Rad Cat Recalled Due to Salmonella and Listeria

Rad-Cat-RecallRad Cat, an Oregon maker of raw cat food, has issued a voluntary recall of some of its products after the FDA reported finding Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella in these foods during a routine inspection.

The products being recalled are:

  • Grass Fed Beef, (8 oz., 16oz, 24oz., Samples), Lot 62384, Best by: 2/6/17
  • Grass Fed Beef, (8 oz., 16 oz., 24 oz., Samples), Lot 62361, Best by: 1/8/17
  • Free Range Chicken, (8 oz., 16oz, 24 oz., Samples), Lot 62416, Best by: 3/14/17
  • Free Range Turkey, (8 oz., 16 oz., 24 oz.), Lot 62372, Best by: 1/21/17

While the company states that it is highly unlikely that these bacteria can sicken cats, they are recalling these products out of an abundance of caution, and are fully cooperating with the FDA.

The company is asking that anyone who purchased these products not return them to the place of purchase. Instead, customers are being asked to fill out a form on their website www.RadFood.com to the retailer where the purchase was made. Consumers may also call (503) 736-4649 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. PST.

New Jersey May Become First State to Outlaw Declawing Cats

Animal welfare advocates applaud New Jersey’s proposed legislation to ban the inhumane practice of declawing cats. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

My home state of New Jersey is primed to become the first state in the U.S. to outlaw the practice of declawing of cats, thanks to legislation introduced by animal loving Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), which also happens to be my home county.

According to the terms of Bill 3899, “No person shall perform, or cause to be performed, an onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy procedure by any means on a cat or other animal, unless the procedure is deemed necessary for a therapeutic purpose by a licensed veterinarian. A person who violates this provision shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.”

If the legislation passes, and it seems likely that it will, the practice of onychetomy (the fancy medical term for declawing) will officially be declared an act of animal cruelty. Any cat parent who seeks such a procedure for the pet or any veterinarian who performs this can be subject to fines of up to $1,000, a six-month prison term, or both.

Animal welfare advocates have long fought to end the highly inhumane declawing practice, which misguided cat parents may resort to in order to deter their kitties from clawing furniture and other household objects.

Arguably the most well-known anti-declawing activist is Dr. Jennifer Conrad, a California-based veterinarian who in 2000 founded a non-profit group called the Paw Project, which is dedicated to educating the public about the harmful effects and ending the practice of declawing.

Anti-declawing advocates point out that this practice is a form of mutilation that is comparable to a person having their fingers amputated at the first joint. As clawing is deeply ingrained in a cat’s inherent nature, this can cause numerous behavioral problems in felines including excessive biting and litter box issues. This can also lead to such physical ailments as lameness and arthritis, because this disrupts a cat’s gait and ability to move naturally.

Declawing is already banned in a number of foreign countries and on the municipal level in such U.S. cities as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills and Culver City. New York State is also considering a statewide ban. But if Assemblyman Singleton is successful, New Jersey may become the first state to enact this legislation.

I have known about the cruelty of declawing for years, and would never dream of having this procedure performed on any of my beloved cats. So hats off to my home state for putting the effort into banning this terrible practice!


5 Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Grownup Kitty

Adult cats tend to be more mellow, patient and appreciative of getting a second chance at life. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons via Flickr)

Kitten season is upon us, and lots of folks are flocking to shelters to adopt the furry little ones. But there are large numbers of adult cats in need of loving families, too. Below are some reasons why you should think about providing a grownup kitty with a fur-ever home.

1.) Older Cats are Set in Their Ways

While young kittens require training and lots of patience, adult cats usually come equipped with a fixed set of life skills, such as how to use a litter box. They also tend to be less rambunctious (and annoying) than the youngsters. They are less likely to jump on your head and attack your feet at 4 a.m.

Moreover, you don’t really know what kind of a personality a young kitten will develop when he or she grows up. With older cats, what you see is what you get. So you can more readily determine if you and the kitty are simpatico.

2.) They are Fully Grown

When you adopt a kitten, you have no idea how big he or she will be when they grow up. I once adopted an 8-week-old kitty named Daisy, who could fit in the palm of my hand when she was a tyke. But by the time she was 2, she weighed in at a whopping 18 pounds. She was like a lady wrestler!

Thus, you instantly know what size litter box, bed and other accommodations a mature kitty will require, and whether you can handle them with ease.

3.) Grownup Cats are Less Destructive and More Obedient

Because they are no longer teething, mature kitties are far less likely to chew on objects such as shoes or electrical wires. They also are less inclined to scamper up curtains or edges of tablecloths, or your leg, with their claws. Ouch!

Unlike their younger counterparts, older cats are more likely to listen and obey when you tell them to cease doing something, whereas kittens don’t yet comprehend the meaning of the word, “No!” And they are more inclined to just chill out if you leave them alone for periods of time. You won’t have to worry about coming home from work to a living room that looks like it was hit by a furry tornado.

