Retailers including supermarket Sainsbury’s and pet store Pets reception are recalling some dry cat chow after a series of cat deaths. Owners are being advised by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Defra against giving certain products to cats after 150 cases of feline pancytopenia were seen since April.
Pancytopenia is when the amount of blood cells (red, white and platelets) decreases rapidly and may be fatal in cats. The dried food that has been recalled is formed by the corporate Fold Hill Foods, which produces a spread of pet foods for a variety of shops . The FSA issued a press release together with Food Standards Scotland and Defra, advising cat owners against feeding them certain products.
It read: “The Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and Defra are advising cat owners to not feed their cats specific cat chow products.
“Since April 2021 there are over 130 cases of feline pancytopenia, an illness which will often be fatal in cats.”
A government spokesperson confirmed to the FSA that they were investigating a link between cat fatalities and a few foods, but there’s “no definitive evidence to verify a link at this stage”.
They said: “No unsafe cat chow has been identified but the manufacturer and brand owners affected, supported investigations thus far , are taking the precautionary action of recalling and withdrawing cat chow products that are linked to affected cats.” A spokesperson for Fold Hill Foods told The Independent: “We recognize and appreciate the distress this is often causing to several people and are working with organizations including the FSA, Pet Food Manufacturers Association and veterinary authorities to help them in identifying the source of the Pancytopenia cases.
“To find the cause, investigators are that specialize in the reported cases, trying to find commonalities between them. This has led them to scrutinize a possible link to the three brands recalled – selected products from AVA, Sainsbury’s and Applaws.
“As soon as Fold Hill Foods became conscious of the matter, we issued a voluntary and precautionary recall of those selected cat chow products. This was fully supported by the FSA. There are no other safety concerns raised with other pet foods.
“This is an absolute priority for the business and there are variety of tests on food samples and ingredients being conducted by independent laboratories.
“As stated by the FSA, there’s no definitive evidence to verify a link at this stage between the cat chow products and feline pancytopenia.
“We still fully co-operate with both the FSA and therefore the Royal Veterinary College because the investigations progress.
“As cat owners ourselves, we fully understand how upsetting and stressful this example is and therefore the urgent got to establish why there has been a rise in cases of Pancytopenia within the UK.”
The products that are recalled are:
– Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with salmon 1+years 800g
-Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with chicken 1+years 800g
Pets at Home
-Ava Kitten Chicken 300g and 2kg
-Ava Adult Chicken 300g, 2kg and 4kg
-Ava Adult Fish 2kg
-Ava Mature Chicken 7+ 2kg and 4kg
-Ava Senior Chicken 12+ 2kg
-Ava Sensitive Skin & Stomach 1.5kg
-Ava Weight Management 1.5kg
-Ava Hairball 1.5kg
-Ava Oral Care 1.5kg
-Ava British Shorthair 1.5kg
-Ava Persian 1.5kg
-Ava Maine Coon 1.5kg
Applaws products (best before date between December 2022 to June 2023 with a site reference code of GB218E5009):
-Applaws Cat Dry Chicken 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
-Applaws Cat Dry Senior Chicken 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
-Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Salmon 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
-Applaws Kitten Dry Chicken 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
-Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Lamb 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
-Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Duck 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
-Applaws Cat Dry Ocean Fish 350g, 1.8kg and 6kg