RSPCA issues URGENT warning for Sheffield cat owners to stop using this pet food brand immediately after hundreds of cats die

The RSPCA has issued a warning for Sheffield residents to immediately stop feeding their cats with a particular brand of pet food after hundreds of animals have become fatally ill.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 12:44 pm

A number of cat food products were recently recalled after concern of a link between them and pancytopenia – a rare bone marrow condition which can cause serious illness in felines.

Products manufactured by Fold Hill Foods, including the Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe range, Pets at Home’s AVA range and Applaws Cat Dry products, were recalled by the Food Standards Agency back in June but concerns have now been raised that some people may not have noticed the warning and may still be feeding their cats with the affected food.

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The RSPCA is warning pet owners in Sheffield and South Yorkshire to stop using a number of pet food products which have been recalled after hundreds of cats have fallen ill with a rare disease. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA told The Star: “We are concerned that people may still be feeding their cats food that has been recalled due to concerns over an increased risk of pancytopenia. The condition, which is serious may present with lethargy, loss of appetite, bleeding from the nose, mouth or bowel and collapse.

"The advice is to stop feeding your cat any of the affected foods with immediate effect. There are a number of brands affected including Applaws Kitten and Cat Dry, Pets at Home AVA and Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe, the full list of products is available on the Food Standards Agency website. If you are at all concerned about the welfare of your cat please contact your vet straight away.”

Vets are also urging cat owners to look out for the signs that their furry friends are unwell and to act as quickly as possible.

Pancytopenia means that your pet has a very low red and white blood cell count and is a very serious illness which can be fatal in some cases.

Some cats don't show any symptoms of the condition, so if you have more than one can and one is showing signs of pancytopenia, you will also need to get your other cats checked.

Some cats may show mild symptoms which can include:

tiredness restlessness lack of appetite pale gums

You may also see more serious signs such as:

bleeding from their mouth black poo or blood in their poo blood in their wee sick containing blood collapsing

If you see any of the above signs and symptoms of the condition you should speak with your vet immediately.

A government spokesperson said earlier this year that there is no “definitive evidence” to confirm a link between pancytopenia and the Fold Hill Foods products but that an investigation had been launched.

The spike in cases of the illness was identified by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and it was the decision of the manufacturer of the products in question to voluntarily recall them as a precautionary measure, as it said pet safety was its “priority”.

Anyone who uses this brand of cat food is urged to cease use immediately and dispose of the remainder of the product.

A full list of affected products and more information on the recall can be found on the Food Standards Agency website here.