Cat Food Recall For Potentially Fatal Toxicity – Natural Balance

Recall For Potentially Fatal Toxicity – Natural Balance Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver Paté Formula in Cans

Initially we learned of the recall in this article then did further digging including how to contact the manufacturer and information about J. M. Smucker and its other brands.

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/07/04/j-m-smucker-company-recalls-canned-cat-food-causing-potentially-deadly-side-effects/


On July 3, 2020 the J.M. Smucker company issued a voluntary recall of a Natural Balance canned cat food produced by Big Heart Pet Brands a subsidiary of J. M. Smucker. Reports have been received of cats having adverse reactions to due to elevated levels of choline chloride.

Among the health concerns: Nausea with excessive salivation. Constricted pupils and poor vision. Diarrhea or vomiting. Other and more severe symptoms like difficulty walking, muscle shaking, tremors, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing. Possible cardiac or respiratory failure which could lead to death.

(Cat Faeries’ note: Choline chloride is commonly used to supplement choline in commerical animal food including cat and dog food. Choline is an essential nutrient for animals and humans. Good naturally occurring sources of choline include egg yolks, organ meats and some vegatables. However, the supplement choline chloide is toxic and can be fatal to cats if there is too much in cat food. (from https://www.darwinspet.com/steve-brown-focus-on-nutrients-part2-choline/ and https://www.dsm.com/markets/anh/en_US/Compendium/companion_animals/choline.html))

  • Product Name: Natural Balance Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver Paté Formula canned cat food
    5.5 oz can
  • Retail UPC Code: 2363353227
  • Lot Code: 9217803
  • Best If Used By Date: 08 04 2021

Company Contact Information

Consumers:
888-569-6828
info@naturalbalanceinc.com

 
 

April Fools Fun!

Let’s have some silly fun on April Fools Day! The first prank comes from cat loving – and very handsome – George Vezilic. In his own words: “ I am a blogger, photographer and cat enthusiast, owner of lifewithcatman.com. Writing about cats and taking photographs of them is something that I am most passionate about. My biggest goal is to show the world what divine creatures the cats are and make them feel appreciated.”

April Fools Prank For your Cat – Create a Maze From Cardboard Boxes, by George Vezilic

Here’s a prank that your cat will actually love because it involves one of their favorite things (besides you of course) and you’ll have fun setting it up! Sequester the cats in another room while you set up your prank Get 10 to 20 cardboard boxes and set them up haphazardly or in a pattern in your living room. Bonus points for putting Cat Faeries toys inside some of them! Once you’ve created your maze let the cats out. Your maze could confuse them at first, but once they figure out that this is a kitty-wonderland of boxes they won’t know which to try first! Perhaps the best of the prank isn’t that you goofed on the cats but when your housemates see your creation they’ll think you’ve gone bonkers and need an intervention!

April Fools Prank for the human cat lover in your home. Yes, Auntie Cat Faerie really did this to Mr. Cat Faerie many years ago!

  • On your best platter serve a sandwich filled with canned cat food. Surround sandwich with cat toys.
  • Quench their thirst: 1 tablespoon of dried Catnip with 1 cup of boiling water poured over it. Let your tea steep 5 minutes. Cool it down then pour it into a wine glass and add some ice. Honey, sugar or vodka are optional.
  • There’s always room for dessert so take two cookies and spread a layer of cat food in between them to create what looks like an ice cream sandwich. Spread a thin layer of more canned cat food and sprinkle kibble on it.
  • Clean the hair out of your hairbrush and wad it up. Dampen with water and leave it on their pillow so they know how much you love them.

 
 
 
 

Cats and Winter – Fast Facts

Cats can get seasonal depression or mood changes similar that that of we humans. Here’s what you can do to help, which will help you too:

  • Run the heater at a temperature you can afford to pay for
  • Place the cat’s bed near a heater vent
  • Move cat beds from anywhere drafty. The window with sunbeams in Summer can be chilly this time of year
  • Take a look at where litter boxes are – is it drafty there? Try to block the breezes with heavy tarps, a drape, or a rolled up “draft dodger”
  • When you are away leave a light on. Even though cats can see very well in the dark a bit of bright LED light will chase away the blues
  • Watch how your older cats walk for signs of arthritis. Note if your cat isn’t jumping on top of the sofa or the bed – another sign of stiff joints.

