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Feline’s Pride expands cat food recall

Feline’s Pride has extended an earlier recall of their Natural Chicken Formula Cat Food Due to Salmonella. Here’s the release that appears on the FDA website:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 15, 2010 – Buffalo, NY – Feline’s Pride is expanding its July 1, 2010 voluntary recall of Feline’s Pride Raw food with ground bone for cats and kittens, Natural Chicken Formula, Net Wt. 2.5 lbs. (1.13 kg., 40 oz.) produced on 6/10/10 to include the product produced on 6/21/10, because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. People handling raw pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the raw pet food or any surfaces exposed to the product.

When consumed by humans, Salmonella can cause an infection, salmonellosis. The symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, minimal diarrhea, fever, and headache. Certain vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems, are particularly susceptible to acquiring salmonellosis from such pet food products and may experience more severe symptoms.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The product is packaged in uncoded plastic containers and sold frozen to private consumers nationwide. Once thawed, the pet food has a shelf life of about 1 week. The firm manufactures the pet food by an as-ordered basis. This expansion of the recall affects those orders placed and shipped from June 21 through June 26, 2010 (produced on 6/21/10).

[…]

Consumers with questions should contact the company at (716) 580-3096, Monday -Friday from 10 am – 4 pm EDT.

The complete recall can be found on the FDA website: Feline’s Pride Expands Nationwide Recall of its Natural Chicken Formula Cat Food Due to Salmonella Contamination.

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Cat sitting and cat boarding tips

NYC cat sitterHiring a cat sitter to care for your pets while you’re away means finding someone who will provide your cat with enough care and attention to keep her happy and satisfied, while minimizing stress. Since cats are quite particular, you’ll want to make sure everything is in order before leaving your cat in someone else’s care.

At Katie’s Kitty, we offer both cat sitting in your home and cat boarding in our host family homes. And, while we have the utmost confidence in our cat sitters, we encourage our clients to get to know their sitter and ask questions before leaving. I this way you will be confident your cat will be well cared for. Here are some of the things to consider when you hire a professional cat sitter to pet sit or board your favorite kitty.

Unless dictated by an unforeseen circumstance (such as a hospital stay), do not wait until the week before your vacation or business trip to make arrangements for boarding your pet.

Be sure that you have a “good feeling” about the sitter before leaving your pet with him/her. Get to know your cat sitter!

Don’t assume you know exactly how your cat will be cared for by your pet sitter. Just because you had someone care for your cat in the past, it doesn’t mean your new pet sitter will do things the same way. Ask specific questions about the pet sitter’s routine and their home (if your cat will be staying in their home while you’re away).

Ask for references. Questions you might want to ask are (1) How many times have you used this particular service or sitter? (2) For how long was your animal boarded? (3) When was the last time you used this sitter (or the sitter’s agency)? (4) Would you use this sitter or service again? and (5) Did your pet seem perfectly okay in every way when s/he was returned to you?

Give your cat sitter good contact numbers – for you, your veterinarian, and emergency clinic. If your cat is being cared for in your home, be sure to let your cat sitter know where you keep your cat’s crate, and other emergency supplies.

For more information on what to look for when hiring a cat sitter, please see our full article, Points to Consider Before Boarding Your Pet.

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Does your pet have health insurance?

wsjpets

Health insurance for pets is becoming more mainstream. As this article in the Wall Street Journal reports, people are spending more money to keep their cats, dogs, and other pets healthy. Investing in pet health insurance can help offset the cost of illnesses as well as routine pet care.

The cost of medical care for pets is rising as fast as it is for humans, and that’s helping to spur sales of pet insurance.

Pet owners are able to choose from a rapidly growing array of policies, featuring everything from high-deductible designs to coverage of alternative-medicine treatments like acupuncture. Some pet policies focus on accidents and illness, while others include wellness checkups and shots. And some things that traditionally weren’t included in pet insurance, such as hereditary conditions, are now paid for under many plans.

Consumers need to be careful, since many pet policies can be as confusing as coverage you buy for yourself. Pet insurance often places strict limits on how much it will pay for particular procedures. And policies can have tricky designs that can leave consumers with big out-of-pocket bills for their animals. Premiums vary from around $10 a month to $75 a month, depending on factors including the richness of the plan, your location and your animal’s breed and age.

This year, pet owners are expected to spend around $12.2 billion for veterinary care, up from $11.1 billion last year and $8.2 billion five years ago, according to the American Pet Products Association. Complex procedures widely used for people, including chemotherapy and dialysis, are now available for pets, and the potential cost of treating certain illnesses has spiked as a result.

Read the rest of Polly Want an Insurance Policy? from the Wall Street Journal.

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Animal sanctuary threatened by Los Angeles wildfires

As wildfires burn in the Los Angeles officials have ordered area residents to leave. However, in spite of the orders, Tippi Hedren is staying at her animal sanctuary and hoping for the best.

Thick black smoke hovers overhead as dozens of lions, tigers and other large cats roam actress Tippi Hedren’s animal sanctuary, seemingly unfazed by a wildfire raging only a mile away.

Fire officials ordered Hedren, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror classic “The Birds,” to evacuate the Shambala Preserve days ago. But she sees no need to load up the animals yet.

“Nobody wants lions and tigers going down the road,” Hedren, 79, told The Associated Press on Tuesday in a phone interview from her home on the preserve in northern Los Angeles County.

“We’ve never had to do that. I’m knocking on wood right now. We’ve been through floods, fires, incredible things Mother Nature has the capability of handing us.”

