by Dr. Jean Hofve & Jackson Galaxy
Library of Congress ISSN #1550-0764

March 2010

In this issue:

1. News Bites:

  • Nature’s Variety recall expanded…
  • Fatal Attraction: Cats and ADHD drug…
  • Unspayed dogs may live longer…
  • People with cats are more likely to have university degrees than those with dogs…
  • HSUS going into pet food business…
  • Don’t let dogs chew on kids’ stuffed animals…

2. Easter’s Hidden Danger for Cats (Clue: it’s Lilies!)

3. Most Common Health Problems in Cats

4. What One Person Can Do

1. News BitesNature’s Variety recall expanded. The recall of Nature’s Variety raw pet foods now includes ALL of its frozen raw chicken foods due to potential Salmonella contamination. According to Nature’s Variety, these are the chicken (and turkey) medallions, patties and chubbs and the organic chicken with a ‘best used by date” of 02-05-11. No illnesses have been reported in animals or people.Fatal Attraction: Cats and ADHD drug. Drugs designed for use by people have been the leading source of poisonings among companion animals, according to the national Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Ill. Among cats, Adderall (an amphetamine combination used to treat ADHD) is one of the most common and dangerous of these pharmaceutical threats.

Adderall apparently tastes good to cats. A single 20 mg capsule can be fatal to a cat. Symptoms include vocalization, anxiety, agitation, pacing, disorientation, hypersensitivity to light, sound and touch, and even tremors. With quick, aggressive treatment, cats may recover. Please keep this drug (and all medications) securely inaccessible to cats, children, and other pets. Never give medications intended for humans to pets. Most cases of pet poisoning involve acetominophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin.

EPA releases report on spot-on flea and tick products. Late last year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began a review of spot-on pesticides due to consumer complaints of illness and death in pets. While adverse reactions were reported for all products, applying too much product for the cat’s weight, and using dog products on cats, were responsible for the majority of incidents, including deaths. In dogs, small breeds were more commonly affected. EPA placed most of the blame for adverse events on product labeling, such as using the same name for both dog and cat products, unclear directions, and inadequate safety warnings. Products prescribed by veterinarians appeared to have fewer problems.

Unspayed dogs may live longer. Researchers found that female Rottweilers that were unspayed or had retained their ovaries for at least six years were more likely to live longer than females that had kept their ovaries intact for a shorter period. As a result, researchers advise dog owners to consult their veterinarian about the pros and cons of keeping ovaries in order to make informed decisions about their pet’s health. Research on this issue has not been done in dog breeds other than Rottweilers, or in cats. Spaying and neutering pets is still recommended for many reasons, including prevention of reproductive tract cancers and uterine infection (pyometra), inhibiting mating-related behaviors such as spraying (which occurs in both males and females), and to help control pet overpopulation. Non-surgical alternatives to spaying are being actively investigated.

People with cats are more likely to have university degrees than those with dogs, according to a scientific survey of pet ownership. Dr Jane Murray, Cats Protection Lecturer in Feline Epidemiology at the University of Bristol, who led the study, said: “We don’t think it is associated with income because that was one of the variables we looked at, and there was little difference. “Cats require less time per day than a dog, so they are more popular with educated people who work late and have long commutes.” The study was published in the Veterinary Record journal.

HSUS going into the pet food business. The Humane Society of the United States recently announced announces the nationwide launch of a new line of cruelty-free, all natural, certified organic pet food called “Humane Choice.” This offers consumers a wholesome and nutritious pet food that does not contain animal-based proteins or support the factory farming industry. Their first offering is a vegan dog food; at this time, HSUS states that they have no plans to produce a vegan cat food. While dogs are able to derive adequate nutrition from non-animal ingredients, cats cannot. For more information, see our article on “Vegetarian Cats.”

Don’t let dogs chew on children’s stuffed animals, cautions an email circulating the internet. Stuffing may contain flame retardants and antibacterials, according to

Dr. Jean’s new book, Holistic Cat Care (written with nutritionist Dr. Celeste Yarnall), is now available! Here are a few excerpts from readers (see the full reviews at“Holistic Cat Care ROCKS! I absolutely love this book!!”“The book is a pleasure to read with beautiful captivating pictures of all types of cats and a wealth of invaluable information for all animal owners and lovers. This new book packs in so much information in a very readable format that is extremely easy to reference.”