Believe it or not, cats do not sleep more in the Winter! Healthy cats sleep the same amount of hours year-round which is 15 to 20 hours a day! Cats do not hibernate.

Cats need a few extra calories in Winter so provide an extra bit of food. A nice thing to do for your cat is warm up food in the oven for a few minutes. Even a vegetable steamer for a minute is nice. Food from the fridge is very unpleasant for anyone, including your cat. In Winter even room temperature food is nicer warmed up just a bit. It also mimics the warm body of recently caught prey!

Is the food bowl in a sunny or bright place? Open the curtain and let as much brightness come in as the weather provides.

 
 
 
 

Pumpkin seeds – your cat’s new friend and a tapeworm’s worst enemy!

 

Pumpkins are in season right now and their seasonal yumminess has me not only eating them but thinking about their miraculous seeds and how they benefit both your cat and you!

Pumpkin seeds are a good friend to any animal – such as your cat or you – who might have parasites! Yes, face it, we all have them to some degree and they lead to many big health problems. Regular eating of ground pumpkin seeds will paralyze them so that they will lose their grip on the intestine wall. Once these uninvited residents have been loosened, they will be pooped out! Keep eating those seeds because there will be unhatched eggs which will grow up and we want to keep the flow of parasite removal going!

Parasites that cats can get:
Tapeworms
Roundworms
Hookworms
Flukes

How do pumpkin seeds work to kill parasites?

Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin which is an amino acid that paralyzes leeching worms which causes them to lose their grip on the walls of your or your cat’s intestines. When they lose their grip, they are easily pooped out with no further intervention of your part. People can chew the seeds. Grind them for your cat’s food or to toss in your salad or sprinkle on other foods that you like.

How much ground pumpkin seeds is needed?
Cats – 1 teaspoon per day
You – ½ to 1 cup per day

Most cats do not mind the flavor of ground pumpkin seeds.
Always tell your veterinarian that you are giving your cat pumpkin seed powder.

Pumpkin seed pesto in your blender – your cat’s and yours:
Put in the blender…
½ cup of raw pumpkin seeds
1/8 cup good olive oil or coconut oil
BLEND AND STOP – Put a teaspoon in your cat’s food

Continuing for your meal add this…
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Lemon juice
Fresh US grown organic garlic
Greens such as parsley, cilantro, kale, spinach
Blend and eat

There are a few products for cats and dogs on the market which are pumpkin seed based. We checked and learned that the pumpkin seeds were grown in China. Do we, yet again, need say how bad it is getting food items from China? Aside from buying your own pumpkins right now (the edible kind, not jack-a-lanterns), scooping out the seeds, soaking them, dehydrating them, and then using a Vita Mix or other high powered blender to create powder) you can buy certified organic, grown in Oregon, pumpkin seeds. Our source of choice for US grown pumpkin seeds is Living Tree Community (https://www.livingtreecommunityfoods.com/product/pumpkin-seeds-american-family-farmers-grown-alive-organic/) who have dried them at 95* thus keeping them in a raw state, rich with enzymes and nutrients!

All you need is a coffee grinder and you can grind up enough to last your cat and you several days. We recommend that you do not use the same grinder to grind up coffee or hot spices. Many people have 2 or 3 grinders reserved for specific types foods to grind. Coffee grinders are easy to use and generally cost around $20.

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Good fiber – helps regularity
  • Loaded with nutrients including magnesium,
  • Prevents certain cancers including stomach, lung and colon cancers
  • Good for the heart
  • Contains antioxidants which reduces inflammation
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Omega 3 fats
  • Anti parasitic
  • Tasty!

 
 
 
 

Newton’s Purrspective: Climate Change and the Half Full Cat Food Bowl

Sir Isaac Newton is our Feline Editor At Large (just how large, he’s not saying) who writes very brainy and very well researched articles for us. Newton lives in the North East and is fond of storms, our catnip toys, a soft bed, sunbeams, and naps. He has an ongoing email flirtation with our Daphne. This is his current, and as always, very well done article.


Fellow cats! With all the crazy things going on in the world today I have to admit it is very tempting to curl up in my Cat Faerie bed and ignore it all. But it is time for everyone to step up and act responsibly for the good of our health and that of our planet. Remember – “There is no Planet B” as seen on a T-shirt! Another t-shirt points out – “Save The Earth, It’s the Only Planet With Cats!”

