A man recently took to Twitter to warn others about counterfeit cat food that is being sold on Shopee
On Thursday, 15 July, Twitter user @ZackAvaricious, also known as Zack, posted several screenshots of a listing on the online shopping platform along with a caption that read, "Fake Royal Canin Fit 32 10kg."
The tweet has since garnered over 4,800 retweets and 3,120 likes.
In Zack's post, he included reviews from unhappy customers who claimed that they received counterfeit items.
Some of them even said that their cats experienced side effects after eating the food.
They noted that there's a difference in packaging, appearance, and smell compared to the original product.
One person wrote, "Pity my cat vomited after eating. My cats don't want to eat it anymore."
"My cat got diarrhoea after eating it. No wonder it is cheaper than any other stores," read another review.
A few people also replied to Zack's tweet, saying that they fell victim to online sellers who sold counterfeit cat food
User Fatimah Zahrah wrote, "How is this seller still on @ShopeeMY? I, too, was a victim of this last April! Wasted more than RM200 on 10kg of fake cat food, my poor babies got diarrhoea, had to buy another pack right after. Reported of course, but no refund, unfortunately. I'm so angry!"
Meanwhile, another person said that their cat died from consuming the fake product.
"My cat died a few weeks ago from eating fake Royal Canin. Including four other small ones that died. This seller is irresponsible and didn't reply to my chat. I am the third person to comment that it is fake and now many have reviewed it but they're still bold enough to sell it."
Netizens then shared ways to identify whether your cat food is the real deal or not
Zack told SAYS that you can tell if your product is genuine by paying close attention to the packaging.
The original Royal Canin packaging comes with a circle tab on the top corner. Meanwhile, the counterfeit product does not have the little tab.
Besides that, the font on the authentic Royal Canin packaging is different compared to the counterfeit item.
The real product should have a more elongated and narrow font, while the font on the fake product is noticeably rounder and wider.
The appearance of the kibble can also let you know whether it's genuine or not. Authentic Royal Canin cat food should come in a light brown shade while the fake product has a deeper brown colour.
Fatimah Zahra noted, "When I got scammed, I checked a couple of things on the pack to know if the kibbles were fake. I realised the size and smell of the kibbles weren't like the original. The fake ones were much smaller and it smelled almost sour-ish!"
"At first, I thought it had expired, so I searched for the expiration date and that was when I realised the font was very different from the original Royal Canin. All original packs' serial numbers have a pixelated or dotted font, whereas the fake one probably used Arial."
Shopee reached out to Zack and noted that they will look into the matter
"We will forward this to the relevant team for further review and necessary action will be taken upon investigation," they said in a direct message to Zack.
Checks by SAYS found that the Shopee listing Zack referenced in his tweet has been taken down.
Under Malaysian law, producing and selling counterfeit goods is a major offence.
The goods are to be destroyed according to a court order, pertaining to the Supply Control Act 1961, the Copyright Act 1987, the Consumer Protection Act 1999, the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011, and the Trade Descriptions Act 2011.