Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home are among those retailers pulling dry cat food off their shelves because of a possible link to a fatal feline disease.
The FSA and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have warned cat owners not to give their pets any dry food produced on behalf of the brands of the manufacturer Fold Hill Foods as a precaution.
It comes after an outbreak of pancytopenia in cats, a disease that can often be fatal in cats.
More than 130 cases of the rare disease have been registered since April this year, 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 have been linked to certain cat food products that have been recalled.
However, it added that “there is no evidence that this outbreak poses a risk to human health”.
The government is working with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the Animal Plant and Health Agency, along with authorities across the UK and the pet food supply chain, to investigate a possible link between certain cat food products and cat pancytopenia.
A government spokesman said, “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.”
Cat owners are encouraged to purchase alternative pet foods and seek immediate help if their pet has eaten any of the recalled products and feels unwell.
Fold Hill Foods says products from Sainsbury’s hypoallergenic recipe range and Pets at Home’s Ava range are being recalled.
Applaws products sold by. to be expelled Amazon and other pet food stores, can also be unsafe.
Fold Hill Foods said pet safety is its priority, stating that the recall was the “safest course of action” until an exact cause was identified.
General Manager Ben Mankertz said, “As cat owners we know exactly how worrying and stressful this situation is for families and while diet has not been confirmed as the cause, we would prefer to act now to ensure the absolute safety of the cats . “
We advise cat owners not to feed their cats special cat food products.
This follows an increase in the incidence of pancytopenia in cats, which can cause serious illness in cats.
Further information on the recall and affected products: https://t.co/ZpJ4IPnzuP pic.twitter.com/5GfghGBcyh
– Food Standards Agency (@foodgov) June 16, 2021
A Pets at Home spokeswoman also said that pet health and well-being is her “top priority,” adding, “This is a precaution while further research is in progress and we are working closely with the FSA, RVC and others.” Industry work together to determine the cause.
“In the meantime, our market colleagues are there to help customers choose a suitable alternative.”
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