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Cat treats recalled due to risk of serious injury to cats

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Cat owners should be aware of a recall involving Catswell Vitakitty cat treats.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Arthur Dogswell LLC is voluntarily recalling Catswell Brand VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins because the treats may contain propylene glycol. High levels of propylene glycol in Catswell Vitakitty treats may cause serious injury to cats.

Propylene glycol is a substance classified as “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS. Human and dog food manufacturers often use it as a food additive to help soft food retain moisture. However, use of propylene glycol in or on cat food is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Studies have shown that propylene glycol can cause a condition called Heinz body anemia in cats, damaging red blood cells.

Cats suffering from Heinz body may exhibit symptoms including fever, sudden weakness, loss of appetite, anorexia, pale mouth and gums, discoloration of the skin and reddish brown urine.

The FDA became aware of the propylene glycol in the Catswell Vitakitty cat treats during routine surveillance sampling.

The recall affects about 1051 cartons of Vitakitty cat treats packed as either 10 or 50 packages per case. Arthur Dogswell distributed the cat treats nationwide between April 13, 2012 and June 14, 2012. Consumers may have purchased the product from retail stores or online.

Catswell Vitakitty cat treats are sold in a re-sealable 2-ounce orange plastic package with a clear window. Consumers can identify the package by the UPC code 8 84244 00057 2 and by finding the following lot number on the bottom of the back of the package: SEW12CH032701/03c and SEW12CH032702/03c with a best before date of 09/10/13 and 09/11/13.

Consumers should return any affected cat treats to the place of purchase for a full refund. They can contact Arthur Dogswell at 1-888-559-8833.

The company has received no reports of injury.

“We are taking this voluntary action because it is in the best interests of our customers and their feline companions,” said Marco Giannini, CEO and Founder. “We will be working with the FDA in our continued commitment to ensure that we meet FDA guidelines.”