Monday, July 30, 2012

Cats Behavior and feeding

Cats Feeding Behavior by Dr. Jane Bicks, formulator and staff Veterinarian of Life's Abundance Pet Food. From the July 2012 Blog:

"Cats are enigmatic creatures. Having an appreciation for their motivations will not only help you to develop a deeper bond, it could make your cat healthier, too. Feeding your feline optimal nutrition not only requires an understanding of your cat's unique nutritional needs, but also of their feeding behavior. In fact, understanding the nuances of feline consumption can help combat one of the most common feeding disorders in cats - obesity. When it comes to feeding behaviors, domestic cats aren't vastly different than their wild cousins. Felines are so fundamentally predatory that they will actually stop eating a meal to initiate a new hunt. This instinctual strategy evolved in the wild over the course of millennia to maximize food availability. This is why, if a cat even sees a mouse, she feels compelled to catch it.

Domesticated cats exhibit this same hunting impulse, and sometimes pet parents mistake feline hunting behavior as an expression of hunger. However, it's simply a manifestation of their predatory instinct. It might amaze you to learn that cats in the wild consume 10-20 small meals per day! And 40% or more of the diet of feral domestic cats consists of small rodents, but the typical mouse only provides a tiny amount of the daily energy requirement of an adult cat. In order to obtain enough calories, a cat must hunt throughout the day and night. Generally speaking, domesticated cats demonstrate similar behavior, 'snacking' throughout the day on their kibble and canned food. The significant difference here is that prepared food features substantial calorie counts, especially compared to a field mouse. With many indoor kitties adopting the couch-potato lifestyle, a sizable portion of the U.S. cat population is overweight or obese. A major concern that affects overall health, obesity was nearly unheard of in cats 100 years ago.

 In a relatively short period of time, cats have gone from outdoor predators, constantly searching for small prey, to indoor loafers with a nearly constant supply of freely available food! No longer subjected to the daily hardships of environmental dangers (such as predators, rampant disease, increased risk of traumatic injury and at the mercy of the elements), cats are not only falling prey to obesity, they are suffering from collateral disorders like arthritis and diabetes. Simply by adopting new methods of providing sustenance, pet parents can not only help their indoor cats avoid obesity but also boredom … talk about a win-win scenario! Unless your cat is hyper-vigilant at regulating her caloric intake, the amount of food for the day should be measured out to prevent overeating. Resist the temptation to ‘feed the empty bowl’.

A good reality check is readily available in the form of the Suggested Daily Amount listed on the back label of Life’s Abundance cat food  bags. It's important to note that neutered and sedentary cats have lower energy requirements than outdoor hunters or extremely active kitties. Food intake should be adjusted according to a cat's activity level, to help maintain an optimal body condition. Remember, a cat is at a good weight when you can feel ribs, but not see them. It’s always a good idea to discuss weight management issues with your veterinarian. Feeding your cat in a manner that mimics hunting can result in positive health benefits. Doing so will decrease boredom and increase exercise levels, helping to trim fat and build muscle tissue. We encourage you to employ some of the following suggestions, provided by from the American Association of Feline Practitioners (

 *Use a puzzle feeder or food ball to dispense food as a challenge. Or make your own homemade puzzle feeder by cutting holes into a taped-shut shoe box or empty two-liter bottle, either with holes large enough that she can paw kibble out, or kibble-sized holes that will dispense food as she bats the container around. Begin with easy-to-solve puzzles … as your smart kitty works out the chow challenge, introduce new, more difficult mealtime mystifies.

*Hide food throughout the house … be creative and change up locations frequently, effectively recreating a ‘scavenger hunt’.

*Throw kibble for your cat to chase, to mimic pursuit of prey.

*If you feed treats, make sure the calories for those treats are reflected in the total daily counts.

*Make sure all the members of your family are on the same page when it comes to curtailing feline obesity. That means, no duplicated feedings or treating.

*If your kitty stares at you with longing eyes during meal time, then feed the largest meal during that time to prevent begging.

*If your kitty pounces on you at night demanding to be fed, then feed the largest meal right before bedtime. If you feed your cat Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food and Instinctive Choice Premium Canned Food, you obviously care about improving the health of your cat. Just keep in mind, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I truly believe that if you make the commitment to alter your feeding habits, you can make a big difference in the long-term health of your furry best friend."

 Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.

Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM

Sunday, July 29, 2012

RECALL: Vitakitty Chicken Breast

Arthur Dogswell LLC Voluntarily Recalls Catswell Brand Vitakitty Chicken Breast
With Flaxseed And Vitamins Because Of Possible Health Risk

Brad Armistead

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 27, 2012 - Arthur Dogswell LLC, Los Angeles, CA 90025, is voluntarily recalling 1051 cartons packed as either 10 or 50 packages per case of Catswell Brand VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins because it has the potential to contain propylene glycol. High levels of propylene glycol in the treats could result in serious injury to cats. The adverse health impacts could be reducing red blood cell survival time (anemia) and making the cells more susceptible to oxidative damage.
No illnesses have been reported to date.

The VitaKitty treats were distributed nationwide via retail stores and mail order from April 13th through June 14th, 2012.

This product is packaged in a re-sealable 2 ounce orange plastic bag with a clear window. The VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins lot codes affected are as follows: SEW12CH032701/03c and SEW12CH032702/03c with a best before date of 09/10/13 and 09/11/13, respectively (UPC code 8 84244 00057 2). Lot codes can be found on the bottom right backside of the package.

“We are taking this voluntary action because it is in the best interests of our customers and their feline companions,” says Marco Giannini, CEO and Founder. “We will be working with the FDA in our continued commitment to ensure that we meet FDA guidelines.”

The recall resulted from a routine surveillance sample collected by the Company and the Food and Drug Administration. Arthur Dogswell has ceased distribution of the affected product.

Consumers who have purchased VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins from the affected lot codes are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. If the affected product was purchased online, consumers should contact the internet retailer to understand their specific return and refund process. Consumers with questions may contact Arthur Dogswell at 1-888-559-8833 from 8AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday, or leave a message at any time.

The official Food and Drug Administration post for this recall is below

Thursday, July 12, 2012