Food Recalls

Oct 20, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Personal Opinion

In 2007, a large food recall took place as a result of melamine contamination. Both dogs and cats were affected. This raised a safety concern about pet food that has not been helped by ten reports of national food recalls from March 2009 to March 2010. In the month of March 2010, there were more than 45 recalls of human food products with Salmonella as a common inciting cause.  Now, there are many people who wish to home cook for their cats.

Other safety issues I hear are artificial preservatives, colors, and flavoring. Many fear that food additives play a role in cancer incidence, allergies or autoimmune disorders. The FDA governs the use of these additives and evaluates them for safety. “Who trusts the government?” is the response I hear to my assurances.

The desire to home cook for your cat is deserving of a measured response, one that reflects the complexity of cooking for a carnivore and the difficulty of uncovering adequate information about many products.

Food preferences in the cat are both instinctive and acquired. Taste receptors in cats are specialized for eating meat. Kittens acquire taste preferences from exposure to flavors transmitted in the uterus and in milk. They also learn appropriate food choices from their mother. These include food texture and odor as well as taste.

The balance of vitamins and minerals must be balanced correctly. In a study of home-prepared diets calcium-phosphorus ratios, Vitamin A and E levels along with potassium, copper and zinc were inadequate. Everyone has good intentions but not always a good outcome.

As long as you work with a veterinary nutritionist, there is minimal risk. You must follow all the ingredient and additive instructions to the letter. Many veterinary nutritionists are available for phone consultation and are able to analyze individual diets for nutritional adequacy. That does not guarantee that the flavor, texture or odor will be acceptable to your cat, however. Serious illness can result when a cat refuses to eat. Make sure your beloved companion likes the food well enough to take in adequate calories for the longterm which may require multiple foods to avoid monotony.

Dr Elizabeth Colleran

Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

Chico Hospital for Cats
548 W East Ave,
Chico, CA

Phone: 530-892-2287‎

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Cat Hospital of Portland
8065 SE 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97202

Phone: 503-235-7005
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