Thursday, August 15, 2013

Iams Pet Food Recall

Iams is calling it a "limited" recall. My experience is this is how most recalls start.  I will be watching closely to see if this recall expands over the next few weeks or months.

My recommendations to you  is to stop feeding an exclusively Iams diet to your cat until we are given more information. 

Here is a link for the lot numbers that are being recalled. Iams Recall Information.

 Remember that stores ARE NOT obligated to remove ALL Iams products from their shelves, even though there is a chance this recall could be EXPANDED over time. 

Please share this information as MANY people feed Iams products.  This has the potential for being a very large recall.....

Feed safe -rotate your cat's food choices.  Want to read more on how to feed your cat safely in the world of pet food recalls?  How to feed your cat with safety in mind

Dr. Maureen Flatley
Fox Valley Cat Clinic

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Emergency or Evacuation -how to keep your cat SAFE!

With the sudden and violent storm last night, and with a large percentage of the Fox Valley being without power (including the Fox Valley Cat Clinic), I thought I would share some thoughts about planning ahead for an emergency -be it a tree falling on your roof, a flood affecting your neighborhood, a tornado hitting in your city, or a long term power outage across the Valley ….
  • Planning ahead, before a crisis hits, is the KEY. Know where you can go and how you will get there. Make sure your cats are welcome or that you have an alternative location in which to house them.
  • If you have to evacuate your home, always take your cats with you. Even if you believe you’ll only be gone for a short time, don’t ever leave your cats behind.
  • Prepare an evacuation kit ahead of time.  To help you with this, refer to the AVMA booklet "Saving the Whole Family" on   when an emergency hits.
  • Prepare a first aid kit, and travel with it if you travel with your cat. Again, refer to
  •  "Saving the Whole Family".    Remember that in many parts of northern Wisconsin, veterinary care is difficult to find, especially on a weekend.
  • Be sure your cat has Identification. This identification should include rabies and license tags. Forms of ID for cats include tags (with your name, address, and telephone number engraved) and microchips. Ideally, your cat will have both an identification tag and a microchip.  Many emergency shelters will accept pets, but only with documented proof of vaccinations, and an appropriately sized carrier.
  • Include your cat’s medical records and other important documents (licenses, etc.) in your evacuation kit.  If your cat is on medication, consider including several days worth of medication in your kit.
  • Be sure you have a carrier available to transport and, if necessary, large enough to house each of your cats comfortably.
These are just a few of the more important suggestions provided in the AVMA booklet
  "Saving the Whole Family"Remember that if your power is out, medical records including rabies certificates may not be available from your veterinary clinic because they may be affected by the same emergency that may be city wide, or county wide or even larger. 

Please share this information with you pet loving friends.  Together, we can make the world safer for pets!

Dr. Maureen Flatley
Fox Valley Cat Clinic
Menasha, WI

Monday, August 5, 2013

The View From My Side of the Table

Understanding CAT BODY LANGUAGE is essential in my line of work.  As you can imagine,  if I
read a cat wrong, someone could get hurt.   I need to know when your cat is relaxed enough for me to begin my examination, or take an radiograph, or draw a blood sample.  Here are some of my secrets.

  If your cat is rubbing on my leg while I am chatting with you , it is an all-clear signal "you may pick me up now."

 If your cat is walking around the room with their tail pointing toward the ceiling, I am being told, "I am comfortable, and it is OK to handle me now."

If your cat is purring, it does not necessarily mean they are happy.  Cats will purr when happy, scared or in pain, but a purring cat will rarely act aggressively.

Growling comes in many different flavors.  Some cats are giving me a warning, some cats are out of their comfort zone and just scared, and some cats mean "DO NOT reach for me".   Usually I can
differentiate these guys by their body language.

Facial rubbing and head butting is my favorite exam room behavior -it means that I am recognized and accepted as a friend.

The "flop on their side and expose the  belly" cat is also a favorite of mine.  However, I don't want to touch the belly as most cats see this as a breech of trust.  I scratch under the chin and behind the ears -a more generally accepted form of attention.

Flattened ears should never be ignored. These cats are SCARED, and need quiet calming from their owners.  Once the ears are upright, I will slowly proceed with quiet and gentle handling.

Yawning can be a sign of  stress.  Rarely are cats tired in the exam room, but I see a lot of yawning -this indicates that they are nervous and under stress. 

Feliway, a spray product that mimics facial pheremones, and that helps many cats relax -can be used
at home as a way to decrease the stress associated with going to the vet.  Feliway is now available in a wipe.  Used inside the carrier about 10 minutes before you are ready to cage your cat, the Feliway Wipe with act in a natural way to allow your cat to become calm before travel.   I use Feliway on my exam towels.  Some of my patients will only relax when covered with a towel.  We spray these exam towels with Feliway before the appointment.  Feliway makes a BIG difference in some of my patients stress levels.

Learning to read the body language of your cat will help you to understand what they are saying to you.  Cats CAN talk, just not with words, but with actions! 

Dr. Maureen Flatley
Fox Valley Cat Clinic