Hedren, mother of actress Melanie Griffith, said she has spoken with the Fire Department and has steel crates and trailers ready to move the 64 big cats if the fire gets closer to the property. In addition, the preserve conducts fire clearance every six months and has a 22,000-gallon water tank, a lake, firefighting pumps and backup generators.

Read the rest of Tippi Hedren’s animal preserve threatened by fire.

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Make preparations for traveling pets

If you’re traveling with your pets rather than leaving them with a pet sitter, it’s important to make sure they’re ready to hit the road. Here are some things to have ready before and during your trip…

Water and water bowl
It’s a good idea to bring a few gallons with you, rather than risk your dog getting sick from water he’s not used to. If you run out, bottled water is an option as well.

Food
Take along enough of your pet’s usual food with you. When you’re on the road is no time to run out or try out new foods. Many pets suffer a bit of stomach upset when going on long car rides, and adding a new food on top of that may cause some pretty smelly results!

Up-to-date rabies certificates
Some campgrounds and other accommodations will want to see up to date rabies certificates before allowing you to bring a dog into the campgrounds.

An extra leash and collar
Believe me, it’s a real pain when a dog’s leash breaks and you’re camping 20 miles from any store! Take an extra leash & collar so you won’t have to spend time hunting for a leash when you could be out hiking.

Read the rest of Hit the road, doggie: Tips for traveling pets.

[tags]traveling with pets, cats, dogs[/tags]

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Passengers on these planes are animals

puppy-on-a-planeThe world’s first pets only airline is off the ground.

For pet owners that are weary of checking their travel companions into the cargo hold, there’s now a first-class option for fur flying the friendly skies. Pet Airways, the first pet-only airline, had it’s maiden flight out of Farmingdale, N.Y on Tuesday.

Started by husband and wife team Alysa Binder and Dan Wiesel, the airline will fly dogs and cats between New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles with tickets ranging from $150-$299 each way. The fare is comparable to pet fees on major U.S. airlines, and all pets fly in the main cabin of a Suburban Air Freight plane.

Read the rest of Pet-only airline takes flight.

[tags]pets, pets only airline[/tags]

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Litter box training

All felines CCHS puts up for adoption are known to use the litter box. However, it is desirable to confine your new pet to the room with the litter box when she is first brought home, so she can learn its location.

  • Buy a litter box for each cat in the household, since some cats will not use a box used by another cat or may prevent other pets from using a particular box.
  • Place the litter box in a quiet location that is easily accessible to your pet. If disturbed or frightened while using the box, your pet may start eliminating elsewhere. Your pet may avoid using the box if it is too far away or takes a lot of effort to reach.
  • There are several types of litter available. Most cats prefer “clumping” litter over clay litter.
  • Reduce litter box odor by removing solid waste daily, and, if you use clay litter, changing all the litter at least weekly.

Common reasons cats may start eliminating outside the box include:

  • Urinary tract obstruction or other health problem. Call your veterinarian immediately! Your pet’s life could be in danger.
  • The litter box is too small or too dirty.
  • Your pet is spraying urine to mark territory or reduce anxiety.
  • Something about the litterbox, litter, or your household has changed and your pet objects.

To correct inappropriate elimination, confine your pet to a bathroom or large crate with the litterbox until you can correct the cause. Many things can trigger this problem. CCHS or your veterinarian can help you pinpoint the cause and suggest appropriate corrections.

Thanks to Humane Education Committee, Champaign County Humane Society, 1911 East Main, Urbana, IL 61801 USA

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Keep your cat indoors

Although cats are smart, alert, and adroit, they are no match for the many perils that await them outside. That’s why the average outdoor cat lives only a third as long than the cat who’s kept safely inside. Consider these threats:

Disease – Feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus are only two of the diseases that are passed from cat to cat and, once contracted, result in the eventual death of the pet. Outside cats are even more likely than dogs to dome into contact with rabid wild animals.

Parasites – Outdoor cats suffer from fleas, ticks, ear mites, and worms that indoor cats are not generally exposed to.
Poisoning – Poisons are found in lawn chemicals, bait left out to kill rodents, antifreeze, and other sources.

Other Animals – Fights with other cats, dogs, and wildlife often leave cats maimed or injured.

People – In our own community as well as others across the nation, cats have been the victims of burning, ritual torture and other abuses.

Cars – Cats often crawl into warm car engines in cold weather and are killed or badly injured when the unsuspecting driver starts the car. Most outdoor cats die prematurely from auto accidents. It is a myth that cats are “streetwise” about cars. No matter how alert, a cat is no match for a fast moving vehicle. Unaltered cats allowed to roam and mate account for millions of the cats who must be euthanized each year because there aren’t enough homes for them.

Becoming Lost or Trapped – Few cats reported missing are recovered by their owners. Some people who notice a cat in the area assume it can find its way home. Others assume the cat is abandoned and care for it without attempting to locate the owner. Cats may become inadvertently trapped for days as they explore a neighbor’s shed or a dumpster.

Cats can be completely happy inside if you provide them with toys, good care, and lots of love and attention. If you have a kitten, start out right by never letting him outside.Older cats often make the transition to being indoor pets easily. Some, however, will take extra time and attention. Gradually reducing the amount of time your pet is allowed outside, increasing play time with your cat, taking it out on a harness and lead, or constructing or purchasing and outdoor enclosure can help ease the transition.

Thanks to Humane Education Committee, Champaign County Humane Society, 1911 East Main, Urbana, IL 61801 USA

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