Q: Why should I pay attention to a cat food recall list?
A: There is a long chain of production processes before commercial brands make it to the stores.
Beginning with the ingredient supplier and ending with the packaging plant, your kitten’s food makes many “stops” and switches many hands on its way to your pet.
Because of this, there are greater and greater opportunities for contaminants, fungus, and bacteria to taint it.
If the massive, widespread recall of 2007 taught us anything, it’s that you cannot trust the safety of all cat and kitten formulas all of the time.
Q: I buy a premium kitten brand with natural ingredients–shouldn’t that be safe from a cat food recall?
A: Not necessarily. A premium kitten food or grain-free cat food is the best choice, but can contain the same contaminant as the bag of Friskies right next to it.
Here’s why: there can be multiple brands on the shelf of the pet store, produced by different companies, with varying levels of quality yet all may have used the same affected ingredient in their product.
The 2007 recall is a case in point–the melamine that tainted the wheat gluten from the Chinese supplier affected many different brands.
Q: Once a cat food recall list has been made public, isn’t too late for my kitten?
A: It depends on the amount and type of toxicity that your kitten has been exposed to, but regardless it is better to stop feeding that formula as soon as possible to limit exposure.
Q: Isn’t it time consuming to find out if a kitten food has made it on a recall list?
A: Not as much as you might think. Luckily, each bag or container you buy will have clearly marked an expiration date, production code, and other identifying information so that you can know exactly if that particular package is part of that lot’s recall.
You can go to the FDA pet food recall website and look for any new recall just before your shopping trip. If you always buy the same brand for your kitten, it will be easy to see if you should be avoiding it.
Of course, you should check periodically even after you’ve brought it home in case it has made the cat food recall list after you purchased it.
Q: Aren’t there better safety measures in place now due to the pet food recall of 2007?
A: Unfortunately, the system is still not perfect.
Consider that even “human food” is no longer pristine–salmonella outbreaks have occurred most recently through fast food, spinach, and peanut butter.
It is just a way of the mass-production world these days and you have to be careful.
Q: Should I just make my own cat food?
A: This is not as easy as it sounds.
Even though it’s fun to make a special occasion recipe once in awhile, it is difficult to sustain this as their primary diet.
You have to add various nutrients, vitamins, and other additives to supply your kitten with everything she needs.
There is also the issue of the meat you choose to feed her, which itself may have been contaminated.
This becomes even more important if you are planning a raw food diet.
Yes, it can be done and many cat owners swear by it for the health of their cats.
It takes a lot of work and preparation though, and you should consult your veterinarian for a balanced recipe if you truly want to go this route.
If you just want to be as careful as possible when feeding your kitten without too much extra work or hassle, then just check in on the most recent cat food recall list to see if your kitten’s is safe!