Dalhousie’s huge cat food purchase has locals questioning purpose

Cat food's destiny currently unclear


The appearance of 372 large cans of No Name brand cat food on a pallet labeled “Dalhousie” at Halifax’s Young St. Atlantic Superstore location has some members of the Dalhousie community wondering, “What is Dalhousie doing with so much cat food?”

News of the mysterious cat food first broke Sunday evening when Halifax local Allison Sparling shared photos of her discovery on Twitter.


    Reactions to the pallet quickly ranged from sheer confusion to ruminations on whether the food may be intended for the Dal Tiger.    


A grocery clerk at the Superstore who spoke with the Gazette said the pallet arrived early Sunday afternoon.

A manager on duty confirmed the cat food is scheduled to be picked up by Dalhousie University on Monday, dispelling the possibility the shipment was intended for Dalhousie, NB.

The manager was not aware which university department(s) will be receiving the food which could comfortably feed a regular-sized adult cat for a decade.


The pallet holds just over 232 kilograms of cat chow in the flavours of Beef Dinner and Seafood Dinner, indicating the shipment may possibly be intended for actual cats who could become fussy upon always being served the same flavour of cat food.

If the cans have been procured by Dalhousie at a standard price, it’s costing the university over $500.

Dalhousie’s website indicates the university’s Agricultural Campus in Truro includes a kennel where Veterinary Technology students practice basic animal husbandry skills on cats and dogs, which could lead one to believe the cat food is intended for the Truro kennel kits.

However, Truro has its own Atlantic Superstore location, while the Dalhousie pallet appeared in Halifax’s North End.


MAP: Compare the distances between the Truro and Young St. Atlantic Superstore locations to Dalhousie’s Agricultural Campus, where cats live.


It is possible similar shipments of cat food intended for Dalhousie are being sourced from multiple grocery stores.

The Gazette has reached out to Dalhousie with a request for comment. This story will be updated as more information is available.


  1. Sydney Trendell on August 17, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Dalhousie has a cat lab, you know that right?! It’s a well known fact that universities have animals, why would this blow people’s mind?

  2. DaNotion on August 17, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Dalhousie does research on cats, there is a cat lab in the lsc… #notthatcomplicated

  3. Sartorian on August 17, 2015 at 11:15 am

    May have something to do with the number of stray cats in the area, or a donation to an animal shelter.

  4. Concerned Citizen on August 17, 2015 at 11:20 am

    To shed some light on this mystery, a lab which houses cats and kittens is located behind closed doors in Dalhousie’s Life Sciences building. These animals are the subject of invasive procedures (for example, kitten’s eyes are sewn shut) for the purpose of investigating “cellular mechanisms that promote recovery from a vision impairment (amblyopia) caused by abnormal visual experience early in postnatal life.” If the existence of this this lab feels unethical or makes you uncomfortable, you are not alone. For further information, please visit this past article on the lab’s activities: http://www.care2.com/causes/kittens-eyes-sewn-shut-to-research-treatment-for-humans.html , and consider contacting Dalhousie’s Administration to voice your concerns.

    • Cuntsmith on August 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Would you like to volunteer as a research subject instead?

  5. […] the Gazette reported Sunday on the discovery of a 232 kilogram shipment of cat food intended for Dalhousie University, the response was […]

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Jesse Ward

Jesse, editor-in-chief of the Gazette, is a fifth-year student of journalism at Dalhousie and the University of King’s College. He started university with three years of experience writing for Teens Now Talk magazine, where he is now copy editor. Before writing a story Jesse likes to think about how his metal detector could finally be useful in researching this one, but there is never a way it could be. Jesse has produced writing and interactive features for Globalnews.ca and The Chronicle Herald. He may be followed on Twitter, @RealJesseWard, or from the Gazette office on Mondays around 8 p.m. to his home in West End Halifax.

Email Jesse at editor@dalgazette.com.

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