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9Lives canned cat food is being recalled for thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, pet parents cautioned

Today, Smucker’s announced a recall for specific lots of 9Lives Protein Plus canned cat food due to a vitamin deficiency, specifically thiamine (Vitamin B1).

The 9Lives cat foods being recalled are as follows:

 

Product Name

UPC Code

Product Size

Best if Used By Date

9Lives® Protein Plus®
With Tuna & Chicken

7910021549

4 pack of cans,
5.5 oz each

Mar. 27, 2020- Nov.14,
2020

9Lives® Protein Plus®
With Tuna & Liver

7910021748

4 pack of cans,
5.5 oz each

Apr. 17, 2020 – Sept.14,
2020

WHY A LACK OF THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) IN CAT FOOD IS A BAD THING, A VERY BAD THING.

Smucker’s explains why a lack of thiamine in a cat’s diet is dangerous, “Cats fed diets low in thiamine for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurological signs can develop, which include ventroflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of these symptoms.”

Veterinarian Jennifer L. Garcia explains how the problem can occur in commercial cat food diets, “pets fed high-carbohydrate diets may experience a problem because of the high demand for thiamine required for carbohydrate metabolism and subsequent thiamine depletion. Canned diets may be more prone to being deficient in thiamine because of the high heat required for processing, while dry foods that are exposed to air, humidity, or heat will also lose thiamine content.”

The Merck Veterinary Manual explains, “affected cats typically exhibit brain dysfunction characterized by vestibular signs, head tremor, ataxia, depression, severe ventroflexion of the head, seizures, coma, and death.”

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO RIGHT NOW

First, contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of the symptoms of thiamine deficiency.

Second, Smucker’s is advising pet parents who have the recalled cat food to stop feeding it to their cats and dispose of the product. If you have questions or would like to receive a refund or coupon for a replacement product, you should email Smucker’s by completing this form or calling by calling them at 1-888-569-6828, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM ET.

CONTACT THE FDA IF YOUR CAT HAS A PROBLEM WITH THE SMUCKER’S CAT FOOD

You should report suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. It’s most helpful if you can work with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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