Hundreds of cats have died after suffering from a fatal food-related illness that was urgently recalled last month.
Owners are being notified after an upsurge in cases of feline pancytopenia, a rare disease that results in bone marrow failure.
Veterinarians are investigating suspected links between the disease and some brands of cat food sold by major retailers, including Pets at Home and Sainsbury’s, and the disease.
The Royal Veterinary College said it was aware of 528 cases of the fatal disease in recent months – but the numbers would be higher.
He said the RVC said there was a 63.5% death rate in cases treated in their own hospitals or by vets.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Defra are also investigating and urging cat owners not to feed their pets food made by manufacturer Fold Hill.
What is the disease?
Pancytopenia is a rare disease of the bone marrow where the number of blood cells (red, white, and platelets) decreases rapidly, causing serious illness.
Cats with this condition may appear more tired than usual and may give up their food.
One of the first more specific signs is bleeding from the mouth, nose or intestines. In very severe cases, excessive blood loss can lead to collapse.
The FSA said the current outbreak of pancytopenia was potentially linked to specific cat food products, which were being recalled.
He added that there is “no evidence to suggest that this outbreak poses a risk to human health.”
The Royal Veterinary College (RVA) said: âWe are unfortunately aware of over 500 affected cats.
What cat food has been recalled?
A large number of hypoallergenic dry cat food products manufactured by Fold Hill Foods have been recalled.
It was first announced on June 17 and covers a range of products under various names sold by brands such as Sainsbury’s, Applaws and Pets at Home.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Defra advise cat owners not to feed their pets food made under certain brand names by manufacturer Fold Hill as a precaution.
Recipe hypoallergenic complete kibble for cats with salmon 1 + years 800g
Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe Complete Chicken Cat Food 1+ Years 800g
Pets at home
Ava Chaton Chicken 300g and 2kg
Ava Adult Chicken 300g, 2kg and 4kg
Ava Adult Fish 2kg
Ava Mature Chicken 7+ 2kg and 4kg
Ava Chicken Senior 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
All date codes
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