Cat food brands recalled over link to fatal disease

Several cat food products have been recalled over links to a potentially fatal disease.

Several cat food products have been recalled over links to a potentially fatal disease. - Credit: Which?

Several cat food products have been recalled over links to a potentially fatal disease.

The Royal Veterinary College has reported a sudden increase in cases of feline pancytopenia, a rare condition where blood cell numbers rapidly decrease and which can prove fatal.

The cause of the outbreak is being investigated, but a possible link with certain brands of cat food has been mooted.

Fold Hill Foods has taken the "precautionary action" of recalling some of its products, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said.

The recalled products are:


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  • Applaws Cat Dry Chicken 400g, 2.5kg and 7.5kg. Best before: December 2022 to June 2023.

  • Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Salmon 400g, 2.5kg and 7.5kg. Best before: December 2022 to June 2023

  • Applaws Kitten Dry Chicken 400g, 2.5kg and 7.5kg. Best before: December 2022 to June 2023.

  • Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Lamb 400g, 2.5kg and 7.5kg. Best before: December 2022 to June 2023.

  • Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Duck 400g, 2.5kg and 7.5kg. Best before: December 2022 to June 2023.

  • Applaws Cat Dry Ocean Fish 350g, 1.8kg and 6kg. Best before: December 2022 to June 2023.

  • Applaws Cat Dry Senior Chicken 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg. Best before: December 2022 to June 2023

  • By Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Salmon 1+ Years 800g. All batches and best before dates.

  • By Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Chicken 1+ Years 800g. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Adult Fish 2kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Adult Mature Chicken 7+ 2kg and 4kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Senior Chicken 12+ 2kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Sensitive Skin & Stomach 1.5kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Weight Management 1.5kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Hairball 1.5kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Oral Care 1.5kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA British Shorthair 1.5kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Persian 1.5kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Maine Coon 1.5kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Kitten Chicken 300g and 2kg. All batches and best before dates.

  • AVA Adult Chicken 300g, 2kg and 4kg. All batches and best before dates.

Anyone who has bought these products should stop feeding them to their cats and return them to the store for a full refund.

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Advice from the FSA says: "If your cat is unwell and has been fed any of the cat food listed in the product recall, you should seek immediate advice from your vet.

Several brands of cat food have been recalled over safety fears.

Several brands of cat food have been recalled over safety fears. - Credit: Which?

"If your cat’s usual food is a product affected by the recall, use an alternative cat food brand.

"If your cat was being fed a product affected by the recall for a medical reason, discuss with your vet what alternative food would be best to switch to. This will help to avoid your cat becoming ill as a result of ceasing to feed the listed food."

In a statement, Fold Hill Foods said: "‘We are voluntarily recalling the dry products we manufacture as a precautionary measure. We are also supporting an investigation by the food and veterinary authorities into a possible safety issue affecting cats."

A government spokesperson said: "Working with the Royal Veterinary College, the Animal Plant and Health Agency and other government departments across all four nations of the UK, local authorities and the pet food supply chain, we are investigating a possible link between specific cat food products and feline pancytopenia. There is no definitive evidence to confirm a link at this stage.

"No unsafe cat food has been identified but the manufacturer and brand owners affected, based on investigations so far, are taking the precautionary action of recalling and withdrawing cat food products that have been linked to affected cats.

"There is no evidence to suggest this outbreak of feline pancytopenia presents any risk to human health."

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