I know I got your attention when I recently talked about the dangers to our beloved sacred wild herb from screwy weather conditions, our beloved Catnip could be in peril. But I am sorry to be the bearer of more bad news. The situation is much worse than even I imagined. Climate change is also threatening our food supply! Yep, that’s CAT FOOD!

If you did not rise up and speak to your maids and butlers (perhaps by doing a little discrete nail sharpening on their shins) it is not too late to start your campaign. Climate change is here. And as they said in the 1960’s: “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”




Isaac Newton

The central part of the US has experienced extreme weather conditions this past year. Of course, the most obvious adverse effect of too much rain is flooding. Property, lives and infrastructure have all been impacted. Our hearts go out to all the people and animals who lost homes, or more. The huge amount of flooding also affects agriculture, though the precise mechanism may not be so obvious. The good news is that the recent flooding did not happen during the growing season, so crops may still be planted and harvested on the normal schedule. The bad news is that any crop stored in barns or silos is at risk for water damage. Dampness can lead to mold, of course, rendering the crops unsuitable for food. Also, flood waters also carry dangerous contaminants such as pathogenic organisms, pesticides and other toxic substances.

Toxins could also remain in the soil after floodwaters abate. And as you know, everything is connected to everything else. The FDA has already issued warnings to farmers. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/cvm-updates/resources-animal-food-producers-flooded-central-southern-plains-us

Although this is a proactive gesture it reminds me that not all quality regulations are equal. Standards for human consumption are generally higher than those for nonhumans. In fact, the FDA report alludes to the fact that contaminated feed may be somehow permissible for domestic animals. I, of course, am outraged! Why should we dear animals eat food considered unfit for humans?

I’ve been talking about the effects of floods on crops. Are cats affected by the quality of silage? They certainly could be. We just don’t know all the potential pathways for toxins to move into our food.

As obligate carnivores we cats cannot be complacent about the quality of our food. Cat food can, and does, contain a variety of fruits and vegetables. You unknowing felines could be eating lettuce, blackberries and… yuck: artichokes! I kid you not. http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/07/research-update-new-insight-into-grain-free-cat-diets/ There is nothing wrong with a little vegetable or herb matter in the high-end cat food that was studied and I don’t even want to think what might be in bargain brands.

I will be 12 years old in August and I’ve lost my kittenish naïveté (though not the desire to play with bottle tops). I have definitely become more cynical about our government. The “Green New Deal” has lots of ideas to improve life for all in America. But, as with anything that originates in DC it will cost a lot money, and just as bad, it will take a long time, time which we don’t have. We cannot rely on THEM to fix the messes we are in, but must step up and WE must fix impending disasters that have already begun to befall this planet!

Frustrated individuals and communities are taking things into their own hands. Strategies range from youth educating older generations, to planning boards changing local building codes to towns filing suits against companies that threaten community resources. We have to demonstrate what we really want and need because those lazy-bones, bribe taking politicians rarely do the job they were elected to and paid to do.

As always, I urge you to make sure your servants get the facts and then get out and vote. In fact, don’t wait for November. Call or write NOW! I know most of us are frustrated, but we must not let apathy rule us. If I had opposable thumbs I would be calling my government representatives. Because your cat depends on YOU here are a few phrases, articles and videos that you should become familiar with we cats and our beloved people can live long and prosper.

Your friend,
Sir Isaac Newton, Feline Boy Genius and Cat Faeries Editor At Large

 
 
 
 

Is “Whisker Fatigue” something to worry about?

Here’s an informative article from Cat Faeries’ Feline Editor at Large, Issac Newton, who happens to know a few things about cats and their food bowls.


Newton’s Purrspective – The Importance of Dishware

Lately I’ve been seeing references to something called “Whisker Fatigue” which claims that when a cat’s whiskers touches or rubs against the sides of a food or water bowl it creates an unpleasant sensation. True, a cat’s whiskers are so sensitive that we can detect even the slightest change in air currents around objects (such as furniture). This is one of the reasons blind cats can get around so well. http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pets/question592.htm Some people believe that this ultra-sensitivity can cause sensory overload when cat whiskers brush against the sides of a food dish.

We have read that symptoms of Whisker Fatigue include refusal to eat, food scattering, feline acne and even attacks on other cats in the home. The proposed solution is a flattened dish that doesn’t rub sensitive whiskers. Could this be true, is it truly “a thing” to be concerned about?




