Friskies Bites Dust

Remember good the old days when cat food had chicken, beef, and turkey, and there was no "With gravy?"

Remember too when kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and cancer were far less prevalent than now, and we were told that the average lifespan of indoor cats was 17 years?

Remember when an office call on a vet cost $20 and there was no charge for a recheck within two weeks?

Remember when we were told to stay away from fish canned food because it caused FUS?

Now, can you find anything made by Friskies or other supermarket cat foods that is not fish based, or has replaced meat with contaminated gravy?

An article from the LA Times today:

An epidemic of thyroid disease among pet cats could be caused by toxic flame retardants that are widely found in household dust and some pet food, government scientists reported Wednesday.The often-lethal disease was rare in cats until the 1980s, when it began appearing widely, particularly in California cats.

That was at the same time industry started using large volumes of brominated flame retardants in consumer products, including furniture cushions, electronics, mattresses and carpet padding.

Scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency noted a possible connection between hyperthyroidism and flame retardants. The chemicals -- known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs -- mimic thyroid hormones, so experts have theorized that high exposure in cats could cause overactive thyroids.Cats that remain indoors and eat fish-flavored canned food were found to be the most highly contaminated.

People in the United States have the highest PBDE levels in humans worldwide, but U.S. cats are even more exposed -- some with levels 100 times greater, according to the study.

We inhale or ingest dust, mostly from hand-to-mouth transfer," said Petreas, who did not participate in the study.The risk to cats that eat dry food and live in homes with average contamination is minimal, the study said, while "at the other extreme, maximal PBDE exposure" occurs in cats that eat fish-flavored canned food and live in houses with highly contaminated dust.

Cats that eat canned food containing whitefish, salmon and other seafood are exposed to PBDE levels up to 12 times higher than cats that eat dry food, and five times more than cats that eat poultry or beef canned foods, the study said. The chemicals build up in oceans and other water bodies and magnify in food chains.

However, much of the exposure -- for cats as well as people -- comes from dust, not food. Cats, while sleeping, often come in direct and prolonged contact with upholstery, carpeting and mattress materials that contain flame retardants. In addition, they often sit on electronic equipment. "Because of their meticulous grooming behavior, cats would effectively ingest any volatilized PBDEs or PBDE-laden dust that deposited on their fur during such activities,

In people and cats with the highest levels, Petreas said, "it's explained not by diet, but more contact with contaminated sofas, computers and other consumer products."Two pervasive PBDEs, used mostly in foam cushions, mattresses and carpet padding, have been banned in the United States since 2004.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Time to make my own cat food at home. Nothing is safe anymore.