Feline Nutrition

Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food Recall


Ainsworth Pet Nutrition of Meadville, PA is voluntarily recalling five varieties of Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® wet cat food, including Ocean Fish-a-licious, Lip Smackin’ Sardine & Mackerel, Ocean Fish & Chicken Catch-iatore, Tuna Purrfection, and certain lot codes of Paw Lickin’ Chicken & Liver due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D.

Symptoms of excessive vitamin D consumption usually develop within 12-36 hours after ingestion and may include vomiting or diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, and muscle tremors or seizures. Any cat experiencing these symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.Continue Reading

Review: Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet


I recently reviewed Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro line, and mentioned at the end of that review that I was excited about their brand new Limited Ingredient Diet line, which wasn’t available yet at the time. Why was I so excited about it? Because it is made by a company who, in my opinion, does almost everything right when it comes to pet food sourcing and manufacturing, with one exception: the Purrfect Bistro line contains carrageenan. The new Limited Ingredient line does not.Continue Reading

Review: Merrick Purrfect Bistro


At Global Pet Expo earlier this year, I had one of the most fascinating conversations I’ve ever had about pet food with a representative from Merrick Pet Care. I have long considered Merrick one of the better offerings in the pet food arena, and after my conversation with Mark, I like the brand even more, for a variety of reasons:Continue Reading

Weaning Kittens from Their Mother


Weaning kittens is the process of transitioning kittens from their mother’s milk to eating solid food on their own. Weaning is an important part of a kitten’s development and needs to be done correctly.

Ideally, weaning is handled by the mother cat, but when the mother has trouble producing enough milk, or when a litter of kitten is orphaned, human intervention will be necessary.

When should kittens be weaned?

The weaning process should begin when the kittens are about four weeks old, and usually takes four to six weeks to complete. If the kittens have a mom, they will start to become interested in her food at that stage, and may even push her away to eat some of her food. At that point, the mother will usually push the kittens away from her when they try to nurse.

How to wean kittens

If you’re raising orphaned kittens, gradually transition the kittens to canned food. Mix the food with formula so they recognize the taste. You may initially need to smear a little of the mixture around their mouths. Once they get used to the new taste, you can encourage them to lap the mixture up from a bowl by gently guiding his head toward the bowl. Do not push the kitten’s head into the bowl.

As the kittens get used to lapping up the mixture, you can gradually remove the formula and add water to the canned food instead. Gradually reduce the amount of water added.

If you’re bottle feeding the kittens, don’t stop bottle feeding until the kittens eat sufficient amounts of the kitten food mixture. Aid the transition by always offering the canned food mixture before offering the bottle. After two to three weeks, the kittens should be eating only lightly moistened canned food.

Be prepared for things to be messy at first

As kittens learn to eat solid food, they may play with the mixture, step in it or bat it around before they understand that it’s food. Be patient, don’t punish the kittens, and don’t rush the process. Clean kittens with a soft, moistened cloth or give them a warm bath in extreme cases. Rub them dry with a soft towel and keep them in a warm area until they’re dry.

Why kittens shouldn’t eat dry food

Kittens who are fed dry food during the weaning process will be difficult to transition to a healthier wet diet later in life, so it’s best to not even start them on dry food. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they need meat to survive, and they also need moisture in their diet. Cats lack the specific enzyme that processes plant-based proteins metabolically, and as a result, they need few to no carbohydrates in their diet. Commercial dry cat food is high in carbohydrates and does not provide optimal nutrition for an obligate carnivore. Cats do not have a strong thirst drive when compared to other animals, and this can lead to chronic low-level dehydration when the cat’s main diet is a dry one.

This article was previously published on Answers.com and is republished with permission.

Primal Pet Food Recalls Single Batch of Feline Turkey Raw Frozen Formula


Primal Pet Foods is recalling a single batch production code of Feline Turkey Raw Frozen Formula 3-pound bag. The FDA tested product in response to a single consumer complaint. Primal Pet Foods was alerted by FDA that the testing of two bags of this lot resulted in a low thiamine (vitamin B) level. Neither the FDA nor Primal have received any other reports concerning thiamine in Primal products. No other product manufactured by Primal Pet Foods is involved in this recall.Continue Reading

Nutritional Yeast: A Secret Weapon to Get Finicky Cats to Eat


There aren’t many things that are more frustrating than a cat who is fussy about her food. Getting finicky cats to eat can try even the most loving cat parent’s patience. There are a lot of different things you can do to entice a finicky eater. Nutritional yeast is one of the least known, yet potentially most successful weapons in your fight against finickiness (I’m not sure whether that’s a real word, but it should be!) Continue Reading

Oma’s Pride Recalls Purr Complete Feline Poultry Meal


Oma’s Pride of Avon, CT is recalling Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal was distributed nationwide through retail stores, distributors, and directly to consumers. Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal is sold frozen. It is packaged in clear 12 oz. (UPC: 8 79384 00017 9) and 2 lb. (UPC: 8 79384 00018 6) plastic packaging under the Oma’s Pride brand as a poultry blend with code #1524. It was manufactured on September 12, 2014 with a use by recommended date of September 12, 2015.Continue Reading

2014 in Review

2014 year end review

2014 has been a very good year for all of us here at The Conscious Cat. Our readership and fan base grew rapidly, thanks to all of you who read this blog every day, comment here and on our Facebook page, and share what you read with your friends and followers. Allegra, Ruby and I appreciate your support more than words can say.

With more than 365 posts, it’s hard to highlight only a handful of posts. I choose some of our most popular ones for this year end review.Continue Reading

Ask a Cat Vet: How Do I Transition My Cat to a Healthy Diet?


Guest post by Fern Slack, DVM

You have done your research. You know that cats are obligate carnivores who need meat in their diet not just to survive, but to thrive. You understand why cats should never eat dry food. You’ve found the right premium grain-free canned or raw diet.

Now you have a case or a frozen bag of this great new food – and your cat “won’t eat it.” He puts up his nose and walks away, and you are left with a stack of useless cans or bags and a strong sense of annoyance. You feel frustration, because you are now acutely aware of what you should be feeding, but just exactly how are you supposed to convince your “finicky” cat that it’s good for him and that he needs to eat it?Continue Reading

Ask a Cat Vet: What Should I Feed My Cat?


Guest post by Fern Slack, DVM

In veterinary school, I was taught to feed cats breakfast cereal.

This is not a joke. It is hard to imagine anything further removed from a cat’s evolutionary diet (small animals of the feathered and furred varieties) than a diet consisting of corn, wheat, rice, squash, peas, tapioca, carrots, apples, sage, oregano…. The list goes on. Many trendy cat foods today have ingredient lists that look just like this. Sounds like the makings of a wonderful Thanksgiving feast – but not for a cat.Continue Reading