s Kitchen use these.

Olefin polymer linings – Olefins like polyethylene and polypropylene can be used to line cans. Brands such as Wild Planet and Native Forest use olefin-based liners.

Non-BPA epoxy linings – Some modified epoxy resins don’t contain BPA. Manufacturers like Truitt Brothers use these non-BPA epoxies.

The EWG reports that as of 2020, most major brands no longer use BPA in can linings, opting for these safer alternatives instead.

FDA Stance on BPA

The FDA’s current regulations allow the use of BPA in food packaging, including can linings, as long as the levels are below 50 parts per billion. BPA was first approved for use in food contact materials in the early 1960s. Since then, the FDA has reviewed the safety of BPA multiple times as new studies have emerged.

In 2008, the FDA completed an updated safety review on the use of BPA in food contact materials, finding that BPA levels in food were far below levels of concern for human health. However, due to public concerns, the FDA initiated additional studies to further understand any potential health effects from low-dose exposure.

In 2014, the FDA completed another more in-depth review, again concluding that current low levels of BPA from food contact materials were safe. The FDA stated “BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods” based on the most recent studies.

Despite the FDA’s assurances, concerns have persisted from some consumer advocacy groups about potential health effects, especially for infants and young children. This has led to controversies over whether the FDA is doing enough to restrict BPA use. Several petitions have been filed urging the FDA to ban BPA from food packaging, but so far none have been approved.

While maintaining that current uses are safe, in 2016 the FDA did ban the use of BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging due to concerns over exposure during development. The FDA continues to monitor new research and could further restrict uses if new evidence warrants it.

Potential Health Risks

There is concern that exposure to BPA may disrupt normal hormone functioning and lead to adverse health effects. BPA is classified as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can mimic or interfere with natural hormones in the body. Some studies have linked BPA exposure to problems with brain development, increased anxiety, aggression and hyperactivity in young children, reproductive issues, increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and breast and prostate cancer (Mayo Clinic, “What is BPA?”).

Specifically, BPA has been shown to mimic estrogen in the body. High levels of exposure may lead to precocious puberty in females and reduced sperm counts in males (Konieczna et al., 2015). Long-term exposure to BPA may also contribute to insulin resistance and obesity. More research is still needed, but these potential health effects have led health agencies to recommend limiting exposure to BPA, especially for vulnerable populations like pregnant women and young children.

BPA in Cat Food Specifically

Bisphenol A (BPA) is commonly found in the epoxy resin coating of metal food and beverage cans, including many cat food cans. This helps prevent corrosion and contamination of the contents. However, BPA is an endocrine disruptor that can leach into the food, posing potential health risks to pets.

Many major cat food brands use BPA in their canned food products. According to, varieties of Purina cat food cans contain BPA. Mars Petcare products like Whiskas and Sheba also use BPA linings. Fancy Feast Classic Pate cat food cans were found to leach BPA into wet food contents in a 2017 study.

Some brands have started to transition to BPA-free cans, like Wellness, Weruva, and Blue Buffalo. Many boutique and natural cat food companies also avoid BPA linings. According to, canned varieties by companies like Merrick, Tiki Cat, Earthborn, and ZiwiPeak claim to use BPA-free packaging.

Pet owners looking to avoid exposing their cats to BPA from canned food should check labels and company websites for “BPA-free” claims. Or transition to freeze-dried, pouch, or tetra pack wet foods that do not require the BPA can lining. Consult a vet before making major diet changes.

Reducing Exposure

There are several ways consumers can limit their exposure to BPA from canned foods:

Look for cans labeled BPA-free. Many companies now use cans lined with materials such as oleoresin or acrylic instead of epoxy resins containing BPA.

Rinse canned foods before eating them. Research has found rinsing canned vegetables can lower BPA levels. The FDA recommends rinsing for 30 seconds to minimize exposure.

Opt for fresh or frozen versions of fruits and vegetables when possible. Buying fresh produce avoids BPA from the can linings.

Use glass, ceramic, or other BPA-free food storage containers. Do not microwave or store foods in plastic containers, as heat can increase leaching.

Buy powdered or dry versions of items like beans and tomatoes. The dry versions won’t come in cans lined with BPA.

Avoid handling thermal receipts, as the coating often contains BPA. Use online statements when possible.

Check labels and opt for baby bottles, sippy cups, and other children’s items that are BPA-free.

The Future of BPA

Recent developments show that demand for BPA-free alternatives is growing as more consumers become aware of potential health risks. Major companies like Campbell’s Soup and Eden Foods have started using BPA-free liners in their canned foods due to consumer pressure.

Several promising BPA alternatives have emerged, including oleoresin, acrylic, polyester, and epoxy linings. However, some studies suggest these may come with their own health concerns. More research is needed to fully understand the safety profiles of BPA replacements.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global BPA-free cans market size was valued at USD 1.06 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% from 2021 to 2028 [1]. Factors driving this growth include rising health consciousness amongst consumers, growing demand from the food and beverage industry, and supportive government regulations.

While promising BPA-free alternatives are emerging, fully eliminating BPA exposure may prove difficult due to its widespread use. Consumers can reduce exposure by choosing fresh foods or foods packaged in glass, Tetra Paks or pouches whenever possible.


To summarize, BPA is a chemical commonly found in the linings of aluminum or tin food cans to prevent corrosion and contamination. While the FDA still considers current levels of BPA exposure from food packaging safe, some studies have linked BPA to potential health effects. Many cat food manufacturers now offer canned varieties labeled BPA-free, which use alternate materials for the can linings.

Consumers interested in limiting BPA exposure for their cats can choose these BPA-free canned foods or alternative packaging like pouches. However, more studies are still needed on the potential risks of BPA and the safety of BPA alternatives in pet food. Cat owners should work with their veterinarian to find the right balance between limiting BPA exposure and providing their cat with complete and balanced nutrition.

In the future, innovative packaging solutions may provide cats and pet owners with canned foods that minimize risks while retaining the benefits of canned formulas. Still, awareness and further research into the potential impacts of chemicals like BPA in pet food remains important.

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