Tips to Avoid Tainted Cat Food

A veterinary specialist gives advice on how to keep your cat safe during pet food recalls.

During pet food recalls, it’s natural to become worried and confused about what to feed your cats. Veterinary specialist Sonja Olson, DVM, of Florida Veterinary Specialists and Cancer Treatment Center in Tampa, Fla., offers these tips on how to avoid tainted cat foods and keep your pets safe during cat food recalls, below.

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•    Prescription diets generally have tighter guidelines and more controls on their ingredients than other pet foods, so consider switching during a recall.

•    Consider your cat’s lifestyle and medical issues. Pay attention to ingredients on each bag of food. Note the amount of sodium because high sodium levels are harmful to cats with heart or kidney problems. Look at the percentage of protein versus carbohydrates for diabetic cats that need a higher protein-to-carbohydrate ratio.

•    Home cooking is another option. You can find pet food cookbooks online or at bookstores. Cats are very sensitive to having a taurine and vitamin D deficiency and might need vitamins and supplements to ensure their home-cooked meals are complete.

•    Natural foods are not necessarily better than other foods. People should pay attention to every bag of food they purchase.

•    Be aware of what is in cat food treats and apply the same principal to the treats as to the food.

•    Talk with your veterinarian, rather than the salespeople at the food store. Your veterinarian knows your pet’s history and lifestyle and will be up-to-date with the latest on any recalls and the ingredients of concern.

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