Isaac Newton

To date I can find no scientific evidence to support Whisker Fatigue as a clinical problem. There are far more likely explanations for the symptoms. However, the choice of food dishes is important to health and happiness for you and Kitty. Things to consider include:

  • Size and age of cat
  • Type of food
  • Personality
  • Dental or other mouth problems
  • Location of food bowls

Despite the numerous internet photos of cats wedging themselves into tight places we cats prefer our food be easily accessible and located in a quiet place far from smelly litter boxes. Common sense says that the dish should be the appropriate size for the cat. For example, if you give a little kitten canned food on a large plate he will certainly walk all over it during the meal. If a bowl has high sides the kitten is likely to tip it and spill dinner all over the room.

In general the dish should have the appropriate height sides to keep the food in place. Otherwise some pieces will inevitably end up on the floor. Many cats lick, rather than bite, canned food, pushing it around and flicking it onto the floor as they eat. Whether you feed canned, homemade or kibble the angle of the sides is important. A rounded shape is better than perpendicular vertical sides that can trap food and lead to feline frustration. (They are also easier for you to clean.)

For those of us in touch with our wild side mealtime behavioral quirks can result in a less than tidy dining area. Many cats just have to “kill” their food. Some cats pick up a piece of kibble and shake it as they would if it were freshly caught. Other cats scoop food out of the bowl as if they were fishing for salmon in a stream.

If Kitty is not eating, a medical problem is more likely the reason than the wrong china pattern. Make sure your cat does not have dental conditions such as loose teeth or infected gums. Even if your cat is hungry, pain may cause food avoidance. Dropping food, especially from one side of the mouth, is a symptom of dental pain. A sore mouth is sure to lead to general grumpiness, so it’s no surprise that tempers are short particularly with other cats in the house. If you can’t look inside Kitty’s mouth at least smell her breath. Bad breath is another indicator of problems. Please see your vet if you suspect dental disease. Catching it early will prevent more serious problems later.

Older cats may have arthritis or other conditions which make it more challenging to eat from a high sided dish. They are also more likely to have lost teeth and consequently be on a diet of soft food. Senior cats tend to be less fastidious about grooming. If Kitty doesn’t clean all the food off his chin use a damp washcloth to gently remove it. Feline acne occurs when food and debris clog pores and lead to skin infections. If you think the dish shape is a problem then experiment until you find one Kitty likes. And putting a placemat underneath helps with spill cleanup.

Overall the material and cleanliness of the dish are far more important than the shape. Plastic dishes scratch easily leaving crevices that harbor bacteria. Harmful chemicals can also leach out of plastic. Plastic dishes should be avoided or at least replaced as soon as they show any sign of wear.

Ceramic bowls are popular because of the bright colors, designs and varied shapes. Although safer than plastic they can still chip or develop micro fractures where bacteria hide. You would also need to test the piece for lead – do not assume that because the maker said they used a lead free glaze, as you read in a previous article (Is that cute cat food bowl really lead safe? (maybe not!)) if the kiln is old and ever fired pieces with lead based glazes cross contamination will occur.

Stainless steel is popular with veterinarians and kennels since it is unbreakable and does not harbor bacteria if cleaned with nonabrasive cleanser. However, it lacks the charm of ceramic or glass so few people use it at home for their feline friends.

Daily cleaning is essential no matter what type of dish you choose. Biofilm, sometimes referred to as slime, can accumulate even if you are only feeding dry food. The moisture comes from Kitty’s saliva and brews up a mixture that attracts nasty bacteria that could be life threatening in some situations. https://www.catfaeries.com/blog/your-cats-water-bowl-do-you-know-about-biofilm/ A second set of dishes that can be rotated daily will simplify the clean dish routine. Use a good quality nonabrasive cleanser and be sure to rinse thoroughly with hot water. Or put in the dishwasher.

You can’t be too careful when it comes to feline health. We recommend dishes made from high quality materials, always manufactured in the USA. Pyrex is always a good choice and the bowls come a huge variety of sizes suitable for food and water.

In closing since we didn’t find any medical articles to validate the term “whisker fatigue” we think it’s a good marketing ploy. Also, the bowls we found were rather expensive ($45 and beyond!) and were usually not made in the US or they wouldn’t tell us where they were made.