Pet-Food Recall: What's a Cat to Do?

Last month's massive pet-food recall sent worried pet owners scrambling for what to feed their furry loved ones. The message from vets? Don't panic. "If a commercial food that's not on the recall list is working well for your pet, stick with it," says Dr. Rebecca Remillard of the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.

"In general, I would not abandon the commercial diet." Vets also urge caution for those pet owners tempted to make their own pet food. "Homemade diets are really difficult to balance," says Dr. Sandy Willis of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Dog and cat diets call for high amounts of calcium and fat and require a specific set of vitamins and trace minerals. But if you're willing to make the effort, preparing homemade pet meals is doable, says Remillard, a veterinary nutritionist.

A serving should include a meat, grain, vegetable and vitamin/mineral supplement formulated for cats and dogs (and absolutely no onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes or raisins). Most important, make sure the recipe has been approved by a veterinary nutritionist. Check out www.balanceit.com for vet nutritionist recipes.

(For a list of recalled foods, see www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.htmlor www.menufoods.com/recall.)

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