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Dear Christopher Cat

Since the pet food recall, I have been feeding my cat canned tuna, chicken and turkey for people. Should I add anything to his diet?

Christopher Responds

Yes, a high quality commercial cat food.

You are feeding an unbalanced diet, and someday it may kill your cat.

If you decide to spend the extra time and money cooking for your cat, you’ll need to have a veterinary nutritionist formulate a complete, balanced diet, taking into account your cat’s age, genetics, activity level and any underlying medical conditions. And you’ll need to buy a kitchen scale that measures in grams.

You won’t be able to substitute ingredients, or you’ll risk unbalancing the balanced ration.

You’ll also use food ingredients that have a worse history of recalls than pet foods. Each year, contaminated food kills an estimated 5000 people and sickens 76 million.

During the past year alone, spinach, peanut butter and packaged meats were subject to major recalls.

Alternatively, you can do what my cat family and I do: eat commercial cat food. Mom offers a variety of dry foods, and each of us eats what we like best.

As I look to the future, I feel even more confident about pet food safety. Just this month, the U.S. Senate passed the DeLauro-Durbin Pet and Human Food Safety Act to increase oversight and regulation of the food industry.

To help the bill, HR2108/S1274, become law, encourage your U.S. Representative to support it.

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