“This book is a comprehensive resource for the cat parent interested in natural alternatives for feline health. It covers topics such as nutrition, natural remedies, and hands-on healing in an easy to understand way without being light on the factual information.”

“This is not a book to be shelved. Instead, it should be left out for easy access and treated as a reference book. I know I’ll be slowly working my way through the pages, implementing new ideas and making them a part of my daily life.”

“This is the most in depth book available on holistic cat care.”

“First it is handsomely produced with wonderful glossy color photos of all different types of cats. More importantly it is super informative and is laid out sensibly so you can jump around from topic to topic easily. “

“This book is absolutely great. It discusses the importance of raw foods and diet in general, herbs, natural remedies, hands-on healing and a range of healing and anti aging modalities. What is most impressive about this book is the extent to which the authors draw on approaches and therapies used on humans and translate them to be effective for cats. ”

For more information or to order, click here!

2. Easter’s Hidden Danger for Cats
Easter Lilies
The time of Easter coincides with spring, making it a cheerful sort of holiday—one that is often celebrated with flowers, especially lilies. However, Easter can turn tragic, due to the unique sensitivity to cats to lily toxicity.For cats, all parts of the lily are poisonous: stem, leaves, petals, stamens, and even the pollen. Simply chewing on a leaf or getting pollen on their fur and licking it off is enough to be fatal. Lily poisoning causes acute renal (kidney) failure and death within 3-6 days.Toxic lily species include Lillium and Hermerocallis genera, which includes Easter lilies, day lilies, Tiger lilies and Stargazer lilies.

Prompt, aggressive treatment (within 18 hours of exposure) may be able to save the cat’s life. Many cats vomit shortly after chewing or eating a lily plant, but if your cat goes outside, you may not have any clue that exposure has occurred.

It’s best to avoid having lilies around the house. Many cats have gotten into lilies that were placed where their guardians were sure they couldn’t get to them. If you’re ordering flowers for someone who has a cat, ask the florist to leave lilies out of the arrangement. Raise awareness at the source by talking to your florist about cats and lilies. Remove daylilies from your garden to protect cats who may wander through your yard.

For more information, please visit:

3. Most Common Health Problems in Cats
According to  Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the top 10 medical conditions for which claims were submitted last year for cats were:1. Lower urinary tract disease
2. Gastritis, or vomiting
3. Chronic renal failure
4. Hyperthyroidism
5. Diabetes
6. Enteritis, or diarrhea
7. Skin allergy
8. Periodontitis, or dental disease
9. Ear infection
10. Eye infection

It’s interesting to note that 8 of the top 10 (gastritis, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, enteritis, skin allergy, periodontal disease, and ear infections) are connected to diet; and the other 2 (chronic renal failure and eye infection) are linked to vaccination. Most are preventable and treatable with gentle holistic therapies such as homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture, and flower essences–and of course, good nutrition!

4. What One Person Can DoWe all love animals, and we all want to help them. But sometimes when we look at issues such as pet overpopulation or declawing, the magnitude of the forces against us, whether deliberate or simply ignorant, seems overwhelming. So in the spirit of hope and persistence, here’s the story of what one person can do. Now, we must admit, Beatrice Welles is an extremely remarkable person; a lady Dr. Jean is so lucky to call a good friend.Here’s what Beatrice accomplished in February 2010, though “Free Cat Spay Month” in Sedona, Arizona:

394 cats spayed + 32 toms neutered =
426 cats who will not bring any more unwanted kittens into the world =
more than a thousand lives spared in just one year.

The rest of the story is even more impressive! Female cats can have 2-4 litters per year, with an average of 4 kittens per litter; but 50-75% of them will not survive. Nevertheless, just one unspayed female and multiple generations of her unspayed offspring can produce more than 11 million cats in 9 years. The reduction in pet overpopulation that Beatrice and WTPC Rescue Project achieved by spaying nearly 400 cats is almost unimaginable!

No wonder the WTPC was recently recognized by Keep Sedona Beautiful! For more information (and to donate to the WTPC or next year’s Cat Spay Month), please visit the WTPC Rescue Project.

Photo courtesy of Kathena Scheetz and Beatrice Welles

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