Cat food recalled from Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home over potential link to fatal disease

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Cat food products are being recalled because of a possible association with the outbreak of a rare and fatal disease in cats.

Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home are among those retailers who remember Fold Hill’s grocery brands.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Defra advise cat owners not to give their pets the recalled food as a precaution.

Since April, there have been more than 130 cases of pancytopenia in cats – a disease that can often be fatal in cats, the FSA said.

Pancytopenia is a rare condition in which the number of blood cells (red, white, and platelets) decreases rapidly and causes serious illness.

The FSA said the current pancytopenia outbreak may be related to certain cat food products.

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A government spokesman said: “We are working with the Royal Veterinary College, the Animal Plant and Health Agency and other government departments in all four UK nations, local authorities and the pet food supply chain to investigate a possible link between specific cat food products and pancytopenia Cats.

“At this point there is no definitive evidence to confirm a link.

“No unsafe cat food has been identified, but based on research to date, affected manufacturers and brand owners are taking precautionary measures to recall and withdraw cat food products that have been associated with affected cats.”

The statement added, “There is no evidence that this outbreak of pancytopenia in cats poses a risk to human health.”

Cat owners are advised to consult a veterinarian immediately if their cat is unwell and has been given any of the foods listed in the product recall.

Owners are also advised to use an alternative food if their cat’s usual food is included in the recall.

Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home are among those retailers who remember Fold Hill’s grocery brands.

Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe range and Pets at Home Ava range are being recalled, according to Fold Hill Foods.

Applaws products sold by Amazon and other pet food stores can also be unsafe.

Ben Mankertz, General Manager of Fold Hill Foods said, “We are alarmed and deeply saddened to hear of reports from the Food and Veterinary Authorities of some cat health problems.

“We are cat owners ourselves and understand how worrying and stressful this situation is for families and while diet has not been confirmed as a cause, we would prefer to act now to ensure the absolute safety of the cats.

“As one of the UK’s leading pet food manufacturers, the safety of your pet is our top priority and we have therefore decided to recall the ranges of cat food we are making for the brands identified.

“We believe this is the safest course of action until an exact cause of the problem is identified.”

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A Pets at Home spokesperson added, “We are aware of the recent surge in pancytopenia in cats identified by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

“Pet health and well-being is our top priority, so we are supporting the product recall from the maker of AVA and Applaws dry cat food. This is a precautionary measure while further research is in progress and we are working closely with the Food Agency, RVC and Standards Agency the entire industry to determine the cause.

“In the meantime, our market colleagues are there to help customers choose a suitable alternative.”

Product recalls

The recalled products are:


Sainsburys Hypoallergenic Recipe Dry cat food with salmon 1 + year 800g

Sainsburys Hypoallergenic Recipe Dry cat food with chicken 1 + year 800g

Pets at home

Ava Kitten Chicken 300g and 2kg

Ava Adult Chicken 300g, 2kg and 4kg

Ava adult fish 2kg

Ava Ripe Chicken 7+ 2kg and 4kg

Ava Senior Chicken 12+ 2kg

Ava Sensitive Skin & Stomach 1.5 kg

Ava weight management 1.5 kg

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 and June 2023 with site reference code 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

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