4.) Adult Cats are More Mellow

When you come home from a long, tiring day at work, a mature kitty will be more likely to just quietly curl up next to you, as opposed to exhausting you even more by wanting to play.

And while families with young children may be inclined to adopt a kitten, because they perceive them as being more fun (and cute), a grownup cat is actually a better choice − especially for first-time cat owners. While a rammy kitten will more often than not play very rough, putting young kids at risk of being bitten or scratched, older cats tend to be less excitable and have more patience with children.

Older cats are also less likely to put themselves in harm’s way by constantly getting underfoot, getting into everything in sight and exhibiting excessive curiosity about every and anything.

5.) Mature Kitties are Grateful

Many older cats wind up in shelters through no fault of their own, due to unfortunate life circumstances. They may have had a previous owner who was elderly and died, or their owners fell on hard financial times and could no longer afford to keep them.

Regardless of the reasons, grownup cats have a much more difficult time finding fur-ever homes, unlike their young counterparts. For many of them, you are their last chance at having the loving home they so deserve. So you can rest assured that adult cats are more inclined to be very appreciative of getting another chance at life, and you will have done a tremendous service to the cat world by adopting one.





The Best Natural Dog Shampoos

Just because a dog shampoo maker claims their products are natural doesn’t mean they are. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Many savvy dog parents know the importance of using natural shampoos to bathe their pooches. But just because a dog shampoo is pricey, has a fancy name and claims to be natural doesn’t mean that it is. So below are some suggestions for finding the best, safest and most environmentally friendly products for freshening up Fido.

Dog Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

Before I list some recommendations, it’s important to point out the ingredients you should steer clear of when purchasing a shampoo for your canine.

According to Dogs Naturally magazine, the following ingredients can be toxic to pooches:

  • Artificial colors
  • Cocomide DEA or MEA
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Fragrances
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Isopropyl (SD-40)
  • Mineral Oil
  • Phthalates
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Polysorbates
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate

These ingredients can cause everything from skin irritation to hormonal imbalances; immune and nervous system disorders; and many have been linked to potentially causing cancer, in dogs and humans. So always check the label when selecting a shampoo for your pet.

Note: If you also share your home with kitties, avoid using products containing D-trans Allethrin (derived from chrysanthemums) and Resmethrin, as these can be toxic to felines.

Some Good Natural Dog Shampoos

  • Bubba’s Groovy Bath Pet Shampoo
  • 4-Legger Certified Organic
  • Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
  • Dr. Mercola Healthy Pets Organic Shampoos
  • Vet’s Best Hot Spot Shampoo

These are just some of the better ones out there. Regardless, these got rave reviews from proponents of natural pet products.

Do-It-Yourself Natural Dog Shampoo

Many pet parents who follow a holistic lifestyle opt to make their own natural dog shampoos. It’s easy, economical and safe. The main ingredient in the more popular homemade shampoos is castile soap, which is made from vegetable or olive oil. There’s now a very popular line of liquid castile soaps from a company called Dr. Bonner’s, which is ideal for whipping up DIY doggie shampoo.

This is the easiest recipe I found: Just mix 1 cup of liquid castile soap, a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (you can read more about the many benefits of the latter via my popular article here) in a plastic shampoo bottle and shake well, plus shake prior to use. You can also add a bit of warm water as needed if the mixture becomes too thick.

Please be aware that this won’t lather as much as commercially available shampoos. But it is very gentle, safe, and will leave your doggie squeaky clean.

Some Cautionary Dog Shampoo Notes

Never use shampoos intended for humans on dogs. While the ingredients may be safe for people, this may not be the case for dogs, and these can cause skin irritation and/or a disruption to the natural pH balance of a dog’s skin.

And do use a great deal of caution if you decide to use essential oils when concocting your own dog shampoos, as some of these can be toxic to them. Those to avoid include:

  • Anise
  • Bitter Almond
  • Cassia
  • Juniper
  • Pennyroyal
  • Thyme
  • Sassafras
  • Wintergreen
  • Yarrow

While tea tree oil is now a popular ingredient in certain commercially produced natural dog shampoos, be cautious if using this in your own DIY dog shampoos, as this can be toxic if used at certain levels and if not properly diluted. If you do wish to try dog shampoos containing essential oils, it’s best to leave it to the pros and purchase a ready-made product.

(Do you have any suggestions about dog shampoos? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.)




Blue Buffalo Recalls Dog Food Due to Mold

PopularBlue-Buffalo-Dog-Food-Recall pet food maker Blue Buffalo of Wilton, Conn., has voluntarily recalled some of the company’s Life Protection Formula Dog Food due to the detection of mold and moisture.

The company issued a statement saying that a single batch produced within a two-hour time frame of the following product is being recalled:

  • 30 pound bag Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Best by date: April 11, 2017
  • Batch data: AH 2A 12:08-14:00

Pet stores are being asked to remove the product from their shelves while consumers are invited to return the food to the place of purchase for a full refund. If you have any further questions, you may contact the company at (855) 201-4331 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.