Proctor & Gamble is voluntarily recalling specific lots of Iams ProActive canned cat and kitten food because the product contains too little thiamine, an essential part of a cat’s diet.
The cat food, distributed throughout North America, includes all varieties of Iams ProActive Health Cat and Kitten Food in 3 ounce and 5.5 ounce cans that have a date between 09/2011 and 06/2012 on the bottom of the can. The recall is voluntary after diagnostic testing found the levels of thiamine to be insufficient.
Thiamine, also called vitamin B1, is a water soluble vitamin that plays an important role in numerous body functions including the metabolizing of carbohydrate into energy and the maintenance of a healthy heart and nervous system. The vitamin is not stored in the body, and is quickly depleted if the cat is fed an inadequate diet or goes without food for any period of time.
When fed an adequate diet, thiamine deficiency is rare in cats, and most typically seen when the animal has been fed large amounts of raw fish. Raw fish contains an enzyme called thiaminase which destroys thiamine. High heat destroys this enzyme.
Another factor that can cause thiamine deficiency is the use of the preservative Sulphur Dioxide, which also inactivates thiamine.
Early symptoms of thiamine deficiency may include loss of appetite, salivation, vomiting and weight loss. Thiamine deficiency, when caught early, is reversible, but if left untreated it can lead to downward curving of the neck (ventrofexion), wobbly gait, falling, and seizures.
Cats fed a product insufficient in thiamine are at greater risk of developing symptoms. If your cat shows any signs of thiamin deficiency, contact your veterinarian immediately.