17 June 2021 - Cat food manufactured by Fold Hill is being recalled from major retailers in the UK over a potential link to a rare disease which is fatal to felines.
Pet owners are being encouraged to return cat food products from the AVA (Pets At Home), Applaws & Sainsbury’s ranges, which accounts for more than 20 products in total.
Fold Hill and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have warned that cats consuming these products may be at increased risk of developing the bone marrow condition pancytopenia. The disease causes the animal's blood cell count to fall rapidly, and often fatally.
"Typically, we may see one case of this per year, but we have seen now 10 cats with severe pancytopenia in the last four weeks," Dr Barbara Glanemann, senior lecturer in small animal medicine at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), told the BBC.
The RVC is currently aware of between 40 and 50 cases of affected cats around the country, including some which had become unwell at the same time and from the same household.
Customers are advised to contact retailers if they have purchased any of the products listed for recall.
Pancytopenia in cats may be caused by infectious diseases such as FeLV (feline leukaemia virus) or FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), or by toxic agents, among other causes. It is not clear at this point what is causing the increase in pancytopenia cases, with the UK's FSA claiming only a "possible link" with the food produced by Fold Hill.