Great Britain

Cat food sold at Sainsbury's and Pets At Home linked to deadly illness

Cat owners are being warned of an urgent product recall on cat food amid a possible connection to an outbreak of a potentially deadly illness among cats.

Fold Hill have issued an urgent recall on a range of products sold at Pets At Home and Sainsbury’s.

The recall which affects cat foods products from Ava and Applaws was issued this week as a precautionary measure.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland and Defra are advising cat owners not to feed their cats specific cat food products. 

Since April 2021 there have been over 130 cases of feline pancytopenia, an illness that can often be fatal in cats, the FSA warned.

Pancytopenia is a very rare condition where the number of blood cells (red, white and platelets) rapidly decrease, causing serious illness. 

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.”

Cat owners are being told to seek immediate advice from their vet if their cat is unwell or has been fed any of the cat food listed.

A spokesperson for Fold Hill said: “We are voluntarily recalling the dry products we manufacture for the brands detailed in the link below as a precautionary measure.

“We are supporting an investigation by the food and veterinary authorities into a possible safety issue affecting cats.”

They added: “If you have bought any of the above products as detailed above, do not feed them to your cat.

"Instead check if you have bought the affected products and batch codes and the use-by and best before dates and write down the batch code for reference at home and return the products to the store for a full refund with or without a receipt."

Customers who have bought an Ava product should contact Pets At Home and fill out the contact form on the help page or livechat.

And if you have bought a Sainsbury’s product you can contact the stores or their Customer Careline on 0800 636262.

The Applaws product contact can be found here.

Here is a full list of products affected:

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Salmon

AVA Adult Fish

AVA Adult Mature Chicken 7+

AVA Senior Chicken 12+

AVA Sensitive Skin & Stomach

AVA Weight Management

AVA Hairball

AVA Oral Care

AVA British Shorthair

AVA Persian

AVA Maine Coon

Applaws Kitten Dry Chicken

by Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Salmon 1+ Years

by Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Chicken 1+ Years

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Lamb

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Duck

Applaws Cat Dry Ocean Fish

Applaws Cat Dry Senior Chicken

AVA Kitten Chicken

AVA Adult Chicken

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